lending library club

Borrow and lend with your friends and neighbors. No fees, no apps, no middleman.

How it works

Make a list of things you have that you'd be willing to lend to people you'd trust.

Find—or start—a neighborhood lending club. Share your inventory list and your contact information with the organizers.

if someone wants to borrow one of your things, they'll get in touch with you directly. you choose whether to lend it or not. If you do, keep track of who's borrowing it, and when they're expected to return it.

Examples

Let's say your computer breaks and you need to borrow one for a few days while it gets fixed. Or you're throwing an outdoor party and want to borrow some tables and a portable speaker. You probably know somebody who has these things, but it's difficult to ask everyone you know, and it might be awkward to ask if they're willing to lend to you. If people proactively list what they're willing to lend, then the whole process gets a bit easier, and we can expand our networks of mutual support.

What things might you want to lend or borrow?

Anything that's used infrequently is a good bet: party supplies, camping gear, any kind of specialized equipment. Everyday items that you have extras of are great, too: an extra phone, computer, headphones etc. It's also a great way to try out something that you're considering buying.

How to run a club

Collect lendable inventory lists from your friends and neighbors.

Share the combined list however you like: an email list, paper newsletter, etc.

It's also useful to have some kind of discussion forum or channel for people to talk about additional items that would be useful, who else to add to the club, or any changes to how the club is run.

FAQ

Q: What happens if somebody doesn't return my stuff?
A: Up to you! It's best to only lend to people you trust, and who have some existing social connection to you.

Q: Can I charge people?
A: Nope. (I mean, nobody can stop you, but then it's not a lending club.)

Q: If people do this, would they reduce their need to buy stuff?
A: That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Q: Wouldn't this be a great startup idea?
A: Hahahahahaha no.

Known lending clubs

SF Shared Stuff Society, San Francisco CA, jesse@jklabs.net
Alt.Lending, Pasadena CA, maxwellchen1@gmail.com