Tools for loan


Tool-lending libraries strengthen the local community

Hammers for loan – what function in society does a tool-lending library fulfil – and why do people borrow tools there? This is what Jonas Söderholm, who was recently awarded his doctorate in Library and Information Science from the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, studied in his thesis.

Boxes of drill bits, a wall covered with ladders, and a corner full of cement-mixers, sanders and chainsaws. This is how things might look at a tool-lending library. There are no shelves in straight ranks with rectangles of books neatly arranged by category and author. But there are similarities. “They might have the same lending system, visitors have their loan cards, and there may be late-return charges,” says Jonas Söderholm. For his thesis, ‘Borrowing and lending tools: the materiality of...