Gabriola Islanders are building a new library, but there’s no books on these shelves.
Volunteers aim to construct the Gabriola Tool Library this year, a non-profit where people can borrow the basics for do-it-yourself projects, yard work and home maintenance and participate in workshops for an annual membership fee.
When Patricia Ludwick, a director for the library, looked up how to host a fix-it fair where people could take broken household items to repair enthusiasts, she also came across information about tool libraries.
Like any other library, people can go online to browse a catalogue of what’s available, reserve for pickup and get billed for late returns.
It’s part of the same movement as a fix-it fair and all about sustainability in communities, says Ludwick.
“Instead of everybody having to buy their own circular saw or lawnmower or cordless drill, if they only use it once or twice a year, why not borrow it and take it back where somebody else can borrow it and take it back?” said Ludwick. “So we don’t have a whole lot of acquisition, we have a sharing economy.”
Tool libraries have already popped up in places like Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto and Ludwick said the response on Gabriola has been “terrific.” She said people came forward right away with tools and the organization has received support from local organizations and businesses.
Betsy Banford is president of Gabriola Lions Club which contributed $2,000 to the new library, which she thinks is a great idea.
“We have a lot of seniors and people that have downsized and a lot of people that are starting out and even just the simple thing of putting up a picture, leveling a shelf, things like that, you’d have to go buy the level, the tools and everything else,” she said. “With the tool library you just go down and borrow it. It just seemed like a no brainer.”
The Gabriola Tool Library states on its social media page its incorporated as a non-profit society and will be located at the Commons. Ludwick says the library is starting small, and will offer basics, like drills, screwdrivers, bow saws and rakes.
A membership fee has yet to be determined, but the society aims to build its tool shed in March and open in April. It’s still seeking volunteers to help with construction, repairing tools and building an inventory and is accepting tool donations.
To help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.