What is a Tool Library?

For the last year I have been telling nearly everyone I meet how great tool libraries are. I tell them to search their city name with the words “Tool Library”, because there is probably one close to them. Where I live in Seattle, there are 6 within 25 miles!

So many tool libraries

Almost every time I get the question “What is a tool library?” and I think that’s a very fair question to ask. I had no idea a few years ago, and I sure wish I had when I was remodeling my house! So here’s a quick answer.

It’s a library for things.

That’s it. A tool library works just like a normal library, except you check out items (often more than just tools) instead of books. Sometimes tool libraries will also have shop space, seed libraries, or fix-it tools as part of their offering.

So next time you need a ladder, hedge trimmers, pressure washer, chafing dish, laser level… look up your closest tool library. Chances are their annual membership will cost less than renting that tool for a day.