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University City Tool-Lending Library in Planning Stage

Group aims to replicate successes in Portland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

There are tool lending libraries in twenty states including Missouri, which has two, and University City resident Alice Floros plans for U City to be number three.

The University City Tool Library held an informal meeting at the  in the loop on Sunday to explain what a tool lending library is, and generate ideas to help launch the library in University City. Sunday’s meeting was a brainstorming session where the community was invited to suggest ideas on the location of the library, what tools should be in the library, and cost of membership.

A sample tool list presented at Sunday's meeting included such items as a tape measure; hammer; plier set; utility knife set; extension cord; screwdriver set and and a cordless drill.

One of the first tool lending libraries in the U.S. was created in Berkeley, California in 1979. There are two in the San Francisco Bay Area, run by the Berkley and Oakland Public libraries. Tools are borrowed from a branch of the library system. A person can check out a book on home repair, and the tools necessary to complete projects in the book.

The U City tool lending group wants to be a community resource, where residents can check out tools ranging from home improvement and repair to gardening tools. In addition, the idea is to have these tools available so that members of the community can share a tool that one person may only use once, but is available for others to use. The target group for the tool library is students, the elderly, and apartment dwellers, in addition to homeowners.

Floros said that she is looking for people to make suggestions on what kinds of tools they start should start with. The group plans to have the library up and running soon.

Lending library volunteers plan to meet at Meshuggah Café every two weeks on Sundays from 4 to 5pm. For more information on the group and meeting times you can contact Alice Floros at the University City Tool Library Facebook page.

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