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Some Syracuse libraries begin loaning out sports equipment

Onondaga County Public Library
The Onondaga County Public Library system is loaning out sports equipment at two branches

Libraries in Syracuse aren’t just for books anymore.  The Onondaga County Public Library is now letting kids borrow all sorts of athletic equipment. 

Janet Park, Library Executive Director said lending sports equipment is a part of a collaboration with St. Joseph’s Hospital which collected everything from footballs to big beach balls.

"We have kids, we have the facility, and we have the means to loan things out, so it was just a natural partnership," said Park.

This is a kind of program the city of Syracuse wants to promote, according to Parks and Recreation Commissioner Julie LaFave.

"We want to keep kids and adults active. We can’t be everywhere. We’re limited by so many things. This helps us reach places we might not access," said LaFave.

This particular program is starting at a pair of libraries. One is the White Branch on the city’s northside. That's the epicenter for Syracuse’s burgeoning New American population, one that LaFave says the Parks Department needs help reaching out to.

"That’s a gap we haven’t been able to address as much as we would like to. So here the library they have a big population that is accessing and using the library, so they are helping us access the population that we weren’t."

Equipment can also be loaned out at the Mundy Branch on South Geddes St. Library officials hope to expand the program year round, to all city branches.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.