The Chicago Tool Library is ready to open its larger space after months of moving from Bridgeport to West Garfield Park.
The library will reopen Jan. 28 at 4015 W. Carroll Ave. Its hours will be 4–8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.
The library started in 2019, allowing Chicagoans to check out all kinds of tools on a temporary basis so they don’t have to buy them or hire others for certain work.
The business took off, and the nonprofit’s leaders began searching for a bigger space in 2021 after its tool collection outgrew their old 37th Street space, co-founder Tessa Vierk said. The founders selected the Garfield Park warehouse in September and closed the Bridgeport space this fall to move.
The new warehouse is nearly five times larger than the library’s original home and fits all its needs: It’s expansive, close to public transit with the Green Line and No. 53 Pulaski bus nearby and even has a small outdoor courtyard, Vierk said.
In February, the library will launch its membership program for organizations, so schools, block clubs, churches and other groups can borrow a large amount of tools, Vierk said. They hope to offer classes, workshops and demonstrations in the future, she said.
Vierk said the team is looking forward to getting to know the neighborhood and collaborating with existing organizations.
“It’s super exciting to see how much more expansive our inventory looks now,” she said. “We’re really excited to see how we can engage with the West Side.”
People can start donating tools to the library again now that the new space is ready to go, Vierk said. Donations had been on pause since organizers didn’t have enough room for existing inventory.
People interested in donating equipment should reach out to the library via email with a picture of what they’d like to donate and wait for confirmation the library can accept it before bringing it, Vierk said.