project leader
John B
750 Prior Ave. N
(Hamline Midway)
latest update rss
Our grand opening!

the project

The Saint Paul Tool Library will be a membership-based nonprofit providing low cost access to over a thousand home improvement tools. We will carry basic hand tools, power tools, ladders, and some gardening tools. If funding goals are met, we plan to offer access to a workshop space.

Fortunately, we are not starting from square one. The Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library (NEMTL) opened a little over one year ago and already has over 400 members. NEMTL is helping us navigate the logistics of opening and running a tool library. The Saint Paul Tool Library will actually be a branch of NEMTL, which allows us to use their non-profit status (making your donation tax deductible), share their insurance policy, and learn from their mistakes and successes on how to run a tool library.

We want everyone to have easy access to the tools they need, which is why inventory and availability will be viewable online. You will be able to check out tools for one week at a time, however, if no one has reserved the same tool than it may be kept longer.

The planned workshop space may also be reserved.  If your garage is cluttered or your apartment is too small, you'll still have a space to work on your projects. We will also be offering workshops to help you learn how to use new tools and try new techniques that will allow you to tackle projects like a pro. Who knows, you may even be able to use your newfound skills to get a job or start a business!

Help us make this dream a reality so that together we can build a stronger community!


the steps

We spent winter, spring and summer touring possible locations, raising money, building partnerships and putting everything necessary in place to open the doors this fall. All we need now is the capital to make it happen. Help us reach our goal than we will be able to do the following:

1) Sign a lease on our space and move in.

We are moving into the former American Can Factory building that will the future home of Can Can Wonderland. It's an  amazing building located on Prior Avenue between Menards and the Compost Site on Pierce Butler Route. While the location and building work great, we will be responsible to develop it into a functioning tool library.

2) Tool Drive

We believe the garages, basements, and tool sheds of Saint Paul are filled with excess, rarely used tools that people are eager to see put to good use....and even get a tax deduction!  As a good comparison, 85% of the tools in the NEMTL inventory have been donated. We have also been frequently asked by supporters if they can donate their tools now! 

Additionally, if we reach our stretch goal we'll be able to purchase new tools so that we have everything you'll need and multiples of the most popular items.

3) Hire Staff

If we are able to reach or even pass our stretch goal than we will be able to offer extended hours and potentially even hire more staff.

4) Open The Library!

why we're doing it

The Saint Paul Tool Library's mission is to be a community resource that cultivates a more resilient and equitable community and reduces waste by giving residents low cost access to tools, training and workshop spaces.

The tax deductibility of your contribution may be affected by goods or services received. Please contact your financial advisor with questions regarding your donation.


When can I join and how much. I'm so excited about this project
This is wonderful that you folks have created this tool library! I'm happy to have found you and have signed up to join your volunteer team. All the Best! Barb


Additional Disbursement (as of 1.11.17):

$97.09 Towards more tools 

RAISED = $100.00
less ioby Platform Fee  paid previously
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $2.91


Disbursed Budget (as of 9.21.16):

$5,000 Space Build-out. We will be responsible for much of the wiring and lighting of our new space.

$5,000 Rent

$2,500 Tool donations and repair. Most of our tools will be donated, but we want to respond to member requests as well for items not in our inventory.
$740.78 - More tools. Thank you so much for helping us to raise more than our original goal! The extra funds will be put towards extra tools for our tool library's inventory. 

RAISED = $13,673.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $397.22
TOTAL TO DISBURSE = $13,240.78

Original Budget:

$5,000 Space Build-out. We will be responsible for much of the wiring and lighting of our new space.

$5,000 Rent

$2,500 Tool donations and repair. Most of our tools will be donated, but we want to respond to member requests as well for items not in our inventory.

SUBTOTAL = 12,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $375
TOTAL TO RAISE = $12,910



Our grand opening!

Thank you to our donors!

Match Funds Met!

Thank you to everyone who donated in the first leg of this campaign.  Your donations have allowed us to secure $5000 in matching funds from the Knight Foundation!  While this is a great start, we're not there yet.  We are still $10k away from reaching out stretch goal which will allow us to create what we believe will be the greatest tool library in the world!  So help us reach our stretch goal by donating and then sharing the link below with friends, family & coworkers.

We need our collective voices, the voices of everyone in the community, to bring this vision to life!

Click Here To Support The Saint Paul Tool Library:

Our project featured on ioby's blog!

by ioby
August 25, 2016

John Bailey knows the sharing economy. A consultant with a background in transportation and land use planning and policy, he goes to sharing economy conferences for fun. When he lived in  San Francisco years back, he started City Carshare, San Francisco’s first car-sharing company. It still exists today.

So when Bailey and his wife had children and moved to Saint Paul, he was already on the lookout for sharing-type ways to shake things up. It was in his DNA, and it was in the city’s. “Saint Paul is a very community-focused, progressive city that I think lives its values,” says Bailey. “It has a proud history of being a bastion of progressive thought, and not just thought but action. It’s nice to be around that.”...



Big First Week!

After a great start to our campaign we still have a long ways to go.  Hopefully by now you have donated, so the next step is to keep sharing links to our ioby page on social media and through email.  

As of the time of writing this we are at $8860 of the $12,910 goal on ioby which accounts for ioby fees and includes matched donations from the Knight Foundation.  This means that we still need over $3000 in donations to reach our base goal and $15,570 to reach our stretch goal.

Watch the video below which features Saint Paul resident, Tom Stern.  After watching the video we encourage you to share your reason on social media.  Post a story on your page, pictures or video would be a plus, and be sure to tag us (@saintpaultoollibrary)!  

Thank you for believing in the Saint Paul Tool Library!

Watch Tom's Reason Here:

Tom's Reason from Open Window Productions on Vimeo.


WOW!  We can't stop saying it!! WOW!! Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us get half way to our base fundraising goal in these first 48 hours!  It's so inspiring for us to see such excitement from everyone.  So thank you again!

BUT... we're not there yet.  We need to everyone to keep spreading our message by sharing a link to the campaign on social media, through email, and by word of mouth.  

Let's reach our base goal, then our stretch goal and even beyond so that Saint Paul can show the world how the new sharing economy builds stronger communities!! 

Tweet of Gratitude

We will do our best to find you on Twitter based on the information you provide Ioby, but to make sure we tag the right person we encourage you to post this:

I just supported the @StpToolLibrary on @ioby #ToolLibrary #Crowdfunding #SharingEconomy

Thank you for your support!!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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