As we move more towards digital forms of information in libraries, I’m always interested in watching the “libraries as places that lend stuff” role evolve. We’ve seen tool libraries and toy libraries. Seattle Public Library used to lend reprints of paintings and, I think, sculpture. Now libraries in Arlington Virginia are lending out Kill-A-Watt electricity usage meters to help people figure out what’s sucking up all the energy in their houses.
All Arlington branch libraries now have Kill-A-Watt electricity usage meters available for check-out. You can check availability or reserve one through the normal online Library catalog. The meters are listed under “kill-a-watt” and “electricity usage meters.” The devices measure the amount of electricity used by home appliances. You simply plug the meter into the electrical outlet, plug the appliance into the meter, and take a reading after one hour.