Volunteer

Join Our Team

Volunteers are at the heart of our Tool Library. They dedicate their time, share their skills, and work directly with the Ottawa community. We are excited about the tool library and hope you will choose us as a way to spend some of your time!

We strive to find the right fit for our volunteers. There are a number of ways to be involved with the Ottawa Tool Library and we hope you find the one that allows you to explore your interests, share your talents, and ultimately elevate our cause.

Below is a list of the types of volunteers it takes to see our project become a reality!

Tool Librarian
Our Librarians interact with members: lending tools, managing memberships, selling merchandise. They also foster the sense of community at the OTL, explaining the library to visitors, sharing upcoming events, and building relationships with members. Shifts are four hours, once (or more) per month during Tool Library hours.
Tool Ninja
Sometimes, learning from YouTube videos and blog posts isn’t enough! Our Tool Ninjas have sufficient general expertise to offer advice regarding the best methods and tools for most home reno and personal DIY projects. They ensure that members leave with not only the right tools, but the knowledge and protective gear to make sure they can do it safely. Shifts are four hours, once (or more) per month during Tool Library hours. This role requires significant expertise.
Tool Doctor
We’re fortunate to receive many donated tools, but they’re not always in good condition (or even working!). Tool Doctors are responsible for keeping our inventory in safe, working condition, but they also strip tools for parts and sometimes repair or even rebuild them. They also diagnose and repair any tools that come back broken or ‘not working’, plus conduct regular upkeep like maintaining blades, bits and belts. Shifts are variable, but require significant expertise.
Data Wrangler
We maintain an expansive inventory, member and volunteer rosters, and regularly generate loan data. We want to know our busiest days, the growth of our inventory and membership, and to see the geographic distribution of our members. We also want to clean up tool names in our inventory and improve our data handling processes. This is a variable commitment and can be done from home, but requires significant expertise and collaboration.
Community Outreach
Like to engage with people and share our vision? The OTL is often at farmer’s markets, festivals, and other community events to reach the public about the existence and benefits of the tool library, but also the wider sharing economy and our goals of ecology and self-sufficiency. Shifts are often flexible, mostly during the weekend; great for getting volunteer hours for school.
Event Volunteer
We regularly host community events for members or the public, and often need extra hands to help with logistics and support before/during/after the event. This can include postering and promotion, event setup, greeting and registration, food prep and service, teardown, and other functions. Always a party, this is a great way to meet other enthusiastic OTL volunteers, and also great for getting volunteer hours for school.
Social Media
Our social media team is responsible for content creation, managing online interactions, and promoting the OTL and our activities. They excite and engage our audience (members, supporters and others) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and often self-express in hashtags or emojis. This is a totally variable time commitment, and much can be done from home; it’s also great for getting volunteer hours for school.
Photographer
Do you love capturing moods and moments? The OTL hosts and attends events throughout the year, and we want to capture all of the excitement and enthusiasm. We need a whole cadre of photographers to keep pace with all the goings on at the OTL. This is a variable time commitment; there’s time at the event, but we know you’re also selecting and processing images to leave the best impression.
Graphic Designer
We’re always communicating with members and the public, and need to make sure our message comes across effectively. We’re not only on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but we also manage a website, and frequently produce promotional printed material like posters, postcards and other items. We also produce merchandise, regularly playing with ideas for shirts, hats, aprons and other items! This is a totally variable time commitment, but requires significant expertise and creativity.
Grant Writing & Funding
The grant writing and funding team seeks support from major donors and organizations to undertake OTL activities. They’re wordsmiths who can articulate our energy and vision, but they’ve also very knowledgeable about non-profits and our operations. Once we have funding, they also work to ensure that we measure our success and report back to donors. This is a variable commitment and can be done from home.
Repair Café Fixer
Fixers are the latest addition to the team, with the OTL hosting our first Repair Café in April 2017. We’ve now received funding to put on regular events, and for that we need even more interested and capable volunteers. Our fixers are skilled tinkerers and troubleshooters (with specialties like computers, furniture, jewelry, sewing, small appliances, and even welding); they revive otherwise-discarded items and encourage reuse. Shifts are approximately one afternoon (six hours) every two months.

Volunteer Today!

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How would you like to help?

Have questions? You can also email us at volunteer@ottawatoollibrary.com.