Featured Tooligan: Marty Byrne

Our featured Tooligan for April’s newsletter is Marty Byrne, a UB student who joined the Tool Library through a work-study program! Although Marty was initially hired as a shop-volunteer, Marty has since expanded their involvement with the Tool Library to include Service Days and Dare to Repair Cafes.

How did you learn about the Tool Library, and what prompted you to become a member? 

I discovered the Tool Library when searching for traditional library jobs on Handshake, which is essentially Linkedin for UB students. I got hired for a work-study job in the Fall of 2022 and have been with the organization in one way or another ever since.

What roles do you perform as a work-study student at the Tool Library?

Most of my work for the Tool Library has been shop-oriented, helping members find the right tools for their project or working on our extensive inventory. I’ve also attended many Service Days and Dare to Repair events, and am particularly partial to the latter. Most of the people who attend our Dare to Repair events are delighted with the experience, and it is rewarding to be a part of something that positively impacts other people’s days.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at the Tool Library?

Proximity to my labor! I meet and work with the members who are using the tools I spend hours cataloging. 

What does the Tool Library offer that surprised you the most?

When we are closed to the public, organizations can rent the shop as needed to work on their projects!

Do you have any passions or interests related to the Tool Library’s mission? 

I love to ride my bike! Aside from the environmental benefits, it makes me feel connected to the world around me. I’m always meeting new people and hearing lovely birdsong you just can’t hear from inside of a car. 

Any advice for folks looking to volunteer at the Tool Library?

The Tool Library is a very welcoming space with lots of diversity amongst our volunteers. Work different shifts at different times and see when and who you like working with!

Do you have a favorite/most-used tool? What do you use it for?

The upholstery cleaner is a classic but I’m excited to use the pressure canner to preserve some fig jam.