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Borrowing Tools

Members must have an active CTL membership to borrow tools.

Tools loans are for one week. All tools borrowed are to be returned to CTL by close of business on their due date. 

Members may renew tools through their member login. CTL reserves the right to refuse renewals based on demand. 

All tools are to be returned in the same or better condition as they were issued, barring normal wear and tear.  All tools must be returned clean.

CTL reserves the right to refuse the loan of any item at its discretion.

Late Fees / Tool Replacement

As a member of the Chicago Tool Library you will never be charged fees for tools that are late, lost, or damaged. If you lose or damage a tool we would welcome a replacement or a monetary donation, but it is not required. We have adopted a no-fee policy as a commitment to our mission of inclusivity, accessibility, and charity.

If a member has repeated incidents of overdue, lost, or broken items we reserve the right to terminate a membership at any point. In order to reactivate your membership you will need to return all overdue items, reapply, pay a new annual membership fee, and your application will need special approval by the Tool Library.

We are here to serve you. We don't want to create a space for shame or punishments. Remember that the tools you are borrowing belong to the whole community – care for them, bring them back, and stay honest.

Tool Use

Only the Member is authorized to use CTL tools. 

CTL staff is available to explain the operation of tools. However, by borrowing an item, a Member is certifying that they are capable of using that tool safely and properly.

The Member agrees that if any borrowed tool becomes unsafe or in a state of disrepair, they must immediately discontinue use of the tool and notify CTL of the issue.


The Member agrees that CTL is not responsible for any manufacturing defects in quality of workmanship or materials inherent in any borrowed tools.

Code of Conduct

The Member must abide by the terms outlined in the Chicago Tool Library Code of Conduct.