Globetrotting: Tool Lending Library

A multi-millionaire came to Globe to invest in our downtown, but decided to take his funds elsewhere stating he didn’t want to invest in a place where residents didn’t care about the community as indicated by poorly maintained homes and businesses, unkempt yards, broken fences, and trash on the highway.  Blight is known to decrease property values, increase crime and pestilence, and lower community engagement. For us, it cost us a big investor.  His assessment as an outsider about our beloved community was a wake-up call to many locals.

After this, Globe Clean and Beautiful started multiple community-wide clean-up efforts, local blight reduction ordinances were passed, and Highway 60 Business Corridor development standards were concurrently developed by Globe, Miami, and Gila County.  Well before any community-wide recycling was available, Sharon Winters emerged as a recycling super star for sponsoring paint, appliance, computer, exercise equipment, bicycle, medical equipment, plastic, paper and cardboard recycling projects free of charge.  Additionally, to give people the resources they said they needed to fix up and beautify their properties, I worked with the City of Globe to create a tool share program.

The Globe Tool Lending Library (TLL) is free to anyone with a local library card.  Power tools, saws, gardening tools, ladders, a cement mixer, extension cords, a tile cutter, and many other resources are all available at no charge for a check-out period of up to 3 days. Located behind the Globe Senior Center, patrons can borrow tools between 8:00-12:30 Monday through Thursday. Late fines are used to purchase replacement parts for the tools and legal proceedings against scofflaws ensure all tools are returned.  While several major metropolitan areas have successful tool lending libraries, our community is one of the few small communities in the country to have a TLL and the only one to partner with a senior center for volunteers.  Because of this, the Globe TLL has been recognized by the Harvard University Ash School of Government as a “Bright Idea in America.”

I heard this week from three people how much they love the Tool Lending Library.  Others share success stories about a new stone patio, a renovated bathroom, a rebuilt garden shed, launching a community garden, helping an elderly neighbor with home repairs, and planting flowers downtown.  We have moved from initially fighting blight to now bringing beauty to our homes, neighborhoods, and towns.  The Globe Tool Lending Library is one of the many things I love about our community.

To get there:  The TLL is located behind the Globe Active Adult Center at 579 S. Broad Street.