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Special Collections



Library of Things

MRL is pleased to offer a Library of Things which patrons can enjoy for personal use. The Library of Things movement at public libraries offers the loan of non-traditional materials for patron enjoyment which enhance lifelong learning, personal enrichment, and which are available free of charge and equitably to all library patrons in good standing. Please note the checkout and usage guidelines of each item in MRL's Library of Things below:

Community Gear Library (CGL): is an independently run nonprofit that partners with MRL to lend outdoor gear to library patrons, free of charge. Items available through the Community Gear Library will include tents, sleeping bags, camp stoves, cook kits, and child backpack carriers. Family Camping Kits, which come with items a family would need to camp for a weekend, will also be available. CGL items may be borrowed in-person at Central Library during regular operating hours. Items may be checked out for a one-week use period and are not renewable. Community Gear Library items are the property of the CGL and may not be put on hold through the MRL catalog or delivered to other MRL branch locations. To qualify to borrow CGL items, interested borrowers must have a current MRL card and attend "Gear Library 101" orientation classes, led by CGL staff. During the class, users will be shown how to set up tents, use camping stoves, and learn about local camping and hiking areas. Attendees will also gain an understanding of the expectations for borrowing, usage, and return of CGL items. Interested community members can sign up for the required orientation by emailing

Explore More Discovery Museum Pass: Enjoy this guest pass to Explore More Discovery Museum in downtown Harrisonburg. Pass allows free admission for 6 people and may be checked out for two weeks. These passes may be checked out in-person at library branches when available and are not eligible for holds or renewals.

Frontier Culture Museum Pass: Enjoy this guest pass to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA. Pass allows free admission for six people and may be checked out for two weeks. These passes may be checked out in person at library branches when available and are not eligible for holds or renewals.

Memory Kits: Memory Kits are ideal for those living with memory loss and the loved ones who care for them. There are three different kits of borrow: a caregiver tote, a puzzles and games tote, and a sensory tote. Kits may be checked out at the Central Library with your library card, when available, or can be placed on hold and delivered to any MRL branch. Kits can be borrowed for two weeks per use.

Seed Library (Central Library and Page Public Library): MRL's Seed Libraries are self-service stations located at Central Library in Harrisonburg in the Reference Department on the second floor and at Page Public Library in Luray. Plan your garden by taking what you need or donate seeds from your harvest for others to enjoy. The Central Library Seed Garden is partnership with JMU Libraries, who have an additional location on the JMU Campus.

Virginia State Park Nature Backpacks: include a parking pass for free parking and entrance to all Virginia State Parks, various pocket naturalist guides to plants and animals, guides to the state parks, and various recreational and educational tools to maximize your fun at a Virginia State park. Presented in partnership from Virginia State Parks, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Science Museum of Virginia, Library of Virginia, Institute of Museum and Library Service.

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