Check Out Mercer’s Tool Library

Books aren’t the only items you can check out from Baldwin Boettcher Library at Mercer Botanic Gardens. Visitors can now also borrow tools!

Baldwin Boettcher’s tool library opened in March for visitors interested in do-it-yourself gardening and landscaping.

“The tool library is an opportunity for our guests doing lawn and gardening projects to check out tools so they don’t have to buy them,” said Victoria Knauff, interim assistant branch manager.

Visitors can borrow a variety of yard and gardening equipment, including shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, cultivators, loppers, shears, spades, and more.

Knauff said the process is just like checking out a library book.

“Anyone with a Harris County Public Library card in good standing can check out tools from the Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library at Mercer,” she said. “You can borrow a total of 40 tools, up to 20 small tools and 20 large ones.”

Visitors must follow the gardening tools policy and sign a waiver before borrowing tools.

Also, like checking out a library book, there are ramifications if tools are not returned on time.

“The lending period for tools is 14 days, with no renewals, and you must return the items by the due date. If you still need the tool, you may borrow it again if there isn’t a waiting list,” Knauff said.

Fines and fees apply if borrowers don’t return the tools on time. Fines range from 10 cents per day for small tools to $2 per day for large tools. Lost and damaged tools must also be replaced at the borrower’s expense.

“So far, we haven’t had a problem with patrons borrowing tools and not returning them on time,” said Knauff. “Most people are grateful for the service.”