Sept. 25, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University student Matt LaLonde is launching a Tool Library for the Bloomington-Normal area, which will open on Nov. 10 at the West Bloomington Revitalization Project's (WBRP) office (800 W. Washington St., Bloomington). A tool library is a service that lends home repair tools, free of charge, to residents in a community for home repair and gardening.
Prior to its opening, a tool drive will take place on Oct. 20, at the WBRP office from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., to build a collection for the library. The Action Research Center (ARC) office will also accept tools during their office hours on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in IWU's Shaw Hall, room 200 (1308 Park St., Bloomington).
A junior accounting major from Downers Grove, Ill., LaLonde, is an IWU ARC intern, who received a grant earlier this summer through IWU's ARC for his proposal to develop a fire safety class for Habitat for Humanity. LaLonde came across the idea for the Tool Library while working at this internship.
"Every Wednesday evening throughout the summer, ARC Coordinator Deborah Halperin, would conduct an hour-long workshop pertaining to community development. The common theme throughout her weekly workshops was the idea of taking change into your own hands," said LaLonde. "One day I received an email from Katie Rose Brosnan, a fellow ARC intern, about a $25,000 grant that State Farm Insurance had just awarded to a Philadelphia organization that was starting a Tool Library. I thought the concept of free tool lending was a fantastic idea, I researched tool libraries to find out if there were any near Bloomington-Normal; there were none."
LaLonde who worked to secure financial support for the library, received initial financial assistance from the City of Bloomington's Community Development Block Grant funding and by the end of August, the WBPR also supported the Tool Library. The project has been selected as a candidate for a $2,500 grant through the online voting "Improve Your Community Challenge." The voting process will begin on Sept. 27 and the project with receiving the most online votes, will be selected for the grant. Go here to vote.
Contact: Mallika Kavadi'15 (309) 556-3181, firstname.lastname@example.org