Ingram Blog

All About Repair Cafés

by Becky Walton, MLIS, Collection Development
Have you heard of repair cafés?

I only recently learned of them after I came across the book Repair Revolution: How Fixers Are Transforming Our Throwaway Culture by John Wackman and Elizabeth Knight (from New World Library, publishing June 2020). Repair cafés are free meeting places where people can come to use tools and materials to fix rather than discard broken items such as clothes, furniture, appliances, bicycles, and toys. Experts and specialists volunteer their time to be on-hand to offer assistance and advice. Martine Postma created the 2009 prototype for this amazing resource in Amsterdam. She wanted to live a more sustainable life, and what better way to do so than to keep items out of landfills?

I was curious as to how public libraries might fit into this trend, and I found a few in the United States that lend hand tools. 

If you’ll allow me a quick digression, I love that there are other nontraditional collections at some libraries, such as:
You may not have a repair café in your library or community, but you can certainly support your customers in their efforts to live a less throwaway life. You can refer your patrons to the Local Tool resource and have these titles available for checkout on ipage .

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