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Library Staff Use 3D Printers to Supply PPE to Health Care Workers

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 04/23/2020 - 11:30 AM
3d Printer, face shield, and face mask.

Small Acts of Kindness: Library Staff Use 3D Printers to Supply PPE to Health Care Workers

People drawn to work in the library field usually have three things in common: a thirst for knowledge, a love for the community they serve, resourcefulness, especially in tough times, and an annoyingly strong attention to detail. So, when news broke that health care workers were experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) while working to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, San José Public Library staff used 3D printers and regular office supplies to create face shields and masks for our front line workers.

Eager to help with the PPE crisis, library staff transported 24 idle printers from library branches, which have been closed since Tuesday, March 17, to staff homes. Additionally, two teen volunteers are providing their technical expertise and a personal 3D printer to participate in the project.

Library staff worked with local hospitals to ensure the design is suitable for the medical environment, and settled on a Prusa Face Shield and the Montana Mask, both designed with health care workers in mind and available through open source on their website.

The face shield design takes an hour and a half to print, and the shield is created from transparency sheets – those used in overhead projection -- with a simple hole-punch that connects the front of the shield to the 3D printed headband. Staff can print an estimated 200 shields per week. Fully assembled, the unit costs an estimated 49 cents per face shield.

Similarly, the mask takes three hours to print and can be reused after replacing the filter. Looking at various reports on what material filters best, we settled on using shop towels, which are readily available online or at a home improvement store. We produce 80 masks per week at a cost of $1.50 per unit.

On Friday, April 24, 2020, Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose will receive the first round of donations, including 220 face shields, 75 face masks, and a huge thank you for their unwavering service to the community.

Written by Branch Manager, Shauna Porteus

2020/04 Small Acts of Kindness
Blog Category
Newsroom

Comments

Submitted by Carol on Thu, 04/23/2020 - 3:45 PM

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Your Comment
Hi there. This is a wonderful idea and a great way to support medical workers during these very trying times! What can we as customers do if we would like to pitch in a bit with the cost of supplies for this project? Thanks!

Your Comment
Hello,
Thank you for your comment. We've been overwhelmed with people asking how to support this project. Donations can be made online at www.sjplf.org or checks mailed to SJPLF, P.O. Box 611540, San Jose, CA 95161. Please be sure to note that it's for the library's 3D printed project. If you'd like to donate supplies, please email me Shauna Porteus at shauna.porteus@sjlibrary.org with subject heading "3D Printing Project" and we can discuss what we're in need of the most. Again thank you for your support. It really has been a community-wide effort <3

best,
Shauna Porteus
Branch Manager

Submitted by Kelliw on Fri, 04/24/2020 - 10:20 AM

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Your Comment
Thank you, MLK library staff, Mayor Liccardo, City council, and Santa Clara County et al for all that you're doing during this crisis. I've missed MLK so much during this crisis--it truly is "my happy place" -- but I'm so grateful for all the online and other services you're providing to our city. Thank you, all!

Submitted by Eleanor Roth on Fri, 04/24/2020 - 10:45 AM

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Your Comment
Thank you for your service to the community.

Submitted by Bonnie L McInerney on Fri, 04/24/2020 - 1:38 PM

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Your Comment
Thank you for sharing this inspirational story of SJL staff printing masks for our medical personnel. Very heartwarming.

Submitted by Hilary on Fri, 04/24/2020 - 2:22 PM

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Your Comment
The San Jose library has been an amazing resource to my family and this is just another amazing example

Submitted by Jeannie LoFranco on Fri, 04/24/2020 - 3:56 PM

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Your Comment
As a retired library staff member it is wonderful to see this ingenuity and community spirit. It is exactly this kind of caring people who made my career at San Jose Public Library so rewarding. Thank you for being so very clever and caring!

Submitted by Shauna Porteus… on Sat, 04/25/2020 - 10:31 AM

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Your Comment
We've been overwhelmed with people asking how to support this project. Donations can be made online at www.sjplf.org or checks mailed to SJPLF, P.O. Box 611540, San Jose, CA 95161. Please be sure to note that it's for the library's 3D printed project. If you'd like to donate supplies, please email Shauna Porteus at shauna.porteus@sjlibrary.org with subject heading "3D Printing Project".

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