The Team

Our Core Team

We are a group of enthusiastic Do-It-Yourselfers who take pleasure in sharing and helping spark creativity! While the idea of a tool library is not new, it is the first one in Ottawa.

Bettina Vollmerhausen (co-founder)

Bettina has been honing her skills as a community connector over the last years with a keen interest in sustainability, social innovation, and meaningful experience, Bettina is also the tool goddess of the library. She is an avid knitter and fibre artist who loves to create with her hands and has a particular interest in sharing skills and passing on knowledge as she believes that continuous learning makes life interesting. 

Jim Potter (Jack of All Trades)

Architect, IT Guru, and sometime poet.
If learning is out there, Jim wants to know it.
He cannot recall when he first held a tool.
It was surely before he started at school.
Born of a teacher/librarian and engineer,
It’s no great surprise that he wound up here.
If not leading a workshop or revising this page,
You might catch him performing on some local stage.

Kevin Atkinson

Kevin Atkinson (Tool Ninja Coordinator)

Kevin is a life-long maker and fixer who discovered the Ottawa Tool Library as a consequence of donating a friend’s tools at the request of his widow. One visit was all it took, and a few months later he joined the OTL as a Tool Ninja before accepting the role of Ninja Coordinator. His career is in high-tech telecom manufacturing quality – an environment of far-flung travel and long-distance email and conference-call relationships – and he loves the OTL for its fellowship and for providing the opportunity to deal face-to-face with its wonderful and enthusiastic members.

Kevin spends his spare time trying to catch up on home and property maintenance, travelling, fixing things, reading, and cooking. Stop by for a muffin.

Rachel Boere (Repair Cafe Coordinator)

Rachel is keen to help facilitate spaces where people of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs can come together for a common goal. Although new to the Repair Café world, Rachel loves the grassroots, volunteer-led change that they bring – connecting people to people, people to skills, and people to the environment! She is always down to chat about accessible spaces & sustainable places, travel adventures, homemade pasta, immersive learning, and quality coffee!

Ben Waldman (Financial Magician)

While never intending to be a jet setter, Ben is doing just that, commuting (not daily) between Ottawa and Canmore, Alberta. Ben is an avid outdoor sportsman who loves doing anything involving a bike, boards or hiking boots. Ben loves the challenge of anything new and will keep the tool library in line financially as our bookkeeper. Ben’s favourite tool is a screwdriver, just don’t ask him which is a Robertson.

Brooklyn Buchanan

Brooklyn Buchanan (Social Media Coordinator)

Brooklyn has been working in communications and social media for the past 10 years. She loves the idea of minimalism, a sharing economy and creating community spaces with her neighbours. What she lacks in tool knowledge, she makes up for with enthusiasm! When she’s not tweeting from OTL events, she’s probably tending to the world’s smallest balcony garden or talking to you about a podcast she enjoys.

Brooklyn Buchanan

Taylor Howarth (Workshop Coordinator)

Taylor has been involved in community development in all kinds of spaces for as long as she can remember. She loves to bring people together to share wisdom and connect over stories of success and failure. Taylor wants to create a variety of workshops that focus on access to entry into the world of tools to help support those who may feel a little shy or nervous about taking the reins on their own projects, folks just like her. While Taylor may not be a tool expert, she is a master organizer who thinks way too much about improving work flows and procedures, and she is always up for a chat about the meaning of life.

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