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Student tool library takes off

By Becca Lill /// Staff Writer

Fear not, lawn enthusiasts and home improvement aficionados with limited access to on-campus resources. ASLC is working to open a tool library that will enable students to rent out tools for gardening and home improvement projects. Students will be able to check out tools just like they check out library books, and the rental process will be free of charge. Inspired by other tool libraries in SE and NE Portland, the idea behind the project is to make tools available to students who might otherwise not have easy access to them. The project is especially geared toward off-campus students, but any community member is welcome to take advantage of the free rentals.

Maia Erickson (’14), a student senator helping to manage the project, explained that the library will primarily provide hand tools (such as hammers, clamps, sanders and extension cords) and gardening tools (including trowels, rakes and shovels). The team is currently addressing liability concerns for large and electric tools such as Lithium drills, hand-saws and lawn mowers. In addition, they plan to sell supplies like nails, glue and sandpaper, so that students can get everything they need for a project in one place.

All of the ideas proposed so far are suggestions—as for the specific tools one can expect from the lending library, the students will have a definite say in the matter. “A student body survey will go out soon to engage the students in what they want on that list,” said ASLC President Musa Ahmed (’14).

Beyond renting tools, the lending library hopes to organize workshops that to teach students how to use the tools safely and provide step-by-step instructions for particular projects.

The exact location of the future tool shed is yet to be determined. ASLC’s goal is to start with a small selection of tools this semester, and then expand to include more tools as student interest builds.

“We definitely welcome ideas or suggestions on the types of tools that students would be most likely to need or want, as well as workshops or skills that students would find most relevant,” Erickson said. “The more student feedback at all stages, the better.”

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