OTTAWA -- It is a library, but for outdoor gear, not books.

The Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library is filled with everything from sleeping bags and tents, to bikes, basketballs, and skis. And it’s available to help provide access to everything outdoors.

"The initiative is really to meet a gap in providing access to equipment to support people to be outdoors,"says Chris Osler of the Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library. "We’re welcoming everything that supports someone to be outdoors."

The library currently lends to groups, but the idea is to eventually open up to individuals by "the end of November”, says Osler.

The equipment is donated, giving new life to items which otherwise might have collected dust in someone’s garage, shed, or basement.

"Equipment can be costly; outfitting a family for example can be costly," says Osler. "So, trying to find ways that we can make that affordable and potentially free for folks to borrow equipment to try something, before they invest in it."

Membership is currently free, and borrowing runs on a pay-what-you-can system, according to Osler.

"It’s amazing," says Sharmarkeh Arab, a volunteer with Meshup Ottawa, while picking up surplus basketballs from the library on Friday to give away permanently.

"For Halloween, we’re going to go to multiple different communities; we’re going to give out candy to the kids, and we’re also going to give out free basketballs for them to play with," he says.

As the library gets ready for winter, some gear will be headed towards the Rideau Winter Trail, which will run along the Rideau River from Donald Street to Bank Street this upcoming snowy season.

"We’re very excited with our partnership with the Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library, because it will allow some of the folks in our neighbourhood to get out and use the trail with some snow shoes and skis," says Peter Nor, chair of the Rideau Winter Trail.

If you have equipment you’re not using, the library is having a donation drive this Saturday.  Osler says they are currently looking specifically for winter gear, such as skis, snowshoes, skates, and walking sticks with spikes.