Patrons of the Kópavogur Library are now able to borrow tools and equipment, just like they borrow books and media. This weekend, the Munsafn RVK Tool Library opened Iceland’s first self-checkout tool library, called Hringrásarsafn. According to the press release, the initiative is “based on a Circular Economy approach to consumption, which tackles UN Goal 12.”
Patrons will be able to borrow tools and equipment for a biannual or annual fee and “can then take tools/things home for repairs, projects, and hobbies.” Per the Munasafn RVK Tool Library website, six-month memberships cost ISK 7,000 [$54; €42] and full-year memberships ISK 12,000 [$91; €81], but discounted memberships are currently available given that the library extensions are in a launch phase. Items listed in the website inventory undoubtedly vary from that at the much smaller Kópavogur branch, but are indicative of the kinds of things that patrons will likely be able to borrow: tools like a circular saw set, wire strippers, an impact drill set, a car battery charger, and crowbar, as well as protective gear (a hard hat), and more unexpected items like a digital projector, camping equipment, and even a Nintendo system.
The Hringrásarsafn in the Kópavogur Library is the only one of its kind at present, but organizers have received a grant from the Ministry of the Environment to open more tool libraries in locations of the Reykjavík City Library in the future. As the press release continues: “With more self-checkout libraries available in the future, members can save money, storage space, and resources which helps the planet and aligns with Iceland’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”