Tuesday, May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021

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Vancouver Tool Library looking for permanent home

Founders seek site, skilled advisers for center they hope will lend a hand to DIYers

By , Columbian Features editor
Published:
6 Photos
Joe Beaudoin retired and closed Joe's Place Farms, but donated display cases and other equipment to the nascent Vancouver Tool Library. Organizers recently visited his property, where he is storing the items until the library finds a location.
Joe Beaudoin retired and closed Joe's Place Farms, but donated display cases and other equipment to the nascent Vancouver Tool Library. Organizers recently visited his property, where he is storing the items until the library finds a location. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A lack of know-how and tools keep many from tackling even small home or auto repairs.

What if there was a place you could go to get both?

Vancouver residents Allonah Podvin and her husband, Roman Garrison, envision a center where you could borrow tools and take classes like “Intro to Woodworking” or “Basic Car Maintenance.”

“We want to make tools and DIY accessible to everyone,” said Podvin, a 26-year-old registered nurse. “I have been overwhelmed by projects I wanted to complete as a hobby or needed to complete for survival, but I had no adult to reach out to.”

She and Garrison, founders of the Vancouver Tool Library and Community Access Center, have begun stockpiling screwdrivers, wrenches, saws, drills and other equipment – even though the new nonprofit organization doesn’t have anywhere to put it all yet.

Podvin and Garrison’s garage is packed with tools they have collected, with more stashed in garages of several of the nonprofit’s board members.

They also have display cases and other equipment from Joe Beaudoin, who recently retired and closed his business, Joe’s Place Farms. Beaudoin had listed the items for sale, but when he heard how they would be used, he donated them. And he agreed to store them in his barn until the Vancouver Tool Library finds a home.

Podvin said she and the other organizers are looking for space easily reached by public transportation, perhaps somewhere along Fourth Plain or Mill Plain boulevards.

Several neighborhood associations over the years have established tool libraries, but they are smaller, and when Podvin tried to reach them, they seemed to have gone dormant.

Podvin and Garrison want the tool library to be “a community space where everyone feels included and welcome,” and also receive one-on-one support and project coaching.

Garrison, 30, has worked in construction and enjoys fixing cars. He has some skills to share, but the tool library is also looking for others who would be willing to teach classes.

For more information, visit www.vtlcac.org or call 360-500-2148.

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