Herman Prior Activity Centre to launch tool library/community shed

Herman Prior Activity Centre is inviting everyone to an exploratory day on Feb. 16 featuring free workshops, speakers and to brainstorm on how a tool library/community shed could work in Portage. HANDOUT

Organizers and forward thinkers at the Herman Prior Activity Centre are taking another step in making Portage la Prairie an increasingly sharing community — these steps involve being able to borrow tools like you would a library book.

On Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be workshops, speakers, a chilli lunch, trade show and a chance to add your thoughts on how a tool library/community shed would best serve the community and how to make it a reality!

“There are 80 million power drills in America that are used an average of 13 minutes in their lifetime! Does everyone really need their own drill?” says Yvette Cuthbert, one of the principal movers behind organizing and setting up a tool library at the Herman Prior Activity Centre.

Equally comfortable with an artist’s paintbrush and easel as she is with a power saw, Cuthbert will present a tile cutting and installation demonstration.

Doug Mackie, of Woodhaven Men’s shed in Winnipeg, will have a presentation on Diamond Willow walking sticks and safety pro Brian Amble will discuss tool safety.

The Portage Community Revitalization Corporation has given the Herman Prior Activity Centre a grant to kick start efforts to build a tool library/community shed.

“This about making better use of what we have,” Cuthbert said. “A tool Library/ community shed would not only allow access to tools to people who may not be able to afford them but is environmentally friendly and possibly, most importantly, builds community through the sharing of knowledge. It allows a chance to build connections with others, building larger support groups, and who has too many friends?

“We wouldn’t be re-inventing the wheel. There are already over 100 tool libraries in North America.”

Herman Prior Activity Centre organizers are inviting everyone to this exploratory day to learn at one of the free workshops, listen to a speaker on how a “Men’s Shed” in Winnipeg operates, and to brainstorm on how a tool library/community shed would work in Portage la Prairie.

“We are looking for your input. I really think a Tool Library /Community Shed, would be a win-win for Portage in so many ways. Suggestions and ideas are encouraged.”

Check out https://portagelaprairietoollibrary.home.blog/ and the Portage la Prairie Tool Library Facebook page, there are examples of how some other tool library policies, etc.

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