“It’s one of the first things we learn as kids: how to share. But this practice usually fades as we become adults.” Sharing is the impetus behind The Center for a New American Dream’s mission to help “Americans to reduce and shift their consumption to improve quality of life, protect the environment, and promote social justice.”
The goals of The Center for a New American Dream tie in nicely with those of the public library. As New Dream’s website states, “We share books in public libraries, so why not create lending locations for other useful resources like toys, tools, cars, and even work spaces?”
Building a collaborative community is one goal of New Dream that that can be easily integrated into the library’s goal of being a community center and resource. “New Dream’s Collaborative Communities program strives to inspire, connect, support, and equip community members to create local initiatives that build community capacity and social ties, increase ecological sustainability, and foster greater livability and economic vitality.”
If you are looking for ways to increase community connections, check out the New Dream Community Action Kit, which will help you foster more collaboration with step-by step guides for starting programs such as a Tool Library, Clothing Swap, Time Bank/Skills Exchange, or Co-op in your community.
How could you integrate the idea of sharing into your library and community? Share your ideas in the comments!