The Tool Library is a non-profit program operated by Rebuilding Together Central Ohio. A free service for Franklin County residents, the Tool Library offers tool and equipment loans and operates much like a traditional library. The library has existed for 30 years and is one of only 60 tool libraries in the United States. The Tool Library has 2500 members and around 180 nonprofit partners.
Borrowers apply for membership, work with library staff to check out materials and are accountable for returning them on time and in good condition. The library has a large collection with a broad variety of tools. Lawn tools and mowers, hand tools, power washers, wheel barrows, ladders and saws are some of the popular items loaned by the Tool Library.
In addition to providing the materials, the Tool Library also offers “How to” information, workshops and advice on how to use the tools for different projects. Tools from the library help support 45 community gardens, and the staff maintains a demonstration garden.
Julie Smith, executive director, shared an example of how the tool library helped the community. A local elementary school teacher needed to have her stage refinished because her students were getting splinters when the danced on it. The project was outside of her school’s budget, so she borrowed materials and with the help of her father was able to complete the project on her own.