The New Orleans Public Library has launched a new service that allows cardholders to check out an array of tools and equipment, including shovels, rakes, gloves, wheelbarrows, and more.
Located at East New Orleans Regional Library, the CleanUp NOLA Tool Library has been in the works since early 2020, but was delayed at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was established through a Healthy Communities Grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful as a way to help residents maintain their catch basins, though the materials can be used for a variety of projects.
Shannon Aymami, the manager of East New Orleans Regional Library, said she’s excited to see the resource be put to use.
“We’re always looking for unique ways to serve our neighbors, which is why we wanted to establish this Tool Library service in the first place,” Aymami said. “The pandemic and several other roadblocks delayed its launch longer than we had hoped, but we’re thrilled that this resource is now officially available.”
Aymami said she looked for ways to utilize the equipment while they waited to launch the service, pointing to a neighborhood cleanup event they helped to host last March.
The event was organized by the New Orleans East Matters Coalition and Einstein Schools, Collaborate and supported through the participation of other community leaders and organizations. Tangeyon Wall is the executive director of Friends of Joe W. Brown Park, president of the New Orleans East Matters Coalition, and was the primary organizer of the cleanup effort.
Wall said more than 100 people volunteered that day to pick up trash, mow lawns, and clear debris, and without the Library’s help, they would not have had enough supplies for everyone.
“Shannon offered me trashbags, and even though we already had so many, I decided to take them just in case. And you know what? We ended up using every single one,” she said, laughing. “The Library is a major resource for our communities and our families. It really is vital for us. We appreciate the Library’s support and love for this neighborhood, and it’s our pleasure to continue working together in the development of New Orleans East.”
With the official launch of the CleanUp NOLA Tool Library, the New Orleans Public Library is adding on to their growing collection of materials, which goes far beyond the traditional books and movies people tend to associate with the Library. Cardholders across the city can borrow unconventional items including cake pans, seeds, digital tablets, and so much more.
“Modern-day libraries are tasked with meeting modern-day needs,” Emily Painton, City Librarian and Executive Director said. “The CleanUp NOLA Tool Library is one more way we’re doing just that – providing the resources our community needs, whether it be something you expect to find in a library or not.”
For questions regarding tool availability, call East New Orleans Regional Library at (504) 596-0200. Please review the borrowing rules here before checking out materials.