From the Gadgets & Things Collection to Makerspaces to a Tool Lending Library and More!
Poudre River Public Library District embraced the “sharing economy” model long before the phrase officially entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015 by providing our community with access to free and shared resources, spaces, and services.
What began with books, newspapers, and reading rooms has evolved to include shared computers and technologies, meeting rooms and collaborative workspace, innovative resources like 3D printers, a Gadgets & Things Collection, and community programs like the Seed Swap and the Repair Cafe.
There’s real value in the public’s ability to access free and shared resources like equipment, tools, spaces, and services rather than having to purchase them themselves. In fact, whether from economic necessity or a new form of community building and creative innovation, the sharing economy shows no signs of slowing down.
And, the Library District isn’t the only organization in the area embracing shared resources and spaces. Here are a few of the other places where you and your family can tinker, build, and find your own creative path.
NOCO Tool Lending Library at EcoThrift
Need that one particular tool to finish your DIY project? Or maybe it’s a few tools necessary to keep up the maintenance on your home?
The NOCO Tool Lending Library is a brand new sustainability effort in Fort Collins that includes a warehouse full of tools that members can borrow to complete their own projects at their own locations.
Caitlin Young, the main organizer of the library, says that in addition to loaning tools, the group’s goal is “to educate and empower members to take an active role in the maintenance of their own homes, vehicles, and neighborhoods.” They also are working to “directly reduce Fort Collins greenhouse gas emissions by reducing consumption of goods, providing ‘green’ tools, and diverting waste with maintenance education and a sharing economy.”
The NOCO Tool Lending Library will begin accepting members in January 2019 and plans to be operating as a tool library by March. The library is located at EcoThrift in Fort Collins (314 N. Howes St.) thanks to the generosity of EcoThrift owner Stacy Koeckeritz.
For more information about NOCO Tool Lending Library, and to follow along with their progress, visit their Facebook page or call 970-484-4224.
Fort Collins Creator Hub
The 4,000 square-foot space that houses the Fort Collins Creator Hub has nearly everything a maker might need, from laser cutters and 3D printers to an entire shop with lathes, mills, metal working equipment, hand tools, and so much more. So whether you’re a hobbyist, a DIYer, or a weekend warrior, you’ll probably find what you need within.
The nonprofit organization currently has about 80 members with room to grow. In fact, the Creator Hub will be expanding its space in 2019.
Steve Undy, president of the board, says that with the expansion they hope to include more co-creator units for people interested in renting a dedicated work space and also add a crafting space.
The volunteer-run organization offers a variety of membership options for individuals, students, families, seniors, veterans, and businesses. There is no age requirement to use the equipment, but young makers must be supervised by an adult. All members must go through new member orientation and safety training.
The Fort Collins Creator Hub also runs classes that are open to the public such as learning to solder, using a vinyl cutter, laser cutting holiday ornaments, and many others. Many of the classes are listed in the Fort Collins Recreator and can also be found on the Creator Hub classes webpage.
The Fort Collins Creator Hub is open 24/7 to members. To learn more about the organization, to take a tour of the facility, and/or to become a member, visit the Fort Collins Creator Hub website to see when volunteers are on-hand to help. You can also email to set up an appointment.
The Fort Collins Creator Hub is located at 1304 Duff Dr., Unit 11 (visitor entrance).
Fort Collins Senior Center
Among the many programs and services available at the Fort Collins Senior Center is the tool shop and work area. The Center does provide assigned times to use the space for senior social members (membership is $25/year), for anyone holding a multi-facility pass, or by paying a small drop-in fee based on age. Visit the Senior Center (1200 Raintree Drive) or give them a call (970-221-6644) for more information.
The Senior Center also offers “Open Shop” times for anyone ages 18 years and older. During this time, tools are available for use with jewelry, stained glass, and woodworking, including scroll saws, wood lathes, other wood related tools, and basic tools for mechanical repairs. A shop attendant is on duty to assist with questions.
Open Shop Winter Schedule
12/4-2/26 Tu 8:00 AM-Noon
12/5-2/27 W 1:00-5:00 PM
12/6-2/28 Th 5:00-9:00 PM
Please note: production work or work on items for sale is not permitted.
The Loveland CreatorSpace is a community-driven workshop that offers its members access to tools, machinery, and classes. It’s located at 320 N. Railroad Ave. in Loveland.