When you walk into a BWI meeting, you will hear phrases like "learning library" and "the library." However, we are not referring to a collection of books. We are talking about baby carriers!
A Babywearing International Learning Library is a collection of carriers available for members to borrow at monthly meetings. See our current selection here.
This collection contains a varied selection to choose from: soft structure carriers, wraps, ring slings, meh deis, and more. This allows you to compare types and see what works best for you and your baby.
It also features different brands of each carrier type. Since each brand is designed a bit differently, you can compare features and fit to find the perfect carrier for your needs.
It's called a learning library as opposed to a lending library because we are an education-based organization. Our ultimate goal is to spread the most current and accurate knowledge on babywearing. We want you to learn how to use baby carriers properly and safely, regardless of which one(s) you choose.
The library carriers are educational tools for Volunteer Babywearing Educators (VBEs). As VBEs we are very much hands on teachers who use the various carriers when we teach. Additionally, having a variety of carriers is helpful as we try to meet the different needs of the caregivers who babywear.
Borrowing from the learning library is for members only---and it's the best perk to membership! As a member you can check out one carrier each month (except February when we do inventory). That means you can borrow 11 carriers a year! Think of all the possibilities!
Once you are a member, all you have to do is come to our monthly meeting. Take your time during the meeting to browse our whole library. Touch, feel, and try-on all you like! Even non-members are welcome to do this part.
Once you find a carrier you like, please set it back down on the table and put your name down for it at the check-out table. This will free-up your hand during the meeting and allow other people to learn with it as well. We also need all education tools available during the meeting.
Carrier check out is only during the last 30 minutes of the meeting. This is so all carriers are available to teach with during the meeting. Get in line with you carrier and check out with one of the tablets when it's your turn. If multiple people put their name down for a carrier, we will draw a name for the person who can check it out that month. We are also happy to suggest other comparable carriers as well!.
Then the carrier is yours to enjoy for the month! Wear it as much as you like and post pictures on social media. If it get dirty or damaged (Life happens, we understand!), please contact us first. We will advice you what to do.
Please remember that all learning library carriers are due back within the first 30 minutes of the next meeting. Again, we understand that life happens, if this is not possible please make arrangements beforehand if possible. We have volunteers all across the Portland Metro Area who can be available for a carrier drop off. All carriers received after the first 30 minutes of the meeting will be charged a late fee. We need all available teaching tools at our meeting and this policy helps ensure the livelihood of our organization. See policy here.
The lending library is here for you to learn and grow as a babywearer. It's also a great way to make babywearing accessible to everyone everywhere. Please come and try our carriers!
Samantha Reddy, ABE