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Maker Monday: Repair Café

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  1/28/2015

Rethink WasteWant to learn to make jewelry? How about mixing up a batch of your own sauerkraut? What about creating a sculpture from found objects? Starting in February, Deschutes Public Library is launching a new series, Maker Mondays, designed to teach participants how to make, create, fix and repurpose. Staffed by creative, innovative, local experts the workshops are free and open to the public.

The series kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, February, 9 at the Downtown Bend Library with a Repair Café. The first event aims to “connect people with broken stuff with people who like to fix stuff,” says Denise Rowcroft, manager of the Rethink Waste Project at the Environmental Center. Skilled volunteers will be on hand to help repair small household appliances (think toaster, blender, and vacuum). After signing up on a waiting list available at the door, people and their appliances will be paired with a volunteer. “People are encouraged to check out what the volunteer is doing, maybe help out, learn a thing or two,” says Rowcroft.

According to Rowcroft the Repair Café is an international movement to repair rather than replace. Locally, Repair Cafés have been organized by The Environmental Center’s Rethink Waste Project and staffed by volunteers who have an interest in tinkering and want to support our community’s repair ethic. Rowcroft says the volunteers have repaired over 100 items, including heaters with chewed off cords, a closet door and a juicer, at three different Repair Cafés. “Repairing instead of replacing saves money, conserves natural resources, prevents waste, and most importantly it shifts our relationship with our stuff,” she says. “In an age when most things are made to be obsolete or unrepairable, it’s kind of revolutionary to be intentional about doing things differently than the status quo.” Rowcroft says that repair cafes can be a fun way to bring people together and build community. “If something is already broken, you have nothing to lose by opening it up and seeing what’s inside and trying to repair it,” she says.

For more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 312-1032.

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