Everyone knows that you can borrow books from the public library. That’s been a thing since 1731, when Benjamin Franklin and his associates created a subscription library. Patrons could buy shares in the library, and those funds were used to purchase books which could then be borrowed by the subscribers. But as libraries evolve in order to keep pace with changing technology and increased demands on library services, some libraries have collected some rather unusual items.
At the Duluth, MN public library, you can “borrow” seeds from their seed library, and plant your own garden. The Worthington, MN public library will loan you a cake pan, one of those shaped aluminum pans that lets you bake and decorate a special occasion cake. In Queens, NY, you can stop by the public library and borrow a necktie from their “tie-brary”, in case you need one for your next job interview. The neckties come with instructions on how to tie the tie, as well as some handy interview tips. And if you are in Warroad during the summer and you want to take the kiddies out for a boat ride, you can borrow children’s life jackets at the Warroad Public Library. The lifejackets are provided and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Other things that U.S. libraries loan to patrons include:
- art prints
- American girl dolls and their clothes
- musical instruments
- story time kits
Libraries also have some interesting collections that can be used in the library. In Warroad, you can see and touch a collection of tanned animal hides and view scat and track replicas, to help you identify animal sign in the wild. Our Northwest Region libraries also have collections of local history, including plat books and obituary records. Do you want to see how fabulous your hair looked in high school, back in 1973? Many libraries have a collection of local high school yearbooks. And if you’re wondering what to do with your old yearbooks, you can see if your local library would like to add it to the collection.
By Linnea Hartsuyker
Ragnvald Eysteinsson, descendant of kings, grew up believing that he would one day take his dead father’s place as chief of his family’s lands. But sailing home from a raiding trip to Ireland, the young warrior is betrayed and left for dead by men in the pay of his greedy stepfather, Olaf. Rescued by a fisherman, Ragnvald is determined to avenge his stepfather’s betrayal, claim his birthright and the woman he loves, and rescue his beloved sister, Svanhild. Opportunity may lie with Harald of Vestfold, a young warrior prophesied to one day rule all of Norway.
Set in a mystical and violent world defined by honor, loyalty, deceit, passion, and courage, The Half-Drowned King is an electrifying adventure that breathtakingly illuminates the Viking world and the birth of Scandinavia.
Hungry for books? You might be a...
A bibliophage; one who loves to read books. Literally, a devourer of books.