FAQ's - Tool Library

 1. What are your hours of operation?
Sunday: CLOSED
Monday: 1 pm - 5 pm
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday: CLOSED
Friday: 1 pm - 5 pm
Saturday: CLOSED

The Richmond Tool Library is run by volunteers. 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

3. Do you have a website? Facebook? Where can I see your inventory?
Sign up and check out our tool inventory on MyTurn. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well!

4. What kinds of tools are available?
We will have gardening, landscaping, and home improvement tools at the library. We do not have automotive, pneumatic and gasoline-powered, and drain snakes tools available.

5. 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. Local agencies can also borrow tools for community projects as well. Please read below for more instructions.

6. What do I need to sign up?
You will need three (3) items to register as a patron of RTL:

  1. a valid picture ID
  2. a Richmond Public Library card
  3. proof of Richmond residency with patron's name and address listed on the document, dated within the past 60 days
    1. This includes documents such as a utility bill, lease agreement, voter registration card, or a property tax receipt. Please note: the picture ID (e.g. Driver's License) will not suffice as proof of residency.

7. Do I have to pay to use the tools?
Nope! The tools are free to use. However, we do have a late and damage fees schedule in place to ensure that tools are returned on a timely basis and in good condition. Most tools have late fees of $1-$5 per day.

8. I work at a non-profit in Richmond and/or am an involved resident; can I borrow tools for my community and/or volunteer project?Yes, we love to see the community use our library! Please contact us at least ten (10) days prior to your event to coordinate the tool logistics. Tool availability can vary from day to day and the sooner you know which tools you'll need, the best we can coordinate to set aside tools for you. In addition, please prepare a specific list of tools  (i.e. 5 shovels, not 'all the shovels you have') you wish to borrow so we can best accommodate your needs with our current inventory. We don't provide gloves, garbage bags, or safety glasses at this time.

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

9. 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. 

10.How many tools can I borrow at a time?
No more than ten (10) items may be borrowed at any one time, and up to five (5) of those items can be power tools.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14.Can I request a tool for the Tool Library to purchase?
Certainly! Email us at toollibrary@ci.richmond.ca.us and let us know what kind of tool you'd like to see in the Tool Library.

15. 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!

16. 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!

Updated February 2018