Repair Cafés are gaining popularity around the region, including in Saratoga Springs! On Saturday, February 8, 2019, the Saratoga Springs Public Library and Sustainable Saratoga hosted another Repair Café. Eighty-two visitors brought in over 100 items for repair. The addition of a kids’ table gave youngsters the chance to learn to sew and maybe inspired some future repair coaches.

Jennifer Ferriss, Head of Circulation and Technical Services at the library, sums up the aim of Repair Cafe: “We want to help our community achieve a sustainable lifestyle and there are not too many places where you can see a diverse group of people gathering together to learn how to repair items of sentimental and practical value just to keep them out of the landfill.” Lamps remain one of the most common items, but repairs included necklaces, umbrellas, jackets, clocks, turntables, and even an electric snowblower!

Michael Whitney, a repair coach at all three events, explains: “I got involved so I could help shift the consciousness around our tendency to throw broken things away.” Michael was one of fourteen amazing repair coaches who volunteered their time to foster teaching and encourage people to try their own repairs.

Another Repair Café goal is to foster teaching and encourage people to try their own repairs. Wendy Mahaney, Manager of Sustainable Saratoga, notes that “most people bringing in items enjoy learning from the coaches and some are planning to use this knowledge to do other repairs on their own.” One happy recipient of a repaired sewing machine expressed: “How lovely to have a friendly & experienced person guide me in using my machine!”

An added benefit of the event is the community bonding that takes place between old friends and new acquaintances. The sense of community at these events is palpable; the room erupted in applause after a young girl’s umbrella was repaired with the help of two repair coaches. It really is an event with many benefits to the community.

Join us for the next Repair Café in Saratoga on June 8, 2019. If you are interested in joining the Repair Café team, please email

Here are a few links to some media coverage of the event: The Saratogian, The Daily Planet Arthur, and The Times Union.