Library of Things

The BPL’s Library of Things is a circulating collection of non-traditional materials! The Library of Things is ever changing; keep checking back for the current items available to you with your library card!

Requesting, Picking Up, and Returning Things

  • To borrow or request an item, you must have a physical adult or teen MBLN card in good standing (e-Cards & Research Cards are not allowed) 
  • Items must be returned to the pickup location (either the Borrower Services Desk or Circulation Desk at a participating branch).
  • Items cannot be placed in a book drop. 

Loan Info

Proper Use and Liability

As with all Library materials, the borrower is responsible for the item and will be billed for reasonable replacement costs associated with damage, or loss of items due to neglect or abuse. A list of replacement costs for items is below.

Oral History Backpacks

Pick up an oral history backpack at Central, Brighton, Codman Square, Connolly, East Boston, Fields Corner, Lower Mills, or Roxbury.

Telescope Bag Kit

Check out an Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope at Adams St, Brighton, East Boston, Mattapan, JP, or the Chelsea Public Library.

Bird Watching Kit

Check out a kit from the Adams St., Brighton, Connolly, East Boston, Egleston Square, Grove Hall, or South Boston Branches!

Kill a Watt Electricity Monitor

The Kill a Watt power meter can tell you the actual electrical consumption of small to medium electrical devices in your home.


Check out a ukulele from the Adams Street Branch and hone your musical skills!


  • Patrons can borrow items for 21 days, with no renewals. If a patron does not return an item, a block will be placed on their card with the added replacement fee until they have returned it. Please see the Replacement Cost Chart.

  • All teen (ages 13-17) and adult (ages 18+) MBLN cardholders in good standing may check out these materials.

  • No, items are not renewable. 

  • Yes, patrons can place a hold/reserve an item for pick up at the assigned location.

  • Pick up the item at the assigned branch where the item is located. If the item is available at a location, you may pick it up without placing a hold.

  • Patrons must return items to the pickup location. Items cannot be placed in a book drop or returned to a different MBLN location. 

  • Patrons are responsible for the safekeeping and return of these items to the library in good working order and assume liability for the equipment while it is in their care. Please see our Replacement Cost Chart:

    Library of Things Item Replacement Cost
    Bird Watching Kit $150
    Oral History Backpacks $100
    Telescope Bag Kit $100
    Kill a Watt Electricity Monitor $50
    Ukulele $50
  • The Library is not responsible for any costs incurred or damage to personal equipment while borrowers use items from the Library of Things (i.e.: a patron borrowed a hammer and put a hole in the wall). The Library does its best to provide clean and fully functional equipment but is not responsible for unforeseen item failure. If a patron receives faulty equipment, they should email to coordinate an exchange/support. 

  • If a patron borrows an item with multiple pieces, all pieces must be present at time of return. If a patron does not return with all the pieces, then they cannot return the item. The patron will need to wait to return the item until all components are together.

  • A library card in good standing means there are no blocks on the card. A block could be in place for a number of reasons including but not limited to: an expired card, multiple overdue items, replacement cost fine(s) greater than $24.99, a trespass letter on file, more than one existing account, eCard ineligibility, or unreturned ComCat/ILL items.

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