Frequently Asked Questions

How many tools do you have?

Over a thousand.

Where did they come from?

Almost all of them are bartered by community members in exchange for membership time; some come are community donations, others are purchased with membership revenue.

Who can take out tools?

Anyone can become a member. A basic yearly membership costs $60 to ensure the Tool Library is accessible to everyone. Members can borrow any tool for free.

I can’t afford that.

Please come in and talk with us. We’ll figure it out together.

Do you rent or lend out tools?

You don’t rent Calgary Tool Library tools; you borrow them! While some tool libraries charge a small fee (in the $2-3 range) for especially large equipment, such as a table saw, there are only fees associated with our tools that use expensive consumables.

Do you have [X Tool]?

Please check the database.

How do you keep track of tools and ensure they are returned?

We are using an open-source database software called My Turn which is specifically designed for tool libraries. Like a normal library, members must return tools in a set period of time or face late fees. If a member does not return an expensive tool, we can charge their credit card the cost of the tool or, worse comes to worse, call collections.

Can I borrow more than one tool at once?

A Basic Membership gets you up to five tools at-a-time, for a week at-a-time, as often as you like. A Gold Membership gets you eight (plus other benefits).

Can I reserve tools?

Yes, you can reserve tools online through MyTurn, or by messaging

What happens if I damage a tool in use. Will I have to pay?

In extreme cases, members may be fined for damage to equipment. Members are not charged, however, for normal wear and tear. If you’re able to, we always appreciate any help you can offer in finding replacements for tools that break.

What do you do with damaged tools?

Experienced volunteers fix and sharpen tools.

Can I donate my used tools?

We are looking for more tools to add to our collection, but since space is limited, we can’t accept everything. We have a Tool Request List full of stuff we’re looking for. If you want to donate something amazing that isn’t on our request list, please get in touch!

Who runs the Calgary Tool Library?

We are run by a collective of about 20 super-chill volunteers, plus one part-time staff. If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact us!

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