As of November 14, the Tool Library launched!!! It’s so exciting to get this project off the ground in collaboration with our neighbors!
For the past few years, our various interns have researched tool management software and how other tool libraries around the country operate. Then we brought the research to our own backyard by putting out a survey to the neighborhood. This survey gave the neighborhood a chance to give input and helped us understand how we can make the Tool Library a useful resource. Next, tools were inventoried and given a home in the red garage behind our intern houses. Thanks to our summer intern Isabel for building our initial inventory and to First Reformed Church for helping with this huge task! First Reformed also helped build a second garage right next to the formal Tool Library garage. For now, this second garage will be a space to repair tools, store new donations & larger tools (lawnmowers, snowblowers, etc.) and give us a bit of general storage.
Over the summer, our neighborhood leadership team started to form and continues to iron out details. The skills on this team are diverse, including: graphic design and marketing, technology, and tool/construction expertise. One trend we’ve noticed is the names of those on the team: John, Jon, John, Jon, Jon, Jaunine, Chuck, & Kevin.
During the fall, the Emmaus Scholars from Hope College spent a day preparing the yard and chipped away at getting the garage ready for our grand opening. We’ve enjoyed collaborating with this group for yet another project and getting to know the new cohort of students! In addition to their consistent weekly work on the properties, the fellas of the Friday crew are helping engrave and organize the tools in addition to helping keep track of the donations that keep rolling in.
We also got the word out with flyers with the help of our friends at All Saints Anglican Church, Pillar Church, and the Emmaus Scholars Program. This took a lot of time and we are so grateful the joyful time they put into this!
The hard work from everyone is greatly appreciated and needed to support this project. Seeing all this background work come to fruition–we overjoyed! In the almost 3 weeks that the Tool Library has been up and running, we’ve already seen new relationships form, great conversations occur, and needed tools lent. One of our first members used her membership to borrow a wheelchair (yes, we have those too!). We look forward to how the Tool Library will continue to grow. Saturdays from 10am-2pm stop by and check us out!