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Learn and Explore with the Lendery

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Learn and Explore with the Lendery

Markham Public Library, Ont.

Health & Wellness | 2020

Innovation Synopsis

The Lendery is a library of things — introducing library members to a world beyond book — and provides access to borrow items you might need occasionally but don't need to own, such as sports equipment, hand tools and small kitchen appliances. The Lendery — first of its kind in York Region — was launched in July 2019 at the Markham Public Library.


The Lendery supports a circular and sharing economy and directly supports York Region’s SM4RT living sustainability plan, which focuses on reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering items with the goal of working towards zero waste. The Lendery aims to reduce consumption of waste and repairing items that would otherwise end up in the landfill or may even contaminate our waterways. This initiative also makes household items, hand tools and equipment more accessible to everyone in the community.

Key Elements of Innovation

The Lendery was formed through a partnership with Markham Public Library, York Region’s Sustainable Waste Management Environmental Services and York Region Makers (NewMakeIt). This initiative fosters the shared goal of becoming more sustainable by creating less waste and repairing items for continued use. It encourages people to engage in their community in environmentally friendly and innovative ways by inspiring them to share the new skills they learn when repairing or building items.

Achieved Outcomes

The Lendery empowers hundreds of library members to participate in maker culture while encouraging everyone to engage in more sustainable ways of living. The Lendery inspires new learning opportunities, as well as cultivating a passion to explore a variety of interests and hands-on skill sets. This “Library of Things” not only introduces library members to many tools, household items and sports equipment but it also connects them to a community of makers and fixers who are passionate about environmental sustainability.