Is the Library of Things an answer to our peak stuff problem?

Love this concept, part of the sharing economy.

The carpet is filthy. Guests are about to arrive. You have several choices: buy a carpet cleaning machine (around £130 upwards), pay for a professional cleaning company (about £40), or rent a machine from a private hire firm (around £29 for two days). Or, if you live in West Norwood, just pop down the road and borrow one for £9.

It isn’t only domestic cleaning equipment that is available for knock-down rates in this area of south London. The Library of Things, a new “borrowing space” social enterprise, stocks everything from DIY equipment and camping gear to kitchenware and wetsuits.

The concept is simple, says 26 year-old co-founder Rebecca Trevalyan. Anyone can become a member, it’s free to join, and up to five items can be borrowed per week. The carpet cleaner is one of the more expensive items but most are charged out at somewhere between £2 (for a garden fork) and £4 (for a bread maker). All are listed in its online catalogue.


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