Robots, Makers, and More … Oh My!

Local Libraries Showcase Robotics & Maker Workshops in October

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. –October 12, 2017 – As the world becomes increasingly more digital and organizations and individuals rely heavily on technology to conduct personal and business related activities, the role of libraries must also evolve. As a strong supporter of technology and innovation, the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) is committed to ensuring everyone throughout the community has both free access and training to use these tools effectively.

“Technology is moving so quickly; it's a real challenge to keep up with all the changes happening in today’s world,” stated Mike Wasserman, SCCLD Joint Powers Authority Board Chair and County of Santa Clara Supervisor.  “We’re fortunate to live in the Silicon Valley where innovation is the norm. Even better, we're also able to see, touch and try many of these new tech products thanks to the County’s commitment to providing equal access to every child, teen and adult. Designed to inspire tomorrow's creators, our libraries are doing an excellent job of introducing new advances in technology and presenting them to the public almost as soon as they become available,” Wasserman continued.   

From free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs targeting all audiences, to events focusing on programming or robotics, SCCLD strives to continually inspire curiosity for future scientists, inventors and programmers of tomorrow.

During the month of October, SCCLD libraries will offer the following programs:

Coding and Robotics - now a basic literacy skill all kids need to learn, coding is as important as reading, writing and arithmetic; allowing children to be thinkers, innovators and scientists who understand the logic that controls the technology they are using.  With solid coding skills, they’ll have the tools necessary to transform creative ideas into reality.
“Robotics with Dot and Dash”- An introductory coding program, kids get a chance to play with the playful robots “Dot” and “Dash” (Grades 1-5). Space is limited. Registration required. Register online or at the Library Information Desk.

  • Gilroy Library: Every Friday in October: October 13, 20, and 27th at 4pm. Students may sign up for one lesson only as the same lesson is repeated each week.
  • Los Altos Library: Friday, October 13th @ 3:30 pm.
  • Morgan Hill Library: Wednesday, October 18 from 4- 5 pm.
  • Saratoga Library: Thursday, October 19th @ 4-5pm.

“Robots Rock!”- A fun introduction to robotics and coding, kids (grades 2-5) use the visual programming interface Blockly to “write” the code required to guide a robot through a maze.

  • Cupertino Library: Monday, October 16th from 2-3:30pm.

RoboDraw - Take a selfie like no other!  Newly installed at all SCCLD Community Libraries, RoboDraw is a custom designed and built robotic arm that takes a photo and makes it into a uniquely drawn portrait using the program Scribbledraw. Using easily accessible parts and open source, basic coding, SCCLD brings the fun and inspiration of simple robotics directly to the community. Free and open to the public. Visit for more information including instructional videos on how to build a robotic arm creation.

Maker Workshops
Workshop 1: Arduino –Learn how to use an Arduino circuit board in simple projects. Hands-on instruction on programming simple electronics such as switches, dials, sensors, lights and other output devices is covered in the two hour workshop.

  • Cupertino Library: Friday, October 13, 12:30-2:30 PM and 3:30-5:30 PM
  • Milpitas Library: Tuesday, October 24, 6:30-8:30 PM

Workshop 2: 2D Sketching and Design: Teaching basics of engineering sketching and drawing, this introductory hands-on workshop demonstrates concepts of sketching basic and complex shapes. The mechanics and methods of two-point perspective, and how to create the illusion of shade and casting shadows will also be covered. 

  • Campbell Library; Thursday, October 19, 1:00-3:00 PM,

Workshop 3: 3D Design: Participants learn how to develop a working 3D model from a two dimensional sketch, digitally render the final results, and print a prototype on a 3D printer. Techniques in sketching, parts-modeling, assembly building, and drawing are also covered. Attendees learn how to navigate the user interface and manipulate 3D editing tools such as Extrude, Revolve and Loft to create 3D models.

  • Saratoga Library: Saturday, October 14, 10:30 AM -12:30 PM
  • Los Altos Library: Monday, October 16, 6:30-8:30 PM
  • Campbell Library: Thursday, October 19, 3:30-5:30 PM
  • Gilroy Library:  Wednesday, October 25, 6:30-8:30 PM,

Workshop 4: 3D Printing: This class demonstrates how to easily prototype individual parts before machining or molding into a new 3D object. Topics covered include 3D printer hardware, 3D design software and parameters, and how to troubleshoot common issues that may occur on personal printers. 

  • Los Altos Library Wednesday, October 18, 6:30-8:30 PM
  • Campbell Library Friday, October 20, 1:00-3:00 PM and 3:30-5:30 PM
  • Morgan Hill Library; Monday, October 30, 7:00-8:45 PM

All programs are free and open to the public. Pre-registration may be required for some of the classes. Visit for a complete listing of programs and events.

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About the Santa Clara County Library District

The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 1.9 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work.

In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last several years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2016, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.

The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2016, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 270,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.3 million visitors who borrowed 9.1 million items.

Nancy Howe/Diane Roche/Lili Smith
Santa Clara County Library District
(408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3080/3014