It looks like a store, but it is actually a leisure time library and this sports equipment can be borrowed for free, Source: Fritidsbanken Sverige

Skellefteå opens an equipment library to encourage residents to try a new hobby

Skellefteå opens an equipment library to encourage residents to try a new hobby

It consists of two sections, one where you can borrow sports equipment, and another where you can try art stuff

Why is it that we have normalized borrowing books from a library but not any other useful items? The Swedish non-profit Fritidsbanken Sverige has not only asked that question publicly, but it has also set out to answer it since 2013 when it opened its first “leisure time bank” (the meaning of Fritidsbanken) to let people share and borrow sports equipment. Plus, it’s free of charge!

There are already more than 100 such leisure time banks across Sweden, and the latest is set to open doors this month in the northern municipality of Skellefteå. This time, however, the local branch will be unique in the sense that it will also include a “culture bank”, meaning that residents will also have the option to borrow art items, such as musical instruments, for example.

This promotes reusability of common items

The idea behind these item libraries is to encourage residents to explore safely and economically new hobbies and pastimes, enriching their personal lives and development in the process. Users can have access to games, crafts, sports and outdoor equipment.

Additionally, the initiative implants the mentality of extending the life span of everyday household products, which rather than ending up in the landfill can continue to be used. The collection of the banks has thus been generated from donation drives in the cities.

We have received a good response to our advertising and things that may have been unused in storage at both private individuals and businesses are now useful with us instead. We aimed to have around 1,000 registered gadgets to lend from the start and we’ve succeeded in that, so now we are increasing. We gratefully accept all gifts we receive and make sure they are put to good use,” said Johannes Lindberg, the director of the leisure time bank in Skellefteå.

Loaning the items is free of charge, for a period of 14 days. Residents can consult online about what items are available but cannot reserve them. Borrowing happens on a “first-come, first-serve” basis.



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