Tinkering School Coordinator

Tinkering School Coordinator/Instructor for the Ottawa Tool Library

Job summary

The mission of the Ottawa Tool Library (OTL) is to engage and empower the community to participate in sharing resources by providing access to tools and skills for everybody.

OTL’s pilot project of a Tinkering School will provide programming for children 8-12 years old with a focus on environmental education and activities that will teach tool skills allowing them to repair and make things. Participants will learn how to re-purpose materials to design and build projects with tools from our inventory for carpentry, textiles, cooking, and crafting. We will also introduce food preservation (i.e. canning) and discuss our impact on food security. The Tinkering School will promote collaborative work, environmental awareness, and a change in children’s relationships with the planet and its resources.

With the Tinkering School, our goal is to not only teach kids about the safe handling of tools, but to instil in them the confidence to imagine and undertake projects that don’t require a lot of money and to help them reduce their impact on the environment. In addition to sharing the resources of the tool library, we will achieve this goal through careful material sourcing (upcycling), waste diversion through using donated tools and repairing items, and diverting items from the waste stream by re-using or recycling, wherever possible.

We want our tinkerers to see value in materials that others have thrown away, and to be the next generation of do-it-yourselfers, who learn tool skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.

The Tinkering School Coordinator will organize and run the Tinkering School, including developing the curriculum, sourcing the materials, and leading the instruction.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Organize and run programming for the Tinkering School during professional development days and/or on weekends, and organize and run two week-long Tinkering School summer camps, including:
    • planning the curriculum,
    • coordinating and sourcing equipment including finding materials to repurpose,
    • performing marketing and promotion of the Tinkering Schools to the public in coordination with OTL’s communications team,
    • engaging any needed facilitators to lead demonstrations or workshops,
    • supervising the Tinkering School assistants,
    • ensuring refreshments are available to participants,
    • leading the day-to-day instructing on tool use,
    • ensuring safety is paramount for all participants,
    • making the Tinkering School a fun and engaging place for kids, and
    • performing set up and take down on the Tinkering School days.
  • Engage, in coordination with OTL’s Executive Director, in having appropriate waivers and permission forms created by a lawyer;
  • Hire and manage, in coordination with the OTL’s ED, two assistants for the Tinkering School for the summer programming
  • Coordinate with construction companies and other businesses to receive donations of discarded or unused materials;
  • Ensure that the children participating in the Tinkering School have a meaningful and fun experience while learning how to use tools and undertake activities that will positively impact the environment;
  • Assist with marketing and promotional campaigns for the Tinkering School, including coordination with OTL’s social media and communications team;
  • Engage and partner with community groups in the Ottawa area that work with kids and/or in the maker community to promote the Tinkering School and OTL;
  • Create and implement a survey questionnaire to measure the success of the Tinkering School and gather feedback on its content and participants’ satisfaction with the program;
  • Write
  • Manage, in coordination with the OTL’s Executive Director, the finances for the project; and
  • Complete reports, as needed, on the progress of the project.


Experience developing a curriculum or in project planning
Experience working with tools and/or with environmental projects
Experience working with children
Excellent communication skills in English
Experience with social media platforms and marketing
Organized and takes initiative
Effectively self-manage schedule and set priorities
Ability to work independently and as part of a team
A friendly and engaging personality


Good communication skills in French
Wood working skills

Working Environment

  • Located at 250 City Centre Ave. Bay 216, inside Makerspace North, a shared building and design space. Accessible by public transit.
  • Open concept working space inside a big warehouse
  • The library itself is lit from above by fluorescent lighting without windows
  • Gendered, stalled washrooms that are shared with other building tenants as well as a single stall bathroom large enough for many mobility devices, but not built to code for true accessibility, also shared with other tenants
  • Shared kitchen space with full fridge, sink, toaster oven
  • Concrete floors
  • Manual doors
  • No steps to get into Makerspace North and the Ottawa Tool Library
  • Due to the nature of the shared workspace, the library is subject to intermittent loud noises, some vapors, and lots of dust

Other Requirements

  • Ability to lift up to 15 kg

Practical information

Start date: 01 October 2019
End date: 31 August 2020
Pay rate: $22-28/hr depending on experience
Hours: Approximately 20hrs/week, including some weekends, plus 40hrs/week for two weeks while running the two summer camp weeks during the summer of 2020.
Schedule: the Coordinator may set their own schedule in coordination with the Executive Director, but must be present at each Tinkering School professional development/weekend day, and present for each of the two week summer camps
Application deadline: 06 September 2019 at midnight
Submit resume and cover letter to:  info@ottawatoollibrary.com with subject line “Tinkering School”
Interviews to take place between 10th  and 15th of September 2019.

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