Submitted by the Office of Mayor Robert Restaino
The Niagara Falls Library will begin offering a tool library service for local residents to check out tools and equipment needed for home improvement projects, free of charge.
Beginning Saturday, Oct. 29, anyone with a Nioga Library System Library card (in good standing) will be able to select from a variety of tools from the Earl Brydges or LaSalle branches of the Niagara Falls Public Library – the same way they would check out a book.
The tool library is being launched in partnership with Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity and Niagara University’s Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement, which donated $20,000 worth of tools to get the project started. These community groups that worked together to launch the tool library, and hope it will help people complete minor home improvement projects they otherwise couldn’t because of the expense of renting or buying tools or lacking the space to store them.
“The tool library will ensure that all neighbors have access to the items and tools they need to transform their homes and yards into beautiful and comfortable spaces, without breaking the bank on tools,” said Marco Notaro, community outreach director for Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity Inc.
The tool library will offer a wide range of tools and items that can be borrowed with a library membership card, including shovels, shears, loppers, hoes, rakes, weed cutters, spades, brooms and pickers.
Niagara Falls Public Library Executive Director Sarah Potwin said, “Libraries are, at their heart, community spaces and community resources. The addition of the tool library will foster equity, sustainability and community in a new way we have not offered before. It is part of our commitment to making the Niagara Falls Library a comprehensive community resource for our community.”
Mayor Robert Restaino said, “We are happy to offer our city library buildings to launch this program. Our partnerships with Niagara University and Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity continue to provide resources, value and opportunity for our residents.”
In addition to lending out tools, the library plans to host future free educational workshops to educate community members on using tools and instruction on home improvement projects.
The first workshop at the Earl Brydges branch at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, will feature a workshop on hanging drywall by Claudia Folsom, construction manager for Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity.
Tools are also available to neighborhood groups, civil associations and block clubs.
The tool library founders said they hope community groups will take advantage of the new resource for community projects.
“We envisioned the tool library as a way to assist residents and community groups in their revitalization efforts. Our goal is to provide easy accessible resources to build capacity in our neighborhoods,” said Karen Kwandrans, associate vice president of strategic and external relations at Niagara University.