|The Tool Library to open in Blo-No|
|Written by Jennifer Novoseletsky, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Monday, 03 December 2012 20:33|
Any individuals looking to repair a car, house or garden can now turn to The Tool Library opening in Bloomington-Normal.
IWU student Matt LaLonde, founder of The Tool Library in Bloomington-Normal, is bringing The Tool Library on Friday, Jan. 11 to the West Bloomington Revitalization Project office (800 W. Washington St.) in Bloomington.
“The Tool Library is a free tool lending service designed to empower homeowners through home repair,” LaLonde explained. “It is a community-based project founded in partnership with the City of Bloomington and the WBRP. The Tool Library will provide many benefits to the Bloomington-Normal community, as it gives residents the ability to revitalize their homes and, in turn, strengthen their community.”
To borrow tools, community members will leave a deposit until they return the tools, Deborah Halperin, director of the Action Research Center at IWU, said. If tools are late or damaged, charges will be similar to public library fees, LaLonde added.
Donations and grants for the tools are accepted. Grant money will be used toward the funding of new tools. The IWU Weir Fellowship Program granted The Tool Library $1,500 to purchase new tools, LaLonde said.
The Tool Library was created as its own project during LaLonde’s internship at State Farm Insurance Co. LaLonde noticed tool libraries opening throughout the nation, but none in Illinois. He then created The Tool Library to benefit the community in a number of ways.
“As a free tool lending service, this project will give the residents of Bloomington-Normal the opportunity to utilize free resources to develop the hands-on skills that they might not currently possess,” LaLonde explained.
“The Tool Library will help alleviate some of these problems by making home improvement much more cost effective for its users. In order to support the vibrant neighborhoods of Bloomington-Normal, The Tool Library will promote neighborhood reinvestment, self-reliance and civic engagement.”
Halperin served as a supervisor to LaLonde and as his mentor, he explained.
“I think young people — people in college — are absolutely ready, more than ready to make meaningful and important contributions to their communities and Matt is a great example of that,” Halperin said.
In hopes for the library to launch and succeed, The Tool Library will be a useful community resource, LaLonde said.
“I think the first six months are going to teach us a lot about how people use it and what they need,” Halperin said. “We’re going to open for business and try to provide a great service and see where it grows.”
For more information on The Tool Library, visit www.thetoollib.com/ or like The Tool Library on Facebook at facebook.com/TheToolLibrary.