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CELOS – Friends of Christie Pits Park lending library
March 7, 2019
The Friends of Christie Pits’ lending library project was successfully launched to the public at an event in September. A website and social media account were created and the project received citywide media attention. The buzz is expected to grow as the library begins lending items this spring. Note the original project name was revised and the project will officially known as Block Party Supply.
Challenges and unanticipated outcomes:
The key challenge the project faced was getting the library setup for lending in 2018, as the grant moneys and agreement came much later in the year than expected. Thus, the project launched to the public in September 2018, providing items for various groups and events in the fall. The library will be fully operational with online inventory and bookings in spring 2019. One unanticipated challenge was securing an official agreement from the city for use of the storage space in Christie Pits Park. While the General Manager of PFR, local Park Supervisor and local city councilor are all very supportive of the project, it was determined that the project should continue operating in the space in Christie Pits under an informal agreement. This will suffice and this informal status won’t affect the library, but could lead to issues in future. We will continue to advocate for a long-term agreement to occupy and use the space.
An unanticipated outcome of the project was the connection with Zwilling Henckels Canada, a kitchenware company with a warehouse in Markham. The companyoriginally offered to donate stockpots, serving utensils and cutting boards. However upon further discussion, it became clear that the company had a significant quantity of discontinued and demonstration products at their warehouse that could be donated – far more than we could use for Block Party Supply. Subsequently, we were able to arrange the donation of over 1000 products for several local agencies, including a donation of more than 600 stainless steel pots to the Furniturebank organization in Etobicoke.
The workplan is unchanged from the most recent update (as revised in July 2018).
While the launch of the lending library won’t begin until spring, it is estimated that the donation and redistribution of Zwilling Henckels pots and pans to local agencies and Furniture Bank accounts for a diversion of more than 1000 kilograms of goods from landfill. As the profile of the project increases, we hope to continue crosspollinating and facilitating waste diversion and reduction results like this. Regarding other results for the project, most will begin to build once we establish our membership and begin lending items for events.
Now that our online inventory, website and social media platforms are setup, we will begin to accept members for the library in April. We expect reservations to begin immediately and for our summer to be booked to capacity as word spreads through the neighbourhood.
From the preliminary media and social media outreach, it appears that the project will continue to grow, both as a local project and a potential idea for others to begin in their neighbourhood.
On the next page are images and links for the project’s main outreach platforms, the website, Facebook page and MyTurn library. Though the project has not officially begun lending items, the project has created significant buzz, including a feature story on BlogTO and positive social media attention.
Toronto is getting a lending library for party supplies - BlogTO https://www.blogto.com/city/2018/09/to ronto-getting-lending-library-partysupplies/
ONLINE LIBRARY: blockpartysupply.myturn.com/library/inventory/browse
BPS FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/blockpartysupply