First, referring to our carrier library as a learning library instead of a lending library is better in line with our mission as an organization, which is first and foremost to teach safe babywearing. Our learning library lets us do events and demonstrations to raise awareness about babywearing, and having a large carrier library like ours means that we're able to find a comfortable babywearing option for nearly everyone. As always, we want to keep the emphasis on teaching and helping moms, dads, aunts, grandfathers, and babysitters to be confident, responsive, and less stressed out caregivers.
Second, this better reflects our library check-out policies. When we had one meeting a month, repeat check-outs were no problem. Now that we have one library rotating through three different locations it's important for our carriers to rotate as well instead of always staying at one meeting. This is true even for people who don't check out carriers - since stores in our local area sell a fairly limited range of brands and styles, our learning library is often the best way for folks to make sure they like a particular carrier before buying one. Although we can't guarantee that we'll have any particular carrier at a particular meeting, our library volunteers work hard to make sure that we've got a good selection available.
Third, we want to better represent that membership in Babywearing International isn't just about carrier check out. Although we're thrilled to provide a way for folks to use carriers they might not otherwise be able to afford, membership is also about supporting ongoing education and outreach on both a local and a national level to make babywearing a more normal and accessible part of raising children. Even though carrier check out is a large part of what happens at our meetings, it's actually a fairly small part of our organization's mission.
If you have any questions about our group mission or learning library just shoot us a message or check out our library policy page for more information.
Natalie Short, VBE