The contact for SLUG remains online, however it hasn't been updated since 2008 www.bapd.org/gsaers-1.html
Right on Trishan - we haven't shipped messaging yet, but it's one of the features people consistently ask for.
Sorry, some travel dropped me off the map for a few weeks. I'm not hugely invested in the idea but I would certainly use a tool lending library if it existed and I'd be happy to help to the extent I'm able.
Russel - do you want to meet sometime next week to discuss? I work near Union Square. Is there a way to contact people directly/privately through Neighborland? You can DM me on twitter @tarul
Rebuilding Together was the organization approached. You are correct in that they have a stock pile of tools that are only used during their limited project cycles. Although something like this would be outside of their sphere of experience, I did find an example in Ohio of a local branch of Rebuilding Together operating a tool lending site.
Habitat for Humanity might be another interesting organization. Like Rebuilding Together they have a stock pile of tools and a mission focused upon homeowners / homeownership, the segment of the population that would most likely need a variety of tools for the do-it-yourself projects.
I wonder if an organization like Rebuilding Together SF could help support this. They have tons of tools, but if I recall my conversation with their director, they only have two short "seasons" of building each year.
The idea to relaunch a tool lending center stems from my neighborhood's effort to attract businesses and shoppers to the Leland Ave commercial corridor. One non profit was approached with the idea but due to several external factors we had to put it on the back burner. If you are interested in the idea maybe we can discuss it and see if where it goes.
That's great that you looked into it! Any ideas for non-profits who might be interested? Or did you try that already?
I wasn't involved with either. Another organation tried to keep it going after the sfpl pulled out. Not sure if they kept the tools. Ive done some research on the topic and I think your numbers are realistic. I think the best approach would be get a established non profit to restart it and then try to get SFPL back involved for thier customer base.
Good to know the history - were you involved with SLUG or SFPL?
Wonder what happened to all the tools?
And I wonder how much it would cost to run it. If it could use the library systems cards, I imagine its probably a couple part time staff, a storefront plus some upkeep/replacement of tools - $150k/year?