Ever embarked on a home project, but didn’t have the tools needed or the money/space to buy and store them? Like most renters, buying a huge stash of tools isn’t feasible for me anytime soon. That’s why there are resources like the Berkeley tool library. One of the first libraries to lend hardware to local residents (with a library card), Berkeley Tool Lending Library was started in 1979 with a $30,000 federal community block grant. Since then, the budget has grown more than three-fold, and borrowers number in the thousands. Gardening tools (including lawn mowers), carpentry tools, electrical tools, plumbing tools, power tools, and ladders are among the many categories of tools that Berkeley residents can borrow.
Although tool libraries aren’t yet as common as book lending libraries, there are currently additional tool lending libraries in Oakland, Grosse Pointe, Kansas City, Missoula, Buffalo, Rochester, Columbus, Portland, Burlington, and Seattle. Tool libraries are a great way for communities to share resources!