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Lending Libraries in Des Moines

Lending Libraries in Des Moines, Iowa

There are many opportunities in Des Moines for families to check out or borrow items. Typically when we think of lending libraries many of us think of Little Free Libraries or our local community library to check out books. Did you know that many Des Moines libraries and local organizations offer other various items to borrow for free or at a small cost? We did some research and are sharing about lending libraries all over the Des Moines area. We are breaking down all the fun things you can check out if you are not willing to make the investment or before you make the investment.

Do you have a lending library to add to this list? Let us know here.

Altoona Public Library

  • Adventure Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Borrow an eReader! An eReader is an electronic device designed for reading digital books. Each library device is preloaded with over forty titles automatically available, including popular bestsellers, mysteries, biographies, nonfiction and YA novels.

Ames Public Library

  • Adventure Pass includes African American Museum of Iowa, Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Grout Museum District Buildings, Reiman Gardens, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Book Club Kits are perfect for small groups who all want to read and discuss the same books. No need to purchase a large amount of copies. You can borrow a set. Take a look at the list.
  • Borrow videogames for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, and WiiU for free.
  • Explore nature with a Park Pack! Each backpack is filled with guidebooks, tools, and ideas for exploring a different topic. Reserve your pack.
  • Launchpad tablets are a kid-focused tablet with themed educational apps for preschoolers and elementary age kids. Reserve yours!
  • Have fun with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at home! Each STEM kit has books and activities to help your family explore a theme. Reserve your kit.
  • Wirless Hotspots are se cellular service – paid for by the Library – to broadcast via Wi-Fi, providing internet access to any connected device. A great idea if you are heading on a trip.

Ankeny Public Library

  • Adventure Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Reiman Gardens, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Book Club Kits are perfect for small groups who all want to read and discuss the same books. No need to purchase a large amount of copies. You can borrow a set.
  • STEAM kits which are geared towards kids and have a variety of topics. They currently offer 38 kits. Search the online catalog to learn more.
  • To-go story-time kits. These include an activity to do at home, list of songs or rhymes, and a list of books. They offer 2 themes per month and the kits are out for 2 weeks at a time per theme.
  •  Wi-fi hotspots for those that live in zip codes 50021 and 50023.

Baby Butler

Baby Butler is a baby gear rental company. Whether you want to try a baby product without having to pay the high price tag, you’re traveling and want to use the most travel-friendly products at a fraction of the cost or you are visiting and want to rent gear while you are in town, Baby Butler can help you out. Take a look at all the items they have to offer and prices.

Bondurant Library

  • Adventure Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Reiman Gardens, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Hotspots and more.

Clive Public Library

  • Adventure Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Early Lit Kits are themed boxes filled with all sorts of goodies related to a topic. Inside you’ll find several books but also things like puzzles, toys, and more. Look for kit availability here (keyword search “early lit kit”) and request a hold.
  • The Makerspace Collection includes items such as a Cricut maker, mini heat gun, Brother sewing machine, projector, and so much more. Due to the expense of these items, the daily fine is $2.00. This is a great way to save money or test out a product before paying full price. Take a look at the entire list.

Des Moines Babywearing Alliance

Des Moines Babywearing Alliance offers free monthly meetings as well as a lending library of carriers. Carriers may be checked out for 1 month at a time. We have carriers suitable for children from newborns to preschool! Educators are also available via pm to provide education and fit checks. Join the private Facebook group to learn more.

Des Moines Public Library

  • Adventures Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Brenton Skating Plaza, and Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Request your pass!
  • Tech Central at the Central Library is the perfect place to complete your digital projects, all for free. Shoot and edit video using our green screen, convert old home videos to DVDs, color-correct family photos, and more. Take a look at all the items available.

Grimes Public Library

  • While visiting the Grimes Public Library you can use the Touch Table, Oculus Quest, Nintendo Switch, Makerspace, and Seed Library.
  • Adventures Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Brenton Skating Plaza, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • American Girl clothing and American Girl Dolls
  • Board Games
  • Kits (toys, books and educational activities and/or information). Take a look at all the options.
  • Makerspace Kits
  • Educator Kits
  • Hooked on Phonics
  • Playaway Launchpads
  • Participate in a Puzzle Swap. If you have old puzzles at home and want to challenge yourself to a new one, swap it out.
  • Wirless Hotspots are se cellular service – paid for by the Library – to broadcast via Wi-Fi, providing internet access to any connected device. A great idea if you are heading on a trip!

Iowa CASA

A lending library of anti-racism/anti-oppression books that you can check out in sets of up to 10 to have discussions with a book club, church group, work colleagues, or any group. Learn more and take a look at the list.

Johnston Public Library

  • Adventure Pass includes Johnston Town Center Ice Rink, Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Brenton Skating Plaza, Reiman Gardens, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Book Club Kits are perfect for small groups who all want to read and discuss the same books. No need to purchase a large amount of copies. You can borrow a set. Take a look at more details.
  • Cake pans. Have a birthday party or other celebration coming up? Take a look at all the cake pans you can check out.
  • Puppets help make stories come to life. The Johnston Public Library offers several puppets you can check out to go along with your favorite story.
  • The Tech Lab as software and equipment for creating and editing video and audio productions, designing and editing images and photographs, building websites, and digitizing photos, videos, and sound recordings for archiving and sharing with others. Learn more and make a reservation.

Mind, Body, Babies

Mind, Body, Babies offers a lending library that includes pregnancy & parenting books, DVDs, fetal dopplers, birth tub, baby scale, baby carriers, and other baby gear items. Take a look at her full inventory.

Polk County Conservation

The Polk County Conservation has several nature trunks, teaching materials, and park packs available for check out. Materials may be checked out for a two week period FREE of charge. All resources are free and require pick-up at the Jester Park Nature Center unless other arrangement are made in advance. Please call at least one week in advance to reserve these materials: 515-323-5339. Take a look at the resources in more detail.

Urbandale Public Library

  • Adventures Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Brenton Skating Plaza, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Book Club Kits are perfect for small groups who all want to read and discuss the same books. No need to purchase a large amount of copies. You can borrow a set. Take a look at more details.
  • Cake pans. Have a birthday party or other celebration coming up? Take a look at all the cake pans you can check out.
  • Launchpad tablets are a kid-focused tablet with themed educational apps for preschoolers and elementary age kids. Reserve yours!
  • Puppets help make stories come to life. The Urbandale Public Library offers several puppets you can check out to go along with your favorite story.
  • The Urbandale Public Library has several items to use in the library or to check out to be used at home. Check out their entire list of equipment.

Valley Community Center

  • Take, leave, and read any books in the Valley Community Center Book Nook.
  • Ice skates are available to rent/borrow during the winter season to use on the Valley Ice Plaza.

Warren County Conservation

  • Little Free Library located on the circle drive of the Annett Nature Center parking lot.
  • Park Packs are backpacks that can be checked out to use for one week.  They include guide books, stamps, a few activities on birding, tracking, and wetlands. They are free to use and can be checked out during business hours Monday through Friday 8-4:30 p.m. Take a sneak peek at the Park Packs.

Waukee Public Library

  • Adventure Pass includes African American Museum of Iowa, Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Brenton Skating Plaza, Reiman Gardens, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • STEAM Kits with all sorts of themes including Backyard Explorer Kit, Animal Investigation Kit, Body Model, Action Camera, and so much more. Take a look at the giant list.
  • The Waukee Public Library is happy to offer mobile hotspots that keeps your tablet, laptop and other Wi-Fi–enabled devices connected to the Internet wherever you are! Learn more.

West Des Moines Library

  • Adventure Pass includes Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Brenton Skating Plaza, Reiman Gardens, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Children’s Museum. Request your pass!
  • Book Club Kits are perfect for small groups who all want to read and discuss the same books. No need to purchase a large amount of copies. You can borrow a set. Take a look at the list of titles available.
  • Meet Your Neighbor Storybox are boxes that include both fiction and nonfiction books, music, and a reading and listening guide you can use at home or in your classroom. You can also explore expansion activities and resources online. Themes include Mexico and Central America, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and many more.
  • Participate in a Puzzle Exchange at the West Des Moines Library. If you have old puzzles at home and want to challenge yourself to a new one, head to the second floor and swap it out for a new on on the exchange cart.
  • Puppets help make stories come to life. The West Des Moines Public Library offers several puppets you can check out to go along with your favorite story.
  • STEM Kits with all sorts of themes including Astronomy, Math Challenges, Reading Games, and many more. Take a look at the entire list.
  • Wirless Hotspots are se cellular service – paid for by the Library – to broadcast via Wi-Fi, providing internet access to any connected device. A great idea if you are heading on a trip! Learn more.

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Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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