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+ The Shop
You can find SHARE:Frome at 3A the Bridge, Market Place, Frome BA11 1AR, opposite the Blue House.
There are various differences between a hire shop and a Library of Things, specifically one set up like SHARE:Frome:
– SHARE:Frome Library of Things is non-profit and aims to be a community action group, rather than a commercial enterprise;
– It contains a wide range of things, including many that a hire shop would not have;
– It aims to loan items out more cheaply than a hire shop would and thus to be affordable for anyone;
– We aim to be part of a change in economic behaviour that will reduce waste, through the Library itself and being involved in wider networks of events, campaigns and activities.
SHARE:Frome is a social initiative by Edventure:Frome in association with Frome Town Council and the Cheese and Grain. The set-up of the shop was undertaken by a group of eight young people in just two months, as part of specialist training in community entrepreneurship, run by Edventure. Much help was given by the local community in the form of advice, expertise, time, donations, opinions and enthusiasm! In 2017, a new team of 6 Edventure students undertook the challenge of taking SHARE to the next level. With a revamp of the shop’s layout, appearance and storage space, as well as the introduction of a new volunteer scheme and social referral programme, the students turned SHARE:Frome into an even more impactful community enterprise in Frome. The shop is now under the management of Sam and Clare, two Frome locals, and a team of hard-working volunteers. We are soon to be set up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), the first of a network of federated member Libraries of Things across the country working under a national body.
Save the Environment
First and foremost, borrowing instead of buying can make a big difference to your carbon footprint. In 2019, we were able to save our users 199 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, 254 tonnes of raw material use and 22 tonnes of manufacturing waste! By borrowing, we avoid unnecessary production, as well as waste ending up in landfill!
The original cost of many of our items can be as much as £300, such as our dehumidifiers and carpet cleaners, so by borrowing for under £20 a week, you could save around £250, especially if you only it borrow once or twice a year.
Ever got frustrated by the fact that your juicer you use once in a blue moon, takes up so much space? Or trying to fit your lawnmower back in the shed every year? By borrowing instead of buying, these kinds of items are a great way to save space in your home!
Connect to your Community
Many of our items are kindly donated by the Frome community and we have a wonderful team of volunteers who help out in the shop and repair our items. Being a member of SHARE:Frome, whether you are a regular borrower, volunteer or supporter of our ethos, helps to grow and strengthen the community of Frome!
We have a wide range of items which can be useful and practical, but also fun and entertaining. These are our 10 categories:
- Arts and Crafts– from sewing machines to glue guns
- Baby and Children – from pushchairs to baby mobiles
- Events – from projector screens to bunting
- DIY – from drills to ladders
- Gardening tools – from lawnmowers to hedge trimmers
- Household and Garden – from vacuum cleaners to hammocks
- Kitchen Equipment – from blenders to dehydrators
- Leisure and Camping – from tents to metal detectors
- Music, Media and Audio/Visual – from guitars to speakers
- Sports and Games – from golf clubs to roller blades
View our full list of Things here: https://sharefrome.org/things/
We have a criteria for deciding what things we stock. However, if you are looking to declutter, we can take most items and put them in a sale to raise funds:
- Items that are clean, undamaged and in good working order
- Useful items on our system that need replacing regularly (eg sanders)
- Spares for our DIY items such as jigsaw blades and sandpaper
- Car seats and helmets
- Items that require a large amount of maintenance
- Gas and petrol items
- Duplicates of less popular items
If you are unsure as to whether we would like your donation, please give us a call or email. For items that we are specifically looking for, see our Wish List.
We source our Things from local donations, which means we are using what may otherwise be lying around not being used, or possibly even thrown away. This way, we can make the most of the lives of items, by using less things for longer periods, rather than more things for shorter periods. This helps reduce individual consumption, which not only helps the planet but also helps to develop the strength of the community. Sometimes these items come broken, but we try as hard as we can to fix them with our great team of repairers.
Occasionally we will also use the funds raised from your membership and borrowing, local business sponsorship, donations and sales profit to buy brand new or more expensive second hand items that we think will be useful to the community. Examples of these might be carpet cleaners, bell tents, gazebos, PA systems and more.
- If you think SHARE:Frome would benefit from it, have a look at our criteria above.
- Repair it! We have a regular Repair Cafe, where you can bring your broken things. Keep a look on our website for the next event.
- You can also post in a local Facebook group to ask for a repair expert.
- Sell it or give it away online on sites like FreeCycle, Freegle or local online groups.
- Give it to a charity shop
- Recycle it – Look up your closest recycling centre. Check out what materials they accept, and any other restrictions before you make the trip.
Yes! If we think the item will be popular and borrowed often, we’ll either add to our wish list to see if anyone has one they can donate, or we will use our funds to buy a new or second hand one.
We have a pricing formula which considers various factors including purchase price, quality, condition, size, typical loan length etc. Items are priced based on this to ensure we remain financially sustainable. We also have a cap to ensure we’ll well within market value. Subscriber members then receive 25% discount on these prices. Low Income members receive 75% discount, ensuring we are accessible to all.
We ask borrowers to flag any damage they notice as soon as possible. This kicks off the repair process and also ensures the next borrower is not let down. To do small repairs like unblocking the pressure washer or replacing the jig saw blades, our small team of local volunteer fixers will try to do simple fixes. When an item is beyond a quick fix, we decide whether it is more efficient to have it professionally mended or simply to donate/sell or recycle it. We understand that items will break eventually and we don’t charge members for these types of breakages. However we do reserve the right to withhold funds if items are deemed to have been broken by serious misuse or neglect.
All electrical items are PAT-tested before they go out. In addition, as far as possible we test items to see if they work before they ‘go live’ on the catalogue. We ask previous borrowers if items are still in good working order when they return them. We loan all items in good faith believing that they work as intended. That said, things do sometimes fail, we sometimes may not spot an imperfection, and so on. In this case we would of course apologise and offer to refund the credit to your account. Please let us know of all the details so that we can deal with the problem as best we can.
To borrow from SHARE:Frome Library of Things, you need to:
- Be 18 or over.
- Have an email, so we can send you receipts and important information about your borrow.
- Sign the Liability Waiver included in the sign-up process.
- Display a form of ID when you first use us.
We want to make borrowing fair, friendly and fun – without hidden catches and sneaky small print. That’s why it’s important that all our borrowers agree to these 5 simple rules of borrowing:
- Bring the item back clean and tidy.
- Bring the item back on time so the next borrower isn’t kept waiting, and to avoid late fees!
- Make sure you know how to use the item properly by following the instructions (often displayed on the item’s listing in the online inventory, or by asking one of our volunteers for help in the shop).
- Tell us about any damages immediately here so we can fix or replace in time for the next borrower.
- Share your feedback, stories & ideas here so we can keep improving Library of Things for future borrowers – We love it when people post reviews online.
You can make a reservation online by signing in, browsing the catalogue, and clicking ‘Reserve’ on the item that you want. You will then be prompted to select a date on a calendar. If you want to add more items to this reservation, simply keep pressing ‘Reserve’ on the items you want and they will be put in your Reservation Cart. To complete the process click ‘Complete Reservation’. We have put together a step-by-step guide to reserving online here. You can also phone during opening hours or email us if you are having any issues reserving online and need us to complete it manually.
You will need to select the consumables as extra along with your item. See the item descriptions to see what is required.
The prices displayed for consumables are a one-off fixed price, not a per-day price.
There is no maximum borrowing time. The likely loan length is factored in to the per-day price. Items such as reusable nappies, for example, are more likely to be borrowed for longer periods of time and so their per-day price is lower to account for that.
The prices displayed are the per-day price. To borrow for two days you pay 150% the per-day price (the per-day price plus half again) and for 3-7 days you pay 200% the per-day price (double the one-day price). Anything borrowed for more than a week will be worked out at the cheapest combination. For example, an item priced at £1 per-day, when borrowed for 9 days would cost £3.50 (£2 for the initial week plus £1.50 for another 2 days).
There is no set limit to how many items you may borrow at one time.
Log in to your account online, and click on your username in the top right corner. Click on ‘Reservations’. You can then find the reservation and click ‘Cancel’. If you are unsure, drop us an email or give us a call during our opening hours.
Need to extend your loan? First, check nobody else has reserved it after you. If your item is available, you can select the days you need it for. If your item is booked, you’ll have to return it at the time you planned. If not, we will charge a daily late fee. We do this to encourage the items to be ready for other borrowers, who can see via the inventory when an item is due in.
Our objective is to make borrowing fair, friendly and fun. We know damages happen, and that 99% of the time these aren’t intentional. We simply ask that borrowers are honest and let us know about any damages.
As mentioned above, it is not always the borrowers fault and mistakes happen, but we ask that you are honest about what has happened so we can start looking for a replacement or fix. For higher value items that require a deposit, we reserve the right to keep this in order to replace the item.
The first time you borrow you will need to bring proof of who you are and of your address, e.g. a driving licence or passport. If you have neither of these and no other photographic proof of address we can accept two non-photographic forms of ID e.g. utility bills.
If you have signed up for Low Income membership we will need to see proof of benefits received (Jobseekers Allowance, PIP, Universal Credit or Income Support from within the last 3 months).
If you have signed up for Student membership we will need to see Student ID and an active NUS card.
Prices displayed are the per-day price for a Standard member.
To borrow for two days you pay 150% the per-day price (the per-day price plus half again).
To borrow for 3-7 days you pay 200% the per-day price (double the one-day price).
For members who have discounts (Subscribers, Low Income, Students and anyone in their first 6 weeks of membership) your discounted rate will be taken off the displayed prices.
For anything borrowed for longer than a week, the price will be worked out at the cheapest combination. For example, an item priced at £1 per-day, when borrowed for 9 days would cost £3.50 (£2 for the initial week plus £1.50 for another 2 days).
Items such as reusable nappies are more likely to be borrowed for longer periods of time and so their per-day price is lower to account for that.
Our pricing formula is made up of multiple variables. Among others these include the quality and condition of the item. If you see two similar drills priced differently, for example, then this will be because one is of better quality or in better condition than the other.
You pay for membership and borrowing online via card. Our payment processing provider is Stripe. Stripe is a PCI Service Provider Level 1, which is the highest grade of payment processing security. If you are having difficulty making a payment, please contact us at [email protected] or 07983639611.
Public book libraries are free at the point of borrowing but they are paid for in your Council Tax. The Library of Things needs to cover its expenses.
In order to make the service run as smoothly as possible for all members, any item(s) not returned on time will be charged at double the loan fee for each day that the item(s) are not returned. It is therefore very important that you contact us if you feel you won’t be able to get your item(s) back on time. You can either call us during open hours on 07983639611 or email us outside of open hours on [email protected]
Late fee processing example:
You have borrowed a tape measure for 50p. It was due back on a Friday but not returned on that Friday. You will accrue a late fee of £1 per day until it is returned.
If for any reason you do not come and collect your item at your arranged time you will still be charged for the loan. This is because by reserving the item you will have made it unavailable for any other member to reserve during that time. If for any reason you envisage that you will not be able to make your collection slot please let us know in good time in order that we can rearrange or release the item back to the catalogue for others. You can either call us during open hours on 07983639611 or email us outside of open hours on [email protected]
Rest assured, it’s extremely rare that items come back not cleaned or damaged/lost. Whenever it does happen we aim to resolve the matter in the best interest of all involved. Our policies are in place to ensure a smooth and well-oiled system is maintained for the benefit of all users.
We are unable to provide a cleaning service due to lack of facilities so we are relying on each borrower bringing the item back as clean as possible. If an item is deemed to have been returned in an unsatisfactory state you will either be asked to take it back home and clean it before returning it later the same day or be issued a cleaning fee of minimum £5.
Loss & Damage Fees
We ask borrowers to flag any damage they notice as soon as possible. This kicks off the repair process and also ensures the next borrower is not let down. To do small repairs like unblocking the pressure washer or replacing the jig saw blades, our small team of local volunteer fixers will try to do simple fixes. When an item is beyond a quick fix, we decide whether it is more efficient to have it professionally mended or simply to donate/sell or recycle it. We understand that items will break eventually and we don’t charge members for these types of breakages. However, we do reserve the right to charge for items that are deemed to have been broken by serious misuse or neglect. If this is the case and the item is beyond repair the member will be asked to either buy a replacement or pay the replacement cost.
+ Support Us
As well as the most obvious thing of becoming a member (Subscriber membership is the best way to support us) and borrowing from us, there are a few other things you can to support us:
- You can volunteer with us, whether that’s in the shop or at one of our repair cafes.
- You can donate money or items.
- Sign up for our newsletter.
- Spread the word about us and encourage others to sign up! Share us on social media and tell people about your borrowing experience.
We are in favour of attempts to waste less, move towards “zero waste” and develop the sharing economy. Beyond using the Library you can support our mission in your own life by making efforts to consume fewer things and waste less. Here are some ideas:
- Share more things with neighbours/ friends/family
- Be more mindful about what you really need to buy .
- Buy second-hand.
- Buy good-quality things from ethical suppliers that will last longer than cheap alternatives.
- Extend the life of your things by repairing them. If you don’t know how come along to one of our repair cafes and learn or have it done for you.
- Don’t throw away your unwanted things if they could be reused or repurposed (try selling them, giving to us or to charity shops, or putting them on Freecycle).
- You might encourage your workplace or other organisations you’re involved with to adopt some of these ideas as well.
+ Set Up Your Own LoT
We have set up a nationwide network of federated Libraries of Things (LOTs) in which each LoT runs independently but benefits from being connected to the national body (use of templated systems, start-up help, branding, access to funding etc.) We will be ready to take on Libraries within the federated structure from Summer 2021. If you want to set up before then we also have a ToolKit written a year after we launched which answers many of the questions new Libraries of Things ask and outlines many of the pitfalls to avoid as well as things you can do to succeed. Please contact our newly set up national body to request this and we’ll ask for a donation on our brand new Givey page to answer your questions and send this along with other helpful documents in return.