Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
At our most recent meeting on April 4th, we had the pleasure of being joined by Caitlin Dorward and Chris Diplock of the Vancouver Tool Library initiative (http://vancouvertoollibrary.com/). Together with three others, Caitlin and Chris are undertaking a pioneering project to establish Vancouver's first tool lending library in East Van.
We were thoroughly impressed and inspired by the vision and organisation demonstrated by these two. Chris and Caitlin spoke about how they in turn drew much of their inspiration from the three tool libraries currently in existence in Portland, Oregon, which they have visited in order to learn more about how the same idea could be translated to Vancouver.
A tool lending library is about as relevant to Local Economy as it gets. Not only does it enable collaborative consumption of infrequently used items (Chris and Caitlin cited Rachel Botsman, saying that the average electric drill will be used less than 15 minutes over the course of its lifetime, because "what we need are the holes, not the drill") to save costs, reduce our ecological footprint and minimise the clutter in our already-cluttered lives, but it can be a source of great empowerment as well. Many people are not in a position to own a whole bunch of tools, but with access to a tool lending library they need not be limited in their undertakings due to want of tools. Caitlin described how empowered she, a novice in the world of tools, felt when she learned how to use tools effectively to construct a chicken coop. Tools are the levers of human transformative power. The Vancouver Tool Library plans to take things a few steps further than simply making tools available to its members; the plan is to also organise workshops showing people how to use tools for practical projects, and the VTL will partner with local businesses to provide members with inexpensive sources of recycled and scrap building materials as well.
I think that this initiative is highly deserving of our support. Here are some of the ways we can help them out:
1. The VTL is currently looking for a location. If you know of a possibly suitable location somewhere in East Van (preferably situated on or close to Main Street), please let them know by emailing email@example.com.
2. The VTL, organised as a co-op, is also currently looking for a volunteer Treasurer. If you think you fit the bill or know someone who would, please let them know.
3. Visit vancouvertoollibrary.com, share your ideas, get on the mailing list, and generally show your support for this worthy initiative!
4. Become a member when the VTL officially launches in May!
5. If you have some time to spare and would like to learn more about tools, consider becoming a volunteer. The VTL is a 100% volunteer-driven co-op.
6. Spread the word!