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Makers in the library: case studies of 3D printers and maker spaces in library settings

Heather Michele Moorefield-Lang (School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of 3D printing and maker spaces in various library settings. Insights, challenges, successes, projects as well as recommendations will be shared. Commonalities across libraries 3D printing technologies and maker space learning areas will also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper delves into six case studies of librarians that have implemented 3D printers and/or maker spaces in their libraries. The case studies focus on libraries at three different levels: school, public, and higher education with two case studies from each type. The author of this paper will describe the cases, projects, challenges, successes, along with other aspects of 3D printer, and maker space integration.

Findings

3D printing and maker spaces, while very popular in the field of librarianship can be incredibly exciting to implement but they come with challenges and successes just like any type of new technology. Librarians have to be fearless in implementing this technology, willing to learn on their feet, and be excited to explore.

Originality/value

At this time most publications on 3D printing are held in the realm of popular publications (blogs, magazines, zines, etc.). Very little has been written on a wider range of case studies where 3D printers and maker spaces have been integrated into libraries of various types. This paper sets the foundation for further exploration in how 3D printing and maker spaces could be a part of library services.

Keywords

Citation

Michele Moorefield-Lang, H. (2014), "Makers in the library: case studies of 3D printers and maker spaces in library settings", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 583-593. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-06-2014-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited