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The Labs at DC Public Library is D.C.’s free creative space to learn, make and collaborate.

The Labs space showing three long tables with stools and sewing machines


901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States


Sunday: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Monday: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Tuesday: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Wednesday: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Friday: 9:30 am-5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am-5:30 pm

At this location



Department Manager (Interim)
Portia Oliver

Department Overview

The Labs offers services and programs across three spaces. The Fabrication Lab, a library makerspace and creative coworking area. The Memory Lab, a digital preservation do-it-yourself (DIY) station. The Studio Lab, a space for dance rehearsal and audiovisual production. Whether you are a student, creative or entrepreneur, The Labs offers you programs, services and tools to help you tell your story.

How To Participate

Age Requirements

  • Consent from parent(s) or legal guardian(s) is required for persons under the age of 18.
  • Youth 6-12 may only participate with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) must actively participate with their child in all programs and services.
  • Children under 6 may not participate.

Membership Process

  1. Sign the Labs Participant Release Form.
  2. Sign up for a Labs Machine Intro or DIY Session. Bring your valid government issued ID and DC Public Library Card.
  3. Review the Labs Safety Guidelines and complete the corresponding machine Intro or DIY Session orientation at the beginning of your appointment.

Guidelines When Visiting

Lateness and Cancellations

Arriving fifteen (15) minutes or more late will prevent you from being admitted into your appointment. DIY sessions may be forfeited and given to other participants. If you know you can no longer make it, please cancel at least 48 hours in advance by calling or emailing us.

Appropriate and Safe Attire

To remain safe around Fabrication Lab machinery please avoid wearing loose clothing. Pull back your long hair or beard, necklaces or scarves and wear closed toe shoes.

Capacity and Waitlist

Some programs have limited capacity for safety. When programs are full, there is no waitlist.

Labs staff may register you for a program or service by calling or visiting the Labs.

Locker Guidelines

  • Lockers should be checked out and checked in with a Labs staff member.
  • Lockers are intended for the storage of items related to projects actively being completed on Labs equipment.
  • Lockers are only accessible during Fabrication Lab operating hours (Tuesday to Saturday, closed Sunday & Monday).
  • Lockers are available for one week at a time, but time may be extended based on project completion. Lockers will be checked every 7 days when customers want to extend time.
  • Only materials that will completely fit inside the lockers will be allowed. (Approximate measurements: 23.5 in. width x 22 in. depth x 24 in. height).
  • Only Labs projects may be kept in lockers, no personal storage of personal items.
  • No food or other perishables may be kept in lockers.
  • No hazardous materials (e.g. volatile adhesives).
  • Items belonging to DCPL may not be kept in lockers, with the exception of checked-out library materials.
  • Any property not claimed within one week after the end of locker reservation will be placed in the Library’s lost and found for a period of two weeks, and the customer will be notified.
  • Staff maintain the right to inspect lockers and examine contents to ensure compliance with guidelines.
  • Staff are not responsible for lost or damaged property.

Review the Safety Guidelines

Safety Guidelines

  • Please review these Safety Guidelines, below, and return a completed Labs Participant Release Form. A completed and verified form is required before participating at the Labs.
  • When using Labs equipment, if it malfunctions (makes strange noises, catches fire, or starts to jam), stop using it immediately and notify a staff member.
  • Be alert and aware of the space, people and equipment around you at all times.
  • The Labs reserves the right to end a project or job that produces disruptive odors or unsafe conditions. Library participants may need to retake Intro workshop(s) or orientations when improper or unsafe use of equipment is observed.
  1. Use of all Labs spaces, equipment and software is by appointment only.
  2. Your reservation is forfeited if you arrive more than 15 minutes after your DIY Session start time. If you are going to be late, please call 202-727-1058 or email to inform Labs staff.
  3. You must abide by the DC Public Library’s Rules of Behavior at all times.
  4. No food is allowed in the Labs. Drinks in covered containers are okay.
  5. Store your digital files on your own hard drive, flash drive, or cloud-based storage; otherwise, files will be deleted from Labs computers, laptops, or equipment.
  6. Physical items related to Labs projects may be stored up to seven days in the Fabrication Lab lockers.
  7. No Labs equipment may be removed from Labs spaces at any time.
  8. Never perform work while impaired, stressed, tired or otherwise unable to work carefully.
  9. Never interrupt or distract an individual using a machine or tool.
  10. Always dress appropriately and tie back long beards and hair. Never wear loose­-fitting clothing, headphones, dangling jewelry, or anything else that could get caught in machinery. Always wear closed toe shoes that protect your feet and toes.
  11. Ensure all guards and shields are in place and all necessary filters are turned on prior to operating machines.
  12. Always check your materials for any loose metal such as screws, nails, staples or pins before using it the Labs equipment.
  13. Never place your hands near the cutting or heating mechanism or the moving parts of a tool or machine.
  14. Never leave equipment unattended while in operation.
  15. Keep your work area clean. Ensure that cords, bags, project materials or other personal belongings are not in the way of others or create any hazards while at the Labs.
  16. Always report any injuries to staff immediately.
  17. Any content you create using Labs spaces, equipment or software must not violate U.S. or D.C. laws and does not express the views of the DC Public Library.

*Estas normas de seguridad están disponibles en español, por favor solicítelas cuando nos visite.

 This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Institute of Museum and Library Services


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