Suffolk County public libraries are joining the cause with Stony Brook University. Together they are enlisting their fleet of 3-D printers to make protective gear for health care workers fighting the COVID-19 virus.
In conjunction with the maker move- ment and STEAM education, many public libraries now own 3-D printers for the public to learn about, use and enjoy. 3-D printing in libraries allows the community to make a three-dimensional solid object from a digital file. Printers are traditionally used in libraries for hands-on learning in order to fabricate fun trinkets or make replacement parts for a variety of objects, but the possibilities are endless.
During this time, Stony Brook and other medical facilities are in dire need of the face shields necessary for doctors and medical staff on the front lines to protect themselves and they have called upon the public libraries of Suf- folk County for help. The Suffolk Cooperative Library System set up a 3-D printing farm to help further expedite this. Some of the printers are from the Suffolk County library system, but the vast majority have come from member libraries all over Suffolk County who are donating their 3-D printers and supplies, temporarily, towards this effort. Suffolk libraries are working as quickly as they can, while maintaining safety measures and social distancing, to get this endeav- or underway.
The public libraries of Suffolk County responded immediately, and in just three days the print farm went from five printers to 58. The printers are currently working in two shifts and averaging 200 printed items per day.
“When our public library heard there was a chance to be involved in helping health care workers, we were all in,” said Danielle Paisley, director of the Pat- chogue-Medford Library. “We knew our community would want to be involved.”
“Our communities are full of compassionate people that are looking to help right now, and this was a way we could contribute,” added Jennifer Fowler, director of the Sayville Library.
The public libraries of Suffolk County are committed to continue to provide resources and services to their communities during these unprecedented times. They are humbled and inspired to be able to help our front-line health care workers in their effort to fight the coronavirus.