The Oakland Public Library has a Tool library in the Temescal Branch. Instead of buying a sledge
hammer, using it one time and letting it decompose in your garage, you can rent the tool, just as you would a book – with an Oakland library card. Those tool aficionados want to bring tool-appreciation to the masses and so they have cleverly devised a Tool Petting Zoo. They bring an interesting cross section of tools to various destinations and encourage kids from four to teens to to see what they can to with them. At a recent demonstration at the Eastmont Library I noticed that hammers and pounding in nails was the first choice – then came taking out the nails. Some kids went on to using power tools to drill holes and put in screws. A lot to accomplish in an hour and a half. There were feasts for the grownups – old tools, new tools – a wonderful moment of sharing of how man works with his hands and continually grows his ability as a maker.

Photos by Gen Katz