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trowelsThe Oakland Tool Lending Library – a branch of the Oakland Public Library system – has more than 3,500 tools that residents of Oakland, Emeryville and Piedmont can borrow for free with their library card. The TLL is staffed by library employees, and funded by the City of Oakland and property taxes from Measure Q.

Check out the tool inventory and a brief history of our TLL.

Sign Up to use the TLL – and start borrowing tools.

Support the TLL by joining the Friends of the Oakland TLL, a volunteer group that works with the TLL staff, library administration and Oakland residents to help make this magnificent public resource even better. You can also support the TLL by Donating Tools to be added to the TLL inventory or to be sold for a suggested donation at one of our Saturday tool sales. And Join Us by subscribing to updates (see sidebar) – it’s free, and we promise no more than one email per month!

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Reminder: our monthly Friends meeting is this evening, in the library basement community room, 6-7:30pm. See you there! ... See MoreSee Less

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How do they do it? The Friends of the Oakland Tool Lending Library are back at it with yet another every-other-Saturday-during-good-weather sale of donated tools. Proceeds help the Tool Library buy even more tools -- 5,000+ isn't enough -- to loan FOR FREE to library card holders in Oakland, Emeryville and Piedmont. Tool sales also help underwrite workshops (ALSO FREE) on topics ranging from basic plumbing to seismic retrofitting, and from basic carpentry and power tool safety to an early December wooden toy building workshop. Tools available at the sale depend on what's donated but the inventory always includes the basics: handsaws of every description, screwdrivers from plain to fancy, planes (mostly plain, not fancy), wrenches by the toolbox full, sheetrock and cement tools, clamps, assorted hammers, garden tools, a dandy folding workbench, plumbing tools, mystery tools, power tools, tools lacking power, capitalist tools, and, well, lots of other tool-ish things. Browse, buy, donate your own surplus tools or just stop by for a chat. I'll be there. Will you? ... See MoreSee Less

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Here it comes again! The Friends of the Oakland Tool Lending Library (OTLL) has tons of donated tools for sale. (Well, okay, maybe not tons, just hundreds of pounds but it feels like tons when we lug 'em from storage and put 'em out for the sale.) Proceeds help OTLL buy more tools and repair those that need TLC after a hard day's work.

What kinds of tools can you expect to find at the Friends' every-two-weeks-when-the-weather-is-good sale? It depends what's donated between sales and what hasn't sold yet. If you'd come to the September 2 sale you could've bought a Craftsman 10" table saw, a RotoZipo kit with loads of accessories, sets of pipe clamps, a vintage worm-drive Skilsaw, punches, C-clamps, Yankee drills and screwdrivers, files, hand saws, hammers, more screwdrivers, sockets, end wrenches, adjustable wrenches, and a few mystery items whose siren call lured buyers to open their wallets as they puzzled over possible uses.

What's up on September 16? Hand saws, hammers of all sorts, garden tools, even more wrenches and sockets, screwdrivers by the box load. Tile saw? Got one. Dovetail jig? Two of those. Miter box? Enough to start a collection. A butt gauge? Surely you jest. Need one trammel point? We have that.

Don't see what you want (or even what you need)? Leave a note and maybe we have that special item hidden somewhere in inventory, eager to get off the shelf and back in the hands of someone like you. Maybe we know know a guy who knows a guy who can get us one.

The Friends of the Oakland Tool Lending Library also takes donations of used -- but still useable -- hand and power tools and even the occasional mystery tool. You can get a receipt for tax purposes, too. Don't need a tool or have any to donate? Stop by for a chat, anyway.
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