A Library for Gardening Tools

A Library for Gardening Tools

Check out a garden tool as if checking out a library book.

Arlington County resident can now check out tools from Arlington County Public Libraries in the same way they would check out a book.

Arlington County resident can now check out tools from Arlington County Public Libraries in the same way they would check out a book. Photo courtesy of Arlington Public Library

If you’re engaged in fall clean-up or gardening and find that you’re missing a key tool to finish your project, imagine being able to go to your local library and check out one, just as you would check out a book. That vision has become a reality thanks to a partnership between the Arlington Public Libraries and Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

"We serve the homes and people within our communities,” said Bruce Case, president of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. “Without them, we would be nothing. And we feel that libraries serve as a hub for their communities. They are more than just books — they are about connecting people, knowledge and resources."

The Arlington Public Library Central Branch unveiled a new lending service housed in an on-site shed this fall. For Arlington community members who are interested in gardening, but want an affordable way to acquire gardening tools, the Tool Library is the answer.

“There has clearly been a demand for and interest in garden agriculture,” said Peter Golkin, spokesman for Arlington Public Libraries. “This service is good for people who only need a tool one or two times. It can save you money and time because you can borrow the tools for free. You don’t need to go to hardware store. You only need a library card to get a tool and everybody who lives in Arlington County qualifies for one.”

Like checking out a library book, community members can swing by and borrow tools of their choice. With the general public’s burgeoning interest in vegetable gardening, getting back to nature, and being eco-friendly, library officials felt this would be an important service to the Arlington community.

Case Design constructed the Tool Library structure pro bono using materials purchased by the library. “We are very happy with the way it turned out and are excited to be a part of this new offering for Arlington residents,” said Case.

The Tool Library shed opened in September at the Arlington Public Library Central Branch, located between the Ballston and Virginia Square metro stops.

Arlington resident Peter Myers was surprised to learn about the service. “It’s expensive and takes a lot of time to drive Home Depot to pick up a tool I only need for a few hours, he said. “ This seems like a better way to get a piece of equipment that I only need for one or two hours for a project in my yard.”

For more information or to become a volunteer, visit Arlington County’swebsite at http://library.arlingtonva.us/programs/health-and-fitness/garden-tool-lending-program/