June 12, 2013

The Tool Library

Matt LaLonde

Matt LaLonde, 2012 Summer CPP Intern and founder of the Tool Library.

To learn how to get involved with the Tool Library, click here!

Senior accounting major from Downers Grove, Ill.,  Matt LaLonde, a Summer 2012 CPP intern,  came across the idea for the Tool Library while working at this internship.  “Every Wednesday evening throughout the summer, ARC Coordinator Deborah Halperin, would conduct an hour-long workshop pertaining to community development. The common theme throughout her weekly workshops was the idea of taking change into your own hands,” said LaLonde. “One day I received an email from Katie Rose Brosnan, a fellow ARC intern, about a $25,000 grant that State Farm Insurance had just awarded to a Philadelphia organization that was starting a Tool Library. I thought the concept of free tool lending was a fantastic idea, I researched tool libraries to find out if there were any near Bloomington-Normal; there were none.”

The Tool Library lends tools to any Bloomington-Normal community members. Free tool lending provides homeowners with the resources that they need to make repairs and modifications to their homes, allowing them to maintain a feeling of independence and dignity. Having the proper tools is a necessity with any home repair project. The expensive nature of owning a tool for a one-time repair is not cost effective for any homeowner, but free tool loans are.

LaLonde who worked to secure financial support for the library, received initial financial assistance from the City of Bloomington’s Community Development Block Grant funding and by the end of August, the WBPR also supported the Tool Library. The project has been selected as a winner for a $25,000 grant through the online voting “Improve Your Community Challenge,” organize by State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board. The Tool Library was in the top 40 of the voting and received the $25,000!  The funds will be used to purchase more tools and a new space to house the The Tool Library.

Donate your spare tools today, or help raise awareness about The Tool Library by word of mouth, and by becoming a fan on their Facebook page!