AMS to launch the Lending Library in October

After two years of planning, the AMS will debut its Lending Library project in October 2023.

Originally planned to be a collaboration with Vancouver company the Thingery, the AMS has now opted for it to be an in-house rental service that will offer a wide range of items to students.

The library plans to offer household appliances, recreational equipment and tools, which have been previously requested by students in a 2022 survey. The goal of the initiative is to reduce waste and the cost of single use products for students.

The Lending Library project will be housed in the Interactive Sustainability Centre (ISC), which is in the basement of the LIFE building. The AMS hopes this will best optimize space and increase visibility for existing programs in the basement, like the Bike Kitchen and the AMS Food Bank..

Beginning in October, the Lending Library will begin a trial period during which students will be able to access the library via an online booking form to select and pick up items to borrow.

Rentals will cost students between $2 to $5 weekly, a rate chosen based the same 2022 survey conducted by the AMS that received 250 responses.This survey found that more than 60 per cent of the respondents preferred a pay-per-borrow system over a membership fee system.

The trial period for the project will last 6 months, during which students using the program will be surveyed to understand more about the efficacy of the lending process.

In March 2024, the AMS will re-evaluate the library to further improve the project.

In a statement shared with The Ubyssey, AMS VP Administration Ian Caguiat said while sustainability remains a main priority, “[the AMS] believes that Inclusion & Affordability would be the most important outcome of this project, as a common barrier for students wanting to take sustainable actions is pricing and accessibility.”

He added that the project will not require a membership.

“We are also offering rentals at a low price, and unlike with clubs, students don’t have to sign up for a membership or account to use the Lending Library.”

For Caguiat and the AMS, the initiative would be a success if it serves a minimum of 20 unique users per week.

If the trial period is successful, the AMS plans on including it in the April 2024 priorities report for the next year’s sustainability team.