GPL's Tech B@r
The Tech B@r offers library users access and support using new technology. With diverse hardware and software available for free, the Tech B@r has something to offer for patrons of all ages and skill levels. The Tech B@r encourages creativity, exploration, and innovation and enables users to become makers. We are located at the Main Library, right next to the information desk. Come see us today!
The Tech B@r will be open during all regular library hours until the end of March. Please note the hours are subject to change without notice due to special programs and events.
Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer
Makerbot Digitizer 3D Scanner
Makey Makey Circuitry Invention Kits
Raspberry Pi Exploration Station
iMac Desktop Computer
iPad Airs & Minis
Windows Surface Tablet
Minecraft Pi edition
Makey Makey Activities
Wire up our cardboard guitar and use it to control a digital guitar game.
DIY Play Doh Piano
Create your own buttons using Play Doh, and then use them to play a piano or simple computer game.
Sketch It, Play It!
Create an instrument using a pencil and paper! Draw your own keys and then wire your art up to a digital instrument to jam out.
Raspberry Pi Projects
The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized single board computer that was designed to teach coding to kids, but has since grown in popularity with users of all ages! Come visit us at the tech bar where you can complete a series of short projects that will require you to communicate with the Raspberry Pi’s code line interface. Project examples include:
- Create your own quiz game using Kids Ruby
- Code your own music using Sonic Pi 2
- Code your own story in Python
- Get started with Minecraft for Pi
- And much more!
Using the MakerBot 3D Printer
The printer is free to use and is available to the public. Due to the often unpredictable length of each print and ongoing maintenance of the machine, there is currently no reservation or sign up available for the printer. First come, first served. An exception to this rule, is that the first 2 hours of the morning may be booked in advance. Please note, these reservations may need to be cancelled due to machine maintenance. As well, reservations may not be accepted if special programming is planned at the Tech Bar. We ask that users keep all prints to under 2 hours in length. If you have a project that will be longer than 2 hours, please consult with the Tech B@r staff before initiating your print. Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of your print. If your print will not take the full two hours, there is a limit of 2 consecutive prints per person.
The Tech B@r has a selection of standard rainbow coloured filament available for use. If you would like the filament changed, please ask a staff member for assistance. If you are changing the filament midway through a print, you are responsible for pausing the print at the appropriate height. There is a limit of 4 colour changes per print.
Once you have started a print, you are responsible for monitoring the print until it is finished. You are free to move around the library, but please check back on your print every 15 minutes. GPL staff are not responsible for ensuring the success of your print.
Users have the option of selecting a pre-made 3D model from the MakerBot Thingiverse, or bringing in their own design. Please save all 3D files on a USB key in .stl or .obj format. Alternatively you can create your own MakerBot account for free, and upload your files to your account at home. Your MakerBot account is also compatible with several design apps for iOS and Android:
- MakerBot Printshop
- Zotebook (iOS only)
- Makers Empire
- Robot Factory (Android only)
Device Lending Policies
The Tech B@r has iPads, Chromebooks, and a Windows Surface tablet available to GPL cardholders for use in the library. To borrow any of these devices, a valid library card and a piece of ID are required. The Tech B@r will hold on to your cards until the device is returned. You are welcome to download free apps to the device during your session. Please be sure to log out of any personal accounts at the end of your session. The GPL is not responsible for any compromised information that you may leave on a library device.