We want everyone to share this great community resource and feel welcome, no matter what!
To become a Tool Library member, you can make a membership donation and/or volunteer.
Membership donations: We are an all volunteer organization and operate primarily on funds generated from annual memberships. The Tool Library has two tiers of membership:
- Individual or Family Membership: The average donation amount is $50 per year but we encourage basing your donation on a sliding scale (see below). Please contribute whatever you can afford based on your income and life circumstances. If you can afford to give more than our average, please do! This will ensure that this resource is available for everyone in the community.
- Business / Organization Membership: The average donation is $100 per year but we encourage businesses to donate as much as they can afford. Please note: the Tool Library is a community resource.
Library Volunteer: In lieu of paying for a membership, you can volunteer. The library needs a steady stream of volunteers to keep open and this option allows the valuable donation of time rather than money.
- Volunteers attend a two hour training, followed by a “shadow shift” with a seasoned volunteer. Once complete, volunteers work two or more four hour shifts throughout the year. Please note: Tools can be checked out after the “shadow shift” phase of becoming a volunteer.
A little on sliding scale:
A sliding scale is a tool for building economic justice, and it requires active participation. If a sliding scale is implemented effectively, everyone pays a similar percentage of their income for the same products or services. A wide range of payment options across the scale promotes broader accessibility, while ensuring fair compensation to the producer. Paying according to one’s available resources creates a more equitable system for pricing of products and services.
Sliding scales are often based on individual income levels, with people of higher incomes paying more. However, many factors complicate and affect our financial status. Some groups of people have costs that the larger population does not. Others have access to resources that are not always reflected in their lifestyle choices and income levels. Please consider both your class background and earning power when choosing your share payment.
**If your income is at the bottom of the sliding scale and the fees are too high for you please consider volunteering in lieu of paying for a membership.
Consider paying less on the scale if you:
- are supporting children or have other dependents
- have significant debt
- have medical expenses not covered by insurance
- receive public assistance
- have immigration-related expenses
- are an elder with limited financial support
- are an unpaid community organizer
- are a returning citizen who has been denied work due to incarceration history
Consider paying more on the scale if you:
- own the home you live in
- have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money
- travel recreationally
- have access to family money and resources in times of need
- work part time by choice
- have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education, gender, racial privilege, class background, etc.
The scale is intended to be a map, inviting each of us to take inventory of our financial resources and look deeper at our levels of privilege. It is a way to challenge the classist and capitalist society we live in and work towards economic justice on a local level. Please take these factors into consideration and pay what feels right.
You can sign up in person by stopping by whenever we are open. Even if you’re just curious and want to be shown around, please don’t hesitate. Whoever is volunteering that day would probably love the company!
To join online, go to our Sign Up Portal and create a new profile (you don’t have to enter a Membership ID; that will be created automatically). After you’ve created your portfolio, hover your cursor over the little “person” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window, and then click “My Account” in the dropdown menu that appears. Then click “Membership” and enter your payment information for the $50 annual fee.
(Adapted with permission from Underground Alchemy)