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What is a MACH anyway?

MACH is a Makerspace. A Makerspace is a place where people can get together, share ideas and create new things. That's it! It can be anywhere and have any kind of people and include any kind of tools or equipment.

Why does the library have MACH?

If you think about it, the library already is a Makerspace by definition. We help gather people together and share ideas. We have programs all the time where people can create new things. Now, with MACH1, we've gathered supplies and ideas all into one place at Burton Barr Library so that we can create even more cool things. We are gathering these things virtually in the MACH website so that you can do cool things from home as well.

What cool things can I make?

We have classes on paper engineering, video game design, photography, videography, circuitry and more. Check our Calendar of Events for exact days and times! You can also work on personal projects using our equipment, especially during Hacker Haven.

What kind of equipment do you have and can I use it?

In MACH1 at Burton Barr Central Library, we have 3D printers, soldering irons, hand tools, computers with Adobe Suite and Gaming software, Nintendo DS with Warioware, Cameras and Video equipment, sewing machines and sewing supplies, Arduino and more. Stop by and check out all of our neat stuff! You are also welcome to bring your own equipment to show off or share with others.

Some (not all) of our equipment requires you to take one of our classes to be certified or prove to our MACH1 Coaches that you know how to use it properly. We think safety is very important! Soldering irons, 3D printers, Drills and more have specific safety requirements and guidelines that you will have to follow when you use them. Once you are 'certified' you can use that equipment when you stop by!

What makes you think this space is different from the Teen Center or Children's Place where you are having programs already?

MACH1 is for all ages 0-100! We do have some programs that are targeted to specific ages, but the space is open to all. MACH1 is also a safe place where kids, teens and adults can come for targeted out of school learning. In our space kids can learn scientific, mathematic and technological concepts that will help reinforce what they are learning in school. Or, they can learn a whole new skill that isn't even being taught in school! We never grade and we encourage learning through play for grownups as well as kids. We also encourage family learning. While we have target age groups for some of our programs, anything that is for all ages if for the whole family. Caregivers, kids and teens can learn a new skill together. We also often do not give specific instruction or have a 'follow along' class like we might in our Teen or Children's spaces. We give you the supplies and encourage you to figure out how to do the project in your own way. Our MACH1 Coaches are always on hand for guidance if you get stuck, but we feel that personal exploration is half the fun! Our kids and teens need innovation, creativity and resourcefulness in order to thrive and become great leaders, so we encourage this as much as possible through our programming.

Can I just come in and hang out?

You can stop by MACH1 for a visit any time we are open. You are welcome to look around, ask questions and explore. We prefer that you are working or helping with a specific project or are attending a specific class if you plan to stay a while. Our MACH1 Coaches are on hand if you have any questions about potential projects or our equipment.

How do you pay for all this neat stuff?

In addition to a Grant from the State Library for our first 3D printer, we were funded by a generous donation from the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library. They bought the majority of our expensive equipment, including our 2nd 3D printer, Arduino supplies, soldering irons, electric drills, Snap Circuits and more.

We are, however, always in need of supplies. Things like pager motors, LEDs, small hand tools, 3D printing medium, small gauge wire, etc. need to be replenished on a regular basis. We ask our members to donate what they can, when they can. You can donate by dropping off items from our wish list, or by donating money to the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library. Check out the How Can I Help page to find out more!

Image of person wearing a Minecraft mask.

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