Argy Munoz, of Cooperation Humboldt, in the tool library being set up by the nonprofit in the back of the Labor Temple in Eureka on Friday afternoon. The library is set to open by mid-September and will offer a sliding scale membership starting at $40 a year to borrow tools. (Sonia Waraich — The Times-Standard)
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It’s been about five years since the community has had a tool library, but that’s about to change.

Cooperation Humboldt is set to open its tool library, which will offer locals the opportunity to borrow tools, by mid-September.

Argy Munoz, Cooperation Humboldt’s tool lending library coordinator, said there will be a sliding scale fee starting at $40 a year to start checking out tools. The library will be open Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in addition to seeing people by appointment.

“It’s really in the title,” Munoz said. “Libraries are so important for our community and a tool library really just encompasses that spirit.”

The items that are currently available range from yard tools, such as spades and rakes, to kitchen supplies, such as a pressure cooker and beer-making kit. The full inventory can be viewed at http://cooperationhumboldt.com/tool-lending-library/ under the “inventory” tab.

The library is still looking for donations of tools that are over $40, such as scaffolding, drywall hangers and a gas weed whacker, Munoz said. It’s also looking for people who can share information, she said.

Munoz said the intention is also to have skillshares where different community members can teach others to do basic repairs, make tinctures or change the oil in their cars. The nonprofit would like to put those up online and also create tool kits that would make the ability to complete those projects more accessible.

As a new homeowner, Munoz said she wants to do her own home projects and afford others the opportunity to do so as well.

Tools can be really expensive, she said, and buying a tool that might take up a lot of space and only be used once or twice isn’t practical.

“And then that tool just sits there,” she said.

Smaller tools like screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, pliers and the like aren’t available to borrow, but can be purchased for about $1 to $5. Those become a hassle to lend out every time and tend to be things people might need around the home regardless, Munoz said.

Donna Luckey, who was one of the volunteers helping set up the library on Friday, moved to the area about a year ago and was helping out because she cares “a lot about the concept of sharing resources” and “coming up with an alternative economic model.”

“The whole capitalistic system is money, making money and money being the source of (why) we value things is totally counter to a community(-based) system,” Luckey said. “To transition into a better world, we’re going to need to be in community, not individually competing.”

Munoz said the first tool library began around 2012, primarily with artists tools, through Ink People Center for the Arts.

“We were tied to a project of theirs that was housed by the old Synapsis on Third Street,” Munoz said. “So when that closed, we just didn’t have a home.”

The project laid dormant since 2014 until Munoz met up with members of Cooperation Humboldt to get the library started again.

“I kind of just thought, ‘Well, it was fun to have it for awhile,’” Munoz said. “I didn’t think it was going to come up again, but then it found new life with Cooperation Humboldt and it ended up being a really great fit.”

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating tools can email toolshare@cooperationhumboldt.com.

Sonia Waraich can be reached at 707-441-0506.

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