The community tool library, from books to drills

We tend to think of a library as a communal repository of books, magazines and other literature.  But why not a library of tools instead?  The same argument applies -- it's often not feasible to own all the tools a person needs over time, so why not borrow them from a communal repository?

The Northeast Portland Tool Library is an interesting community effort which answers these kinds of questions.  It makes home improvement and gardening tools available to residents of Northeast Portland, much like people check out books from a library, late fees included.  It's very community centric, and operated out of the basement of a church!

That makes me wonder, is this a model which will become popularized over time?  Now that ebooks and tablets are shredding the paper book markets, will the next community libraries store tools?

Btw, you might want to also check out my related post about TechShop, a new club model place to get access to cutting edge machining and design tools.

Update: There's a Wikipedia page listing a number of tools libraries.

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