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Access over ownership: case studies of libraries of things

Baden, Denise, Peattie, Ken ORCID: and Oke, Adekunle 2020. Access over ownership: case studies of libraries of things. Sustainability 12 (17) , 7180. 10.3390/su12177180

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Over the last decade there has been increasing interest in the concept of the sharing economy, which replaces the focus on individual ownership with a focus on access to goods and services through borrowing, hiring or sharing. This paper investigates the efficacy of extending the library concept to include more items, such as those that are used infrequently. The aim is to explore how Libraries of Things (LoTs) operate and the potential to broaden their appeal, reach and sustainability. This study adopts a multiple case study method to provide a snapshot of six LoTs in the UK. Findings indicate that all LoTs shared common environmental and social values, with the most prevalent values being to use the library concept to reduce resource use and waste, and to enable more equitable access to goods. All relied on volunteers and public support, in the form of free or discounted space and none were yet economically self-sufficient. This poses important questions about the future for LoTs and whether they could, or even should, transition towards the mainstream in order to make a more substantive contribution to creating a more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable economy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2071-1050
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 31 August 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 01:09

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