On Anton’s recent trip to Melbourne he got lucky and gate crashed the Brunswick Tool Library’s first birthday (yes I’m jealous). The Brunswick Tool Library is a lot like a book library, but you get to check out tools instead of books – talk about fantastic.


It’s designed for people who do occasional home improvement, garden or DIY projects but don’t want to buy a tool they might only use once. It offers tools to the Moreland and surrounding areas, for both residents and community groups to access to hand tools, power tools, garden tools, ladders, etc. for use on their own projects. The whole thing was initiated by Joleen Hess, a highly skilled, renowned handy-woman – these days there are lots of people helping to make it happen.

Brunswick tool library

 Joleen Hess getting excited by tools.


Early May 2014 marked their one year birthday – the first of many I’m sure.


Each April they do an ‘Aprils Tool’ campaign where people can donate tools to the library – they’ve got a might fine collection going on. From what I can see they’ve got everything you could hope for – if you were to try and have this type of tool collection at home it would literally cost you thousands.



newdaily_070214_BrunswickWhen you get to learn new skills with good tools you get happy.

They also do the occasional community event where they teach people some of the basics, like how to hammer a nail into timber – you can see varying degrees of success below. In a world where we seriously need a reskilling revolution this little ol’ tool library is one of the simple, yet cutting edge initiatives which is helping to lead the way in teaching people real, useful skills.

And there is nothing more important than having useful skills to offer – I realise that’s open to interpretation, but the more we know how to do things with our own hands (cooking, building, sewing, growing, making, fixing) the more resilient and independent we are. Also, a happy side benefit is that life is a lot cheaper when you don’t have to pay others to do things for you.



Practicing how to hammer a nail

Want to get involved?

They’re open each Saturday (10am-2pm) and Wednesdays (4pm-8pm) and take memberships from residents of Moreland and surrounding areas (you do need to be 18 or over). There’s a small annual fee you need to pay, but we’re convinced it’s worth it – you can see their membership page for more information.

If you want to get involved in the project or have some old tools lying around that you would like to donate, they’d love to hear from you. You can also follow these guys on facebook to stay in the loop with what they’re up to.

So why buy, when you can borrow. Everything about this project is good – I’m hoping this incredible community resource goes viral and that we see them popping up everywhere, especially in Hobart!


*Your blogger is Hannah Moloney, co-director of Good Life Permaculture and lover of all things fun and garden-esk.