These Three Libraries Offer Nontraditional Items For Select Borrowers


Need to borrow a drill? How about a board game? Or maybe you’re more interested in Crest’s original packaging? These three nontraditional libraries offer tools, resources, and more.

Play Library

Photograph by Carlie Burton

Play Library

While COVID-19 has put a temporary hold on in-person play dates, Play Library’s inventory of more than 1,000 puzzles, games, and other toys is still available to members through curbside pickup and dropoff. The best part? For every membership purchased, a deserving family gets the chance to play. Looks like everyone’s winning this game.

Cincinnati Community ToolBank

Since 2012, the ToolBank has lent nonprofit organizations tools for their use, whether they’re working on their own facilities or supervising a service project with a volunteer crew. This summer, the ToolBank’s Victory Gardens program allowed community members to borrow gardening-specific tools.

P&G’s Corporate Heritage and Archives Center

“It’s so important to share insights across the company,” says Shane Meeker, Procter & Gamble’s company historian and corporate storyteller, about the purpose of the consumer product giant’s private archive. “We have a connections map in the museum that shows how all the categories and brands are connected,” Meeker says. “There are so many different projects happening that you never know how it might help.” That’s why the archive is so important.

Employees can access everything from TV commercials to original packaging to project oral histories to one of the company’s original candle boxes from the mid-1800s. “A dentist in Nevada called us,” Meeker says, explaining that the dentist’s hobby was exploring old mines. “He said, ‘I found your company’s logo on this crate, would you be interested,’ ” Meeker says. Being at the bottom of a mine shaft kept it out of the sunlight, and the graphics were still clear. Researchers can request to access the collection, and the company has shared artifacts with exhibitions focusing on Cincinnati history. As part of P&G’s onboarding process, new staffers tour the archive as well.

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