1. News

Library offers games, household items

Temple Terrace Public Library director Teressa Fraser holds a binder detailing everyday items available to check out. 
Published Jun. 10, 2016

TEMPLE TERRACE — Desiree Acevedo is a frequent patron of the Temple Terrace Public Library.

You'll often find her there on Wednesday mornings pushing a stroller carrying her young daughter, whom she usually brings to the weekly story time program for preschoolers.

She also makes a point of regularly browsing the aisles of the children's section of the library in search of books that might appeal to her two 7-year-old sons.

On her way out the door a few days ago, Acevedo's eyes happened to spot a new display behind the library's help desk/check-out counter.

She stopped in her tracks to take a closer look, never expecting to find what she did — a used Scrabble game, among other board games, plus an assortment of other recycled items — available to borrow at no cost by simply showing a library card.

"I'm so glad I saw it and asked about it because I ended up taking home the Scrabble game," Acevedo said. "The boys really had fun with it, and it helped with their reading. I plan to check it out again."

The new Beyond Books Lending Library, as it's called, is a recently created niche within the Temple Terrace library featuring a variety of household items. All were donated by community members with a goal of putting them in the hands of many more users.

It is the brainchild of library director Teressa Fraser.

"As a librarian I'm always looking at what other libraries across the world are doing … and I saw that one was checking out men's ties for job interviews," said Fraser, who decided to take the concept of lending articles of use besides books a few steps further.

The Temple Terrace library is now a place where, in addition to borrowing a sci-fi novel or biography about a noted political figure, you also can check out a Buzz Lightyear or a Dora the Explorer cake pan. Or you can choose from a collection of similar items used to bake cakes for special occasions.

It's also where you have access to a fondue set, a sewing machine, knitting and crocheting kits complete with how-to DVDs, an iron, an electric engraving kit, a telling time puzzle, booster cables, an electric drill and more.

"This effort has really taken off, basically by word of mouth," said Fraser, who noted it is the first-of-its kind "library of things" among the county's more than two dozen public libraries.

The beauty of the library of things, she said, is that it lends varied items — up to seven days — to people who can't afford to purchase the items or don't want to pay for something they'll only use once or occasionally.

Another positive aspect from Fraser's perspective is that no funds from the library's budget were used to create the collection, including a binder with images and descriptions.

"Everything has been donated, and Publix gave us cash to buy plastic containers to put things in," Fraser said.

She welcomes more donations, provided they are in good condition and contain all the necessary parts. The library will not accept overly large objects or those that require fuel or batteries.

Fraser's wish list includes more kitchen gadgets and appliances, video games, small musical instruments, screw drivers of various kinds, pliers, wrenches, stud finders, levels and tool boxes.

Anyone living within Hills­borough County who has a library card is welcome to take advantage of the Temple Terrace library's new service. The only stipulations are that things be returned to the same location, 202 Bullard Parkway, within seven days and in good condition. If late, there is a $1 per day fine and if damaged, the borrower may be charged for the value of the item.

Sandy Cummings, a member of the Friends of the Temple Terrace Library, watched the endeavor unfold, being that she often volunteers in the library's Book Nook, an alcove near the library's entrance where donated high-quality used books are for sale at bargain prices.

When she spotted the knitting kit — complete with yarn, knitting needles and instructions — she opted to take advantage of the opportunity to try a craft she's always thought would be a fun thing to do.

"It seemed like a convenient and cost-free way to learn," Cummings said. "I want to learn how to make a hat, so I'll check it out again."

Contact Joyce McKenzie at


  1. Miami-Dade school superintendent Alberto Carvalho offered condolences to the teen's family in a tweet posted on Sunday, and asked that anyone with information about Saturday night's shooting contact investigators. Miami-Dade Police Department/ Facebook
    Neighbors told detectives that teens dove to the ground when the gunshots rang out.
  2. A Bird electric scooter is seen along the Tampa Riverwalk in May in Tampa. The New Port Richey City Council is considering allowing scooter sales and rentals. CHRIS URSO  |  Tampa Bay Times
    City staff members recommend a vote for scooter sales, but against scooter rentals.
  3. Investigators counted 95 mice, 60 rats, 23 baby rats, 14 birds, 12 rabbits, 10 flying opossums, nine guinea pigs, seven bearded dragons, four dogs, four hamsters, two cats, two geckos, a tortoise, and a hedgehog. Another guinea pig was dead. City Of Edgewater Police Department/Facebook
    Officers said the children, ages 8, 9, and 10, were living with three adults amid rotting food, animal feces, and urine.
  4. Pasco County community news TMCCARTY80  |  Tara McCarty
    Pasco County letters to the editor
  5. Bay area gas prices increased by double digits since last week, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. Pictured is a man in St. Petersburg filling up in 2017. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Oil refineries’ seasonal maintenance, as well as wholesale gas prices, pushed prices higher.
  6. Pasco School District headquarters in Land O' Lakes
    Steve Hegarty spent 10 years as Hillsborough schools public information officer before taking the police department post.
  7. Former Morgan Stanley investment broker Ami Forte has been permanently barred from working in the broker-dealer industry as a result of thousands of improper trades that were made in the accounts of Home Shopping Network co-founder Roy Speer during the last months of his life. (AP photo | 2016) TAMARA LUSH  |  Associated Press
    Financial regulators barred brokers Ami Forte and Charles Lawrence as a result of more than 2,800 trades on Roy Speer’s accounts in 2011 and 2011.
  8. FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks to a gathering of soldiers at the University Club at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. Esper says during a weekend trip to the Middle East that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq, and that the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent a resurgence in that country. As Esper left Washington on Saturday, Oct. 19, U.S. troops were continuing to pull out of northern Syria after Turkey's invasion into the border region. TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    Esper emphasized that the proposal to leave a small number of troops in eastern Syria was intended to give the president “maneuver room” and wasn’t final.
  9. A conveyor belt takes bags of food from ghost restaurants to a room where delivery drivers pick up orders at Kitchen United's Chicago location on Aug. 29, 2019. Kitchen United, a start-up that builds kitchen commissaries for restaurants looking to enter new markets through delivery or take-out only, has plans to open 40 more kitchens in cities across the U.S. through 2020. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford) TERESA CRAWFORD  |  AP
    Owner Michael Kudrna launched the four spinoffs earlier this year in a matter of weeks as he races to keep his Chicago-area business ahead of a growing trend.
  10. FILE - In this Thursday, April 18, 2019, file photo, a sign for the Department of Justice hangs in the press briefing room at the Justice Department, in Washington. PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP
    The official said the rules would not apply to legal permanent residents or anyone entering the U.S. legally, and children under 14 are exempt.