Before replacing that seemingly broken toaster, why not have a skilled team try bringing it back to life?

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library serves to enrich the public and encourage lasting programs like recycling. The Library’s Birmingham Branch is hosting a Toledo Repair Café to do exactly that. Free sessions take place 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 16 and Oct. 14. Experts will attempt to fix clothing, small appliances, jewelry and bicycles in need of repair.

“If the Library can be part of an effort teaching people that things can be reused and recycled, rather than disposed of, I think that’s a great mission for us,” Branch Manager Julie McCann said.

Connecting People

Toledo Repair Café stemmed from a partnership with Park Church United Church of Christ in Toledo, the Sylvania Baha’i Community and Multifaith Council of Northwest Ohio. With a Block Watch coordinator, members contacted the Library about hosting their “fix-it” team. The Birmingham neighborhood is a small community, and residents take civic engagement seriously, McCann said.

“I think they saw we could connect quickly with the neighborhood and draw people who need items repaired,” McCann said.

During the July event, organizers completed fixes, mentored youth, and further strengthened a sense of community. They repaired most of the 35 items presented, like broken jewelry clasps and bicycles. Visitors talked with neighbors and enjoyed refreshments in a true café environment. McCann said it was a privilege these faith groups wished to help by working at Toledo Library.

A Recycling Push

Instructing people about the importance of recycling remains a local and national priority. According to Ohio Environmental Protection Agency estimates, an average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage over the course of a lifetime. State officials report about 29 percent of residential and commercial sector solid waste was reduced or recycled in 2017.

Toledo Repair Café is an easy way for consumers to save money by reviving old goods. It also represents Toledo Library’s strategic plan of community engagement and creating at the Library. The Library hosts a wealth of books and databases on fixing items around the house, maintaining personal finances and going green with recycling.

“You’re not throwing something away. Instead, you’re making do, which goes with many people’s mindset,” McCann said. “I’m telling everybody, if you have something ripped, bring it in.”

Toledo is a proudly resourceful city, with residents ready to help each other. A team of professionals at Birmingham Branch will once again put their talents to work.