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What is the Collaboratory?
The Collaboratory is our 2,400-square-foot maker space, digital media lab, and coworking space in the Main Library. It contains a wide variety of state-of-the-art technology as well as traditional handcrafting tools. The Collaboratory is divided into two areas. The main space contains computers, work tables, a horseshoe booth with a projection and collaboration system, and a popup photography/video studio. The smaller room, which we've named the Vault, houses the equipment that requires staff supervision. We provide individual instruction about the more complex equipment as well as small group maker classes.
The Collaboratory is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Connecticut State Library.
When is it open?
We offer both full-service and self-service hours. During full-service hours, the Vault is open and staff are available to assist you. Self-service hours are the remaining operating hours of the Main Library. During self-service hours, the Vault is closed and there are no dedicated staff on hand.
Monday: 9:30-1:00 and 1:30-5:00
Saturday: 9:30-1:00 and 1:30-5:00
What equipment is available?
In the Vault
- Epilog Mini 18 laser cutter
- Carvey desktop CNC machine
- Original Eggbot Deluxe CNC art robot
- Juki Exceed HZL-F600 computerized sewing machine
- Babylock Crown Jewel III longarm quilting machine
In the main space
- Popup photography/video studio including wall-mounted green screen, pull-down white background, light kit, video camera and audio recorder
- Booth with Microsoft Surface Hub projection/collaboration system
- Phone booth
- Bike repair stand
- Fender Stratocaster electric guitar
- Handcrafted electric guitar made of reclaimed wood from the pier at Hammonasset beach
- M-Audio Oxygen 61 key midi keyboard
- Snowball microphone
- HP Sprout computer with 3D scanning stage
- HP Pavillion all-in-one computer
- 27" iMacs
- Digital media production software including Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro
- Epson Perfection V600 color scanner
- Sphero SPK and Ozobot robots
- Snap Circuits
- Ultimaker 2 3D printer (available across from the Information Desk)
- Silhouette Curio cutting & drawing machine
- Silhouette Cameo cutting machine
- Silhouette Mint stamp maker
- Button makers
- Photo, audio, and video digitization equipment
- Mini greenhouses
- Community loom
- Schacht Cricket looms
- Light boxes for photography and art
- Wacom Intuos Draw digital drawing and graphics tablet
- Buddha Board
- Tools and materials for visual arts
- Mat cutter
- Tools and materials for handcrafts including knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, card making, and jewelry making
- Paper cutter
- Power table charging station
- Board games
Who can use it?
The Collaboratory is designed for teens and adults, although occasionally we may hold family activities. Use of equipment in the Vault and computers requires a valid library card, and Vault equipment is restricted to adults.
How much does it cost?
Use of the Collaboratory is free. We do charge for supplies for the laser cutter, Carvey, 3D printer, laminator, and Silhouette machines. We do not have a set price for all other materials. Instead we request a monetary donation at your discretion to cover the cost of these supplies. We encourage you to consider "paying it forward" by adding a little extra to your donation in order to balance out those who are unable to give financially.
You also may bring your own supplies for most of our equipment. Please ask us about what materials are acceptable for each machine.
How can I use it?
During full-service hours, our staff can help you get started with most equipment. To access the Vault, you will need to sign a waiver and undergo training on the piece of equipment you would like to use. Please call us at (203)265-6754 to set up an appointment.
You may reserve the longarm quilting machine and the computerized sewing machine up to one week in advance. Collaboratory staff manage the production queue for the Carvey, Eggbot, and laser cutter.
We hold small group maker activities regularly. Please check our online calendar for the current schedule.
You also may reserve the conference table or booth with projection system for a group project or the popup studio for photography or videography. We take reservations for these areas up to two months in advance.
How can I support the Collaboratory?
We accept donations of art and craft supplies and maker equipment. Please note that if these donations do not fit our needs, we will pass them along to another worthy organization. You may drop off your donation at the Information Desk.
In addition, we welcome monetary donations of all sizes to support the purchase of new equipment and programming for our continuously evolving space. Please contact Janet Flewelling, Head of Emerging & Creative Technologies, if you or your organization would like to sponsor a specific piece of equipment or workshop series.
Contact Janet Flewelling, Head of Emerging & Creative Technologies at (203)265-6754 or email@example.com.