Alameda County Library Launches Two New Tool Lending Collections

Borrow tools for free from the Library to make improvements or repairs to your home, car, garden, or yard.

As a Valentine’s Day gift to library members, Alameda County Library announces two new tool lending collections at the Irvington and Centerville Libraries. Imagine a book library with tools. Instead of purchasing tools that might be used once, or a couple of times a year, library members can borrow them for free.

“With free access to tools, we are removing cost barriers and creating opportunities for our communities to learn, build, restore and cultivate sustainable neighborhoods. Much like book lending, tool lending encourages the reuse and sharing of resources that reduce our environmental footprint,” said Cindy Chadwick, County Librarian.

Each tool lending collection is unique.

The Irvington Tool Lending Library has tools to tinker, repair, make, and build with. Some of the tools in this collection include a ladder, pipe wrench, heat gun, orbital sander, multi-bit screwdriver, claw hammer, and mechanics tool set. The tool collection can be used for home, car, and phone repairs as well as DIY projects like building a fence. The Irvington Library also has a makerspace. As the makerspace expands, it will include sewing machines, 3D printers, a heat press, a die cutting machine, and more. Unlike the tool lending library, the makerspace equipment is for indoor library use only and cannot be borrowed.    

The Centerville Gardening Tool Lending Library has gardening tools to dig, plant, pick, weed, prune, and trim with. Funded by the California State Library, the collection has a sustainability focus that features electric and battery powered garden equipment and hand tools to reduce noise and air pollution. Some of the tools in this collection include a shovel, hoe, weed popper, tree pruner, fruit picker, manual lawn edger, lawn aerator, and battery-powered leaf blowers and string trimmers. The tool collection will lower the cost of garden maintenance, reduce waste by sharing resources, assist communities in adopting greener technology tools, and improve outdoor spaces. This summer the Library will host educational programs to teach members how to use the tools and create greener neighborhoods.

These collections are small to start but will grow as the Library collects feedback from members.

How Tool Lending Works:

  • An Alameda County Library card and signed waiver is required before borrowing tools.
  • Tools can be borrowed for up to 3 weeks and cannot be renewed or placed on hold.  
  • Tools must be picked up at and returned to the owning library.

How to Complete a Tool Collection and Makerspace Waiver  

  1. Visit our Tool Lending and Makerspace Waiver page and select either the version for adults or for parents/guardians.
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Click the Begin Signing button.
  4. Review the terms.
  5. Fill in your Library Card number, or the Library Card number and name of your child.
  6. Click the Sign button.
  7. Click the Finish button. You will receive an email confirmation that you can click on to download or print the completed form at another time.

The Centerville Gardening Tool Lending Library is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

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