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idea lab FAQs

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The MCLS idea labs connect people with new and emerging technology, learning opportunities, and each other.

idea lab FAQ's

What is an idea lab?

The MCLS idea lab program connects people with learning opportunities, using technology. Want to learn how to edit your photos? Make robots? Practice using a sewing machine? Sell something online? Take a selfie … on purpose! Record a hologram? The idea lab gives our community the chance to do any of these things – and more! – simply by having a library card.

How do I access the idea lab equipment?

Most idea lab equipment is available on a first come, first served basis. Some equipment is available to take home, too!

How do I get an idea lab card?

To upgrade to an idea lab card, you must sign an equipment agreement form and have a Martin County library card in good standing. The use of some equipment (eg, a sewing machine) also requires signing a liability waiver. See your local Library staff to upgrade your card today!

I can really check out cameras and laptops?

Yes! See a list of available equipment through our “take home tech” program. Equipment is available for 7-day checkout and requires an idea lab card. You can also place holds on equipment and pick up at your local branch through our online catalog, just like you would for a library book.

Will someone show me how to do all this?

We'll help get you started! Because the idea labs give our local community access to explore and discover technology, most of the equipment is self-service. But if you're not sure where to begin, just ask! If you're interested in taking a formal class, check out our "we teach tech" page. Also, don't forget to check out Lynda.com for more advanced and specialized on-demand learning opportunities.

Do I need to bring my own materials?

We have a limited quantity of materials, such as thread, fabric, vinyl, and cardstock. This material is designed for learning and/or practicing. If you’re working on a project that requires specific materials, you will want to bring your own. If you're not sure what to bring, just ask!

The Library has a 3D printer? Can I use it?

Yes, we do! Visit the Library's 3D printing page for more details!

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