The Chicago Tool Library Is Growing So Fast It's Run Out Of Space For Donations

November 30, 2021

A library that lends out tools instead of books is growing so fast it has run out of room for donations.

chicago tool library
Credit: @chicagotoollibrary

The Chicago Tool Library opened in 2019 in Bridgeport. It works just like a traditional library, but instead of books they have shelves full of tools for members to borrow.

The library currently has more than 1,500 members and offers more than 2,500 tools.

Membership is a pay-what-you-can model.

chicago tool library
Credit: @chicagotoollibrary

The demand for the library's services has become so high that founders Tessa Vierk and Jim Benton are scoping out potential new locations that can hold "twice as many tools."

Right now, the library is turning down donations due to the lack of available space.

"Probably 90 percent of the tools we have have been donated," Vierk told Block Club Chicago. "A lot of people own too many things, and they would give their tools to us. So we have too many offers for tools that we don't have the space to accept."

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