FAQ's - Tool Library

1. What are your hours of operation?

Sunday: Closed
Monday: 1 pm - 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 am - 2 pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 10 am - 2pm
Friday: 1 pm - 5 pm
Saturday: Closed

The Richmond Tool Library is run by volunteers. The library will be opened between the week of August 1st through August 8th and will follow a temporary schedule. As we develop our volunteer base and receive community feedback, the library will establish more regular hours of operation, possibly weeknights and weekends. Let us know when you'd like to see the library open!

2. Where are you located?

We are located on the 1st floor of the Richmond Department of Community Services at

3230 Macdonald Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804

2. Why did Richmond starting a tool library?

Richmond City Hall’s Love Your Block Initiative, which funds community revitalization projects throughout Richmond, served as the impetus for the library. We wanted our grantees to make the most of their mini grants so we started the Richmond Tool Library (RTL) project to get them the tools they needed for free. It didn’t take long to realize that this would be a wonderful resource for all Richmond residents.

3. Do you have a website? Where can I see your inventory?

Sign up and check out our tool inventory on MyTurn: richmondtoollibrary.myturn.com/library/inventory/

Keep up with the Richmond Tool Library on our other social media platforms!

Richmond Tool Library Facebook Page
Richmond Tool Library Instagram

5. What kinds of tools will be available?

We will have gardening, landscaping, and home improvement tools at the library. We will not have automotive tools available.

6. Do I need to be a resident of Richmond? How old do I need to be?

Yes. Only residents or property owners of the City of Richmond over the age of 18 are eligible to borrow tools from the RTL.

7. What do I need besides my library card?

You will need a valid picture ID and proof of residency. This includes documents such as a utility bill, lease agreement, voter registration card, or a property tax receipt.

8. Do I have to pay to use the tools?

Nope! The tools are free to use. We will, however, have a late and damaged fees schedule in place to ensure that tools are returned on a timely basis and in good condition.

9. What happens if I return the tools late? Damage them? Or lose them?

Loan periods for tools are three (3) or seven (7) days, depending on the demand and type of tool. The borrower agrees to return any borrowed item on or before the due date in the same condition, normal wear and tear excepted, as when it was borrowed. The borrower agrees to pay for the loss of or damage to any tool on loan to him or her. The borrower further understands that fines will be levied for each item kept past the due date. Repeated failure to return tools on time may result in revocation of borrowing privileges. The Library reserves the right to limit the number of tools borrowed and to alter the maximum loan period.

10. Can I borrow the tools for someone else?

Only the borrower is authorized to use the tools. The borrower shall not permit the use of said tools by any other person.

11. What is the fine schedule for late tools?

Fines of up to $20 per day will be levied for each item kept past the due date. Repeated failure to return tools on time may result in revocation of borrowing privileges. We will publish an itemized list with detailed information on fine amounts with the launch of the official website.

12. Are there limits on the number of tools first-time patrons can borrow?

New tool patrons are limited to check-out of three (3) hand tools, valued under $100 each. This probationary period will end upon returning two tools on time, clean, and in good condition. After probation, tool patrons will be allowed four (4) tools and no more than one power tool for each checkout.

13. How many tools can I borrow at a time?

No more than four (4) items may be borrowed at any one time (no more than one power tool). Newly registered members may borrow up to three (3) hand tools on their first visit.

14. Is there a tool drop for returning tools during off-hours?

No. Tools will need to be returned during our normal operating hours to staff personnel.

15. Who’s responsible if I get hurt using a tool?

Before borrowing any tool or piece of equipment, the borrower shall sign a form or WAIVER AND INDEMNIFICATION to be provided by the library, which will be kept on file at the RTL and on myTurn.com. The borrower acknowledges that he or she is capable of using the tools in a safe and proper manner. The borrower agrees that if the borrowed tool becomes unsafe or in a state of disrepair, the borrower will immediately discontinue use of the tool and return it to the RTL.

16. Can I use the Richmond Tool Library tools in a professional setting?

You cannot borrow tools for professional, for-profit projects if you are a contractor, carpenter, etc. by trade. Check out Richmond’s Contractor Resource Center for tools provided specifically for Richmond Contractors.

17. Can I request a tool for the Tool Library to purchase?

Certainly! Fill out our Tool Request Form. If funding is available and there’s a clear demand, we will make sure to add it to our inventory.

18. I’d like to do a community project! Can I use tools from the RTL?

You can certainly use RTL tools for community projects. We even have $1,000 Love Your Block grants to fund community projects!

19. Why did Richmond start a tool library?

Richmond City Hall’s Love Your Block Initiative, which funds community revitalization projects throughout Richmond, served as the impetus for the library. We wanted our grantees to make the most of their mini grants so we started the Richmond Tool Library (RTL) project to get them the tools they needed for free. It didn’t take long to realize that this would be a wonderful resource for all Richmond residents.!

20. How is the library being funded?

Thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors, we were able to raise $12,743 in April 2016 through a crowdfunding campaign. This helped us immensely with the start-up costs of the library.

Because we are a fiscally-sponsored project of a local non-profit, we are still accepting monetary and tool donations. Please contact us if you would like to donate!

21. Is this the first tool library in existence?

Nope! Tool libraries have been successfully running in Oakland, Berkeley, Denver, and many other major cities since as early as the 70’s. There are over 60 tool libraries currently operating across the country!

22. Who can I contact for more questions?

E-mail: toollibrary@ci.richmond.ca.us
Tool Library Phone: (510) 620-5546
Guadalupe Morales: guadalupe_morales@ci.richmond.ca.us (510) 620-6553
Kiana Ward: kiana_ward@ci.richmond.ca.us (510) 620-6552