Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Public libraries and 3D printers

3D printers are becoming more common in public libraries, but different approaches are taken as to accessing them, or even seeing them in operation.

Arapahoe District Libraries encourages their community to request 3D prints.  The printing is free.  The aim is for the community to explore and discover possibilities.  Arapahoe District Libraries demonstrate 3D printing simply by having the printers working, all the time. This is impressive. Each of their libraries I walked in to (see below) I saw 3D printing.  It was a normal feature in the library, just as opacs, picture books, and information assistance.  The sign you can see on the tech bar below shows when demonstrations will be happening in a range of tech options at the library.  It was every day, at each of the libraries below, showing what was possible, and encouraging the community to think about even more.

May Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
tech bar including 3D printer - May Library

Sheridan Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Sheridan Library

Koelbel Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Koelbel Library

Southglenn Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Southglenn Library

Castlewood Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
makerspace - Castlewood Library

Smokey Hills Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Smoky Hill Library

The above libraries are all part of the Arapahoe Library District, and they are impressive.

Other libraries take a different approach.

Library 21C has a maker space (see below image) , which includes a 3D printer.  They have a floor of making including a large auditorium which is also a high quality recording space.  This is an amazing library, which will have a separate post later on with more information.
this space included 3D printers - Library 21C, CO
Burton Barr, the central Phoenix Public Library has refurbished a large space for a range of making, it is staffed, with long hours.  This space includes 3D printers (see below). This will also have a separate blog post. This was a very impressive space, and impressive in terms of staffing too.
3D printing, Mach - ​Burton Barr Central Library
Anthink Brighton (below) as The studio with a range of maker tools including sewing machines and 3D printing. This is not an open space, but is available for making one and a half hours a week.  For the rest of the time the space is used for a range of other purposes.  This seemed short access to these tools, but local decisions had to be made about staffing.
3d printers in the studio - Anythink Brighton

Hatch from Watertown Public Library is in the mall rather than the library, and it also has a 3D printer.

Hatch, by Watertown Free Public Library

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