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Borrowing and Lending Within a Homeschool Community


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Borrowing and Lending  

98 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have adequate opportunities to share materials?

    • No; I wish I had more opportunities
      14
    • No, but I don't want more opportunities
      47
    • Yes, and I use those sharing opportunities
      19
    • Yes, but I don't prefer sharing materials
      16
    • Other
      4
  2. 2. Do you wish sharing was more common and/or more systematic?

    • It would be better for us all if we could share materials more
      15
    • I would do it more often if there was a better system in place
      12
    • Sharing has not worked well for me in the past; I have been burned
      25
    • I think we should support curriculum providers by purchasing materials most often
      11
    • I only share with certain people I feel are reliable
      47
    • I only share under systems, such as a co-op lending library
      4
    • I am not a big believer in sharing on philosophical grounds
      8
    • Other
      11


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I'm thinking about this recently, in part because of the discussions about hsing inexpensively. Are you generally positve-feeling about lending and borrowing materials amongst other hsers, or generally negatively-feeling? Are you reluctant to lend out your microscope? Are you reluctant to borrow a microscope, knowing you cannot replace it if it were to be damaged at your house? Do you wish for more opportunities to share within a community or are you not that interested in sharing anyway?

 

Have you been "burned" by sharing materials in the past?

 

*multiple choice is permitted in the poll.

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I used to lend materials. I never really had the opportunity to borrow. But...I decided that unless I was willing to give it away, I wouldn't lend it. People were welcome to look through things at my house, but unless I was privy to some very special circumstances, I would not lend it. I started to feel (not true, but I definitely felt like this for a couple of years) that I was being taken advantage of. I researched and bought very carefully and it started to bother me that other people didn't bother to do any research at all, just wanted to use what I used.

 

My kids have used nearly everything I purchased and they have used them at different times. I don't like stuff I know I will use floating around and having to chase it down.

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I loan out materials, but usually they are ones that I decide I won't mind if I don't get them back.  When they are good ones that I want to keep, then I worry the whole time they are loaned out.  I try not to loan too much out anymore, but I love books and curriculum so much and want others to experience them that sometimes I can't help myself.

 

I do not loan out expensive science equipment.

 

I do not borrow homeschool materials.  I do not want to, and I can afford not to.

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I have a couple of friends who I loan to and they return the favor. I am selective about who I loan to because I am not ready to give stuff away (still have a little Im saving for) and I want to make sure things are returned. I loan to people who I trust will return my items, or replace them if they somehow got damaged. When I borrow, I do so under this same mindset.

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I voted that I do have adequate opportunities to share materials and do take advantage of them. I have loaned items, and I have borrowed items. I haven't been burned.

 

I voted that I think more sharing would be good for all of us, because, overall, I believe that. But individual cases apply as well. I also cited that I only share with people I know to be reliable and that I only share under a group like a lending library. I will lend my more expensive personal items to friends that I trust, and less important items to more general friends, like people from our support group. I also maintain our support group's lending library and will happily lend or borrow items from there. We do require a deposit, in the for of a post-dated check for the following July, for certain items.

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I don't lend out materials or equipment. I do, however, give curricula away to others or to our public library when I am finished with it (I only have one kid.) Occasionally, I have purchased material for others and given it to them as a gift. I'm lucky to be able to do this and am fully aware that our financial situation could be different in the future.

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I have no problems donating materials that I no longer need. I have had several big and small "burns" with lending materials, so I no longer lend items. Not returned "lent" items create wrinkles in relationships for me. As an introvert, I have a small enough social circle without adding complications in relationships to it.

 

I wish that we had a community homeschool lending library so that I could have more opportunities to review/borrow/temporarily use materials. 

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I admit that I'm kind of a bad borrower, so I don't borrow stuff anymore.

 

I'll lend stuff only if I don't hugely care about getting it back, and am more likely to just give it.

 

I do like being able to look over materials before buying, but I don't actually have to borrow them to do that.

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I rarely lend materials anymore.  People are welcome to look at something at my home or while we meet, but what's mine is mine.  That sounds extremely selfish, but i've been burned too many times by damaged and unreturned materials.    If I'm finished with something, I'll often give it away.  If I'm planning to use it again, it stays on the shelf until needed. 

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Honestly, I don't know that I want to lend or borrow things long-term, but I would like more opportunities to borrow things for a couple of weeks or even to flip through them hands on while at a park day. It would save me a good bit of doubt and a couple mistakes I made if I had been able to have my hands on things for a couple weeks before buying.

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I have a couple of friends who I loan to and they return the favor. I am selective about who I loan to because I am not ready to give stuff away (still have a little Im saving for) and I want to make sure things are returned. I loan to people who I trust will return my items, or replace them if they somehow got damaged. When I borrow, I do so under this same mindset.

This is me. I only feel comfortable loaning and borrowing with good friends. I either know they would replace something that was lost or I would understand if they couldn't afford to. I did have something returned with a lot of water damage from someone who I know could easily replace it and that made me cross, but it just made me stay cautious--I could forgive a friend,but not an aquaintance. I keep good records and recall my stuff once a year.
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Most homeschooling stuff has a loooong use-arc. If I loan you my activity guide, which I am not using this year, will you be done with it by the time MY school year starts next year?

 

I would love to have access to curricula "show-and-tell", where I can go flip through curricula and talk with people who have been using it.

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Most homeschooling stuff has a loooong use-arc. If I loan you my activity guide, which I am not using this year, will you be done with it by the time MY school year starts next year?

 

I would love to have access to curricula "show-and-tell", where I can go flip through curricula and talk with people who have been using it.

Our group does that! We host a portfolio share every year, where people bring portfolios from past years so that people can look through them and get an idea of how other people did the portfolios and how homeschooling looked at their house. In the last couple of years, we have encouraged people to bring items they used, so people can peruse them. So now when Suzie sees Joanie's collection of maps in her portfolio, she can look at the book Joanie used and get a better idea of whether it would work at her house or not. It's a low key event and easy to organize; all you need is a room and some tables. We use a local church, because it has a gym, and since we hold it in the middle of the day, we use a corner of the gym while our children play, but a library room would work too. We hold ours in late March, late enough that people have finished most of their year, but early enough that they can ask questions before doing their portfolios and evaluations, and before the two major homeschool fairs around here.

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I love to share things with people.

 

HOWEVER---I think you need to put the people and relationships before STUFF.   I go into the process with the idea of gifting the book or thing in my mind.  I might not say that when I lend it out, but that is how I think of it.     If I am not prepared to give the thing away, I do not lend it out.   I don't want to put some silly curriculum or book ahead of a friendship.   I think we homeschoolers already put too much emphasis on homeschooling stuff in the first place.  They are JUST books.  The friendship is much more precious and irreplaceable in my mind.   You know?    I don't want negative feelings to ever arise over not getting something back.  

 

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I can't really decide how I feel about loaning and borrowing homeschool materials. My Inner Idealist thinks: wouldn't it be so much better - for the environment, for our individual budgets, for our kids - if we could all freely share materials? Without a doubt, there have got to be several families who have on their bookshelves right now, all the books needed for History Odyssey Level II Ancients or whatever, though they do not need it *this* year. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if, within my homeschool co-op, all the non-consumable books needed for SOTW, HO, and others exist if they were all accessible.

 

BUT! Alas! I do think borrowing and lending is fraught with pitfalls. My general philosophy is against lending, except when I won't be pressed about getting the lent item back soon, ever, or in good condition. Yet I did lend out my microscope this year; i did this only because I felt compassion for the woman who was asking. So I don't know. I am internally conflicted.

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I wish there were more opportunities. I was at a swap and shop thing for a co-op this week (not one we're in though) and chatting with a mom about chemistry and I was saying how she should do the free ACS program with her dd. And then I was explaining how because the program is free, I felt like we could splurge on the materials a little. And then I felt bad that I didn't know her really because I really wanted to say, hey, you should borrow our density cubes and metal ring and ball apparatus and graduated cylinders and some of our chemicals. We don't need them this year at all. It would save you a bunch. I was wishing there was a way to do that. But alas.

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I don't loan things I will be crushed to not get back or to not get back in the same condition.

 

I think I have lots of opportunities to share resources and ideas and pass on things we don't need.

 

The lending library at the homeschool center is nice, but that is run like a library and not a person to person thing.

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I can't really decide how I feel about loaning and borrowing homeschool materials. My Inner Idealist thinks: wouldn't it be so much better - for the environment, for our individual budgets, for our kids - if we could all freely share materials? Without a doubt, there have got to be several families who have on their bookshelves right now, all the books needed for History Odyssey Level II Ancients or whatever, though they do not need it *this* year. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if, within my homeschool co-op, all the non-consumable books needed for SOTW, HO, and others exist if they were all accessible.

 

BUT! Alas! I do think borrowing and lending is fraught with pitfalls. My general philosophy is against lending, except when I won't be pressed about getting the lent item back soon, ever, or in good condition. Yet I did lend out my microscope this year; i did this only because I felt compassion for the woman who was asking. So I don't know. I am internally conflicted.

Yeah, I get you. I'd not want to lend out a microscope, but it would depend on the person borrowing it. I think with paperbacks and such, I figure it's nice if I get them back, but it's not imperative. The loss of $7-10 dollars or whatever isn't going to be the end of the world. (Now, if it were my child's book or something particularly special -- we don't lend out my thirty year old copies of the Little House books with my now-deceased grandmother's inscriptions in them, for instance -- I would be much more hesitant.)

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I'd be happy to lend out materials we do not currently need. I am lending out Great Courses lectures to friends. But in my local homeschool community, nobody uses the kind of materials for schooling we use. There is not a single family that has the things I might need - so borrowing is not an option. That's what happens if you are the only family in your circle who homeschools for academic reasons.

 

In our local homeschool group, we have a thriving giveaway system for all kinds of things. I am happy to give away materials I no longer need, or that don't fit my goals (like the free high school texts I found at library sales, because I thought I might want them). I don't expect them back and am glad they find a good home. I gave away the chemistry set when we were done.

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I am not sure if you could vote for two but if I could I would say I have been burned and would only loan to people who are reliable.  

 

Someone on this board said to me (in response to an issue I had with something returned destroyed) that you should only loan out what you can afford to replace. I thought that was a good way of evaluating it. In the case of the item that was I posted about, part of why I was upset was that I planned to resell it, and it was brand new before being loaned out (and destroyed).  So it wasn't just the lack of care, it was my inability to get the resale value out. 

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I am more comfortable giving items away than loaning them.  Nor do I like to borrow items from others.  (I gladly accept gifts.)  With borrowing and lending there is too much risk of loss, damage, and hurt feelings.

 

I do like borrowing from libraries.  The parameters of the interaction are laid out in advance.  A larger homeschool collection at the public library would be nice.  I would love a model and equipment lending library.  I have no desire to own articulated skeletons, life-size models of human torsos with removable parts, or most of the other items my children drool over in the scientific tools catalogs.  But, I would love to be able to borrow them for a week or two.  I would be willing to pay a refundable deposit or even a small rental fee.  

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I lend to friends, I like to help especially since a lot of lends are really so someone can try out the resource to see if they will buy. I also have a slightly selfish reason... I like other kids around my daughters to know about the things they like, like Story of the World and Life of Fred. I have not had the opportunity to borrow anything, we are a little ahead in level of the small group I know.

 

I doubt I'd lend out the telescope because we can't afford another good one at this point.

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I like buying secondhand (from our local Yahoo! group and homeschooling store, or from Amazon or something if I must). I would not want to be responsible for someone else's stuff for a whole year, or something valuable like a microscope even for a shorter time.

 

But I also tend to like recently published and mostly secular curricula, and some of it's consumable or only sold in PDF, so that doesn't always work out, and I buy new. Afterward, if I don't think I can sell things (besides the consumables and PDFs) successfully, I ship them to the Book Samaritan. I don't know many people who are homeschooling kids younger than mine and who would want the things I choose to buy.

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A better idea is a Blessings Table - your co op, park day and group should have one at every meeting- be consistent and you will find people being lots of stuff and it all goes home with others. Knowing the table will actually be there is important for it to work- it ensures people aren't afraid the stuff will end up left in the car.

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There are certain things I would not share. Like my IEW DVDs. I guess I lend with the assumption that I may not give it back.

 

And on a related note, I don't hand curriculum over to be sold unless I get the money on the spot. I've had curriculum stolen from me by someone who kept saying she'd pay me. However, I'm more likely to just give something away that I'm not using. I rarely sell or lend.

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If I borrow, it is to examine a resource more closely and see if I should buy it. I will lend for this same purpose to people I knwo well and I always make sure we have a clearly spoken understanding about returning the resource.

 

I only buy what we really need, so I don't lend it out. When we are done with it, I will sell it or give it away.

I buy about half our books second-hand and the rest from the publishers. (PHP, of course)

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Have any of you talked to your local library about having this stuff? SOTW CDs, science materials, curricula, laminators. . .? Our local library is teeny, but they are building on, and since they already have some homeschool programs, I wonder if they could somehow have a homeschool section. That would be so cool! Like, maybe you could rent a microscope for a couple of weeks for a small fee, plus a refundable deposit? I wonder how I could make that happen at the library or within our own little support group. . .

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I have a couple of friends that I trust to remember to return my materials after use. For anybody else, I either give away or sale for cheap. I would be up for borrowing books from the friends I lend to, but I stay nervous about not giving their materials back in the same condition. My friends keep their own books and borrowed books in nice condition. I tend to bend page corners or create creases in book covers no matter how much I try keep a book looking nearly new. It has always bothered me that I am that way. I would love to swap out artist prints with one of my friends, but am afraid I will unintentionally bend the corners of her prints or get fingerprints on them, so I don't ask. I do ask and borrow CDs or DVDs from friends without hesitation.

 

A secret of mine: A few times, well meaning friends have lent paperbacks to me without my asking. They just bring the book to a get together and hand it to me. Usually it is something they just finished reading and know I would love. I don't tell them, but I request the book from the library and read the library copy instead. Then I return their book in the same condition they lent it to me after I read the library copy, telling them how much I enjoyed the book. I don't know why I can't just decline their copy and admit it's because I am bad about bending corners and creating creases on book covers. I think it is because they will say they don't mind if I give it back in not as good condition, but I mind.

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I would borrow a book from a close friend or lend a book to a close friend, but I prefer to buy my homeschool materials...I like books in very good condition, and have a hard time buying used books and curricula unless I know it is in excellent condition...I make exceptions to this rule for old or out of print books; those I would buy second hand in less than great condition...

 

I want the freedom to use my homeschool stuff as I please without the worry of returning it to someone...I also would not want to lend out what I plan to use again...I would gladly give away what I don't need anymore, but prefer to hold onto what I still need...

 

Only under extreme circumstances involving close family or best friends would I lend what I cannot afford to give away...So no lending or borrowing of homeschool materials for me...I keep it or give it away...

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I mostly only share with good friends I feel are reliable. My close friend has borrowed an entire crate of history books corresponding to a time period we weren't doing, and I've lent out TM's on occasion too. But I wouldn't do it unless I knew the person well and it was someone that I would see regularly so I would defintiely have a chance to get the item back. I've rarely borrowed things (other than maybe a novel I couldn't get from the library or something) - we just haven't had to, and most things I want to buy and then reuse with younger kids.

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I borrowed a few things when I started homeschooling (suddenly). However, I only borrowed for a few weeks until I could get curriculum ordered and in. 

 

I have loaned things, but generally only things we are finished with anyway. I give things away more often than lend them. I would like a better system of giving things that I'm finished with away. There used to be a HS lending library in our town. They lost their space and gave away all their books. I had planned to donate a lot of stuff to them when I was finished with it. I wish I knew how to find local homeschoolers that need (rather than want) my stuff. This is our last year of homeschooling.

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1. No.  Wish I had more opportunities to share. 

2. I wish there were more reliable people to share with.

3. I wish there were a better system for sharing.

 

I've been very open handed, but I'm choosy about who I open my hand to.  In the past it has been someone I can call and say, "Hey are done with ___________?  I need it back. When's good for you?" without it being a potential emotional trauma for the person I shared with.  In general I think many women are too hypersensitive and so easily offended and over think every little interaction that I'm not willing to offer lending to anyone until I have a stronger sense of who they are. Now I usually just loan it to someone I see regularly and tell them they can have it until the next meeting. It's to help them decide whether or not to buy it.

 

I have to keep track of enough things already, so adding a long list of who has what isn't something I want to add to my life.

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I have a couple of friends who I loan to and they return the favor. I am selective about who I loan to because I am not ready to give stuff away (still have a little Im saving for) and I want to make sure things are returned. I loan to people who I trust will return my items, or replace them if they somehow got damaged. When I borrow, I do so under this same mindset.

This. I have more than a couple that I share with, but they and I are all on the same page on taking care of and returning items.

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I have only borrowed homeschooling materials short-term -- for a week or so to look them over and decide whether they would work for us.  This has been very helpful, and has saved me from some bad purchases (like one beautiful but very complicated phonics program I was so happy to bring back to my friend at co-op the next week, thrilled to be released from the feeling that I had to somehow implement it in my homeschool).  I would hate to be responsible for someone else's books and materials, and I like writing notes and putting stickies in our instructor's guides.

 

I will happily lend something short-term, but have stopped lending out things to be used for the school year as I have so many littles behind my school-aged children, and it may be something they will need within the year.  It is sometimes difficult to tell that at the beginning of the year, and I once lent out a Kindergarten math program and then regretted it when the child who had seemed so young and incapable of doing any school matured quickly mid-year and could have benefitted from the program (we used something else, but it wasn't my first choice).

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Have any of you talked to your local library about having this stuff? SOTW CDs, science materials, curricula, laminators. . .? Our local library is teeny, but they are building on, and since they already have some homeschool programs, I wonder if they could somehow have a homeschool section. That would be so cool! Like, maybe you could rent a microscope for a couple of weeks for a small fee, plus a refundable deposit? I wonder how I could make that happen at the library or within our own little support group. . .

I was thinking this same kind of thing, after the poster up thread said she wishes she could borrow a skeleton model or something like that.

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I have loaned and borrowed a few books and such. But what I would really, really like to do would be to box up stuff that we have that doesn't get used a ton and trade the boxes with other homeschoolers. I have stuff sitting around that would be great- things like a rock collection and a streak plate along with a couple books on rocks. Some plastic bone replicas that someone who works in a hospital gave me along with a book on bones and a game putting a skeleton together, a puzzle of the US, some plastic landmarks, some educational games. Stuff like that. Sometimes I see things on Pinterest that I would be more likely to put the time and effort into putting it together if it was going to be for more than just my kids. Sometimes it seems like an awful lot of trouble for something that isn't going to be used much.

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I only lend to one friend because I know she understands how anal I am about keeping bindings unbroken, no dog-eared pages, etc.

She's had a book of mine for two years and is just now ready to give it back and it's still in perfect condition.

I lent her a whole mess of English elementary study guides, art books and whatnot. I scanned a sampling of pages from each so if DS is needing something different I can look at the files and see if they would work then get them from my friend. But my friend has more of an immediate need for them at the moment because they fit her homeschooling style/kids more than mine.

I have a microscope but it hooks up to my computer so I would just bring it all to her house when we school together. Even if it didn't need the computer, I doubt she'd feel comfortable taking it with her bunch of little ones.

And that's why we are friends (one of the reasons anyways). :)

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I only lend stuff I'd be able to replace and that I'm sure not to need soon, and I only lend to people I can expect to treat the things with care.

 

I do this with kids' clothes too - many of my friends share clothes between sizes, but it's confusing for me to track whose is what and not everyone cares for clothes the same way. I have enough kids to make it worth it to keep the clothes through all sizes. Then when I'm done, I can pass a whole bin on to someone as a gift, no strings attached.

 

In my experience, 'strings attached' can cause relational stress.

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I love the idea of sharing, but it has its pitfalls.

 

I will only lend to people that I know will treat my materials as I would. I have occasionally borrowed materials from one friend, and I treat them like gold.

I wouldn't borrow anything I couldn't afford to replace, and I mostly just want to be able to take a hands on look at things before purchasing.

 

Even when trying to give away old materials, I've had issues. I've started asking a few dollars per book, because people have been so inconsiderate. I find when I ask even a few dollars, I get less no shows, and less vulture like behavior. Unfortunately in my experience, people behave terribly with free stuff. 😓

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I was thinking this same kind of thing, after the poster up thread said she wishes she could borrow a skeleton model or something like that.

Our library has something like this but only for "FIAR-ish" type stuff for young kids. They are stored with bar codes (just like the books, so they can be scanned) in large plastic bags. A bag might include make way for ducklings, duckling related games, activities, etc.

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Other

 

I have shared, lent, borrowed for the purpose of looking over the books to see if it is something that could work for me.

I have also atm out on loan for the whole year all of my Advanced Apologia and Saxon Algebra 2.  I am very reluctant to lend out books long term- I was told by my very first boss that A BOOK LENT IS A BOOK LOST and I tend to agree.

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I share and borrow with good friends. I would share and borrow more widely if I was part of a group that maybe set up a deposit system--you give them a check when you borrow, and you get the check back when you give the materials back. If I need a microscope or something like that, I would love to do a deposit and then also pay them a small rental fee, and I would consider letting someone use mine (if I had one) under a plan like that.

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