DIY | Resources

3 Reasons to Discover Your Local Tool Library

Imagine going to the library and instead of borrowing books, you borrow tools.  Sounds like some crazy West Coast concept, right? Well, quite the contrary, the conception of the first tool library actually occurred in 1976, in Columbus, OH at Rebuilding Together Central Ohio.

All around the country a movement is forming.  Tool libraries are opening up and changing the look and feel of its surrounding communities for the better.

What is a tool library? It’s a place where members can borrow tools of all sorts, participate instructional classes, and rent workshop space at a minimal or no cost
option.  It is a form of community sharing, similar to that of community gardens. To become a member there is typically a sliding membership fee, usually based upon income.  Tools are loaned out for one week at a time usually.  It’s affordable and makes tools accessible to the average person.

To the avid DIYer (Do-It-Yourselfer) or hobbyist, a tool library is an invaluable resource, providing access to some 2500+ tools, depending on the library.  Tools range from basic hand and power tools, garden tools such as lawnmowers to contractor grade equipment.  Let’s face it, for many home projects; we may only use a particular tool once.  The tool library eliminates the need to purchase or rent a piece of equipment/tool for one time or occasional use.  Your local tool library saves you money.

Take advantage of all the classes and workshops offered by your tool library.  Many tool libraries offer hands on training in various subject matters, including basic power tool use and safety.  Here in Baltimore, at my local tool library, Station North Tool Library, offers a variety of “how-to” classes and workshops such as Chef’sKnife Making, Woodworking I & II and Craft a Coffee Table.  In addition, it has open shop time in which members can utilize its workshop to work on individual projects, fine tuning the skills acquired in the classes.  At the Station North Tool Library its mission is to empower individuals, through affordable access to tools, skills, and workspace, to positively direct development, rehabilitation, and construction of their environment and their lives.  I might be biased, but I think it’s pretty awesome.

Within its community, a tool library provides the resources to homeowners and renters alike to aid in its upkeep.  It enables members to borrow lawnmowers and other garden tools to maintain their yards.  Presser washers are accessible.  A tool library nourishes and encourages the beautification of a community and
neighborhoods servicing businesses, artists and homeowners a like.  Tool libraries with workshops promote a gathering place for like-minded individuals
to share ideas and resources.  It’s a true sense of community.

How do you find your local tool library?  Here is a list of the current tool libraries throughout the world. You can also locate your closest library through an interactive map powered by Local Tools.

So the 3 reasons to visit your local tool library: it saves you money, it offers hands on training; and it provides a greater sense of community.

Your local tool library needs your support and patronage.  Discover your resources and locate your local tool library today.

For more information on how to start a tool library in your neighborhood, visit the following sites more details:

For information on how to donate to your local tool library please refer to the website of your local tool library for details.  Donations in the form of monetary offerings, tools, and volunteer time are always needed.

To support the Station North Tool Library, please visit its website and click DONATE in the top menu.

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