A different type of library that provides both information and the tools to learn skills opened its doors at 735 Factory St. April 2 in Carlisle.

“A tool library works like any other library, except with your membership you borrow tools instead of books,” said Jeff Adams, library president. “The library provides the tools, the knowledge, and the space to help you build and create. Empowerment and building a better community is what CTL is all about.”

In addition to an inventory of tools, Adams said the library will also host educational workshops presented by local professionals. He said the workshops will be “focused on different trades and skills.”

“We’re planning to have days when the public will be invited to learn how to (for example) do basic plumbing or basic electrical work, cabinetry or basic woodworking.”

The first workshop will be offered from noon to 3 p.m. April 14. Titled “Mending Circle Workshop,” it will be presented by Mary Olin “Mo” Geiger and focus on sewing and textiles.

“She’ll have a few sewing machines, and people can come in and learn how to fix projects they may have,” he said. “They can bring items from home that need fixing.”

Equipment will be provided, and there is no cost to attend, although donations will be accepted.


Adams learned about tool libraries while working as a volunteer in Utah and thought it was something that would benefit the Carlisle area. He later researched the idea and talked with people at other tool libraries in Baltimore and Philadelphia, where the concept has proven successful.

For the past six months, he and the four other library board members have been collecting hand and power tools, and renovating work space in preparation for last week’s grand opening.

“We’ve been collecting tools and doing maintenance on the space,” Adams said. “It needed a few repairs — (like) paint — and shelves for the tools … and also the library software system.”

Adams said the library’s website (Carlisletoollibrary.org) will soon feature a complete inventory list, so people will be able to see what tools are available.

“People can check out up to eight tools, two of which can be power tools, at a time,” Adams said. “They’re due back in a week.”

Late fees will be assessed for items not returned within a week.

Monthly and annual memberships are available. Fees are $15 per month, or $25 to $50 per year, based on income.

Lifetime memberships will also be available for a limited time for $250.

Adams said he is also looking for professionals in the community who would be willing to share their expertise at a workshop.

Library hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

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