7549B 15th Ave NW Seattle, WA 98117 manager@ballardtoollibrary.org


Tool Library PerusingWhat is a tool library?

Just like a normal library, a tool library is a sustainable public service that provides community access to tools and an exchange of knowledge, at little to no cost.

How does the Tool Library serve the Ballard community?

The mission of the Ballard Tool Library is to build community by sharing tools, ideas, and know-how. A project of Sustainable Ballard, the BTL aims to support the sustainable re-use of tools, reduce landfill waste, encourage lifelong learning and a “Do-It-Yourself” ethos, and support the mission of Sustainable Ballard of “neighbors working together for a strong and healthy community.”

How do I become a member?

Sustainable Ballard members automatically receive membership to the Ballard Tool Library as one of their benefits. Members must be 18 and over. To become a member, you’ll fill out an application, sign a waiver, and make a donation. Then, you’re ready to borrow any of our available tools during your membership.

How does borrowing work? 

Once you become a member, you’ll be able to borrow available tools. We will provide a real-time, online inventory of our collection, so you’ll be sure the item you need is available. Tools are checked out for one week and are due during open hours (PLEASE don’t leave that chainsaw just lying around outside!). You can renew your item for an additional week if no one else has placed a hold on it.

What if I return my tools late? What if I break something?

It happens! When you sign the waiver during the application process, you agree to only borrow and use tools that you are able to handle in a proper, safe manner. We suggest that if you must return a tool late, you make a donation. If something breaks, just tell us. We’ll do what we can to fix it.

What if I don’t live in Ballard? Is there another tool library I can join?

You can check out the other Seattle tool libraries here: https://www.ballardtoollibrary.org/seattle-tool-libraries/

Or if you don’t live in Seattle, this website is a great resource: http://localtools.org/find/

Talk with other Tool Library enthusiasts by joining the National Tool Library Google Group: http://tinyurl.com/toollibrarygooglegroup

Where does your funding come from?

Donations, donations, donations! We aim to be fully sustained by our community so that we may provide membership to anyone regardless of income, maintain a location, and purchase needed tools and replacement bits.

In 2015, we ran a successful IndieGoGo campaign and received generous donations from Verity Credit Union and Ballard Re-Use. In 2018, the Ballard Tool Library was awarded a $12,000 grant through the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s Community Partnership Fund. This seed money helped to jumpstart our inventory and staffing. We have also received generous tool donations from many of the other Seattle-area tool libraries. In addition, Jackson Design Build has generously given us a very low rental cost on the tool library property.

Please support us today by making a donation below. You can tag the funds specifically for the Tool Library in the comments.


Can I donate my tools? What if I want them back?

Yes! Keep in mind we are unable to return donated tools. We take donations during our open hours or events, please watch the Sustainable Ballard Events Calendar.