STEAM @ the Library

Calling all tinkerers, creators, makers and inventors! Pasadena Public Library, in partnership with many other city institutions, launched a citywide STEAM initiative in 2018 encouraging individuals to delve into Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics programs, classes and a host of related curriculum.

Check our online Events Calendar to see all of the library’s current STEAM programs.

Questions about STEAM at the Library? Click here to Ask Us! a question.

STEAM Kits

STEAM Kit Policies and Procedures:

  1. All STEAM Kits must be checked out from and returned to staff in a Pasadena Public Library.
  2. Adult supervision is required for children using the kits. For each kit's age recommendation please refer to the title page.
  3. Up to three kits are permitted per card at a time.
  4. All kits are checked out for three weeks.
  5. We reserve the right to inspect the kits in front of the patron before and/or after checkout.
  6. The library cardholder is responsible for the contents of the kit. Each kit contains a detailed list of all items in the kit. Any damage or loss may result in assessed fees.

What are STEAM Kits?

STEAM kits are bins full of activities, books, and other items all focused on learning about and experiencing a STEAM related topic. We have kits for ages 0-99 on topics such as coding, human body, photography, engineering, and dinosaurs, among others. STEAM kits  are now available for checkout; they must be returned to staff in a Pasadena Public Library, or to staff at curbside service points.

See the list below for STEAM kits currently available for checkout and hold. Click on a kit to check its availability or click "More Information" to learn more about the kit. If you'd like to place a hold on a STEAM kit, please contact us:

Our STEAM kits are popular! From time to time, parts need replacing. Please note that some kits may be awaiting replacement parts, and if they can still be used and enjoyed while parts are on order, they are still available to borrow—so when the kit you requested becomes available for you to check out, please check the enclosed print guide for the most up-to-date list of contents.


STEAM Kits by Recommended Ages

Toddler Kits (0 and up)

Early Learner Kits (3 and up)

Kids Kits (5 and up)

Tween Kits (8 and up)

Teen and Adult Kits (12 and up)

Educator STEAM Kits

Contain enough materials and equipment for classroom (approximately 24 students), or other group use.

Kids Educator Kits (5 and up)

Tween Educator Kits (8 and up)

Games

Board Games

Check out tabletop games from Pasadena Public Library. Here's how:

  1. Select the game(s) you would like to borrow. Browse the list of Board Games here.
  2. Contact library staff via Live Chat or phone to let us know which items you would like to place on hold.
  3. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up. The checkout period is three weeks.
  4. Please return game(s) to Library staff at the desk.

Video Games

Popular Nintendo Switch Games rated E (for Everyone) or T (for Teen). Here's how:

  1. Select the game(s) you would like to borrow. Browse the list of Video Games here.
  2. Log into your online account.
  3. Click on Place Hold for the game(s) you would like to checkout.
  4. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up. The checkout period is three weeks.
  5. Return game(s) to any Pasadena Library.

Other At-Home Kits

Book Group Kits

A set of 15 copies of the same book accompanied by a book discussion guide. For children, teens and adults. Here's how:

  1. Select the kit(s) you would like to borrow. Browse the list of Book Group Kits here.
  2. Log into your online account.
  3. Click on Place Hold for the kit(s) you would like to checkout.
  4. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up. The checkout period is eight weeks.
  5. Return kit(s) to any Pasadena Library.

Chromebooks and Hotspots

Chromebooks (small laptops running on Google OS and offering cloud storage) and Hotspots (small devices offering Internet access) are available for checkout at Pasadena libraries.

  1. See Chromebooks and Hotspots.
  2. Log into your online account.
  3. Click on Place Hold for the device(s) you would like to checkout. A maximum of one Chromebook and one Hotspot may be checked out on a library card at any time.
  4. You will be asked to sign a user agreement before checking out a Chromebook or Hotspot the first time.
  5. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up.
  6. Return device(s) to staff inside the library.

Citizenship Kits

A kit containing information, books, multimedia and other resources for self-study in preparation for US Naturalization process.

  1. See Citizenship Kits here.
  2. Log into your online account.
  3. Click on Place Hold for the kit(s) you would like to checkout.
  4. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up.
  5. Return kit(s) to any Pasadena Library.

Home School Collection at Hastings Branch Library

A collection of Learning Equipment established at Hastings Branch Library to support homeschool education and curricula.

  1. Browse the Homeschool Collection here.
  2. Homeschool Collection materials are holdable and renewable according to standard policies.
  3. Log into your online account.
  4. Click on Place Hold for the item(s) you would like to checkout.
  5. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up.
  6. Return Learning Equipment items to staff inside the library.

Neighborhood Science Kits

These kits contain equipment, information and instructions for exploring the science of your own neighborhood.

  1. Browse Neighborhood Science Kits here.
  2. Neighborhood Science Kits are holdable and renewable according to standard policies.
  3. Log into your online account.
  4. Click on Place Hold for the item(s) you would like to checkout.
  5. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up.
  6. Return kits to staff inside the library.

Sensory Storytime Kits

Each kit features a specific topic appropriate for individual play or family storytime.

  1. Browse Sensory Storytime Kits here.
  2. Sensory Storytime Kits are holdable and renewable according to standard policies. A maximum of 5 Sensory Storytime Kits may be checked out on a library account at any one time.
  3. Log into your online account.
  4. Click on Place Hold for the item(s) you would like to checkout.
  5. You will receive notification when your items are ready to pick up.
  6. Return kits to staff inside the library.

Innovation Lab

Note: Central Library is closed until further notice due to seismic safety issues. Staff are working on disposition of equipment and programs and services related to the Innovation Lab, so we can continue to make its resources and learning opportunities available to the public. Please stay tuned for developments, or contact Library staff for more information and updates. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

We are pleased to provide a makerspace at the Central Library called the Innovation Lab. In it we have equipment for the public to use such as 3D printers, CNC cutters, and sewing stations. See the information outlined below for more information about using the iLab, and visit our Innovation Lab Guide.


Orientation and Workshop Information

Central Library is closed until further notice due to seismic safety issues. Staff are working on disposition of equipment and programs and services related to the Innovation Lab, so we can continue to make its resources and learning opportunities available to the public. Please stay tuned for developments, or contact Library staff for more information and updates. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

The Innovation Lab is available to library patrons 13 and older. Minors must have a User Agreement signed by their parent or guardian. All users must have a library card in good standing to use the Innovation Lab. Users must complete and sign the Innovation Lab User Agreement before using the Innovation Lab.

In order to use the Innovation Lab during open hours, you must have attended a 1-hour orientation and have a signed User Agreement on file. Orientations are held on Mondays at 5pm and Saturdays at 12pm and registration is required to attend an orientation as spaces are limited. Click the button below to find an orientation online; then use the RSVP function to reserve your spot.

Upcoming Orientations

Upcoming Workshops

Innovation Lab Open Hours

Central Library is closed until further notice due to seismic safety issues. Staff are working on disposition of equipment and programs and services related to the Innovation Lab, so all or many of the resources and learning opportunities will be available to the public. Please stay tuned for deveopments, or contact Library staff for more information and updates. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Innovation Lab User Guidelines

  • In order to use the Innovation Lab (iLab), patrons must have attended an Innovation Lab Orientation, have a signed waiver sheet on file, and have a library account in good standing.
  • Upon arrival, users must check-in with the iLab Monitor, present a library card or picture ID, and sign the iLab sign-in sheet.
  • Users must sign-in for the machine they want to use.
  • Patrons may reserve the machine that they want to use for 1 hour at a time, except for the 3D printers, which may be reserved for two hours at a time.
  • Users can extend their time past the initial period designated on the sign-in sheet if no one is waiting.
  • Patrons may call the Central Library, (626)744-4066, option 7, to reserve a slot on a specific machine.
  • Reservations can only be placed on the same day that the machine will be used. Patrons may only place one reservation per day.
  • Machines that have been reserved in advance will be held for 10 minutes past the start of the hour.
  • After 10 minutes, the machine will be released to the next patron waiting.
  • iLab computers are to be used for iLab projects only. Monitors may ask patrons to relocate to the Internet Commons if they are not using the computers for iLab projects.
  • The Library does not allow patrons to use the iLab machines to create any licensed materials that will be sold for profit or anything that will be used as a weapon.
  • The Library does not sell materials. Users must bring in their own materials to use on the machines. (See material guidelines below for more information on acceptable materials.)
  • When a user brings material to use in the iLab machines, they must bring proof of the type of material such as a receipt or, for online purchases, an invoice.
  • When users bring their own materials, the iLab Monitor must approve and write down the type of material before it may be used in the iLab machines.
  • The iLab Monitor can help users with basic machine setup and simple orientation to software; as time permits, monitors can help with other questions to the best of their ability.
  • Food or beverages are not permitted in the iLab, except water in a container with a secure top. Any water bottles must be kept on the worktable in the center of the room and cannot be placed on any of the tables or carts holding machines.

Machines Available for Use in the Innovation Lab

3D Printers

3D Printers

2 Lulzbot Taz 6 3D Printers
  • Check current free use guidelines in the iLab for information on free materials
  • iLab users can bring in their own filament as long as it is the correct type for the machine(s) (see acceptable filament lists below)
  • If users wish to bring a design to the lab, the Library recommends saving it on a USB drive
  • The 3D printers can print from file types .stl and .obj
  • 3D designs can be created in many programs. Check the Innovation Lab Guide online for more information on 3D design software at cityofpasadena.libguides.com/ilab
  • LULZBOT TAZ 6
    • Lulzbot store: https://www.lulzbot.com/store/filament
    • If a user purchases filament from a different store, it must follow the acceptable filament
      guidelines and diameter for Lulzbot Taz 6
    • Acceptable filament: ABS, HIPS, PLA, magnetic iron, nGen, stainless steel PLA, laybrick, laywoodD3, n-vent, INOVA-1800, t-glase, bridge, PCTPE, 910, conductive PLA, PC-ABS, polycarbonate, PVA, 618 nylon, 645 nylon
    • Filament diameter - 3mm
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or
    projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not
    properly formatted or constructed.

Laser Cutter and Engraver

Laser Cutter and Engraver

Full Spectrum Laser H-Series 20 x 12
  • The laser cutter accepts raster graphics in file types .bmp, .jpg and .png and vector graphics files in types .xps, .pdf and .svg. For best results, use a .bmp or .xps file.
  • iLab users must bring in their own materials or check with current free use guidelines in the iLab for information on free materials
  • Users can bring in a flat piece of material that is acceptable
  • Acceptable materials: Acrylic, UHMW/HDPE, delrin, mylar, hard and soft woods of any natural wood species, other wood based products including MDF and paper, anodized aluminum, steel, plain carbon steel, low odor rubber, silicone, vulcanized rubber, denim, leather, marble, granite, ceramic tile, agate, glass
  • UNACCEPTABLE MATERIALS: NEVER engrave or cut any material containing PVC, vinyl, or polycarbonates as these materials can give off hazardous fumes when in contact with the laser.
  • Maximum size for materials: cutting area is 20” x 12” x 1.5”.
  • If monitors cannot determine what the type of material, it cannot be used with the equipment.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

 

CNC Cutting Machine

CNC Cutting Machine

Carvey®
  • The Carvey accepts vector graphics files in file type .svg. It also has an image trace function which can create vector graphics from a .jpg or .png file. For best results using this feature a silhouette or clipart style image should be used.
  • Users can import files into Easel, the free, web-based software used to connect to the Carvey. Users can create a free account online at easel.inventables.com.
  • iLab users must bring in their own materials or check with current free use guidelines in the iLab for information on free materials
  • Users can purchase materials from inventables.com, or bring in a flat piece of acceptable material.
  • Acceptable materials: ABS, acrylic, HDPE, hard and soft woods of any natural wood species, aluminum, corian, FR1 machinable circuit board blanks, delrin, expanded PVC, machinable foam, machinable wax
  • Maximum size for materials: cutting area is 11.7” x 8” x 2.5”.
  • If Monitors cannot determine the type of material, it cannot be used with the equipment.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

Embroidery Machine

Embroidery Machine

Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine
  • Users can bring their own fabric or thread.
  • For embroidery, users can bring their own designs preloaded on a flash drive or SD card. Designs must be formatted as a .pes file for the Brother PE770 to read it.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

Sewing Machine

Sewing Machine

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine
  • Users can bring their own fabric or thread.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

Design Computers

Design Computers

We have several computers available in the iLab that patrons can use to work on designing their projects.

  • iLab design computers are loaded with the following design software:
    • Adobe Creative Suite
      • Adobe Illustrator
      • Adobe Photoshop
      • Adobe Lightroom
      • Adobe InDesign
    • CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2018
      • CorelDRAW
      • CorelCONNECT
      • CorelPHOTO-PAINT
      • CorelCAPTURE
    • Inkscape
    • Blender
    • OpenSCAD
    • FreeCAD
    • SketchUp Free
    • Microsoft Office Suite

iLab computers are to be used for iLab projects only. Monitors may ask people to relocate to the Internet Commons if they are not using the computers for iLab projects.

  • In order to use the Innovation Lab (iLab), patrons must have attended an Innovation Lab Orientation, have a signed waiver sheet on file, and have a library account in good standing.
  • Upon arrival, users must check-in with the iLab Monitor, present a library card or picture ID, and sign the iLab sign-in sheet.
  • Users must sign-in for the machine they want to use.
  • Patrons may reserve the machine that they want to use for 1 hour at a time, except for the 3D printers, which may be reserved for two hours at a time.
  • Users can extend their time past the initial period designated on the sign-in sheet if no one is waiting.
  • Patrons may call the Central Library, (626)744-4066, option 7, to reserve a slot on a specific machine.
  • Reservations can only be placed on the same day that the machine will be used. Patrons may only place one reservation per day.
  • Machines that have been reserved in advance will be held for 10 minutes past the start of the hour.
  • After 10 minutes, the machine will be released to the next patron waiting.
  • iLab computers are to be used for iLab projects only. Monitors may ask patrons to relocate to the Internet Commons if they are not using the computers for iLab projects.
  • The Library does not allow patrons to use the iLab machines to create any licensed materials that will be sold for profit or anything that will be used as a weapon.
  • The Library does not sell materials. Users must bring in their own materials to use on the machines. (See material guidelines below for more information on acceptable materials.)
  • When a user brings material to use in the iLab machines, they must bring proof of the type of material such as a receipt or, for online purchases, an invoice.
  • When users bring their own materials, the iLab Monitor must approve and write down the type of material before it may be used in the iLab machines.
  • The iLab Monitor can help users with basic machine setup and simple orientation to software; as time permits, monitors can help with other questions to the best of their ability.
  • Food or beverages are not permitted in the iLab, except water in a container with a secure top. Any water bottles must be kept on the worktable in the center of the room and cannot be placed on any of the tables or carts holding machines.

Machines Available for Use in the Innovation Lab

3D Printers

2 Lulzbot Taz 6 3D Printers
  • Check current free use guidelines in the iLab for information on free materials
  • iLab users can bring in their own filament as long as it is the correct type for the machine(s) (see acceptable filament lists below)
  • If users wish to bring a design to the lab, the Library recommends saving it on a USB drive
  • The 3D printers can print from file types .stl and .obj
  • 3D designs can be created in many programs. Check the Innovation Lab Guide online for more information on 3D design software at cityofpasadena.libguides.com/ilab
  • LULZBOT TAZ 6
    • Lulzbot store: https://www.lulzbot.com/store/filament
    • If a user purchases filament from a different store, it must follow the acceptable filament
      guidelines and diameter for Lulzbot Taz 6
    • Acceptable filament: ABS, HIPS, PLA, magnetic iron, nGen, stainless steel PLA, laybrick, laywoodD3, n-vent, INOVA-1800, t-glase, bridge, PCTPE, 910, conductive PLA, PC-ABS, polycarbonate, PVA, 618 nylon, 645 nylon
    • Filament diameter - 3mm
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or
    projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not
    properly formatted or constructed.

Laser Cutter and Engraver

Full Spectrum Laser H-Series 20 x 12
  • The laser cutter accepts raster graphics in file types .bmp, .jpg and .png and vector graphics files in types .xps, .pdf and .svg. For best results, use a .bmp or .xps file.
  • iLab users must bring in their own materials or check with current free use guidelines in the iLab for information on free materials
  • Users can bring in a flat piece of material that is acceptable
  • Acceptable materials: Acrylic, UHMW/HDPE, delrin, mylar, hard and soft woods of any natural wood species, other wood based products including MDF and paper, anodized aluminum, steel, plain carbon steel, low odor rubber, silicone, vulcanized rubber, denim, leather, marble, granite, ceramic tile, agate, glass
  • UNACCEPTABLE MATERIALS: NEVER engrave or cut any material containing PVC, vinyl, or polycarbonates as these materials can give off hazardous fumes when in contact with the laser.
  • Maximum size for materials: cutting area is 20” x 12” x 1.5”.
  • If monitors cannot determine what the type of material, it cannot be used with the equipment.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

 

CNC Cutting Machine

Carvey®
  • The Carvey accepts vector graphics files in file type .svg. It also has an image trace function which can create vector graphics from a .jpg or .png file. For best results using this feature a silhouette or clipart style image should be used.
  • Users can import files into Easel, the free, web-based software used to connect to the Carvey. Users can create a free account online at easel.inventables.com.
  • iLab users must bring in their own materials or check with current free use guidelines in the iLab for information on free materials
  • Users can purchase materials from inventables.com, or bring in a flat piece of acceptable material.
  • Acceptable materials: ABS, acrylic, HDPE, hard and soft woods of any natural wood species, aluminum, corian, FR1 machinable circuit board blanks, delrin, expanded PVC, machinable foam, machinable wax
  • Maximum size for materials: cutting area is 11.7” x 8” x 2.5”.
  • If Monitors cannot determine the type of material, it cannot be used with the equipment.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

Embroidery Machine

Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine
  • Users can bring their own fabric or thread.
  • For embroidery, users can bring their own designs preloaded on a flash drive or SD card. Designs must be formatted as a .pes file for the Brother PE770 to read it.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

Sewing Machine

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine
  • Users can bring their own fabric or thread.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage that may occur to participant’s materials or projects in the iLab.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for any errors that occur as a results of designs that are not properly formatted or constructed.

Design Computers

We have several computers available in the iLab that patrons can use to work on designing their projects.

  • iLab design computers are loaded with the following design software:
    • Adobe Creative Suite
      • Adobe Illustrator
      • Adobe Photoshop
      • Adobe Lightroom
      • Adobe InDesign
    • CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2018
      • CorelDRAW
      • CorelCONNECT
      • CorelPHOTO-PAINT
      • CorelCAPTURE
    • Inkscape
    • Blender
    • OpenSCAD
    • FreeCAD
    • SketchUp Free
    • Microsoft Office Suite

iLab computers are to be used for iLab projects only. Monitors may ask people to relocate to the Internet Commons if they are not using the computers for iLab projects.