The Watertown Free Public Library’s latest endeavor will provide residents with a place to learn how to use equipment and technology to create their own crafts and other projects.
Dubbed HATCH, the WPFL’s makerspace will open in the Arsenal Project in October, said Assistant Library Director Caitlin Browne.
“It will be an exploratory space where people can play with (equipment), and other’s will have the opportunity to learn from people who have experience using it,” Browne said.
Equipment will be added over time, but HATCH will begin with a 3-D printer, sewing machines, a screen printing press, a variety of electronics to experiment with, and a variety of crafting supplies.
One of the items that will be available will be Arduino, which are small microprocessors that can be programed to do different things. One example, Browne said, is to make a device to measure the moisture of soil, and when it gets too low the device sends a signal to tell the person it is time to water the plant.
The library seeks volunteers to teach classes and help people use the equipment.
“It is not just a place for people to use machines,” Browne said. “We are helping people to learn how to use it and make it part of their lives.”
Classes will be free, but people may have to pay a fee to cover the cost of materials, Browne said.
The library staff has been working on starting a makerspace for more than a year, and they have been eyeing the old Police Station, which is next to the library. The Arsenal Project (formerly the Arsenal Mall) had space for the library to use on the Old Navy end of the mall.
“They came to us and offered it to us for free,” Browne said.
The first scheduled program is a Halloween Costume Maker Bootcamp scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18 from 1-3 p.m.
“There will be unique materials available and a team of professional artists and experienced costume makers that can help bring that cool costume or costume element to life. Bring any base materials you have assembled, and bring your concept sketches or make them on the spot,” according to an announcement from the library.