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The State Library of Queensland has opened Australia's first Tool Library

The State Library of Queensland has opened Australia's first Tool Library

Brisbane’s new Tool Library functions just like any other. Members visit, borrow goods, return them in a few days or weeks. Though there are some key differences. Instead of hushed voices, the quiet shuffling of pages, and the gentle patter of keyboards, the Brisbane Tool Library is stocked with power tools, lawnmowers and whipper snippers.

Brisbane woman Sabrina Chakori came up with the idea and is now one of 40 passionate volunteers running the project out of the State Library of Queensland.

An membership fee of $75 gives people access to tools, camping gear, kitchen appliances, party needs and other household items.

Many of items at the library have been donated by baby boomers who are downsizing or retiring, with most of those borrowing the tools being between the ages of 25 to 40. ‘They live in the inner-city and just want access to equipment, without buying it,’ said Chakori in an interview with the ABC.

The library is particularly popular with women, according to Brisbane Tool Library coordinator Samantha Wigman. ‘Men's sheds and other spaces are now common, but women are seeing this as an opportunity to learn to use the tools and have a space to creatively use them,’ Wigman said.

As well as receiving immense support from the local community, the Brisbane Tool Library is saving money, space and the environment. 

There are a number of tool libraries in Australia, but this is the first to operate out of a public library.