Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

+ What Are Your Hours?

See the front page for current hours.  Open times are dependent on volunteer staffing.

+ How Do I Join The Library & Borrow Tools?

You can join online or in-person at the library during our hours!  Best to join online first.

+ How Many Tools Can I Borrow?

8 tools at a time for 1 week. The full Borrowing Policy can be found on the application form..

+ How Do I Renew Tools?

Tools can be renewed ONCE! Thereby allowing you to have it for a maximum of 2 weeks. Renew by:

EMAIL: - Late fees incurred are prorated from the date you phoned, not the date we actually listened to the machine - don’t panic.

NOTE: If tools are already late when you contact us to renew, you are responsible for late fees up until then and your tools will still be due 1 week from the original due date.

+ What If My Tools Are Late?

Late fees are $7/week per tool - even on days we are closed because someone else could be using them. We are all sharing these tools! You will not be charged more than the value of the tool When tools are 60 days late, members will be given 1 week to return them before membership is potentially revoked and a replacement fee may be charged.

+ My Tools Are So Late I’m Embarrassed!

We get it, life is crazy and sometimes people forget stuff. Don’t do that shame spiral thing where you feel like you can never show your face again - we are cool if you are cool, everyone makes mistakes and it’s more important for us to get tools back then to shame someone or burden them financially with late fees - we’ll work it out! That being said, don't take advantage of our goodwill, it's bad karma.

+ Can I Reserve Tools?

Yes, although we don't have a wait list.

+ Can Someone Else Borrow Tools Under My Name?

No, spouses/bff's/roommates/cousins/neighbors/etc must have their own memberships for liability reasons.

+ Can You Show Me How To Use A Tool?

Our librarians are volunteers, so if you can be patient and wait for them to have a free moment, they may be able to help you, although not everyone is familiar with specific tools. Please don’t hesitate to ask, there are no stupid questions and many of us started here as new tool users!  Please understand that some volunteers may not know more about the tool than you.

+ What If The Tool I Checked Out Is Broken?

Please return it and tell us so we can fix it!

+ What If A Tool Breaks While I Am Using It?

It happens, tools break. Please return it and tell us so we can fix it! You may be asked to pay a fee if the tool was broken from misuse.

+ What If My Tool Is Damaged Or Stolen?

No worries, please let us know and replace it with a similar tool of equal value (ideally the same make and model if not better!).

+ Do You Provide Consumables?

Things like saw blades, drill bits, and sandpaper are not provided, you just kind of luck out if we have them leftover from other generous members. We ask that you donate what they are worth; it could save you a trip to the hardware store.

+ Do You Accept Donations And What Does The Library Need?

We accept tools in working condition! Read more about donations HERE.

+ Do You Accept Volunteers?

Yes, when we have shifts available. All volunteers must be members first. Click HERE for more information or email

+ How Can I Start A Lending Library In My Own City/Neighborhood?

So glad you asked! Here are some really good online resources to check out that helped us get started:

Sharestarter - How to start a lending library - a little outdated, but a good start.

New Dream Webinar - same topic.

Google Drive Folder - TONS of shared docs/templates/videos from a recent Lending Library Symposium.

Join the Google Group of Tool Libraries - tons of great threads.

Email for more info!

+ Are You Hiring?

Not at the moment, perhaps if we become super popular.

+ Do You Sell Gift Cards?

Not at this time.


+ Is the library only for people in Greenbelt?

No, the Tool Library is open to everyone (18 and older).

+ Can Kids Join The Library And Use Open Shop?

No, we need the tool user to be a member who can legally sign a liability waiver.

+ What Is Sliding Scale Membership?

We suggest that you pay an annual amount relative to your household income; see the table on the application form for ideas. There is NO additional fee to borrow tools - only if they are late!

+ Do I Need To Show Proof Of Income?

No, it is honor system, we are all adults here.

+ What About Class Pass Memberships?

Perhaps later if there is enough interest and classes.

+ Do Memberships Auto-Renew?

No, you will receive several emails when your membership is about to expire and we would LOVE for you renew online HERE, call or email, or let us know in person!

Even if you have finished your home renovation, for example, and don’t think you will use us much this year - by supporting us annually you help to make us a robust resource for everyone and ensure that we’ll have what you need when you DO need us again!

+ Do You Offer Family/Group Memberships?

No. Due to liability reasons, each individual in a household, group, company, or organization that wishes to borrow and use our tools must have their own membership - but with Sliding Scale as an option we hope that is not a barrier.

+ How Do I Cancel My Membership?

Membership revenue is one of the biggest ways our programs thrive as we are a grassroots nonprofit. However, we understand that life is unpredictable; we would never want to lock someone into a membership they can't afford. Email us at to see how we can help.