A number of years ago, I saw a story about the Berkeley [California] Public Library. They had started a Tool Lending Library. I was fascinated because their community seemed like ours, older houses, and a number of people with limited resources that wanted to improve their homes.
The Library doesn't just loan tools, they provide education in their use.
The Tool Library stimulated home improvement and restoration. I haven't followed up on it, but it seemed like the entire community could win with the results.
Here is a link.
http://berkeleypubliclibrary.org/servic ... g_library/
Here is another link to a Wikipedia page about Tool Lending Libraries. They list about 25 cities that have these, including Columbus, Ohio (Are they more progressive than us?). I'm not sure how many are actually affiliated with a regular public library.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_to ... _libraries
I mentioned the Berkeley Library story to Ken Warren after I'd seen it. As I recall, Ken used the term "mission creep" as part of his answer to sway my interest away from LPL involvement. I think I agree with him, but that doesn't mean that something like that couldn't be done by another group or agency.
Maybe it could be set up in cooperation with, or near, Lakewood Hardware. Check out a hammer and buy your nails. Check out a drill and buy your screws.
A nice project for an individual, or group, with knowledge, energy, and grant writing skills.