The Library Written By Kelly Schnettgoecke

What is the Library and why do we need it?

When you want to learn something new, need a good reference source, or want to borrow the latest best-seller, where do you go? A library. Libraries of books and media have been around for centuries. But there are more types of libraries than traditional ones that carry books!

You might have heard about the BWI Lending Library. We often have people ask- Where is the library? Can I visit? What’s there? How can I check something out? Why does BWI need a library in the first place?

Let’s break it down by looking at what exactly makes up a library! According to the Free Dictionary online…

Li·brar·y (lī′brĕr′ē)

a. A place in which reading materials, such as books, periodicals, and newspapers, and often other materials, such as musical and video recordings, are kept for use or lending.

Our library is a totally different kind of collection! This particular collection is made of different types and sizes of baby and toddler carriers, as well as accessories to go with them. We focus the collection on four carrier types: wraps, ring slings, mei tais, and soft structured carriers, as well as accessories such as inserts, Sling Rings, and suck pads to complete a carrier. There are a variety of each type available in all of our five lending libraries, so there is always something for caregivers to try on during a meeting and for members to borrow.

Every meeting is staffed by educators who can assist you in trying on any library carrier, answer your questions, and help you to get a great fit to wear your child comfortably. We’ve helped caregivers of all types to find their perfect carrier- for FREE. That’s right- there is zero charge to attend a meeting and try on as many carriers as you would like. We are here to provide help to anybody willing to seek it and learn!

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b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged.

Ever wonder exactly what carriers are available in the library? We keep a list of our carriers here. As we acquire new carriers, they go on tour to all of our meetings, then they are assigned a home library. Each carrier and accessory has its own unique code assigned that allows us to keep track of them in MyTurn, our online library database. This allows us to see where our carriers are, as well as track which ones are popular checkouts. Having this system allows us to see and meet the needs of our community by making in-demand carriers available at every meeting.

c. A room in a private home for such a collection.

Well… not exactly! We do have the awesome IKEA bags to hold our libraries, though. Meeting leaders bring the library bag to each meeting location on the day of a meeting.

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d. An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection.

This is where BWI shines. As an organization, we strive to make a diverse collection carriers available to the community to learn about, try on, and borrow. Much as a library of books or music is available to help people grow their knowledge of academia, or to transport themselves to a fictional land, so does the BWI lending library serve to bring knowledge and enjoyment to caregivers throughout our region.

Having a lending library available makes babywearing accessible to everyone. Many caregivers want to try on a variety of carrying options before investing in one of their own. Sometimes they find that they love a completely different carrier than they thought they would!

Our library carriers allow members to go places and do things that would have been a struggle without a carrier. We’ve seen carriers travel the world, helping families navigate airports and explore new places.

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Library carriers help caregivers to survive the rough newborn days, the “terrible twos,” and beyond. They give comfort to sick kids and tired parents. They’re perfect for transitional stages when a caregiver doesn’t own a carrier that fits their needs.

Why do you love the lending library? Leave a comment to share your thoughts!

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