Portland’s Neighborhood Tool Sharing Libraries (194)

PM194_640Need a tool for a few days? Don’t have it? Neighbor doesn’t have it? Borrow it from your neighborhood tool library! No tool library? Check out Portland, where several neighborhoods have started successful tool libraries just in the last few years. Organizers Tom Thompson, Karen Tarnow and Stephen Couche discuss how they got started, stories of community generosity, and the enthusiastic response of all who stop by. In these neighborhoods, there’s no reason not to grab the tools you need and do that project! Episode 194. [www.neptl.org, www.septl.org]

Watch videoAudio |  iTunes | Janaia’s journal: Tool Lending Libraries


  1. Just a quick update on Tool Libraries from the crew of volunteers at the SE Portland Tool Library (SEPTL). We are up over 700 members and 1400 tools, though we decided to donate a bunch to two new tool libraries planning to open in other locations around Portland – one in outer SE (Lents) and one in SW Portland (Hillsdale/Multnomah Village). Also, we’ve had a wet cool Spring here in Portland, but boy when the sun comes out the people come to the Tool Libraries! We were swamped Tuesday night!

  2. Iselin Celestine says:

    I have known about tool libraries for several years–but not the specifics. An extensive seed library as well?? Hallelujah! I have generally avoided tools as an adult. My family built a number of our own homes when we were young and my siblings and I found this grueling. But Tom, Karen, and Stephen impressed upon me that tools can actually be fun! So informative–thank you.


  1. […] I began researching the North Portland Tool Library http://www.northportlandtoollibrary.org/  which has an extremely comprehensive list of tools for all household needs: gardening, electrical, building, plumbing etc. but unfortunately I am 12 blocks outside of the lending zone. So, I did a little more research and found that there is also North East http://www.neptl.org/  AND Southeast Portland Tool Library http://www.septl.org/ ! While the Southeast tool library also has a super great list of tools, I fall within the Northeast zone, which unfortunately has the smallest list- but still is a great resource.  I found this video interview with folks from the Northeast tool library on this page: http://www.wordpress.peakmoment.tv/conversations/?p=447 […]

  2. […] Portland’s Tool Libraries Build Community (Video) Image credit: Peak Moment TV Good Magazine has urged us to share more with our neighbors, and it’s the basis behind the whole […]

  3. […] Tool Libraries Build Community (Video) Posted on May 3, 2011 by TreeHugger Image credit: Peak Moment TV Good Magazine has urged us to share more with our neighbors, and it’s the basis behind the whole […]

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