The Brisbane Tool Library, a non-for-profit social enterprise, is Queensland’s first Library of Things, founded in 2017 by Sabrina Chakori. From its humble beginnings in a cupboard in a West End community house, the Brisbane Tool Library has grown to fill a space in The Edge building at the State Library of Queensland, Southbank. It is the only tool library in Australia to be located within a public library. It now services a large community with thousands items that are lovingly maintained by many dedicated volunteers.
By collecting and building an inventory based on second-hand items The Brisbane Tool Library intensifies and maximises their use-value through co-use. Users in Brisbane are borrowing items that would have otherwise been burned, buried, shipped overseas for e-waste processing or ended up in landfill.
The organisation is run entirely by a team of hardworking volunteers, who are passionate about the impact that sharing, equity, and the circular economy can have on their communities. The team represents a cosmopolitan community of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. The Brisbane Tool Library always open to welcoming more change-makers!
The Brisbane Tool Library goal is to enable, co-build and accelerate a transition towards a more socially just and ecologically sustainable society. It contributes to a larger degrowth movement that aims at an equitable downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions at the local and global level, in the short and long term.
By bringing people together to share resources and skills, the Brisbane Tool Library aims at modelling a circular economy based on the commons. Commons are defined as resources that are taken care of by a community who do not individually own the items but who have the right to use them. The commons involve sharing the items, and by sharing the aim is to reduce demand of energy and resources, so that society could move beyond consumerism and productivsm.
By prioritising access over ownership the Brisbane Tool Library contributes in reducing the ecological footprint of the community, reducing inequalities, saving money and space in people's homes. Most importantly, the community-driven circular economy implemented challenges the unsustainable growth-driven system and becomes a way to build a web of social relations fostering different ways of valuing and sharing the world around us. The commons represent way to produce sustainable human livelihoods.
The Brisbane Tool Library continue to be a melting pot of ideas and values that advance a sustainable transformation of society.