Roundup: West Philly Tool Library community photography project

Yesterday, West Philly photographer, JJ Tiziou set up shop in the Tool Library and captured the faces of our members. Saturday’s event was an opportunity to connect with members and to hear how the Tool Library impacts their lives. From Cami who was borrowing tools to build a window perch for her cat to Abe who was borrowing the tools needed to refinish the floors of his first home to Tony who was borrowing an extension ladder to make roof repairs, there is no doubt that our tools are being put to good use by many.

More photos and stories to follow, but here’s a preview.

A special thanks to Renata’s Kitchen on Baltimore Avenue for donating coffee and cookies for the event. Renata’s Kitchen’s owners are Tool Library members who used our tools to build their new cafe after a fire forced them to close their previous location. Be sure to join them for brunch and coffee soon.

Cuteness overload with this mother-daughter duo

Cuteness overload with this mother-daughter duo who have used the Tool Library to rehab their new home.

Mr. Winston, a self-proclaimed multi-tasker.

Mr. Winston, a self-proclaimed multi-tasker.


Posted in Uncategorized

Upcoming event: Community photography project with JJ Tiziou

The West Philly Tool Library is pleased to announce that we are teaming up with JJ Tiziou, talented West Philly photographer and mastermind of the PHL Airport mural, How Philly Moves. Together, we will use photographs tell the story of the West Philly Tool Library.

Next Saturday, October 10, beginning when we open at 9am, please join us at the Tool Library for a community photography project. JJ will be taking portraits of you, our members, with your favorite tools, and we will be asking you to share how the Tool Library has impacted your life/work.

In exchange for your participation, and in the spirit of fall weather, we will be raffling off a West Philly Tool Library sweatshirt to a lucky member*.

To learn more about JJ and see his work:

How Philly Moves, PHL Airport

How Philly Moves, PHL Airport

*This offer is available to members with current membership accounts only, please. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Member highlight: City of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Junior Farmers

If you are reading this blog, the term “tool library” may seem self-explanatory, but, when you explain it to someone who has never heard of the concept, you see their imagination begin to turn. Their eyes narrow and their gaze drifts as they wonder how on earth tool sharing works. After being convinced that, yes,  such a library really does exist—and, yes, there really is one here in Philadelphia—excitement strikes and their eyes widen. “Do you have…?!” and “How about…?” and “You surely can’t have…!”.

Since our founding in 2007, we have convinced over 2,000 Philadelphians and Philadelphia-area organizations that a tool library—the West Philly Tool Library—really is a great idea. The City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation‘s urban agriculture program, Junior Farmer, is of those 2,000+ members.

Junior Farmers teaches youth ages 2-12 years the benefits of growing their own food and the rewards of tending to the natural environment. Junior Farmers uses the West Philly Tool Library’s gardening and building tools to complete many of their projects. Recently, they reported using Tool Library tools to build a fence for their children’s garden at Francis Myers Recreation Center at 58th & Kingsessing.

At the Tool Library, we believe that, if given the tools, the imagination will take care of the rest. We are proud to see our tools, and the Junior Farmers’ imagination, are being put to good use in Southwest Philadelphia.

To learn more about Junior Farmers, visit their website here.
Francis Myers Rec Center2

Francis Myers Rec Center


Posted in Member project

Closed Monday, September 7 for Labor Day

We will be closed Monday, September 7 for Labor Day. Be sure to check out the tools needed for your weekend projects on Saturday.

Have a safe weekend!

Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized

New tools (thanks to generous donors) alert


The Tool Library’s collection has grown in the last month. We have been overwhelmed by a number of generous donations that are of such value to our members. Of the donations, you have given us a new gauge for an air compressor and the elbow grease to install it.

You have given us a new battery-powered lawn mower,

as well as a battery-powered weed wacker and hedge trimmer of the same make. You have given us a new orange gasoline mower (and we repaired the green Lawnboy),

an awesome (and super sturdy) step ladder,

a Mantis,

and brand new gardening tools and an axe.

Donations like yours have such a great impact on our mission. THANK YOU!


Posted in New Tools

Summer tool sale: Saturday, August 1

You heard right. We are having another tool sale on our sidewalk on Saturday, August 1, at 9am. Just like last time, come at 9am sharp for the good pickings. And, who knows, another lucky person might find a googly-eyed tool!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Googly-eyed tool

Posted in Uncategorized

Late opening today (Mon, July 6)

Hi all, our tool librarian got a flat tire on his bike on his way to the Tool Library so will be a little late opening tonight (Mon, July 6).  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted in Uncategorized

Closed Saturday, July 4th

For the holiday, the Tool Library will be closed on Saturday, July 4. Be sure to catch us before the long weekend on Thursday between 5:30 and 8:30pm.

Have a safe holiday, and see you on Monday, July 6!

Posted in Uncategorized

West Philly Tool Library to sponsor University City Arts League summer class series

You read the headline right! We are sponsoring a Furniture R & R (Repair & Rehab) summer class series at University City Arts League (UCAL). Located in the 4200 block of Spruce Street, UCAL has been providing a welcoming space for people of all backgrounds to experience the arts since 1965. Like the West Philly Tool Library, UCAL was founded by a group of neighbors and, well, the rest is history!

The Furniture R & R series will be taught by Tool Library member, Hannah Bardin. We will provide the tools and you, the students, will provide the piece of furniture and finishing products.

Classes will be held at UCAL on Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30pm, between June 29 and August 2. The series is $120.00 for non-UCAL members, $100.00 for UCAL members. West Philly Tool Library members get a 15% discount. 

Are you a Tool Library member interested in redeeming your Tool Library member discount code? Before registering for the class on UCAL’s website, email with your name. We will confirm your membership and reply with the discount code. Alternatively, you can stop by the Tool Library where our Tool Librarians can help you register.

Stay tuned! More summer classes/workshops are in the works!

Furniture R & R

Posted in Uncategorized

Closed Memorial Day

Heads up: The Tool Library will be closed on Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day. Be sure to pick up all the tools needed for your weekend projects (and return all tools with a due date of May 25) before close on Saturday, May 23.

Have a safe holiday!

Posted in Uncategorized

When are we open?

Monday - Thursday:
5:30pm to 8:30pm

Saturday: 9:00am to 3:00pm

Where are we?

1314 S. 47th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143

We are in a warehouse on the west side of S. 47th Street about 200 feet south of Woodland Avenue.

View Larger Map

Who are we?

The West Philly Tool Library loans tools to community members so they can perform simple home maintenance, tend their yards and gardens, build furniture, start projects, and learn new skills in a safe and affordable manner.