The Belfast Co-op has added a lending library to the list of educational resources available to the community through the member-owned store’s outreach program.

Customers and community members may now visit the store to check out books and DVDs related to healthy and sustainable living at no cost, although a deposit of $10 is required to take out DVDs in order to ensure their safe return. Books are being checked out on the honor system, and the Co-op thanks community members who have generously donated the majority of materials available.

The library includes new items as well as old, with books such as Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation” and the classic “Putting Food By” from Ruth Hertzberg, Beatrice Vaughan, and Janet Greene. DVDs include the 2009 Mosaic Films release “Big River,” a follow-up to the Peabody Award-winning documentary “King Corn,” which explores the environmental impact of industrial agriculture, and “Radically Simple” from Jan Cannon Films, which features Belfast author and activist Jim Merkel on how to reduce the impact of one’s carbon footprint.

In addition to being a retail outlet for natural and whole foods, the
intent of the Belfast Co-op is to be a resource for information
concerning health, nutrition, and the source of available products, as well as for community topics and other related issues. Community education is central not only to the Co-op’s mission, but also to all businesses that are structured as cooperatives.

Community members are welcome and encouraged to help the Belfast Co-op continue to build resources for the library. Donations of books and DVDs along the theme of health and sustainability can be left with any staff member.

The library is located in the Co-op’s cafe, and DVDs can be checked out with the assistance of the manager on duty.