Local Tool Libraries: Finish that Project you’ve been putting off.

April 15th, 2022 by

Tool libraries allow folks within the community to check-out tools, equipment, and “how-to” instructional materials for a predetermined amount of time. Some of them may function as a rental shop, with a small fee or membership for borrowing the tools– but many of them are free of charge. A tool library offers folks many benefits:

Tool Libraries

  • Borrowing tools supports a more sustainable alternative to purchasing one’s own tools—removing the plastic and waste from the equation and getting many more uses out of each individual tool is an environmentally-friendly alternative to purchasing your own tools—especially for one-time uses or small projects.
  • Builds a stronger sense of community pride: Lending all kinds of tools for use in a variety of different activities such as volunteer projects, general facility maintenance, home improvement projects, and community improvement events.
  • Promoting timely return of all borrowed tools in order to guarantee the long-term, continuous available inventory. Staff will also seek compensation for lost tools and tools returned late, so there are penalties to not returning your borrowed tools.
  • Tool libraries promote an environment focused on community growth and neighborly support. These institutions are important because they can provide people with access to the tools they need for projects that they may not be able to afford without it.

Now that you know about Tool Libraries, you don’t have to put off that project you’ve been waiting to complete any longer! Check out your local tool library to get what you need and support your community.

Here is a list of tool libraries in the Wilsonville & Portland area:

Wilsonville Library of Things
8200 SW Wilsonville Rd, Wilsonville, OR 97070
With a lot more to offer the community than just tools, the Wilsonville Library of Things has a little something for everyone of all ages. The WLOT offers a collection of items such as kitchenware, musical instruments, and games hosted at a library that patrons can check out with their Clackamas County (LINCC) library card.

Sherwood Library of Things
22560 SW Pine St, Sherwood, OR 97140
With a mission to “inspire discovery, enrich lives and build community through equitable access to life-long learning.” The collection supports community members in exploring new areas of interest, learning new skills, and collaborating on creative projects. At Sherwood’s Library of Things, you can check out arts and crafts equipment, home improvement tools, tech gadgets and more with your library card! Spark your imagination with the exciting new tools in the Library of Things at Sherwood Public Library.

North Portland Tool Library
2209 N Schofield St. Portland, OR 97217 (Old Kenton Firehouse Basement)
“Helping to build community and livability in this very diverse area of the city by providing this free resource to all residents of North Portland.” NPTL is a community resource dedicated to building community and fostering sustainability by providing residents with tools and the power to use them. They loan out a wide variety of tools to community members free of charge. The NPTL benefits North Portland residents by reducing the costs of maintaining and improving the places in which the community lives, works, and plays. The NTPL support diverse, livable neighborhoods and fosters community pride.

Green Lents
9215 SE Ramona St. Portland, OR 97266
“We engaged in deep community listening to guide our work. We engaged communities most impacted by the neighborhood’s emerging housing and homelessness crises” Green Lents not only offers community members free loaner tools, but also holds events for people looking to help improve their neighborhood, such as Garden swap, and “work parties”.

Northeast Portland Tool Library
5431 NE 20th Avenue, Portland, OR 97211 (Leaven Community Center/Salt and Light Lutheran Church)
“The Northeast Portland Tool Library is your neighborhood tool library. We lend out free of charge an ever-growing inventory of home-repair and gardening tools to Northeast residents and community groups.” NEPTL is located in the basement at Redeemer Lutheran Church at NE 20th Avenue and Killingsworth Street (entrance is on Killingsworth).

So if you’re in the Wilsonville or general Portland Oregon area, feel free to tell us about your next project in the comments below!

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