We now have 19 items in the Library catalogue, the most recent addition is a pair of bolt-cutters, which Robin promptly borrowed to cut open a padlock.
We also discussed the situation with conditions of borrowing. One of the members had suggested that any conditions could be demanded when an item is borrowed. On the face of it, this looks like a good idea, and perfectly reasonable – if you want to borrow my stuff, I get a say in how it is used. A deeper look at this reveals the problems which may occur; if an owner can demand anything, the loan of items starts looking like exactly the situation we are trying to get away from – that of owners using their property rights to extract unreasonable payments, or “rents”. This could push the Library in a more selfish direction, where each member is permitted to gain whatever they can, rather than assisting and caring for other members, which is the overall intention of the project. For the majority of cases, it is perfectly acceptable to suggest the borrower cleans, maintains and cares for the item in a way requested by the owner, but the conditions should be limited. How to assess the limitations of these demands? As the Library is run by its members, any decision must be made collectively, this includes conditions put on an item. Anyone who wishes to put conditions on an item, is able to do so, but should these be seen as unreasonable, they will be challenged at a community get-together, and an acceptable decision reached.
Passwords were also handed out to new members – Andrew and Ed are now able to access the contacts page, so can speak to other members directly, and thus borrow items from them.
There is an ongoing conversation about how to deal with expensive items – whether the Library takes payments for membership or for individual loans. This is unresolved, for the time being we will experiment with smaller items, and in future cautiously add more expensive items as we are more confident we can deal with them.