You can help
Yes! Donations of money
, tools, and products and services for the Library and its members are welcome and greatly appreciated.
Please drop off the tools when the Library is open. and get a tax-donation form if you’d like one.
You’ll be helping a valuable community resource grow to serve more of your neighbors. You will be investing in improving the quality of life and safety of Southeast Portland. You can deduct your donation(s) on your personal or business taxes. On our Sponsors page, we will co-market your business to our members and the community.
We need your time, talents, and energies to help us grow and succeed. We’re especially looking for:
- Volunteers who can help in the Library during our open hours
- Someone with grant writing experience (!!!).
- Some help with tool maintenance,
- New Board Members - to help guide SEPTL into the future.
- Finally we’re looking for people who’d enjoy calling members in the evening from home (using a free calling number if you wish) to remind them when their tools are overdue.
Just let us know how you’d like to help.
2800 SE Harrison Ave, at the corner of SE 28th Place and Harrison, Portland, Oregon
Saturday 9am – 2pm
Tues 5:30pm to 7pm
It’s a lending library, but with tools instead of books. And it’s more than that really. It’s a way to meet your neighbors, a way to reduce consumption by sharing, and a way to build a strong and vibrant community.
A tool library is great for people who don’t have a lot of money to buy their own tools or space to store them. You can also borrow tools you need only once in a while instead of paying to buy or rent them.
Our complete Rules are here. A very brief summary of some of the high points:
- You may borrow tools for 7 days, and if they are returned later than 1 hour after opening time on the due date, a fine must be paid.
- Tools should be return clean, and filters or bags emptied, and without damage.
- If you notice damage or a malfunctioning tool, be sure to tell us.
- If you notice a tool that appears to have a hazardous defect, stop using it immediately and report the problem to us.
- For liability reasons, you may never allow anyone else to use a tool you have borrowed.
- Tools can not be reserved. They are always first-come first-served.
- You might be allowed to Renew a tool, but must bring it in, before it’s overdue, to get permission.
There is a Board consisting of dedicated members who help administer the tool library. In addition, there are several other members who offer the Board invaluable assistance. But in the end, it is the Volunteers who work during the Library’s open hours who keep the Library open and alive.
- Any resident of Southeast Portland over the age of 18 who can show acceptable proof of identity and residency within the SEUplift service area, which is bounded on the west by the Willamette River and east by I-205 north of Division St & by 82nd Ave south of Division St., and north by I-84 (the Banfield Expressway), and south roughly by Johnson Creek Rd (i.e. within the city limits of Portland). Their map: .
- Proof of identity can be a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification with photo. Proof of residency can be a utility bill, mortgage statement, lease agreement, car-insurance card, or similar document that shows your current address.
- If you live outside our service area, perhaps you’ll be eligible to join the other Tool Libraries in Portland, or start one yourself – we’ll help!
Visit the Join the Library page to read the Rules and the Member Agreement, fill out your information, and then stop by the Library during open hours to get sign the Membership Agreement. Be sure to bring your Photo ID and your Proof of Residency (all this is described on the Join page), and you’re ready to borrow!
About the tools
Plenty. Right now we have mostly home-repair,woodworking, automotive, painting, bike, gardening and cleaning tools. And seeds. Eventually we’ll also have automotive, painting, and bike tools. See the Tools page for a full searchable list of our tools.
Yes, electric and air powered. For safety reasons we don’t lend out gas-powered tools or tools that contain or use hazardous materials.
We’ll be offering workshops that will cover a wide range of topics, however library volunteers are unable to offer advice, due to liability issues. Of course that neighbor standing right next to you at the Library might be more than happy to help you out! In addition, we have assembled here a short list of public online forums where you are likely to find answers to most of your tool, gardening, and home project questions (can you suggest other good sites for us to add here?):
Members can simply stop by the Library during open hours to pick up the tools they need. Then return them 7 days later (within the first hour we’re open or you’ll incur a fine) or sooner when we’re open. NEVER leave tools outside the door – this will result in the loss of borrowing privileges. ONLY return the tools to us when we can inspect them and check them back in to our computer system.
Tools are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.
Check the Tools page to see which tools are currently available (that is an up-to-the-moment, live list) or when they are due back, or come in to the Library during our open hours to see if the tool is there for you to borrow.
Tools must be returned within 7 days, within 1 hour of the opening times. One renewal may be possible if you come in to the SEPTL WITH THE TOOL before the hour the tools are due on the scheduled return date. Really popular items can not be renewed, there is simply too much demand for them. Late fees will be charged for overdue items. These fines help us maintain tools and buy new tools for you, so be heartened that these funds are being well spent.
No. For safety and liability reasons, only you can check out and use tools from the Library.