The Guelph Tool Library announced on Wednesday that it will become a non-for-profit organization starting at the beginning of August, three years after it was launched as a project of Transition Guelph.

The library was initially launched from a need identified through the work of Susan Carey and Transition Guelph’s Urban Food Working Group in 2016. She aimed to “provide a community resource that was easily accessible”, had necessary tools and was affordable.

It grew modestly from the support of its members, volunteers, the community and from grants from the city, province and the federal government, a press release said. It now has 375 members, over 700 tools and appliances and averages 100 loans a week.

“We knew we were onto something as everyone we told about the Guelph Tool Library thought it was a great idea and had ideas on what we should acquire for our inventory,” one of the founders, John Dennis said.

Critical to the growth of the Guelph Tool Library has been the bi-monthly Repair Café Guelph organized by Saba Saneinejad. She brought the idea of the program from Toronto and ran the first Repair Café in August 2016.

“I loved the idea of fixing and repairing broken and damaged items that would normally just be thrown away. There are many talented people in Guelph who we have been fortunate to have as volunteers at the Repair Cafés,” Saneinejad said.

The Guelph Tool Library’s move away from Transition Guelph will allow it to work towards gaining charitable status while continuing to run new and innovative programming. 

The tool library’s coordinator, Emily Duncan, said that “Transition Guelph was critical for us as we started but we have reached a point where we need to take the next steps on our own. 

“It will allow us to respond quicker to our members and decide the direction of the organization. We are excited about the possibilities that this presents and we look forward to continuing to serve Guelph through our programming.”

The Guelph Seed Library will be joining its tool counterpart as part of the non-for-profit, formally joining the new organization. The seed library is a collection of mostly locally grown seeds where anyone can “borrow” seeds for free, started by Lisa Conroy in 2018.

“The Seed Library is grateful for the support Transition Guelph gave us to start up and is looking forward to our ongoing partnership with the Guelph Tool Library,” Conroy said.