LifeThek: A library for everyday items

‘Super­markt’ at Brun­nen­stra­ße 64 is a place of many oppor­tu­nities. Behind the win­dow front, a young, crea­ti­ve and somehow new world can be found. At the moment, ‘Super­markt’ is a libra­ry for ever­y­day items: bike trol­leys, hand carts, electric drills, kids’ car seats, hiking back­packs, a rope, and many more things. Sin­ce April, Andre­as Arnold and his Life­Thek have found a place at the ‘Crea­ti­ve-Resour­ces-Cen­ter’ at Brun­nen­stra­ße. The Life­Thek will stay the­re until the end of June and will be part of the ‘Share Fair’ on the 8th of June, also at ‘Super­markt’.


Andreas Arnold in der LifeThek im Supermarkt in der Brunnenstraße. “Pos­ses­si­on weighs you down. Sharing things makes life easier”, says Andre­as Arnold. If you don’t buy but share things, you save resour­ces, space, money and time. Andre­as tur­ned the ‘green life­style’ idea into his pro­fes­si­on and ope­ned the Life­Thek at Brun­nen­str. 63 – a libra­ry for items of ever­y­day life. The ide­as is simp­le: Various items can be bor­ro­wed for a cou­p­le of euros. Once they’­re not nee­ded any­mo­re, you hand them back.

“The hand carts are awe­so­me – they are gone immedia­te­ly”, exp­lains Andre­as. If you want to bor­row one, a reser­va­ti­on is recom­men­ded. Bike tobag­gons are always wan­ted, too. Andre­as has about 50 items in his Life­Thek. The web­site, www.lifethek.de, shows which items are avail­ab­le at any moment. The idea for the Life­Thek came from Ham­burg to Brunnenstraße.

Many more items can be sent to Ber­lin from Ham­burg – over 500 items are only one click and a cou­p­le of euros away. The Life­Thek was inven­ted by start­up entre­pre­neur Dirk Feld­mann two years ago. In Ham­burg, he star­ted the first store, Andre­as Arnold now star­ted the second one in Berlin.
“Peop­le want to be fle­xi­ble today. Share eco­no­my is per­fect for them”, says Andreas.

A car seat for when the grand­child­ren come, a pro­jec­tor to show your holi­day vide­os, a huge tipi and a woo­den cast­le for a bir­th­day par­ty? “They’­re all items which you don’t need that often, why should you have to buy them?”, asks Berlin’s  Life­Thek shop assi­stant. A sledge, or a boat, or a kite,  also spend most of their time in the base­ment. Why not bor­row it and then lea­ve it to other peop­le? The offers are main­ly focu­sing on fami­lies – for a rea­son: “Fami­lies don’t usual­ly have a lot of money to buy ever­ything, and they grew up with the internet”.

Pop-up shop until the end of June

Andre­as ope­ned his store in April at Brun­nen­stra­ße 64. “We wan­ted to be clo­se to the fami­ly are­as in Prenz­lau­er Berg becau­se they always like to bor­row things”, the young entre­pre­neur exp­lains. “Wed­ding is an inte­res­ting area with a lot of star­tups, the tech­no­lo­gy park Hum­boldt­hain is exci­ting”, Andre­as exp­lains why he cho­se Wed­ding. He found a fit­ting spot at ‘Super­markt’, becau­se the­re ever­ything is cen­te­red around new ways of working, around crea­ti­vi­ty and the inter­net. Sharing is a big topic the­re, too: At ‘Super­markt’, you can bor­row desk spots – com­ple­te with desk lamps, a pos­ting ser­vice, inter­net and a water dis­pen­ser. “We’ll be here until the end of June”, Arnold says. ‘Super­markt’ could be to small for the Life­Thek soon, though.

The public per­cep­ti­on of the Life­Thek is good and so is the con­nec­tion to  public trans­port – important to pick up things from the store and return them. Andre­as hopes that he can stay at Brunnenviertel.

The Life­Thek is open Mon­days, Thurs­days and Fri­days from 10 am to 6 pm and Satur­days from 10 am to 4 pm.

Foto and text: Domi­ni­que Hensel

trans­la­ti­on: Danie­la Hombach

More on Wedding’s Eng­lish Lan­guage Face­book-Page “Der schö­ne Wedding”

Dominique Hensel lebt und schreibt im Wedding. Sonntags gibt sie hier den Newsüberblick für den Stadtteil, fotografiert dort für unseren Instagram-Kanal (Freitag) und hat hier und da einen aktuellen Text für uns - gern zum Thema Stadtgärten, Kultur, Nachbarschaft und Soziales. Hyperlokal hat sie es auf jeden Fall am liebsten und beim Weddingweiser ist sie fast schon immer.

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