Carrie Treadwell, from Be Resourceful partner Chinook Book, shares her recent experience with the Northeast Portland Tool Library below.

"Have you heard about Portland area tool libraries? They’re an amazing resource for anyone with a love for DIY projects. Just like it sounds, local tool libraries rent tools, instead of books, to people who live in the neighborhood.

I happen to live near the Northeast Portland Tool Library and became a member before embarking on a small home remodeling project. I was pleasantly surprised by the quantity and variety of available tools. The volunteers on site were very helpful and made the experience not only productive, but fun.

The project my husband and I took on was installing an egress window in the basement of our little 1920s home. At the tool library, we “checked out” a chop saw, a hammer drill (for drilling through concrete), a sledgehammer and chisel—all free of charge! We knew this was a one-time project and wouldn’t have the use for these particular tools again; so borrowing them for one week was perfect. We absolutely could not have completed the project without them.

In the end, our project was a success. The egress window looks perfect, and helps us utilize more space in our little bungalow. I highly recommend checking out your local tool library before your next project.

Even if you don’t have any immediate projects, it’s good to know what’s out there for future projects, or when surprise repairs are needed.

Tool libraries are available to residents of East Portland, North Portland, Northeast Portland, and Southeast Portland. These community resources have limited hours and run on volunteer people power. Consider donating time, money or materials to help keep the tool libraries up and running."

Find out more about the tool library movement across the country.