I am writing this research note to start thinking and planning how to solve the problems with shipping to Jerusalem/Israel/Palestine. Most of the aerial photography done in the area were created using my equipment and Shai Efrati's, that was excellent but obviously it cannot fit any project. An NGO I assist, (Bimkom planners for planning rights) has just ordered a 1500$ shipment that included a few kits and extra Balloons and Kites. It got stuck because the authorities required us to send it for inspection by the Israeli Institute of Standards, after we finished with that part it got stuck again because DHL sent it for checking aviation regulations. All this required more money and time spent, and handling bureaucracy. Which is not fun... So a recent conversation with Cindy Regalado made me think of creating a local Lending Library which can be a great way to bypass these troubles and to grow a community of users/practitioners. I read the WIKI and research note on Lending Libraries, and want to ask the same questions raised there: What stuff do we need in our lending library? What stuff can be used again and again, and what stuff needs to be continually replaced? How much will it cost over a year? How do we keep track of what we're loaning out? How do we get stuff back in a hurry when someone else needs it? From the perspective of a "long distance" chapter, I think it will have to be based not only on lending but also hiring or buying - for example balloons. You can't get balloons around here (there is one vendor and her import is not stable at all). So it will also require funds for ordering large quantities (most critical are the balloons cause the potential Jerusalem-lending-library already has my set of three kites), so that repeated shipments can be avoided. So that brings up another question in regard to fund raising.
Will be good if some of you who have some experience with the lending libraries can think with me about it. and also, to Shai Efrati, my closest public labber, would be great to collaborate on this.