Woodstock Public Library coat exchange helps keep residents warm

Residents can drop off old coats, get new ones at the library

Need a new scarf? Have too many coats? The Woodstock Public Library’s winter clothing exchange has you covered.

The winter clothing exchange, which Assistant Director Martha Hansen said began on a more modest scale in 2014, has expanded to offer not just scarves, gloves and hats, but also coats and other winter clothing items.

“Coats come and go every single day,” Hansen said.

Hansen said the library rolls out the winter clothing exchange in mid-October and keeps it up through March, when the clothing goes into storage for the summer and then comes back out when the temperatures drop again.

People who have extra clothing can bring it to the exchange, and those who need a winter coat can help themselves.

“If they don’t have one, they can take one,” Hansen said of the coats at the exchange.

Hansen added that the library staff also has hand-warmers for unhoused residents of the area.

She said the exchange has gotten an “extremely positive” reaction from the community, and she shared that the library in 2021 received a box containing several new coats for the exchange.

“It has worked out really well,” Hansen said.