Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti visited Markham Public Library’s Milliken Mills branch to help celebrate the launch of York Region’s first Lendery, in conjunction with The Regional Municipality of York and York Region Makers.
The Lendery is like a library, however instead of signing out books, you can borrow non-traditional items.
“From tools, to sports equipment, toys and more, if you’re looking for something, chances are we have it,” Scarpitti says. “Markham’s public libraries are where we go to learn, where our imaginations soar; they are accessible and the items you need are free of charge. This Lendery is about meeting the needs of our residents and this partnership with York Region and York Region Makers speaks to our shared goal of becoming more sustainable, while ensuring community spaces remain warm, welcoming, and inclusive.”
The Lendery is accessible to anyone who lives, works, attends school, or owns property in York Region.
“Milliken Mills branch was chosen [as the first Lendery] for its projected community needs and based on the toy library at the same location, which did very well,” says Myron McLelland, project coordinator of Sustainable Waste Management Environment Services at York Region.
“We started the process last fall,” McLelland explains. “We used surveys through social media to determine what items the residents of Milliken Mills wanted. Then we held donation drives at three Markham public libraries to gather items for the Lendery. We stocked the Lendery with items residents wanted to see – tools, sports equipment, camping equipment, party supplies, kitchen supplies.”
Additional items will continue to be added to the Lendery as they become available.
“Markham Public Library is accepting donations year round (see York.ca/lendery), and we have a wish list of items,” McLellandn says.
Milliken Mills Library is the first of several planned locations to launch a Lendery. The next Lendery is expected to open at Newmarket Public Library in 2020.
By providing opportunities to borrow items instead of purchasing them, the Lendery aims to reduce the consumption of waste on these occasional-use items, reduce the need for extra storage space in homes, to make products more accessible to everyone in the community, and to help borrowers learn new skills.
Photo: Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti; Lindsay Milne, York Region Manager of Sustainable Waste Management; and Markham Public Library CEO Catherine Biss holding items from the Lendery.