Who volunteers?

The North Portland Tool Library has only a single quarter-time employee. We are almost entirely volunteer-run. The tool library needs YOU to volunteer!

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Join a community
  • Credit toward fines
  • Letter of reference
Sign up for a Volunteer shift here.

Volunteering during COVID-19

Lending tools safely during a pandemic takes extra work, and we’re going to need your help to do it. Plus, due to a mix-up with the City of Portland, the Tool Library has no paid staff as of June 11, 2020. (We’re working on fixing that ASAP, but it might take a little while.) Here’s how you can help:

  • Volunteer Coordinator: Volunteers can run the tool library – in fact, that’s how it got started! But in order for volunteers to run the tool library, someone needs to organize them. We need 1-3 volunteer coordinators to make sure shifts are covered and communicate with the board and our membership about volunteer needs and availability.
  • Check-in & Check-out: Work upstairs outside the tool library during open hours. You’ll greet people, check in the tools they are returning and check out the tools they are picking up. Requires basic computer skills. It’s a great opportunity to get some much-needed human interaction!
  • Tool Handler: Bring returned tools downstairs from the annex before opening. The rest of the day, pick out tools that people have requested, label them, and bring them upstairs for people to pick up. Must be able to carry heavy tools up and down the stairs. Good way to get familiar with all the tools and to get your stair-climbing (with weights) workout for the day!
  • Desk: Answer emails and phone calls, process new memberships, contact people with overdue tools, and possibly look up & read off tool requests to the tool handler(s). Requires basic computer skills and written/verbal communication.
  • Tool Repair: Come to the tool library outside open hours to repair damaged tools that have been set aside.
  • Computer & Networking Support: We just switched to new web-based library management software. Now we need internet access throughout the tool library and in the back yard! If you know network administration, we need your help!

Volunteering NOT during COVID-19

When can I volunteeer?

  • Tuesdays from 6-7:00pm & Saturdays from 10am to 2:00pm. Drop in or sign up for a full or partial shift in advance in person. Shifts include: front desk, tool repair, and tool guide.
  • Irregularly-scheduled events and workshops.  For updates, join the email list below.

Example Drop-in Volunteer Opportunities

Clean Tools

  • Empty shop vacs and sander/saw dust bags
  • Clean garden and tile tools

Front Desk

  • Help check tools in and out
  • Sign up new members

Tool Guide

  • Help people figure out what tools they need to use
  • Help people fine the tools they need

Office Work

  • Organize paperwork
  • Organize tool accessories

Sort Donations

  • Sort and bag sets (e.g., wrenches)
  • Set aside certain items for the tool sale

Tool Repair

  • Fix broken tools