What is This

The Library of Things (LOT) service supports lifelong learning and creativity. It is a collection of many unexpected items that cardholders can borrow to explore new interests, learn new skills, help with everyday tasks, and more.

The loan period is two weeks for most Things, exceptions are noted below. All Things have an option to renew for an additional week, if no one else is on hold.

To check out a Library of Things item, you need an active Capital Area District Libraries card. If you do not have a card, you can sign up online or visit your local CADL branch.

The collection consists of five sub-collections:

  • Library of Things (LOT)
  • LOT Jr.
  • Board Games
  • Kits (Raising Reader Backpacks, Read to Read Backpacks, LifeKits)
  • Passes

These sub-categories allow CADL to provide greater access for all of our members, including age appropriate materials to our youngest patrons. See the loan rules below for more information.

Browse the collection here

Loan Rules

CADL circulates many unexpected items. Many have different loan rules. See the quick details here.

Library of Things (LOT)

  • check out for 2 weeks
  • ages 18+ only
  • must sign agreement
  • requires valid identification
  • may only check out 1 Thing at a time (may still check out other items that are not in LOT collection)
  • adults may check out 1 LOT Thing and 1 LOT Jr Thing at a time


  • check out for 2 weeks
  • adult and youth cards
  • may only check out 1 LOT Jr Thing at a time (patrons may still check out other items that are not in LOT collection)
  • includes Launchpads and American Girl Dolls
  • look for the Junior tag on the image or item's page to identify

Board Games

  • check out for 2 weeks
  • adult and youth cards


  • check out for 3 weeks
  • any age
  • any card type
  • includes: Raising Reader Backpacks, Ready to Read Backpacks, LifeKits

Passes & Branch Specific Items

  • vary by pass, read pass details

Unlike the regular LoT and LOT Jr. collections, which are limited to one Thing at a time per card, Board Games and Kits adhere to normal CADL loan limits

Frequently Asked Questions

If it says available in the catalog, can I get it right now?

Please note that even when items are listed as available, there will be a short wait time for the item to be delivered to your library branch. All Things are housed in our centralized depot, where they receive maintenance and cleaning before being sent to the next patron.

Can I renew LOT items?

You may renew LOT items for an additional week, as long as there is no one else on hold. 

What agreement do I have to sign? And for what items?

For items in the Library of Things collection, cardholders must sign a Library of Things Agreement acknowledging financial responsibility for overdue, lost or damaged items before check out.

No agreement is required for LOT Jr, Board Games, Kits, or passes.

How do I suggest a purchase?

Have a suggestion for an item you'd like to see in the collection? Let us know!

Please note that purchasing is more limited and may take longer than other materials due to the unique nature of the collection.

There is something wrong with a Thing I borrowed. Who should I let know?

Please inform us if there is a problem with a Thing. While we maintain everything between checkouts, for many Things, issues may go unnoticed until it is in use.

If still usable and satisfactory, please feel free to complete your loan period and just give us a heads up when you return it. 

If the Thing is unusable or undesirable, please contact your branch and/or return the item. Inform CADL staff of the issue and we will work with you on reaching a solution.

I just found a piece of something I already returned, what should I do with it?

Please just bring it into a CADL branch at your earliest convenience, we will match it back up to the rest of its Thing. And thanks!

Why don’t you have…

Cake pans, kitchen appliances, food related items

We want to provide safe, quality equipment and none of our branches have the facilities to safely wash, rinse, and sanitize food related items to ensure food safety between checkouts.

Cricuit, Silhouette, Laser Cutter, Record Player

We wish we could! For the Cricut, we have even talked to the company about it. For all of these items, the operation of the machine depends on the alignment of the cutting/writing head or arm/needle. To serve all the branches, we send things through delivery and there is no way that the precision alignment could survive traveling regularly. Hopefully this will be possible someday!