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Northeast tool library expands to St. Paul

Updated: February 15, 2017 - 2:25 pm

The tool loaning nonprofit will open a second location next month.

Over the past two years the Minnesota Tool Library has garnered hundreds of members who instead of heading to the hardware store to buy a tool, share them with neighbors. Now the Northeast Minneapolis business — the first of its kind in the state — is expanding to St. Paul.

The Minnesota Tool Library will open a second library in the Midway area with a similar setup as the branch in Minneapolis’ Logan Park neighborhood. For $55 per year, members can borrow simple home improvement tools and larger items, from pressure washers to sewing machines, for a week. Members also get access to a 500-square-foot workspace and a discount on classes.

“In order to have the greatest impact possible, we’ve always felt it important to expand to a multiple-branch system. This allows us to spread out the knowledge, experience and success we’ve gained through opening the first full-service tool library in Minnesota,” said Thomas Ebert, the library’s director and co-founder, in a statement.

The nonprofit, co-founded by Northeast Minneapolis resident Zach Wefel, now boasts more than 350 active members and 2,500 available tools, which are largely donated by local residents. Ebert told The Journal when the first location opened in 2015 that their goal is to limit waste by reducing the number of under-utilized tools in people’s homes and to educate the community on using tools.

The St. Paul location will open March 4  at 755 Prior Ave. N. Members of the Minneapolis location will have access to the new branch’s tools.

The Northeast Minneapolis library is located in the Thorp Building at 1620 Central Ave. NE near Diamonds Coffee Shoppe.