Graphic courtesy Tool Library
The Sustainable West Seattle Tool Library by the Chinese Garden at the north end of South Seattle Community College plans to establish satellite locations around town, and also to go mobile. Two Tool Librarians spoke at the monthly Seattle Garden Tour meeting.

Sustainable West Seattle Tool Library plans to go mobile

The Sustainable West Seattle Tool Library began lending garden and woodworking tolls June 12 at their facility at the north end of the South Seattle Community College property, adjacent to the Chinese Garden at 6000 16th Avenue SW. The Tool Library has just reached two milestones, 100 members and 1,000 tools.

Patrick Dunn, the library's director and Sustainable West Seattle Boardmember joined the library's project manager, Micah Summers Nov. 10 in a presentation of the current success, and future expansion, of their lending operation. They were guest speakers at the West Seattle Garden Tour's monthly meeting, held at the Fauntleroy home of Windermere Realtor and Tour volunteer, Karen Lavallee, which decided on a record 10 home garden locations for their tour next summer. Locations are kept secret until June.

"The Tool Library is a glorified neighbor's garage, with a lot better tools than your neighbor has," said Dunn to about 20 Garden Tour volunteers and boardmembers. "The tool library and the West Seattle Garden Tour share the same mission and motivation. I've been on three or four garden tours. We really want to inspire people to take on more projects and to be more resourceful just by giving them tools and resources.

"We are just skimming the surface," Dunn added. "We're by the Chinese Garden at the community college, and it's a great location to get off the ground, but a little hard for people to access. In the long term we want to create smaller, sattlelite locations and offer a mobile tool library."

"A generous grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods started the Tool Library," Summers pointed out. "Our current proposal is to come to the people. We're in an obscure location for most people, in a 6-foot by 12-foot trailer, with hours limited to weekends. It makes more sense and would be more efficient to be mobile for making planned trips. We can attend work parties and deploy tools to a specific event."

The Tool Library accepts donations of electric and non-motorized tools, but nothing gas-powered because of maintenance and liability issues, and because they want to remain in the mode of sustainability, they said.

Added Dunn, "We have one electric chipper and could use more."

For more information on membership and donations, go to: and click on West Seattle Tool Library on the left side column.

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