New tool library set to open in Centralia next month


A new “tool library” aimed at allowing residents to check out equipment for either low or no cost is set to open in Centralia next month. The resource, funded by a state grant, is aimed at reducing community waste.

The Washington State University Lewis County Master Recycler Composters (MRC) volunteer program has received a public participation grant from the Washington Department of Ecology to improve waste reduction throughout Lewis County.

The MRC will unveil the main component of the program, a Tool Bucket Library, during a grand opening at the Floral Park Sustainability Project on July 13. The park is located at 103 E. Floral St. in Centralia. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can learn about the new resource, apply for a membership and learn about donation or volunteer opportunities.

A tool library works much like a regular library, where residents can rent out equipment for short periods, rather than purchasing it.

“Residents can borrow tools they might only need to use once or twice a year, instead of every family purchasing tools they will use infrequently and storing them,” the MRC states on their website.

Tool rentals will range from free to $10, and equipment must be returned clean and in good condition.

Last week, Centralia City Councilor Max Vogt and his staff at Windermere Real Estate helped prepare the new tool library through a day of community service. During the event, the volunteers organized the tool library’s storage and cataloging system.

The Chehalis Timberland Library’s Gadget Library, which MRC volunteers helped establish, currently offers items ranging from backpacks to bike repair kits to kitchen tools for checkout.