What is the Brisbane Tool Library?
The Brisbane Tool library is a social enterprise started in 2017 based on the model of other tool libraries all around the world. Members pay an annual fee to borrow any item from our inventory of over 1600 items, including hand and power tools, camping gear, gardening equipment, as well as a mix of recreational and household items. Almost all our items are recycled; either rescued from landfill or donated by the community, then repaired and/or maintained. We are committed to making the library a diverse and safe space and welcome all borrowers. In terms of skill level, we want to particularly support people with very little experience and confidence in using hardware, power tools, and camping equipment.
Who is welcome?
We are committed to making the library a diverse and safe space for all. In terms of skill level, we want to particularly support people with very little experience or confidence in using hardware and power tools, or camping equipment.
What if I can’t use [insert tool]?
We can give you a quick demonstration at the library. Also keep an eye out for our workshops which often feature learning to use those tools that require a bit of experience to use confidently. You can find our workshops here.
How much is membership?
Standard membership is $75 per year. Other membership options are Premium (allowing more items and longer borrowing times), Concession, and Monthly memberships. We also offer Memberships for businesses and Not For Profit organisations. See the Memberships page for more details.
Can organisations be members?
Yes organisations can be members. Business and not for profit membership details here.
What if I can’t afford membership?
We’ve tried our best to keep membership affordable and also offer a concession membership. In fact our membership fees don’t even cover staff costs. All the people working to make the tool library such a great sharing experience are volunteers.
Nevertheless, we realise that the annual concession membership can still be a barrier. So that’s why we’ve introduced monthly membership. Find out about these membership options here.
Can I buy a gift membership?
You can certainly buy a gift membership. Email us here and we will send you a gift voucher with instruction on how the recipient can use it.
Can I donate a membership to someone who can’t afford membership?
Part of what drives us is creating a fairer society. The Tool Library is a great leveller, enabling people on a modest income to be able to access tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. We’ve tried our best to keep membership affordable and also offer a concession membership. Nevertheless we know community members with limited means struggle to afford even the concession membership.
Donating $60 for one annual concession membership means you are multiplying the value of your donation at least a hundred fold, in terms of the value of items that you are enabling a household access to. Email here if you would like to donate a membership to someone who would love to become a member but is finding it hard to make ends meet. Unfortunately as the library does not have Deductible Gift Recipient, DGR, status, donations to the library are not tax deductible.
How do I renew my membership?
You can renew your membership online here, or ring us during our opening hours. You can find our opening hours here.
Borrowing / Loans
How long can an item be borrowed for?
An item can be borrowed for one week and that can be extended for another week if it hasn’t been reserved. With Premium membership you can extend loans for longer periods.
How many items can I borrow?
All members (except for premium members) can have a maximum of x items on loan at any one time. Premium members can have a maximum of x items on loan at any one time.
Can I extend my loans online?
Yes, you can extend your loan through your membership account online, or by ringing the library during opening hours. You can find our opening hours here.
What if I don’t return the borrowed item on time?
A daily fee applies to each overdue item. You can see the current daily overdue fees here. This can be paid when you return the overdue items, or alternatively it can charged to your Brisbane Tool Library account. You cannot borrow any more items until the overdue fee has been paid.
Can I extend the borrowing period of my item if it is overdue?
Sorry, but you will need to return the item if it is overdue.
Why is there an additional borrowing fee for some library items?
An additional fee may apply to an item for the following reasons:
To help cover the costs of an expensive item that has been specifically purchased by the library because it has been requested by multiple users but that could not be acquired through donations.
To cover the cost of replacing an expensive, in-demand item when it gets to the end of its life.
To cover the high service and maintenance costs of some library items.
What if I break something?
The library’s items belong to all of us and we want them to last as long as possible so please take care of them. Email us or let us know when you return an item has broken while it was in your care and we’ll work out together what to do.
Does the library deliver library items?
Sorry, we are not set up to deliver.
I’m going camping in a couple of months. How can I make sure that the items I want to take are available?
You can reserve items up to xx weeks ahead of when you need them.
How do I reserve items?
The easiest way to reserve items is on our website. However, you can also call us during opening hours or come in during opening hours to browse. If you are having difficulty working with our online system, ring us up or call into the library during opening hours and we will assist. Our phone number is here and our opening hours are here.
Location / Opening hours
Where are you located?
We are located in The Edge building at the Southbank Cultural Centre, on Level 0 [i.e. the Carpark or Basement Level]. You can find us on google maps here. [link to google maps location]. ‘The Edge’ is the building along the river edge between the Queensland Art Gallery - QAG - and the State Library of Queensland - SLQ. Find us right behind the glass lift at the small roundabout at the entrance to SLQ Carparks P2 and P3.
How can I get to the library?
The Brisbane Tool Library is 300m from the Cultural Centre bus station and 550m from the South Brisbane train station. Metered street parking is available on Fleet Lane, Hope Street, and Montague Road, and is free on weekends. There is all-day paid car parking on the carpark level of the Cultural Centre (our level), and for quick pick-up and drop-off there are loading zones on either side of the Cultural Centre Tunnel.
When is the library open?
Our opening hours are:
Wednesday: 2:00PM - 5:30PM
Friday: 2:00PM - 5:30PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 2:00PM
Can I park at the Brisbane Tool Library?
While Brisbane Tool Library doesn’t have dedicated parking, there are several options available. Metered street parking is available on Fleet Lane, Hope Street, and Montague Road, and is free on weekends. There is all-day paid car parking on the carpark level of the Cultural Centre (our level), and for quick pick-up and drop-off there are loading zones on either side of the Cultural Centre Tunnel.
Does the library accept e-waste?
We don’t accept e-waste. We also don’t accept broken electronic items unless they require a minor non-electronic repair (call us up if you are unsure). Check out Planet Ark website here to see where you can take your e-waste. We send our e-waste to Substation33 at Kingston, another great social enterprise - they skill up at-risk youth as well as reducing landfill - you can find them here.
Does the library take broken items?
We ONLY take broken items that would be a good addition to the library, if they can be easily repaired by us. Ask us about donating your broken item if you are not sure.
Do you accept financial donations?
We accept financial donations. Unfortunately we do not have DGR status which means that your donation to us is not tax deductible. Also see the FAQ about donating a library membership to someone in need.
Can I volunteer?
We love volunteers. In fact we are all volunteers! Please let us know if you have a specialist skill that we might be able to use such as furniture making or graphic design etc. Otherwise there are plenty of jobs that can be easily learned - like cleaning tools, adding tools to our inventory, administrative tasks, and representing the library at festivals and events. If you have a vehicle and can help us pick up tools from donors let us know.
Can I sponsor the library?
You sure can. Please contact us by email here and we will discuss sponsorship possibilities further.
Do you accept financial donations?
We accept financial donations. Unfortunately we do not have Deductible Gift Recipient [DGR]status which means that your donation to us is not tax deductible. Also see the FAQ about donating a library membership to someone in need.
How can I start a tool library?
We would love to see a tool library in every locality. Get in touch with us for some support options to get you on the way.
If I know a space that would make a good tool library, are you interested in hearing about it?
Yes, please do. We are especially interested in knowing about any possible spaces on the northside of Brisbane.
Can I use your space to work on my project?
Unfortunately because of space and insurance constraints, we cannot offer the library for individual projects.
Do you run workshops?
We run workshops throughout the year to help people make, service, repair, and upcycle with our tools. Individual workshops are pitched at different skill levels (from basic to advanced). We also host workshops in keeping with our reuse/live lightly ethos, such as bees wax wraps making, and working with recovered timber, and making supermarket (boomerang) bags. Check out coming workshops here.