DIY: Tool library wants your help to open a St. Paul location


The mission of the St. Paul Tool Library is simple: provide low-cost access to expensive equipment.

St. Paul native John Bailey got the idea of starting a tool library when he needed a tall ladder. He realized he probably wasn't the only one irked at the cost of buying a tool that he'd only use once or twice, according to a news release.

So he banded together with a group of like-minded individuals to start the St. Paul Tool Library, which hopes to open this fall if it can raise enough money.

It'll work like a typical library. Members can go and check out tools and equipment at a low cost for a short period of time. It will have everything from tile cutters and air compressors, to saws and drills, as well as gardening tools, tree trimming equipment – and of course, tall ladders.

The idea isn't completely new. Minneapolis did it back in 2015 with the Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library, the new partner of the St. Paul library. The motto is access over ownership, something the St. Paul Tool Library hopes to mimic.

Founders launch fundraising effort

But to provide that access, the tools need to be purchased. That's why the library has launched a crowdfunding effort with a goal of $7,500 for start-up costs. They already have $5,000 from a Knight Foundation grant, but still have a ways to go.

To help meet that goal, a fundraising event is being held at the Lake Monster Brewing Company Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Those interested in supporting the tool library can donate online here. For more information, visit the library's Facebook page here.

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