The Southeast Seattle Tool Library is an entirely volunteer-run organization whose doors opened to the community in May 2015. We are a lending library and small workshop space where members can borrow over 2500 tools for their home, yard, woodworking, and auto projects. We loan out everything from hedge trimmers to power washers to specialty saws. The tool library also has certain shop tools that stay in our garage space, and are available for members to use during open hours. Using the tool library allows people to save money by avoiding buying tools that will only be used a few times, and reduces the environmental impacts associated with tool purchases.
Meet the Team!
Here are a few of the past and present volunteers who have kept the SE Seattle Tool Library’s doors open and the organization running smoothly!
Sally Bailey, Founder and Director Emeritus. After retiring from a successful career managing non-profit organizations, Sally recognized the need for a tool lending library and community workshop in the under-served Southeast quadrant of Seattle: the most diverse area of the city where many have the skills to maintain and improve their homes but not always the means to do so. Driven by the desire to put tools in the hands of a deserving population, Sally led a small group of dedicated volunteers who threw all their energy and expertise into creating the Southeast Seattle Tool Library. The achieving in a matter of months what naysayers said would take years. The tool library opened its doors in May of 2015 with over 1200 donated tools and a workshop space. Thanks to Sally’s efforts, with the unwavering support and help of her partner Claudette, the tool library today is a flourishing hub where neighbors meet and find the resources they need to make the community a far better and connected place. Sally and Claudette are now enjoying a well-deserved retirement in Barcelona
Jacob Lipson, Second Director Emeritus. Jacob volunteered as the director of the tool library from March 2016 until February 2019. A Seattle native who works on environmental policy issues in his day job and loves biking in his free time, Jacob is inspired by how the tool library seems to bring out the best sides of folks in the SE Seattle community. Jacob’s most successful tool library-supported projects include digging a trench and hooking up the plumbing to plastic rain barrels
Susan Keiff, Current Director (pictures with leaky non-code-compliant plumbing connectors). Susan has been volunteering at the tool library since October 2015, picking up lots of awesome tool tips from our members, and serving on the board as secretary/treasurer. She is usually the one you’ll hear from when you contact us by phone or email.
She escaped the Midwest and the corporate world in 2014 to enjoy Seattle’s beautiful weather and learn bicycle mechanics at Bike Works, where you can find her regularly at Volunteer Repair Parties and occasionally teaching classes. Rumor has it that Susan enjoys constantly reorganizing the tool aisles to achieve maximum spatial optimization.
Matt Crook. Matt has been volunteering with the SE Seattle Tool Library since September 2015 and is our board president. A real estate broker during the day, he was attracted to the tool library by the sheer logic of tool sharing. While maybe not the handiest of the volunteers, he enjoys tackling maintenance and projects on his car, which he takes to the race track and laps as often as he can.
Patrick Tomeny. Patrick has been volunteering at the tool library since 2015. He is a full-time woodworker specializing in cabinets, furniture, and European-style fenestration (ask him about it!). He is the owner of Tomeny Woodworks LLC, making custom, high-end furniture.
Patrick is also a part-time instructor at Seattle’s Wood Technology Center, so he’s happy to provide tips for your projects.
You can catch Patrick at the tool library every other Saturday.
Lonnie Carver. Lonnie recently retired as a Senior Gardener with Seattle Parks and Recreation and enjoys advising people on all kinds of garden projects. He is also very handy at sharpening and repairing tools, including fashioning new metal parts for our garden carts and handles for pick mattocks. You can find him at the tool library most Saturdays.
Andrew Stambrosky. Andrew frequently staffed the tool library in 2016 and 2017. He is a Seattle transplant from Florida and found the tool library while looking for tools to build his furniture after moving.
Tom Payne. Tom discovered the tool library in October 2017 and then volunteered every day we were open until his untimely death in February 2018. Although he was with us for an unfortunately short time, he made a huge impact, donating hundreds of tools from his personal extensive eclectic collection and teaching many members to safely use power tools. He also repaired many of our tools at the workbench in “Tom’s Corner”, where you’ll find a sign in his honor.
Kristie Lukas. Kristie lent her graphic design, editing, and writing skills to the tool library, designing our original promotional materials and t-shirt. Kristie is passionate about alternatives to our current economic system, including barter systems and community sharing programs -like the Southeast Seattle Tool Library! Besides volunteering, Kristie enjoys hiking, gardening and creative endeavors of all kinds including cooking, pottery and painting.
Andrew Fuller. Andrew is a board member who occasionally teaches classes at the tool library.Andrew has been working with wood since he began building skateboard ramps with friends in middle school. He excelled in shop class in high school which led to a series of summer jobs building high-end custom furniture throughout college, where he worked in the wood, metal, and neon shops as a Student Aide. He later was responsible for running the UW School of Art Woodshop and Industrial Design Studio and the Cornish College of the Arts Furniture Design Studio for a period of time but has since given up professional woodworking. He scratches that itch with home improvement projects, he and his wife Lis have significantly remodeled their early-1900s home in Columbia City, learning the true meaning of “sweat equity” in the process.
Jim Rush. Jim is a retired hydrogeologist, and Jim and his wife of 34 years, Sue, moved to Seattle to be closer to two of their three adult children. Jim does woodworking, furniture repair and restoration, and home improvement projects, plays bridge, and volunteers at the VA.
We have many other awesome volunteers who you’ll see staffing the tool library or at board meetings but have not chosen to provide a blurb for this website.
Jealous of all of the fame and attention bestowed on our wonderful volunteers via this website? Get involved with the tool library, and join the crew!