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definition - List_of_tool-lending_libraries

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List of tool-lending libraries

  Tools available for borrowing at Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, Vermont

The following tool-lending libraries allow patrons to borrow tools, equipment and "how-to" instructional materials, functioning either as a rental shop, with a charge for borrowing the tools, or more commonly free of charge as a form of community sharing.

A tool lending library was started in Columbus, OH in 1976. Originally run by the City, the Tool Library is now operated by Rebuilding Together Central Ohio, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that works to preserve and revitalize homes and communities in Central Ohio. The RTCO Tool Library makes available over 4,500 tools free of charge to both individuals and non-profit organizations.[1] One of the first tool libraries was the Berkeley Tool Lending Library, which started in 1979 with a $30,000 community block grant.[2][3] A variation of the tool lending library model exists in Atlanta, Georgia. At the Atlanta Community ToolBank, the tools are reserved for use by nonprofit and other community-based organizations who are performing volunteer and facility maintenance projects. The ToolBank tool inventory is not available to individuals.

More recently, the community of West Seattle in Washington started the West Seattle Tool Library, which provides a wide variety of tools and resources for individuals and organizations while specifically encouraging sustainable urban living. In 2011, Popular Mechanics recognized "Building a Local Tool Library" as one of its top ten ways to change the world, while highlighting the West Seattle Tool Library.

In response to that recognition, "Share Starter", a non-profit based in Seattle, began to offer a free "Tool Library Starter Kit" to any community interested in starting a lending library of their own.



  • Melbourne, Victoria Maribyrnong City Council / Braybrook Community Centre's Tool Library – Woodwork facilities can be hired for classes and activities.[4]
  Vancouver Tool Library, 2011


  • Ottawa – Ottawa Public Library – pedometers, energy meters
  • Calgary, Alberta – Calgary Public Library – Energy meters
  • Vancouver – Vancouver Tool Library: home repair, gardening/landscaping, and bike maintenance tools

  United States




  • Berkeley – Berkeley Public Library's Tool Lending Library [5]
  • Oakland – Oakland Public Library's Temescal Tool Lending Library
  • San Francisco – San Francisco Tool Lending Center (currently closed to the public, but check for updates)
  • Santa Clara – Silicon Valley Power Tool Lending Library (energy-related only)
  • Sonoma County (Santa Rosa) – Santa Rosa Tool Library
  • Loma Linda – Loma Linda Redevelopment Agency's Tool Lending Library


  • Atlanta – Atlanta Community ToolBank[6]

loma linda tool lending library is terminated due to budget cut according to the city


  • Cedar Rapids – Matthew 25 Tool Library
  • Dubuque – Washington Tool Library 345 E 18th Street
  • Des Moines – Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity Tool Lending Library


  • Wichita – Community Housing Services of Wichita/Sedgwick County's Tool Lending Library


  • New Orleans – HandsOn New Orleans Tool Lending Library, 1204 S. White St.


  • Mount Rainier - Mount Rainier Community Tool Shed - City of Mount Rainier tool library.
  • Takoma Park – City of Takoma Park – Tool Library

The Takoma Park Tool Library is no longer in business. The City of Takoma Park closed it down in 2007 due to poor utilization.


  • Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor District Library (energy meter only)
  • Grosse Pointe – Grosse Point Public Library and the Grosse Point Rotary Club's Tool Library


  • Kansas City – Westside Housing Organization's Tool Lending Library
  • Springfield – Urban Neighborhood Alliance – ToolBox[7]


  • Missoula – Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD) Tool Library

  New Mexico

Santa Fe – Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity ReStore Tool Lending Library

  New York

  • Buffalo – Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy's Tool Lending Library
  • Buffalo – PUSH Buffalo and Buffalo ReUSE's Tool Library
  • Buffalo – University Heights Tool Library
  • Rochester – Corn Hill Neighbors Association's Tool Library
  • Manhattan – SeaportTools.org Tool Lending Library


  • Central Ohio – Rebuilding Together Central Ohio Tool Library





  • Orem – City of Orem Tool Lending Library[10]


  • Burlington – Fletcher Free Library
  West Seattle Tool Library, 2011



  • Hamafkid – Israel lending tools and other equipment site


  1. ^ "Tool Library welcomes borrows in Columbus." The Columbus Dispatch. October 18, 2009.
  2. ^ "Tool Lending Library". Berkeley Public Library. http://berkeleypubliclibrary.org/about_the_library/neighborhood_branches/tool_lending_library/index.php. 
  3. ^ "Library Dispenses Tools and Home-Repair Advice". Berkeley Daily Planet. August 19, 2005. http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/article.cfm?archiveDate=08-19-05&storyID=22136. 
  4. ^ "Braybrook Community Centre". Maribyrnong City Council. http://www.maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/Page/page.asp?page_Id=789. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Peter McElligott of Berkeley Tool Library". Jonathan Gray. http://jonathangray.org/2008/07/08/interview-with-peter-mcelligott-of-berkeley-tool-library/. 
  6. ^ "Atlanta Community ToolBank". Atlanta Community ToolBank. http://www.toolbank.org. 
  7. ^ "Library puts tools in people's hands". American Public Media. May 7, 2009. http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/05/07/nad_am_sc_horton_q/. 
  8. ^ "West Philly Tool Library". Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition. http://www.westphillytools.org. 
  9. ^ "Keep Austin Beautiful's Tool Lending Library". Keep Austin Beautiful. http://www.keepaustinbeautiful.org/toolshack. 
  10. ^ "Tool Lending Library". City of Orem. http://www.orem.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=303&Itemid=289. 
  11. ^ "Tool Lending Library". Habitat for Humanity of Utah County. http://www.habitatuc.org/restore/tool_library.html. 
  12. ^ "Phinney Neighborhood Association Tool Lending Library". Phinney Neighborhood Association. http://www.phinneycenter.org/tools/index.shtml. 
  13. ^ "The West Seattle Tool Library". Sustainable West Seattle. http://www.sustainablewestseattle.org/tool-library/. 


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