NEWS: Tool Libraries Growing in North America

ibuiltit-thumbThis winter I decided to give away some great tools before the holidays. That’s why I put together my I Built It DIY video contest. I wanted to give some really nice contractor-grade tools to loyal fans and readers who created the best videos of their DIY success or failure. It’s the kind of contest that I’ll be bringing to you frequently in the future because I truly enjoy sharing tools with people who could use them. I give away lots of tools to people where I live, and I’m extending this further afield now, too.

When this idea for  a holiday giveaway came to me in November, there wasn’t a lot of time to get the word out. My crew got the word out quickly,  and while we had an overwhelmingly positive response in terms of words of support and interest, the contest submission period passed and we hadn’t received a qualifying video entry.

So, what would you do with some great tools that never got claimed?

That’s when I remembered Brian Harding and Ashley Boucher at the Greater Sudbury Public Library and their emerging Makerspace and Tool Library Project. I remembered that Tool Libraries such as the ones in Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa and Calgary as well as in cities across North America are experiencing great success and pushing forward the model of community-driven tool empowerment. I remembered that there are people working every day to make sure that one of the barriers between imagination and reality isn’t access to a quality CNC lathe or specialty drill bit.

So, tool libraries and maker spaces are where these tools from my contest are going. This whole adventure is actually a good thing because it got me thinking. It’s led me to make a commitment to put tools into the hands of North Americans in 2015 and beyond, by supporting tool libraries foreign and domestic, whenever I can. I’m also going to continue to offer some excellent contests for you, too.

So these are the tool libraries and maker spaces that will receive prizes:

Greater Sudbury Public Library Maker Space program – 20v DEWALT Cordless Framing Nailer

Calgary Tool Library – Stanley Cross 90 Laser Level

Halifax Tool Library – Bostitch Finish Nailer

And since I’ve got so many loyal readers in Ottawa, I’ll be sending a professional-grade set of screw extractors from Irwin to the Ottawa Tool Library.

This holiday season, think about supporting your local tool library. If you haven’t got one where you live, maybe it’s time you started one. You might be surprised what you can build as a community. Especially with a community of people who are into doing things themselves.