A Library of Things Builds Community Connections: Housatonic Creates!


Great Barrington, Mass.February 27 – Need a Dremel to help finish the edge of a countertop? Do you have a graduation coming up that you would like to record? Have you always wanted to learn how to knit but wanted to try it first? You can now do all of these things, and more, at the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic.

After the public meetings and community surveys taken in 2018 by the library consultant firm of Kimberly Bolan & Associates, the Great Barrington Libraries applied for a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant specifically to create an art and makerspace focused Library of Things at Ramsdell Library. This grant was successful and the funds awarded are being used to meet the need expressed by the public for a community gathering space and creative workshops and art classes.

A Library of Things helps to reduce consumption and waste, while providing access to many items that patrons may be unable to purchase or store. “This movement brings the community together through shared experiences and social interaction,” said Library Director Amanda DeGiorgis. “We are actively seeking connections with local artists and artisans who wish to share their skills through public workshops and presentations.” This initiative, called Housatonic Creates!, will offer workshops in creative techniques such as wet and needle felting and book arts; as well as classes from the Small Business Administration outlining the best ways to start a home business. A few of the items in the Library of Things collection are: a 3D Pen; kits for crochet, knitting, and spinning; two looms (a Tapestry and a Rigid Heddle); two sewing machines and a serger, a set of leatherworking tools; a DSLR camera and a video camera; a Dremel 3000 sanding and grinding tool & attachments; a VR headset; and a podcasting kit.

Questions about the Library of Things may be directed to Ramsdell library, (413) 274-3738. For a full listing of the Library of Things collection, please visit the library website at gblibraries.org.

Borrowing starts March 9, 2020 at 2:00 pm!