For immediate release | May 4, 2016

ALA report provides practical advice about adopting 3D printers in libraries

Washington, D.C. –The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) today released “Progress in the Making: Librarians’ Practical 3D Printing Questions Answered” (pdf). Co-authored by 3DPrint360 CEO Zach Lichaa and ALA Senior Policy Analyst Charlie Wapner, the document poses and answers sixteen practical questions related to establishing 3D printing as a library service. All of the questions were fielded from library professionals interested in 3D printing technology.
"Libraries represent the public on-ramp to the world of 3D printing and design,” said Dan Lee, chair of OITP’s Advisory Committee. “Library professionals who have adopted, or are looking to adopt, a 3D printer must answer questions related to printer operation and maintenance, workflow management, cost recovery, patron safety, and much more. As a by-product of OITP’s policy advocacy on 3D printers and libraries, once again OITP is doing great work for libraries in providing this practical information to assist library professionals."
Libraries are democratizing access to, and facilitating learning through, 3D printing technology,” said Lichaa. “We need to make sure they have the necessary technical know-how to keep that trend going.” 3DPrint360 is a New York based company dedicated to serving newcomers to 3D printing and enthusiasts with advice and reliable products.
The document is the third publication in ALA’s “Progress in the Making,” series, which explores common questions and concerns related to 3D printer adoption in libraries. It follows a tip sheet (pdf) on 3D printing and public policy, released in September of 2014, and a white paper (pdf) on the economic and policy implications of 3D printing, released in January of 2015. ALA’s Library Techsource also published “3D Printing in Libraries” by Jason Griffey in 2014, which provides additional practical information.
For public libraries seeking to demonstrate the impact of 3D printing, the Public Library Association also recently released a video featuring Cleveland Brewery Owner John Fuduric, which is freely available for use in presentations and social media here.
About the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy
The Office for Information Technology Policy advances ALA’s public policy activities by helping secure information technology policies that support and encourage efforts of libraries to ensure access to electronic information resources as a means of upholding the public’s right to a free and open information society. It works to ensure a library voice in information policy debates and to promote full and equitable intellectual participation by the public.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

Related Links

Progress in the Making Series


Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

American Library Association

ALA Washington Office