Tool Library Threads: T-shirts in and sweatshirt sale

An order of our super soft, tri-blend t-shirts are hot off of the South Philadelphia presses. Like our memberships, we sell tee-shirts on a sliding scale: $15-$20.

Our sweatshirts, both crew and hooded, are on sale, too! Originally priced at $40, we are selling sweatshirts for $30 while supplies last.

All Tool Library apparel is made in the USA.

Come get one for yourself, or for a gift this season!

Tool Library t-shirt

Posted in Uncategorized

Give to the Tool Library today and be entered to win a lifetime membership

As you know, the West Philly Tool Library is an invaluable resource to so many Philadelphians. The Tool Library helps members make repairs to their homes and gardens, helps organizations with large projects, and helps public school groups build playgrounds and outdoor classrooms, all while remaining financially affordable for all.

This year, the Tool Library has been in high demand. Between January and November, the Tool Library has:

  • Welcomed 285 members, which already exceeds the total number of members welcomed in 2014;
  • Made 8,358 new tool loans, which again already exceeds our 2014 total;
  • Had a record-breaking month (August!), in which we made exactly 200 more tool loans than in our previous record-breaking month;
  • Hired a new executive director, Charlotte Castle, who has been involved in Southwest Philadelphia community projects for a number of years;
  • Been photographed by West Philly photographer, JJ Tiziou;
  • Been featured in Popular Mechanics (read more here!);
  • Hosted two tool sales with large turnouts; and has
  • Added six new weedwackers to our inventory, along with over a dozen other new power tools.

In order to ensure the continued growth of our mission, this holiday season—between now and New Year’s Eve—the Tool Library will be launching an individual giving drive. For each donation given—no matter the amount given—donors’ names will be entered to win a lifetime membership*.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation right here on our website, or with check or cash by visiting the Tool Library during business hours. For each donation given, we will add your name to the drawing for a free lifetime membership. The lucky lifetime membership winner will be selected during the first week of January.

*Although no donation is necessary to enter the raffle, we really hope you will support the West Philly Tool Library’s mission by making a donation that is meaningful to you.

Posted in Fundraising

We want to hear from you! Lawnmower vs. Push mower

At the Tool Library, during spring and summer months, our lawn mowers are used heavily. With a small staff and a limited budget, it is often challenging to keep up with the repairs and maintenance that our mowers need. A more financially and environmentally sustainable solution is already at the Tool Library: our push mowers (no gas/cord/battery, just a spinning blade).

We want to hear your thoughts about lawn mowers and push mowers.

Please take this quick survey and share with others.


Posted in Uncategorized

Holiday Hours

Mark your calendars, because, this holiday season, the Tool Library will be closed for:

Thursday, November 26

Thursday, December 24
(Friday, December 25)
Saturday, December 26

New Year
Thursday, December 31
(Friday, January 1)
Saturday, January 2

Please note are normal business hours are:
Monday – Thursday, 5:30-8:30pm
Saturday, 9:00am-3:00pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Roundup: LOVE Your Park Fall Service Day

Saturday, November 14, was the City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s LOVE Your Park Fall Service Day. This year, Tool Library tools were used by neighbors of Barkan Park (49th & Spruce) and by neighbors of Cedar Park (50th & Baltimore).

Are you a Tool Library member? Did you and your neighbors use our tools to participate in LOVE Your Park Fall Service Day? Email your pictures and story to

Barkan Park's clean-up crew

Barkan Park’s clean-up crew

Cedar Park clean-up (Photo courtesy of Cedar Park Neighbors)

Cedar Park clean-up (Photo courtesy of Cedar Park Neighbors)

Posted in Member project

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

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.

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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.