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

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

See your great fog images from across Greater Victoria

It was a foggy day today and your cameras captured some beautiful images

Business is booming as Black Press gears up for Victoria career fair

One stop shop for questions about entering the workforce, finding work experience

Sooke Road closed in both directions after morning crash

Crash is five km west of Gillespie Road

Olympic path takes new directions for Saanich’s Matt Sharpe

Sharpe wins ITU mixed relay medal with Canadian teammates

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Mother passes school trustee torch to daughter in Port Alberni

Jane Jones loses after one term, but proud of her daughter Connie Watts

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

In Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

Explosion at homeless camp causes brush fire on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews haul hundreds of metres of hose down ravine

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waives right to preliminary hearing

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

Most Read