FREE Fixit Clinic Set for March 30th at SSF Library is Open to All!

South San Francisco, CA   January 15, 2019  Tip submitted by Teresa Montgomery, SSF Scavengers


EDITOR’S NOTE: South San Francisco will be hosting their first FIXIT Clinic on Saturday March 30th at the SSF Public Library from noon to 3:00pm. This event is sponsored by the San Mateo County of Sustainability. This a wonderful FREE opportunity to reuse those items that we needn’t toss!

From the City of South San Francisco Public Library:

Building resilient communities through conveying basic troubleshooting skills and celebrating repair, Fixit Clinics are do-it-together hands-on fix-n-learn community-based exploration and discovery workshops staffed by volunteer Fixit Coaches who generously share their time, tools and expertise to consult with you on the disassembly, troubleshooting, and repair of items.

So bring your broken, non-functioning things — electronic gadgets, appliances, computers, toys, sewing machines, bicycles, fabric items, etc.– for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair. Fixit Coaches (and helpful neighbors) will be available for consultation on broken items: we’ll provide workspace, specialty tools, and guidance to help you disassemble and troubleshoot your item. Whether you fix it or not, you’ll learn more about how it was manufactured and how it worked, ready to share your new-found confidence and insight with your friends, neighbors, and the community at large. (Hopefully you’ll be inspired to become a Fixit Coach yourself.)

– Even if you can’t make it: report your broken item at
WHAT: Fixit Clinic CCCLXVIII (368) 2019-03-30 South San Francisco Public Library
WHEN: Saturday, Mar 30,
WHERE: South San Francisco Public Library 840 West Orange Ave. South San Francisco, CA 94080
HOW: Register at then
– Bring your broken item with all parts necessary to recreate the symptoms (carry-in only: no oversize items)
– Bring any parts and tools you already own that might be helpful (e.g. hand tools, sewing supplies)
– Come ready to describe what’s wrong and what you’ve tried
– Come ready to learn and to share your knowledge with others
WHO: All ages welcome: a family-friendly event: accompanied children are heartily invited!
COST: Free!
WHY: To make friends, learn and teach how to fix things, and have fun!

– First-time Fixit Coaches and fixing families are always welcome; sign up at

From Fixit Clinic:


What do I need to know? Not much: my standard answer is “Any two people can run a Fixit Clinic as long as one of them knows how to solder.” That’s a little pat. but since Fixit Clinic is billed as “guided disassembly” all you really have do to is give people permission to open up their stuff that’s already broken — what to they have to lose?

Educate. Fixit Clinic is about teaching people how to fix, not handing them a fix. Try to be as hands off as possible, offering encouragement and advice. You don’t want to deny the participant the gratification of having fixed their item (almost entirely) by themselves.

As a self-help workshop Fixit Clinic encourages attendees/ participants/ guests to participate in their own disassembly, troubleshooting, and repair. See how far they can get without you touching their item: sit them in front of it and hand them tools and other resources as necessary and minimize your intervention. As they’re finishing, ask “What did you learn?”

Delegating the repair to the attendees/ participants/ guests also frees you up to float around the room, see and participate in lots of repairs, mingle with your fellow Fixit Coaches, and gives us the capacity to handle more people if things are really busy.

If you’re coaching for the first time at an established Fixit Clinic location, just watch the other coaches do. We encourage lots of cross training because no one knows everything. Over time, the diversity of your skills will grow. We encourage all coaches to cross-train: to move between items being disassembled so that they can teach what they know while learning about lots of different items.

If you’re still nervous about helping people disassemble and troubleshoot their stuff, there are always roles such as:

– Checking people in (see the sign in for here –> sign in form)
– Doing internet research on items and issues with that item other people might have had
– Documenting the Fixit Clinic with photos, video, or audio

Do I need to bring tools? A small toolkit with some basic tools is always helpful. If you’re coaching for the first time at an established Fixit Clinic location, chances are the other Fixit Coaches bring tools to share or the venue itself will have shared tools you can use. If you have unique or unusual tools you’re willing to bring those are always appreciated. (See the recommended tool and supplies list (note that you don’t need everything on this list to get started):

Fixit Coaches will often end up with each others’ tools, we just return them then or at the next event. I have a collection of shared tools that I put out on a central table for the participants to use. We’ve had 200+ Fixit Clinics and I have yet to lose a tool as far as I can tell. Nevertheless: if you have tools that you’re really concerned about losing don’t bring them.

Other questions about coaching? Email


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