Justin Morrissey is the weekend warrior behind Toolo, Katoomba’s tool library. He took time out to talk tools with the Co-op.
Co-op: Briefly, what is Toolo and how long has it been operating?
Justin: Toolo, is the Blue Mountains Tool Library, an artist run, not-for-profit, volunteer managed group that coordinates a resource hub of shared things for members to borrow.
Co-op: What prompted you to start a tool library?
Justin: I’d seen many similar successful projects overseas that weren’t supported by government, just run by people for people, and it seemed to just make sense to have one in the Blue Mountains.
Co-op: Who are your members and how can people join?
Justin: Members pay a small fee of about less than $2 per week, to borrow items from the library, they can join online or in person at the library, sign a form, present some ID, and then they can borrow to their hearts content.
Co-op: What projects has Toolo initiated since its inception?
Justin: We’ve had all manner of activities, like casting and modelling workshops, digital making and 3D printing demonstrations, an artist in residence program, and the Katoomba Falls Kiosk pop up art space for 9 months. Pretty good going for a library just turning two years old in July.
Co-op: What are your plans for the future of Toolo?
Justin: Toolo needs to have about 300 members to maintain viability, to pay the rent, insurance, and test and tag electrical equipment. Once we have 300 members we are a viable entity that can remain sustainable for future generations.
We plan to continue to educate the wider community about sustainability in the creative industries about innovation and entrepreneurship for creatives. The tool library offers an incredible shift in economies and we hope we can encourage people to join so that we may also be able to employ staff locally to run the programs and become tool librarians.
Click here to join Toolo online or pop into the library at 8 Froma Lane, Katoomba.
Opening hours: 3 – 6pm Thursdays and 9am -1 pm Saturdays.