Behind the Scenes: The Library
I have to say, it is a fantastic perk to have so many carriers available to me as a leader. While the Librarian position isn’t a cake walk, they do get to house our stash, meaning having every type of carrier at their disposal! We all work hard to try out every carrier and get to know them. Sometimes, leaders have a group gathering where the library is out and we are all trying on carrier after carrier with our (relatively) willing children. At the end of most meetings, we take a look at what is left, and pick and choose what we want to borrow for the month (all in the name of practice of course!).
This year we are having three monthly meetings, the most we have ever had. Keeping track of our lending library is always a logistical challenge, especially with geographically diverse meeting locations and a variety of meeting times. So, as you may have noticed, we now have three separately maintained libraries (which can be seen on our website here). While this has reduced the number of carriers at each meeting, we still have all the types represented and have more than enough to lend, because we have added over 40 new carriers in the last year! At the moment, we do not have enough carriers to have every brand at every meeting: we evaluate on a regular basis what would work best where, and are happy to bring carriers from the other libraries to a particular meeting if it is available.
How do we grow our library? We are a chapter of Babywearing International, and they work with brands (especially the larger companies) to arrange mass donations to all 65 (and growing!) chapters. Some of our carriers come from them. Part of each membership fee (yearly or temporary) is also sent to BWI. The rest of the membership fees, any unrestricted donations, and our fundraising during International Babywearing Week allow us to have a carrier purchase budget. We also gladly accept carrier donations if you have one you are no longer using! We do a regular review of our library, and if something is no longer mass produced or too difficult to find we pull it from the library, sell it, and it and reinvest that money into new (or, more often, used) carriers.
Just a little insight to what goes on behind the meetings!