HATCH Policies

Policies and Guidelines for Use

HATCH is a makerspace, created and managed by the Watertown Free Public Library (WFPL). We offer space, tools, equipment, and materials—mostly free of cost—and volunteers to help you use them.  In exchange, we ask that you read carefully and observe our policies and guidelines.

Becoming a Maker at HATCH

  • Makers must be valid WFPL/Minuteman Library Network (MLN) cardholders to use restricted equipment such as hand, power, or heat tools and 3D printers.  (You can obtain a library card at the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main St.  All Massachusetts residents with proof of address and identification are eligible.)
  • A library card is not required to use equipment and materials that are not restricted:  craft supplies, toys, littleBits, tech kits, and other designated materials.
  • Prior to using restricted equipment:
    • Makers must have completed a Tool Safety Training as certified by HATCH volunteer staff.  An orange HATCH sticker will be applied to library cards of safety-certified Makers.
    • Adult patrons (or their legal guardians, if applicable) must present a valid photo ID and complete and sign the HATCH Makerspace Release of Claims, Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement.
    • Minor patrons must present ID and have a parent, guardian or other person with appropriate legal authority sign the same Agreement.
    • A minor without valid photo ID may verify identity with a library card and parent/ guardian’s valid photo ID.
  • We recommend that children be eight or older to take full advantage of HATCH’s offerings.  Makers under twelve must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
  • Parents/guardians are welcome to tour HATCH and evaluate its use by a minor child.  Volunteer staff will be happy to answer questions.
  • Patrons with disabilities who need special arrangements or accommodations are requested to notify WFPL/HATCH administration at 617-972-6434 as far in advance as possible before their expected time of use.

Rights and Release from Liability

  • HATCH/WFPL does not accept responsibility if a project is destroyed, does not print correctly, or does not function as expected.
  • HATCH/WFPL reserves the right to halt, delete, or disallow the creation of items.
  • The Maker agrees that HATCH/WFPL is not responsible for any manufacturing defects or the quality of workmanship of any tools, materials or equipment supplied by HATCH/WFPL or for the quality or condition of a user’s project.
  • HATCH/WFPL is not responsible for any damage to, or loss or theft of, a Maker’s property.
  • HATCH/WFPL reserves the right to place age limits for participation in classes depending on the content of the class.

Guidelines for Use

  • Covered drinks are welcome in HATCH.  Food is not permitted.
  • Tools and equipment are available to Makers on a first come, first served basis.
  • HATCH volunteer staff will assist in explaining operation of tools and equipment as time allows, and will make available upon request materials such as manuals. Be advised that not all staff will be knowledgeable about all equipment available at HATCH.
  • The 3D printer and other designated equipment will be operated by HATCH volunteer staff only.
  • Makers must clean their workspaces and return tools in clean condition to their original location before leaving the premises.
  • Storage space may be made available for Makers with unfinished projects at the discretion of HATCH volunteer staff.  HATCH/WFPL does not accept responsibility for projects left at HATCH.
  • WFPL’s Code of Conduct applies to HATCH.
  • (http://www.watertownlib.org/about-library/mission-statement-policies)


  • When using a tool that does not require certification, a Maker is responsible for handling it in a safe and proper manner.
  • HATCH/WFPL provides Makers with access to safety supplies as appropriate.
  • Appropriate close-toed shoes and clothing must be worn depending on the activity.
  • If a Maker sees that any tool or piece of equipment is unsafe or in a state of disrepair, s/he must immediately stop using it and notify HATCH volunteer staff.
  • Makers must report any accident, incident, or unsafe behavior they observe to a volunteer staff member.

Regarding Cost

  • Use of HATCH is generally free. Use of some equipment and materials, however, may be subject to a fee.
  • Makers may be asked to pay for damages they incur to HATCH/WFPL equipment or property.

Violation of HATCH/WFPL policies may result in suspension or termination of privileges. 

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees February 3, 2015.