We maintain a large collection of more than 130 soft structured carriers, meh dais, rings slings, pouches, and wraps in the BWI of Gainesville Lending Library. The purpose of our Lending Library is to demonstrate the variety of carriers available to parents and caregivers and to educate the community on how to properly wear multiple types of carriers.
As a new babywearer the options can seem overwhelming, and so the Lending Library is available for caregivers to see the different varieties of carriers, try them on, and even take them home to practice. Sometimes families have no idea how beneficial babywearing can be in their lives until they bring home a carrier from the Lending Library and experience daily life with free hands. For these families, the Lending Library may be life changing. Brian Barry is one such member who discovered how practical babywearing is after borrowing the Lending Library’s Kinderpack.
Some carriers may be out of budget for many families to purchase. The Lending Library is available for these families to enjoy the many benefits of babywearing without breaking the bank. There are higher-end carriers available to try that many families would otherwise be unable to get their hands on. There are also plenty of budget options to try out so these families can decide what works best for them within their budget. For just $30 a year, community members can borrow a carrier each month by becoming a BWI member and attending monthly meetings.
Occasionally a member may be looking for something new to use as their baby grows, but they’re not sure which carrier would provide the most comfort. Each soft structured carrier (SSC, aka buckle carrier) has a different fit, and with the different shapes of babies and wearers, everyone has a preference for what works best for them. Ring slings also have different styles of shoulders, and unless you try them on, you won’t know which will work best for you. Lending Library to the rescue! Carriers are available to try on at meetings, and to see if they really are a good fit in everyday life they can be taken home for a month to master using them before committing to a purchase. Rebekah Rodgers discovered how important a ring sling was in her daily life when she borrowed one from the Lending Library.
“The lending library means I can rock really cool carriers around town and talk to people I don’t know about baby wearing. It also means I can try carriers that I am curious about to see if I might want to buy one. It also means I can have that wonderful feeling of having so many carrier options!!” -Helen, BWI of Gainesville member
Borrowing carriers from the Lending Library is a privilege, and with privilege comes responsibility. Carriers should be returned on or before the due date and time. Furthermore, the carrier should be ready for the next person to borrow at the time of return so that the maximum number of community members are able to benefit from the Lending Library. Volunteers are happy to work with borrowers to facilitate early returns for cleaning or repair. Please click here for more information on carrier responsibilities and fees associated with cleaning and repairs.
We love to see our borrowed carriers in action! Over the last few months our chapter has highlighted the variety of carriers available in the Lending Library through #lendinglibrarylove. Members can post pictures of the carriers they have borrowed on our public facebook page and instagram (@BWIGainesville).
We hope to see you at our next meeting to find a new carrier to try from our Lending Library!