Welcome to the MakerPlace at Midland Public Library.
For 150 years, the Midland Public Library has been entrusted with community resources to provide opportunities for learning and collaboration. Opening this space is one way we’re continuing this proud tradition.
What is it?
The MakerPlace is where you can explore the intersection between your creativity and new technologies. It’s a space for the community to discover and share skills, tools, equipment, and ideas, and to gather and learn together.
What’s in the space?
The space includes:
- A MakerLab with 3D printing, laser cutting, and other light manufacturing & making equipment
- A MediaLab with audio / video recording, production, and digitization equipment
- A collaborative learning space with a computer lab, robotics and electronics kits
- And much more to come as we learn and grow together!
What happens in the space?
We want to build local skills in robotics, coding, design and modelling, and more.
- Learn how to use the equipment
- Develop and create your own projects
- Talk to experienced makers
- Meet up with others who share your interests
Join in on a workshop:
- 3D printing
- Media digitization
- Science and engineering
How much does it cost?
Participation is free with your Midland Public Library card. There will be a minimal fee for a non-resident MakerPlace card. Some workshops and projects will have a cost to cover materials.
How do I find out more?
We’d love you to get involved! If you have a school group, want to volunteer, arrange training, book a space, or have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is subject to change and will be updated here.
Please note that you should bring your own external memory cards for your projects. Supplies for laser cutting, vinyl cutting, and 3D printing must be provided or approved by MPL in advance – do not plan on using your own supplies without approval.
Hardware: Ultimaker 2+ and Anycubic i3
Software: For designing, we use Sketchup or TinkerCAD. Try Thingiverse to find new designs and upload your own. Learn about 3D printing here: https://markforged.com/article/what-is-3d-printing/ or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx0Z6LplaMU
Cost: 3D Printing your designs costs $1.00 + $0.25 per 10 minutes.
Hardware: Cricut Maker: home.cricut.com/cricut-maker
Software: We use the Cricut app to send jobs to the Cricut. The software uses vector images, which can also be created in other programs such as Inkscape. Learn about vinyl cutting with the Cricut here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyOkGFDPyAA
Cost: Vinyl Cutting costs vary based on the type of material used:
Regular Vinyl: 50 cents per linear inch.
Print & Cut Vinyl: 75 cents per linear inch.
Heat Transfer Vinyl: 3 cents per square inch for regular, and 5 cents per square inch of sparkle heat transfer.
Laser Cutting & Etching
Hardware: Dremel LC40
Software: The laser understands vector line drawings for cutting. We use Inkscape to create our designs. Learn about laser cutting here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Laser-Cutting-Basics/ or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1QZ_FkREAE
Cost: Lasering your designs at the library costs $2.00 for an area of 3 inches by 3 inches.
Our hobbyist button maker produces 3 different sizes of buttons. Bring your own paper inserts to create your own wearable art!
Cost: 1″ button $1.00; 2 1/4″ button $1.50; 3″ button $2.50.
Kits, Tools, Toys
- Google Cardboard and VR goggles – use them with your own smartphone or try one of ours to explore real and imagined places in 3D: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxAj2lyX4oU&t=231s
- Arduino Uno starter kits – the Arduino is a microprocessor that can be programmed to interact with lights, sensors, motors, and more for a range of interesting projects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfvqunpN7M4&t=244s
- Raspberry Pi 3 starter kits – A raspberry pi is a computer you can hold in your hand! Try one to learn more about coding and electronics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cviTxswW8c&t=2s
- Turing Tumble – Play with the Turing Tumble to find out more about computer logic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjx6uh8MFg
- Dash & Dot – These loveable robots are good for ages 5+ and teach concepts around math, problem solving, engineering, coding, and more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA9py48X6_o
- Ozobots – Ozobots are robots that fit in the palm of your hand! Program them with colour codes or with Blockly to get them to do what you want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm_H8HXWFZ4&t=17s
- Squishy Circuits – Learn about electrical circuits with our squishy kits! These packs turn playdough into the “wires” to conduct electricity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATnoNHtR_-k
- Makey Makey – Makey Makey turns anything that conducts electricity into a controller for simple computer programs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfQqh7iCcOU&t=3s
- LEGO, K’Nex, Make-Do – use these fun sets to build whatever springs from your imagination!
In-house use of these kits is free with your library or MakerPlace card. Availability is dependent on their use in library programming and subject to change. Children 13 and under should be accompanied by an adult.
The MPL MakerPlace MediaLab continues to be under development but offers access to 2 iMac stations, Adobe Creative Suite, our green screen, audio recording equipment, and scanning and digitization equipment for photos, slides, vinyl records, and VHS tapes. Bring your own photos, videos, and files to put on your creative touches!
Small numbers of writeable CDs, DVDs, USBs and SD cards are available for purchase at the following prices:
8 GB USB drive: $7.00
16 GB MicroSD with SD adapter: $12.00
A signed agreement is required of all users of the MakerPlace. Exception is given to individuals or groups on staff-lead tours of the space.
Users (or if minors, their parents/guardians) are responsible for any fees incurred for loss or damage to MPL property, not associated with normal wear and tear, that is the result of inappropriate or unauthorized use of tools, equipment, or consumable materials, or for clean-up of the tools, equipment or the space. MPL is not responsible for any damage to, or loss or theft of, users’ personal property, including electronic files left on MPL computers.
Equipment and tools in the MakerPlace are available at no charge to library card holders, generally on a first-come, first-served basis during open MakerPlace hours. Specific tools or equipment may be reserved for projects at the discretion of staff. Please call 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 or email email@example.com to verify availability.
At its discretion, staff reserves the right to disallow the use of any tools, equipment, or consumable materials, or to halt, delete, or disallow the creation of items that violate any library policy. Projects must be approved by staff prior to use to ensure that proper file format, size and materials are being used. Approval to use the MakerPlace does not constitute endorsement by MPL of the uses to which the space is put or the products produced therein.
This agreement is subject to change and updates will be posted online and in the Library. Current MakerPlace users will be notified.
See also other policies:
Some MakerPlace equipment is available during all of MPL’s open hours (one half hour after opening and until one half hour before closing). Check in with your library card at the 2nd floor information desk to use some of our great electronics and robotics kits in the collaborative area, or to book and use the MediaLab. Contact 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about equipment certification and booking the MakerLab’s 3D printer or laser cutter.
We have a community expert in the MakerLab (3D printing and design) on Wednesday mornings, 9:30am-1pm. Feel free to drop in during that time, or to make an appointment by contacting 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 or email@example.com. You can also contact the Library to make an appointment with a MakerPlace staffperson or volunteer in coding, web design, electronics, digitization, vinyl cutting, or sewing.
Ongoing programs are subject to change and some are dependent on talented community volunteers. Watch for our programs for all ages at www.midlandlibrary.com/events to participate in maker programming for kids, families, teens, and adults. Join us on Thursday evenings, 6-8pm, in the MakerPlace, for Midland Makers. Hear engaging speakers, learn about exciting projects, and have the chance to share and develop your own high- and low-tech interests with everyone in the community. If you have a particular technology or project of interest you’d like to present on or hear about, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Library has a subscription to Make Magazine and to Beanz (for kids). You’ll also find reference books on Maker projects in the MakerPlace. Check out our subscription to Lynda.com, an online learning platform for business, software, technology, and creative skills. Lynda includes professionally taught and produced video lessons. Sign in here using your MPL card.
Share your projects or interests with the whole community – send recommended posts, photos, etc. to email@example.com.
Midland Open Source Users Group
Tuesdays, 6-8pm @ MPL MakerPlace. Drop-in.
A fun evening for those who enjoy or want to learn ‘community software’. Open source is software which anyone can modify and redistribute without fees or conditions (except often passing on that permission) and is community driven. It includes software available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Android as well as alternative operating systems (e.g. alternatives to Microsoft Windows of MacOS) such Linux or FreeBSD. Whether this is a new concept you’d like to know more about, you’re a power user who wants to get more from your computer or device, or you have software development and/or other tech skills and you want to meet others in the local area who with similar interests, this is the group for you! Feel free to drop in or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.