Investing More in Sharing

People — including investors — are learning that access trumps ownership. When you think about it, do you want to own a saw, or do you want a board cut or carved?  Do you want the drill, or the hole the drill can create?

Call it Collaborative ConsumptionThe Mesh, or The Sharing Economy, the main premises are consistent: usership versus ownership; access over excess; and experiences trumping possessions. Two best-selling books (What’s Mine Is Yours, The Mesh) have been written on the topic, the concept has been featured in every mainstream media outlet you can think of, and it’s starting to have an impact on the choices people make in their daily lives.

Read more at Shareable Design Magazine. Let’s hope that the startup communities in other places, like Seattle, start to take notice.

Local Tools 1.6.7 Released

A relatively modest release with just under 20 fixes and improvements. We had originally planned to add emailed receipts for when users check items in and out, but have pushed that back to the next release.

Bugs Fixed

  • [LEND-550] – Editing a user resets/deletes their year of birth
  • [LEND-555] – Empty/null values are displaying as [object Object] in datatables
  • [LEND-557] – Membership transitions and payments are recorded on failed cart submits
  • [LEND-560] – Items without a name are not displayed properly in transaction layout


  • [LEND-477] – Record add-time of items
  • [LEND-525] – Allow organizations to set a home page URL in organization preferences
  • [LEND-536] – Clean up and simplify the layout
  • [LEND-537] – Validate email address without submitting on account creation forms
  • [LEND-552] – Add a link to the admin and logout to custom inventory pages
  • [LEND-556] – Improve how the fee/contribution columns are formatted

New Features

  • [LEND-449] – Keep track of the user’s membership id (assigned by the organization for the user, regardless of membership transitions). see also LEND-448
  • [LEND-530] – Allow loading the cart page for non-full users but WARN that they must record a new membership (upgrade/renew) to proceed
  • [LEND-531] – Add javascript to the cart.jsp page to not let orgadmin checkout a user who isn’t full member without ALSO entering a membership upgrade/renewal/extend
  • [LEND-540] – Change cart processing so that an orgadmin can checkout a user who’s paying for membership at the same time as borrowing tools (ex: for the first time, or lapsed membership)

Local Tools 1.6.6 Released!

What started as a “quick fixes” release, turned into a release with over 40 new features, improvements, and bug fixes.  The full list is below.  We’re already hard at work on the next release — not to mention at updating the main Local Tools site.


New Features
[LEND-490] – Keep track of “message about user” in the user-organization object. This should be displayed on the user details page, and on check out and check in.
[LEND-496] – Alert orgadmin if they are checking out/in a user who has a “message about the user” (popup the alert when they click checkout or checkin or renew)
[LEND-532] – Warn when orgadmin puts a value in membership $, but doesn’t renew/upgrade, the amount goes away. Warn instead.

[LEND-424] – Better UI for date of birth entry
[LEND-467] – Add late fees to “my loans” page
[LEND-472] – Give nice error when user tries to record late fees but checks in no items
[LEND-489] – Display total late fees outstanding in addition to total late fees for items being checked in
[LEND-491] – Hide the message-about-the-user from the user (it should not be displayed on the user’s page about themselves)
[LEND-498] – Have Disabled items show up in search for org admins with “DISABLED” text at end of name
[LEND-500] – Can’t just change the membership expiration date, have to set membership type
[LEND-502] – Check in comments should be listed in the same places as check out comments (e.g. money report)
[LEND-511] – Label required fields on account creation forms
[LEND-512] – Warn user about mismatched passwords on account creation form via JS (do not wait for submit)
[LEND-513] – Make first name appear before last name on account creation/editing forms
[LEND-521] – Add org internal ID#s to custom search results
[LEND-522] – Create one form to check in/out an item
[LEND-526] – Add action buttons to top of tool and user details view
[LEND-527] – Add admin and logout links to browse pages when logged in
[LEND-528] – Initial UI overhaul (left nav, header, main body of the page)
[LEND-534] – Make sure Delete/Remove button is never obscured in cart

Bugs Fixed
[LEND-398] – Money attributes are allowed to be “” but when used in a recommended donation, it causes errors at checkout
[LEND-443] – List all members drop down resets to “Show all types” on error
[LEND-445] – Member Details transactions -> Details can provide error page
[LEND-473] – On myLoans page, paging loans doesn’t work
[LEND-479] – Confirm and fix: you can check in an item that’s already in (if it is checked in while you’re on the checkin page – “race” condition)
[LEND-504] – Admin status on user details always says the user is an admin, even when they are not
[LEND-505] – Long, ugly error message when checking out an item that was “stolen” from under the current cart’s nose
[LEND-506] – Multiple separate trips required to find out all the problems with a new user creation (orgadmin) ex: bad email; password mismatch,…
[LEND-510] – Can’t check out a tool with that has no default condition (if a condition is not set in the cart)
[LEND-514] – New users don’t get a most_recent_transition_id when they’re created
[LEND-515] – “Grant membership” on the user details page does not cause the most_recent_transotopn_id to be set
[LEND-516] – Memberships with no expiration show as expiring today on the “upgrade/renew”
[LEND-518] – Internal id is missing from search results in custom layouts
[LEND-519] – Obsolete warning on org admin create user page
[LEND-520] – Expiration set to null when checking a tool in
[LEND-529] – Add the “membership upgrade” box to the “new member” page
[LEND-539] – Trying to start a cart for a non-Full member functionality regression

User Stories Added
[LEND-384] – Display late fees owed on check out
[LEND-488] – If a user’s membership has expired, the membership accordian on the cart should be “open”

Tasks Performed
[LEND-355] – Figure out rental periods : per tool? per user/membership type?
[LEND-497] – Set the expiration to “one year after the last membership transition” for memberships of founding or regular.
[LEND-517] – Fix memberships without a most_recent_transition_id


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via our contact form, on Twitter or Facebook.

Making, Sharing and Collaboration Link Roundup

Welcome to our first roundup of recent links showing some of the great things going on in the making, sharing and collaborative consumption spaces:

If you find these links useful, definitely leave a comment and let us know.  Also feel free to let us know about other interesting projects.

DIY Heroes: 10 Backyard Builders Changing the World

Popular Mechanics has stories of how the DIY and Maker community are changing the world (and we think for the better), and here at Local Tools we’re helping them do it:


“By repairing old bikes to donate them to the needy, creating a local tool library, turning abandoned land into a skate park and other creative projects, these do-it-yourselfers are building the change they want to see in the world.

Patrick Dunn and his buddies first discussed opening a tool library in October 2009. Like many good ideas, it caught on fast. Aided by a $20,000 city grant and use of an inventory-tracking computer system, the West Seattle Tool Library opened in June 2010. Today, it’s a 220-member DIY center offering workshops and loaning from a stock of more than 1300 manual and power implements.

Congrats to Patrick Dunn and the whole team at the West Seattle Tool Library!

Open-source Blueprints for a Civilization Starter Kit!

A short, but excellent TED talk from Marcin Jakubowski of the Open Source Ecology introduces the “Global Village Construction Set”.  What are the 50 tools that are needed to start a civilization?  Can they be made by “normal people” so that they are affordable, efficient, robust and and can last a lifetime?  Watch the video to find out!

West Seattle Tool Library Now Open!

West Seattle Tool Library LogoThe West Seattle Tool Library launched their new tool sharing/lending library using Local Tools on June 12th (check out their inventory online).  The tool library management system allows administrators to easily manage inventory, check tools in and out, and let the community know what tools are available to borrow.  We may be adding the ability for tool library members to reserve tools online for pickup during regular West Seattle Tool Library hours.

Woodworking Project: Trivet

A trivet is a quick and easy project that can be used either in the kitchen or as part of a more formal setting in the dining room, depending on your needs. The project can be easily built from start to finish in a weekend (indeed in a day if you use fairly fast-setting glue). We used some left-over scraps of Cherry to build this trivet, but you can use any hardwood – particularly as the wood does not come into direct contact with the hot pots and pans.

[Read more…]