New community sharing library forms


AN INNOVATIVE new sharing system known as Toolo Murwillumbah A Library of Things, has formed with a small team of locals needing a new home for the library.

The Library will store and share donated items such as wheel barrows, food dehydrators, gurneys, camping gear, drills and other hand tools – things many of us have, but use infrequently.

One of the organisers, Lisa Flower, recently wrote to The Weekly to widen her search for premises around an idea she said shares a collection of resources, “meaning we don’t all need to own, store and repair the same stuff all the time”.

“A library of things is not a new concept. In fact, shared resource libraries have been operating around the world for decades,” she said.

“In Berkeley California, their Tool Lending Library started in the late 70’s and now has 3500 tools and three part time employees.

“A Library of Things works just like your local book library. An annual or monthly membership fee allows you to borrow things when you need them and return them within an agreed time frame.”

Mrs Flower cited a range of household items that rarely see any use including power drills which most families use for around “13 minutes over the course of its lifetime” according to the group.

“And the reality is we don’t need a drill, we need a hole in the wall,” Ms Flower said.

“And we don’t need a dehydrator, we need to preserve our abundant seasonal fresh produce for later use – so it is not wasted.”

Ms Flower said the recent Tweed Flood had shown the resourcefulness of the shire’s residents and could help fill in a lot of gaps for families.

“Toolo Muwillumbah – A Library of Things is sharing a proven model from Toolo Blue Mountains, now in its second year. Coming under the Blue Mountains Tool Library means insurances, business planning, an inventory database online portal, skills and experience can be all be shared,” she said.

“As with other not for profits, the management of the Murwillumbah Library of Things would be shared by volunteers willing to help maintain the tools and process and share tips on use and safety.”

If you have an idea for a space that can house the library or are interested in being involved in setting up, working in the library, helping with promotions and events or just want to be there to support the team, please send an email to: and visit social media pages by searching “Toolo Murwillumbah – Library of Things”.