Belfast Tool Library – Tool Librarian


Supposedly, the average power drill is used for between six and twenty minutes in its entire lifetime! Helping to rescue and breathe new life into tools rusting in sheds across the city is Belfast Tool Library. It does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s like a library, but for tools! In the 3 years since we’ve been open, our volunteers have helped to complete over 7000 tool loans for our members, helping to fix up homes, make handmade projects a reality and making tools accessible to all!

Belfast Tool Library is a community-led sharing project delivering access to tools and equipment to people in Belfast and beyond and helping them to develop the skills to use them. BTL is a registered charity run by a highly motivated team of volunteers and part time staff members, all personally committed to the mission and ethos of making tools and skills accessible to all, increasing sustainability, and providing quality opportunities for learning, development, and volunteering.

Since October 2019, we have grown to over 550 members who have access to 1300+ tools. Our members use our tools for essential home repairs, gardening, making and to learn new skills. They also have access to our large community workshop to work on their own projects.
We currently open the doors to our lending library twice a week (Tuesday 18:00 – 21:00, Saturday 10:00 – 13:00.) As a Tool Librarian you will be the first point of contact with our members, greeting them on arrival, dealing with their reservations and returns, assisting with queries, and accurately keeping our database and general admin up to date! You don’t need to know lots about tools already to take on this role, there’s plenty of opportunity for learning whilst you volunteer with us. But we’d also love to hear from people with prior tool knowledge and experience who would be comfortable chatting with members, offering advice, testing tools on their return and getting them back on the shelves for the next reservation.

Volunteer shifts are 3.5-hours long (allowing for pre-opening tool and administrative preparation.) At the start, you will undertake 3 x 3.5 hour training shifts during library opening hours, in which we will take you through shift preparation, our inventory system, admin tasks, payments and tool testing. Full supervision and support is available throughout training and we will look to help develop volunteers in the role through regular contact and feedback. On successful completion of the training, the minimum volunteering requirement is 1 x 3.5 hour session a month. You will also be entitled to free annual tool library membership worth £30. Please be aware that once trained, on occasion, some lone working maybe required in the absence of another volunteer.

NIEL Mailing List

If you are interested in receiving NIEL's monthly newsletter please enter your details here:

Newsletter Sign Up