FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a tool library?
A tool library operates much like a traditional library, allowing borrowers to check out tools and equipment to care for their homes, yards, gardens and more. People interested in borrowing tools create member accounts that allow them access to their tool library's inventory. By sharing tools, we all benefit by saving money and space, gaining access to tools needed to DIY and reducing consumption and waste.
When will you open?
We are working hard to complete construction on our unique building made from used cargo shipping containers, but have run into some issues. As soon as the building is complete and inventory is in the system, then we can open! If you are interested in volunteering to help expedite the process, please let us know!
Who can use South King Tool Library?
Anyone 18 or over can become a member of SKTL. You don't even need to live in South King County. Seattle has seven tool libraries, and Tacoma has one. South King Tool Library is the ONLY tool lending option in King County south of Seattle. That makes us very convenient for lots of people in the Puget Sound area. If you're one of them, join us!
How do I become a member?
Becoming a member of SKTL is easy. It takes minutes to create your account and one membership covers your household (in order to pick up tools, you must be 18+ and have signed the liability waiver/usage forms). To help cover library costs, we request that you make an annual donation when you start or renew your membership. Recommended donations range from $20 to $250. Click here to learn more.
Are memberships just for households?
No! Small businesses, non-profits and service organizations can become members as well (in order to pick up tools for your organization, you must have signed the liability waiver/usage forms). Having access to tools can help small organizations take care of their work spaces and serve their communities. Click here to learn more.
How much does it cost?
South King Tool Library requests that you make an annual donation when you start or renew your membership. Recommended donations range from $20 to $250. There may be additional small fees for use of high demand or high maintenance tools and tools with a value over $200. Overdue tools may also result in a late fee. Feeling generous? Every donation helps. Interested in trading a little volunteer time instead of cash for your membership? Not able to donate, but could really use some tools? Contact us!
What kind of tools do you have? Where do the tools come from?
Our inventory includes donated and purchased tools, based on the needs of our community. Our initial focus is on tools used for basic household upkeep and repair, including yards; this means everything from power drills to extension ladders, edgers to air compressors. We are interested in expanding to include tools for electronics, bike and car maintenance, sewing machines, cider presses, even party equipment - it's really up to you! Do you have a suggestion for our tool wish list? Let us know. Do you have working tools in good condition to donate? Click here.
How many tools can I check out at once? How long can I keep a tool I've checked out?
Members may check out up to five tools at once. Organizations that are planning a work party and wish to use more tools should contact us at least two weeks in advance to discuss needs. Tools are due one week after rental. If you picked it up on a Saturday, return it by the following Saturday.
How can you afford to do this?
We request that members make an annual donation to help support us. SKTL is also generously supported by grants, sponsorships and in-kind donations. Learn more about donating here.
Can you teach me how to use tools? What if I need help fixing something?
Whenever you check out tools at SKTL a staff member or volunteer will go over the basics of safe and proper use before you leave. If you'd like help fixing a household item, bring it to our next repair café and our team of fixers will do their magic and explain as they go. As we grow, we plan to offer workshops for adults, teens and kids on tool use, household maintenance, DIY projects and more.
Does South King Tool Library offer anything besides tool checkouts?
SKTL currently offers regular repair cafés to help you fix household items, from furniture to electronics to clothing. We accept donations of tools in good working order at recycling events or by appointment. Our future plans include offering classes, workshops and camps, providing maker space and more. Stay up to date by subscribing to our mailing list.
How do I volunteer?
We depend on volunteers to keep things running smoothly. Whether you love tinkering or tweeting, can only help occasionally or want to be a regular, we'd love to welcome you to our team. Click here to learn more.
I have another question!
We'd love to hear from you. Contact us anytime.