Thursday, August 06, 2009
Cool Tool Library - Oakland, CA
I had a chance to visit Oakland Public Libary's TOOL lending library....yes, that's right, tools. Need an 11/16th spade bit (great for old school xmas light base holes- don't ask)? Break out your library card.... How about a half-round bastard file? Right this way. Stilson wrench? no problem. Spirit level? Yep. Can you cope with a coping saw? (for the record, I just listed those to be lingusitically clever) The rooms are well organized (by Ty, librarian in charge of the area - his favorite food? Thai.) in a vintage Carnegie Library building's rear entrance at the Temescal Branch.
Libraries are the last bastion of a true society here in the U.S.; everybody wants to support education, then bitches about the cost. We have little or no free college, we have no public health care, we underfund other non-commerce-based public works, but everybody, it seems to me observing people in libraries across the U.S. uses the library. It's the great independent study resource. Often they are underfunded, too, but the folks who run them still manage to provide solid reasonable frou-frou free (like that one?) lending services like this tool library, which ultimately serves the public at large well by facilitating repair and/or creation of.....whatever.
This tool library, (me opining again) is as mind-freeing of a concept as................unburned books!
And it turns out that there's several in the US. Many in the I-wish-I-lived-there Bay Area.
Speaking of burning and banning of books, here's a list of proposed tools that could do with some renaming to avoid being endangered by the book banning fascists:
Hand screw clamp
Wrenches (internal pipe, plug, seating, slipknot, spud, stem, strap)
Just for the record: that's the zeitgeist puttin' those suggestive images in your heads - not me.