Why Our Lending Library Matters

Our lending library has helped our chapter hold 66 meetings, at 5 locations and support our 214 members last year! That in itself was a lot for us to be proud of. From a volunteer standpoint, the lending library serves as a great wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips. The lending library allows volunteers to practice with a multitude of carriers, of various sizes and brands, to offer well rounded and carefully considered options and opinions to our members. The volunteers and members benefit equally in terms of having a variety of carriers available to them that perhaps their budgets would otherwise not allow.

The best part of our organization is definitely the members we meet and help at our meetings. We really wanted to hear from them and they certainly gave us an overwhelming sense of pride in the work that our lending library allows us to do. A very common theme we’ve heard from our members is that the lending library is a great tool to help them wear babies and that babywearing helps them maintain a close bond with their children, grandchildren and other children in their care. As fellow babywearers we all know that those close cuddles are amazing memories to have and keep. Spreading cuddles is probably the lending libraries greatest superpower! We also heard from a member who mentioned that our library has helped her practice new carries with her youngest while normalizing babywearing to her oldest child. We certainly agree that watching our young babywearers in action is a beautiful thing to see. Speaking of passing the babywearing love down to others, we have many members who were introduced by friends who brought them along to meetings or at least piqued their interest to attend one on their own. Our lending library is an integral part of this kind of outreach.

 
Then we have the practical side of babywearing. The times when laundry needs to be folded, dinner needs to be cooked, tantrums are never ending, naps are being boycotted or those moment’s where all else just seems to have failed. The carriers in our lending library can be a priceless tool to help a caregiver navigate through their day with a little more ease. Our lending library has helped many a babywearing caregiver. The amount of snuggles cannot be overstated here! Our page often receives questions about which carrier is better for X,Y or Z situation. While we can all offer our best personal opinion for what works best for us, or what we have seen work well for others in similar situations, nothing can compare to the opportunity to try before you buy. It’s not unheard of for someone to come into a meeting with an idea of what carrier they want, but after checking out the lending library deciding that they’d like to go in a different direction. The lending library is an immeasurable resource available to our community so everyone can make the most informed decision possible.

Our lending library also directly contributes to fostering an amazing sense of community among our babywearing families. We heard several of our members say that coming to our meetings helped them come out of their comfort zones and out of their shells. It’s helped them meet new friends and find new friends for their children or other children in their care. Some will even attend meetings just to stop in and visit. If you see someone babywearing at Target (because everyone is always at Target, right?) you’ll get a friendly smile, wave or “caw caw” from a friendly neighborhood babywearer. It’s truly amazing to think that all these things are made possible by this collection of wraps, ring slings, pouches, mei tai’s and soft structured carriers.

Check out some of our awesome members with their lending library checkouts!

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