About the Asheville Tool Library

Our mission is to provide low-cost access to a wide range of tools, literature, and knowledge to the citizens of Western North Carolina.

 

Our Vision at The Asheville Tool Library is to empower individuals and the community at large through resources that encourage sustainability, rehabilitation, creativity, entrepreneurship, livability, and community development throughout Western NC. The Asheville Tool Library will directly address the issue of socio-economic inequality that exists in Western NC by providing low/no-cost access to tools, education, and other resources to all members of our community. 

Our History

We continue to work hard to serve our community and create a thriving example of the sharing economy that we hope will outlive us all. Through the diligent work of our current Board and volunteers, the Asheville Tool Library has become a huge part of making our city more sustainable and resourceful.

2013 - Conceptualization

The Asheville Tool Library was conceptualized by Nick Letts, Julian Dominic, and Tom Llewellyn. They spent the next two and a half years building community support and financial backing to start moving from concept to a real-life tool library.

2016 - Grand Opening

After all three of the original founders moved away from Asheville, Ben Harper and Kara Sweeney managed the opening of our first location at 133 Church St.

2018 - Growth

We have since established our own non-profit and expanded to a xxx square foot space, with over 2000 tools available to our hundreds of members.

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Ben Harper became involved in Asheville Tool Library through his friend and co-founder, Tom Llewellyn. They founded the REAL Cooperative together and toured the country with the Sustainable Living Roadshow as “eco-carnies”. Ben participated in some of the first meetings discussing the formation of the Asheville Tool Library, and helped open our first location and has been highly involved with the day to day ever since. He works for Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, and his social and environmental activism combined with natural & conventional building skills makes him a perfect match for the Asheville Tool Library.

 

Christian Nolan, once a theater kid and linguistics major from Massachusetts, now finds creative expression in building, making, and fixing. He currently focuses on improving the Tool Library’s Maintenance Department, and is serving a second year in Americorps with Habitat for Humanity’s Home Repair team. Christian feels best when he can help someone out, likes exploring new music, raising chickens, hiking with dogs, Fred Rogers, and jiu jitsu.

Keenan Phillips is an experienced tinkerer, mechanic, and builder, pictured in front of the 5th small home he’s built in the Burnsville, NC area. He is most excited about bringing more education and learning opportunities around building to the amazing community resource that is the Asheville Tool Library.

Stephanie Kane moved to Asheville after spending 8 years in Philadelphia working in the local food movement through a consumer food co-op in addition to studying and working with herb farms and small-scale medicine makers. She now works in Sourcing for Gaia Herbs. Her time in Asheville is spent in the woods learning about the region’s biodiversity and kayaking/paddleboarding. A fiber artist, herbalist, medicine maker, and DIY-er at heart, she enjoys expanding her knowledge of tools at the Tool Library and is encouraged by its capacity to expand people’s resourcefulness and skills.

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Travis has been volunteering with the Asheville Tool Library since 2016 and has loved every minute of it. Originally from Nova Scotia, he works as an IT Consultant and spends most of his time raising his toddler. “The Asheville Tool Library is a rocket-ship heading to the moon, and it’s an exhilarating honor serving as a board member!”