Niagara University’s Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement, in partnership with the Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity and the Niagara Falls Public Library, has established a tool library service that will enable local residents to check out tools and equipment free of charge.

The tool library will be hosted at both the Earl Brydges and LaSalle branches of the Niagara Falls Public Library. Anyone with a Nioga Library System card (in good standing) will be able to check out a variety of tools, including shovels, shears, loppers, hoes, rakes, weed cutters, spades, brooms, and pickers, as they would a book. Tools will also be available to neighborhood groups, civil associations, and block clubs. In addition, the library plans to host free educational workshops to educate community members on using the tools and provide instruction on home improvement projects.

The tool library’s grand opening celebration was held on Oct. 29 and featured a drywall workshop led by Claudia Folsom, construction manager at Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity.

It is hoped that making tools accessible will help people to complete minor home improvement projects they otherwise couldn’t because of the expense of renting or buying tools or lacking the space to store them. The project was made possible with funding from the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission.

“We envisioned the tool library as a way to assist residents and community groups in their revitalization efforts. Our goal is to provide easy accessible resources to build capacity in our neighborhoods,” said Karen Kwandrans, associate vice president of strategic and external relations at Niagara University.

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