The Victoria Tool Library will celebrate a successful first year with an open house and demo day Feb. 17 at their Esquimalt location, 858 Devonshire Rd. Photo courtesy Victoria Tool Library

Victoria Tool Library nails successful first year

Non-profit to celebrate with open house, demo day and reduced membership fee

It’s been one busy year since the Victoria Tool Library first opened its doors, and to celebrate, the team of volunteers who keep it hopping are holding an open house and demo day Saturday (Feb. 17).

In February of last year, the library – which serves all of Greater Victoria – opened with just over 450 tools and a team looking to grow membership. Fast forward a year and 145 members now regularly borrow from a collection of more than 900 tools, ranging from screwdrivers and hammers to table saws, a sewing machine and even a pasta maker.

“We’ve doubled the size of our collection just by accepting donations from the public,” says president and founding board member, Stephanie Ferguson. “On the whole, everything has been from the community, so that part has been amazing.”

The tool library operates on the same premise a book library does, complete with a reservation system and late fees. Borrowers must be members and the annual fee is a sliding scale cost of $50 to $100, which allows you to borrow up to seven tools at a time for one week.

Ferguson says members range in skill and knowledge, but the affordable alternative of trying out a tool or having one available without having to invest in it, appeals to everyone.

“The best part of doing this work is when members bring back tools they’ve borrowed and tell us about their projects, their household maintenance or their renovations,” she says. People are often familiar with more common tools, but have perhaps never seen a router or a planer.

The tool library launched a workshop series they intend to broaden, she adds, after a successful first run attended entirely by women.

“One participant told me, ‘When I was in high school, they wouldn’t let girls do shop class so I never learned how to use these.’ It was so exciting and so rewarding to see people using the library as a resource to build their skills.”

The anniversary day event will run during the library’s regular Saturday hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at their location in Esquimalt, 858 Devonshire Rd. Memberships will be available for a special price of $40 and board members and volunteers will be on hand to accept donations.

“Our collection is still growing and there are definitely still things on our wish list,” Ferguson says, rhyming off items like a power washer, impact driver or heat gun. “There’s definitely more growth we’d like to see in the next year.”

For more information, visit victoriatoollibrary.org.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Greater Victoria-based digital crisis line sees spike in chats

Service allows youth to chat with volunteers through instant messaging services, text message

Historic documentary film screening at Royal Roads

The filmmakers will host a Q&A session at the event

Weekend collisions keep West Shore RCMP busy

Officers responded to three separate incidents within the span of one hour

UVic chemist claims international prize for ‘reversible’ preservative

University of Victoria green chemist and civil engineer Heather Buckley led a… Continue reading

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Most Read