Since this is National Library Week, there’s no better time to introduce you to the Ozarkansas Tool Library! Yes, the Ozarkansas Tool Library is yet another cool reason to live in Fayetteville, Arkansas. You already know I’m a huge fan of the Fayetteville Public Library. The tool library is a partnership between the Fayetteville Public Library and Feed Communities. It works much like the book library. Instead of buying a tool you may only need for a few hours or a few days, you can check it out from the library.
Shout it from the rooftop brilliant.
A Trip to the Tool Library
A few weeks ago, John and I visited the tool library for the first time. We were in the DIY process of enlarging a stone patio. We had stones, gravel, and sand. But we needed a tamper to make the area super flat and level. And we didn’t want to buy one for a project that would only take a few hours.
We reserved it from the tool library and picked it up the next day. The process couldn’t have been simpler.
Here’s How it Works
The tool library shares space with Feed Communities inside an old church building located at 221 S. Locust Avenue in Fayetteville (just down from the public library). From small hand tools to larger equipment, there are 166 gardening and carpentry tools available. Just like best-selling books, some of the more popular tools during spring, like tillers, have wait lists.
You can view the catalog HERE.
To check out a tool, you must be over 18 years of age and have a Fayetteville Public Library card. Once you get your tool, it’s yours for a week.
Tool pickup times are Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and on Friday from noon until 3:00 p.m.
While the whole wide world seemed to be on spring break, we were expanding a stone patio at our rental cottage. We wanted to do it right, not only so that it would be level, but so that it would blend with the existing section of patio. John dug out the enlarged space, and we bordered the area in smaller rocks. We (as in John) added a bottom layer of gravel for stability before adding a layer of sand. We bought regular play sand from Home Depot.
The tamper was essential for flattening both the gravel and sand layers. It was heavier than I expected, but I suppose its heft is the point of it.
John did all the real work. I helped arrange stones. I also played in the sand (it was spring break, after all) and took photos.
This sand reminded me of the wooden sandbox my sister and I had. Momma painted it red, and we spent hours playing with our Matchbox cars in that thing. She gave it a fresh coat of red paint and added new sand when my kids were little. Over time, it deteriorated, and now it’s gone. But what fun we had. (We still have our cars.)
Anyway, after a few hours of work, our expanded stone patio was level and looked professionally done. Next up, we’ll be adding grout or sand or pebbles between the stones. We haven’t decided yet. Bottom line, we saved money by doing it ourselves and by NOT buying a tamper. Thank you tool library!
So Many Tools, So Little Time
You know all those tools cluttering your garage? The ones you rarely use? Consider donating them to the tool library. Ozarkansas Tool Library takes donations of gently used hand tools, gardening tools, power tools.
Wouldn’t it be great if all libraries included tools? Maybe you could spearhead this in your town.
I am reminded of that old proverb, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. In a way, all libraries allow for this. They empower folks with access to knowledge, and in the case of Ozarkansas Tool Library, access to tools they might otherwise not be able to get their hands on.
Like I said, brilliant.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Shout, The Isley Brothers