Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Create a Small Group Library

Here's a tip for tough economic times: Combine your resources.

If you're in a small quilting group of 10 or fewer people, think of all the books and patterns that all of you own. Why not create a lending library to share with one another? This works best if everyone has access to the computer because you'll use Excel or another database to create your inventory.

Here's how to do it:

  • Create a group site on Yahoo for your own small group.
  • Each person logs her own materials. Here's an edited view of my Excel file for what I own so you can see how I categorize. The blog isn't large enough to show the 3rd column in Excel in which each book is labeled according to technique. It provides another way to sort on the spreadsheet. So if I'm trying to find out if I already own a book on applique' I can go to the spreadsheet and sort accordingly.

Title Author Topic

101 Foundation-Pieced Quilt Blocks Causee, Linda Foundation-piecing
101 Fun-to-Quilt Pot Holders Trice Boerens Pieced blocks
202 Little Log Cabin Blocks Causee, Linda Foundation-piecing
24 Blocks for Kids' Quilts Causee, Linda Foundation-piecing
24 Kids' Quilt Blocks Kauffman, Connie Foundation-piecing
50 Nifty Iron-On Quilt Labels Hillman, Barbara Baatz Labels
A Quilter's Ark Rolfe, Margaret Foundation-piecing
All American Quilts and Pillows Libal, Joyce Patriotic pillows
Applique 12 Easy Ways! Sienkiewicz, Elly Applique
At Home with Thimbleberries Quilts Jensen, Lynette Thimbleberries
Autumn & Winter Seasonal Samplers Mumm, Debbie Country
Basic Guide to Rotary Cut Quilts Fons & Porter
Bias Square Miniatures Carlson, Christine Miniature Quilts
Bits and Pieces Soltys, Karen Costello Fat quarters & scraps
Block Magic Johnson-Srebro, Nancy Pieced blocks
Block Magic, Too! Johnson-Srebro, Nancy Pieced blocks
Block Party McCloskey, Marsha Rotary-cut 9" Blocks
Card Art Terry, Susan S. Postcards
Christmas Baskets Mumm, Debbie Country
Clever Quarters, Too Dissmore, Susan Teegarden Fat quarters
Country Calendar Mumm, Debbie Country
Cozy Cabin Quilts (Thimbleberries) Jensen, Lynette Thimbleberries

I do the same thing for Patterns. Everyone in your group should use the same template. Pick one that works for you.

  • Now on your group web site, upload your file into a database. Either one person can combine all of the information into one Excel file that can be a link, using the individuals' names as another category, or you can go into each individual's file to see what they have.
  • Make sure that all of your group members include their contact information. Naturally, the people who don't want to loan out their materials won't participate.
  • If you are a borrower: Record the date, book or pattern title, lender's name, and what date to return the item.
  • If you are a lender: Record the date loaned, the item, the borrower's name and what date you expect the item returned.
  • You could easily include a Lending Library Circulation file on your group's website to include the above two pieces of information.
  • If you don't want to update your inventory record as soon as you bring something in, at least do it every quarter or so. Just stack any new book or pattern in a special place (don't intermingle with your current books) so you'll know what to add to your inventory.
  • Be respectful of other people's books. Don't write in them, use a book mark rather than lying them face down (that breaks a book's spine eventually), and don't dog-ear the pages.

On a different note, Linda is supposed to be at a machine applique' class right now and then work at the shop. Instead she's got flu-like symptoms. Fever of 101.8, dizziness, chills, body aches and she sounds pretty disgusting, too.

No energy to quilt or putter around the house. Do you realize how lousy daytime TV is? Thank goodness for the big pink fluffy terrycloth robe, orange juice, hot tea, Puffs with Lotion, cats, a good book and of course, a comfy quilt. Not too great to call in sick on only her fourth day, but what can you do?

Snuggling with a Sickie,


Scrappy-Quilter said...

sorry to hear that you are sick - hope you feel better soon. why not pop in an old movie instead of trying to watch daytime TV? Congrats on the job!

Bed Linen said...

This is a great idea.