From the Portland Press Herald:
Maine has at least 10 public libraries expanding the idea of what a library can loan to card holders – art prints, American Girl dolls, volleyball and croquet sets, ukuleles, fishing poles, telescopes, sheet music, binoculars, backpacks, energy auditing tools and GPS equipment.
Many have added the non-literary items in the past several years, sometimes at the suggestion of patrons. Librarians say libraries have a long history of offering new services and items as times and community needs change, including audio equipment, computers and e-readers.
There was a time when the main purpose of the local library was as a place for students to get books for book reports. But today families often use the library together. The York Public Library loans out 10 nature backpacks, each filled with maps, books, nets and other items. Each is designed to let the family explore their local forests, ponds, marshes or beaches together.
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