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The Tool Library Expands Service Area and Inventory to Bring Affordable Tool Access Across WNY

The Tool Library announced that starting September 24, 2020, it will be expanding its tool sharing service to allow membership from 8 Western New York counties. Originally servicing residents in Erie and Niagara counties exclusively, individuals can now join from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties as well.

The all-volunteer organization operates out of a small storefront in Buffalo’s University Heights, where members can borrow from an inventory of over 3,000 tools.

This announcement comes following expanded hours of operation at the Tool Library. While the Tool Library initially closed through the month of April due to pandemic, it has since reopened with new sanitation measures and volunteer procedures to ensure the safety of members, visitors, and volunteers. Since the beginning of 2020, members have rented 934 tools a total of 4,647 times, saving an estimated $141,841 in total tool costs while completing DIY home improvement, gardening, and community improvement projects.

To better meet the needs of a growing membership base and service area, the organization is launching their 2020 Toolraiser fundraiser: http://www.thetoollibrary.org/toolraiser/. The fundraiser will help The Tool Library add high demand tools to its inventory and also add tools that have been requested by its members.The goal is to grow the organization’s inventory by 750 tools (about $50,000 worth of tools and equipment) from 3,250 tools to over 4,000 tools by the end of 2020. This includes tools that will be used by individual members as well as items that will be used on projects in the community. The Tool Library is requesting donations of new or gently used tools, monetary gifts, and will also be running mini-fundraisers for individual tools on their Facebook page, like their first campaign for a HEPA-certified Shop Vac to aid members with Lead-Safe renovation and abatement projects: https://www.facebook.com/donate/967049353807749/3427363390619993/

“At the heart of our mission is sharing. And we can’t think of a better way to share than to expand the people and communities we service. And while doing so, we want to make sure we secure items on our tool wishlist – things that members new and old and communities need to get through this difficult time and thrive,” Said Cheyenne Ketter – Franklin, a member of the Tool Library board. “From victory gardens to crucial home repairs, we see our tools tirelessly at work and playing a vital role in many lives. We are thankful for all the support we have been given and look forward to serving all of Western New York in a safe, socially distant way.”

Memberships can be purchased in advance at The Tool Library’s website, starting for as little as $20/year. Donations can be made at The Tool Library’s location, 5 W Northrup Pl, Buffalo, NY 14214 during normal shop hours: Wednesday through Friday 2-7PM  and Saturday 10AM-2PM.

About The Tool Library

The Tool Library is an all-volunteer nonprofit tool-lending library located off of Main Street in Buffalo’s University Heights neighborhood. We believe that cost shouldn’t be a barrier to fixing up your home, growing your own food, or improving your community. We also believe that a strong community is a civically engaged community. We put our tools to work on small-scale community improvement projects like tree plantings, public art, community gardens, and more. Learn more at thetoollibrary.org.

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Written by Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton

Darren has over a decade of experience in the fields of community development, urban planning, and information design. Working as Director of Community Development & Planning at the University District Community Development Association (UDCDA), Darren was responsible for writing and administering over $2 million in grant funding focused on commercial corridor revitalization, small business development, alternative transportation planning, historic preservation, public art, and community capacity building in Buffalo's University District. As a graduate student at the University at Buffalo, Darren founded The Tool Library, a community-based tool lending library, with an aim of providing affordable tool access and building the Sharing Economy in WNY. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies and Linguistics and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo, Darren works to bridge the gap between research and policy through planning, design, and grassroots activism. and is a firm believer that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

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