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A tool-sharing corner of Asikkala municipal library is a significant step towards circularity

Asikkala Tools Sharing Library

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The Maallemuuttajat 2030 project has worked with the municipal library to set up a tool-sharing library service in Asikkala, Finland.

In an introductory workshop, Asikkala residents were asked where they would like to lend tools and what these tools would be. The municipal library seemed the most appropriate place to set up this service.

Residents were then asked more specifically what tools they were willing to lend. Various tools were identified (sewing machine, serger, steam cleaner, drill, sander, children’s travel cot, board games, sled, instruments, plant dryer, tent, trangia cooker, backpack, blender, wok, skis and thermal camera) which were suitable given the library’s restrictions in terms of space and safety.

The tools were collected through a donation campaign lasting 1.5 months. Residents donated tools in good condition for the common good. After the campaign, the tools were tested and maintained.

The project team planned storage solutions, came to an agreement with the library staff, wrote user manuals for the tools and built a shelf for the library. The tool-sharing library was ready to be opened in June 2020.

After opening, the project team decided how to maintain the tools. A workshop run by local young people is now responsible for fixing the tools when necessary and electronic vehicles are maintained by a local service shop.

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Main results: 
  • In the first six months, the tools were lent 63 times (Asikkala's population: around 8 000).
  • The most popular tools were the plant dryer, the serger, the steam cleaner and the sewing machine.
  • A survey was carried out among tool-sharing library users and the results were mainly positive. Users think that the tool-sharing library section should become an integral part of the library's permanent activities.
  • The tool-sharing library has also increased the public's overall interest in lending.
  • The municipal library staff feel they have acquired new customers thanks to the tool-sharing section.