Tool Lending Library

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Los Angeles County, Calif., CA

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About the Program

Category: Libraries (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

In an effort to support Los Angeles County residents during a tough post-pandemic economy, LA County Library launched a Tool Lending Library in May 2022 at five libraries—Rosemead, Compton, San Fernando, Norwalk, and Lancaster—in each of the five Supervisorial Districts of Los Angeles County, providing residents with the opportunity to borrow tools and maker items at no cost. In addition to standard handheld and power tools, the Tool Lending Library includes tools for electrical work, gardening, sewing and clothing repair, cooking and baking, auto repair, bike repair, and crafting. A detailed catalog helps customers determine the appropriate tools for potential projects, and virtual programs showcasing select tools encourage skill-building. The Tool Lending Library aims to support all community members across the County, especially those living in underserved and vulnerable populations, small business owners and startups, recreation seekers, and individuals who will benefit personally from the collection. Enthusiastic customer feedback indicates that the program is fulfilling its goals: saving customers money, reducing the environmental impact of owning tools, allowing customers to complete outstanding projects that improve their lives, and helping customers learn new skills and try new things they might not otherwise have the funds or capability to do.

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