That's a question every library will have to answer for themselves.
For us it makes perfect sense. Our scientists are sending out files to
have 3D models of craters. When the price drops enough it will become
more cost effective to do that in-house. It will just be an extension of
maps and remote sensing data we already have in the collection. I can
see a limit being fabrication related to the mission of the Institute,
same as the large-format printer.
A public library might have other concerns. If it is unlimited and free,
is printing out 100 Hulk statues to sell at a comic convention
acceptable? How about Barbie dolls to sell at a flea market? Or maybe
Barbee dolls to side-step trademarks? Lots of unanswered questions, but
each library will have to decide based on local conditions.
[log in to unmask]
Lunar and Planetary Institute
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 2:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Policies for 3D Printers
This is a bit off topic, but why would a library provide 3D printing
services when just printing text on paper seems to cause enough grief
for many libraries?
Don't get me wrong. I can see why people are interested in this. If I
had access to one (i.e. I weren't too lazy/cheap to use available
services), I'd fabricate all kinds of specialized tools and gizmos.
If 3D printing is provided gratis, the logical thing for people to do is
to print out stuff that they need based on files they just download from
the internet. Or make useful things to sell. I suspect this is not an
issue yet because 3D printing isn't in most peoples' consciousness yet.
The connection between fabrication and library services is tenuous at
May as well loan tools since that would be useful to many people and
would strongly appeal to demographic groups that historically don't
On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM, Marc Comeau <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Sorry I'm a little late to the discussion.
> We've had a 3D printer deployed in our biggest library for about a
> year now and we've had to discuss the gun issue at length. Thankfully
> for us, the RCMP in Canada came out with a pretty clear statement on
> the fact that unless you have the proper registration and license, you
> can't do it in Canada. Since the library will never hold those
> licenses or registration, we can't legally do it.
> While we haven't drawn up any formal policy yet, the quiet line in the
> sand for us has been, "if it's illegal, we'll do it, if it's illegal
> we won't" Our University Librarian is the kind of person who will
> take a stand to defend library principles if there's anything in that
> messy grey area so it's a reasonable standing policy for the time
> We're rolling out to three other libraries on campus now though so
> we're likely to be writing something up very soon. To date though,
> after about
> 300 print jobs submitted, the most dangerous thing anyone has sent was
> a mini crossbow. The tip of the arrows were surprisingly sharp and it
> could probably have slightly pierced skin if equipped with the right
> That said, it was clearly a novelty item and since our users are
> legally considered adults, they carry a good amount of responsibility
on their own.
> It didn't even raise any questions from our front-line staff who do
> err on the side of caution since we're dealing with something new and
> We're seeing a lot of self-created models with a good amount of
> Thingiverse material as well. Haven't really bumped into any serious
> copyright/patent/trademark issues yet either though we'll be
> discussing that over the next month or two.
> Marc Comeau
> Director of Library IT
> Library Information Technology Services Dalhousie University
> On 2013-05-20, at 9:39 AM, Edward Iglesias wrote:
> > Thank you all for this great feedback. I imagine we will probably
> > not charge at the beginning and change as needed. My Director's
> > bigger
> > is the whole "are they gonna print a gun with that" question.
> > Luckily we have a student handbook to point to.
> > Edward Iglesias
> > On Sun, May 19, 2013 at 10:19 AM, Nate Hill
> > <[log in to unmask]>
> >> If fines, fee structures, and social contracts in community spaces
> >> you, watch Clay Shirky's TED talk about cognitive surplus, and
> >> listen to the story about day care centers and late pickup fees.
> >> On Sunday, May 19, 2013, BWS Johnson wrote:
> >>> Salvete!
> >>>> Libraries charge to lend books.
> >>> Some, by no means all. It's also generally limited to newer
> >> materials.
> >>> It's universally stupid to do this, in my opinion. The folks that
> >>> can
> >>> are already buying copies, and we're hurting the patrons that
> >>> can't
> >>>> Late fines are almost universal, and lost items will result in a
> >>>> charge for replacement costs.
> >>> What are we getting for our charges? Is this go away mentality
> >>> worth it? Is this helping or hurting us in the relevancy arena?
> >>> It's
> >>> hurting in the fundraising department, which is precisely where
> >>> it's
> >> meant
> >>> to help. Every budget I've seen has not netted enough in charging
> >>> for extras to offset the actual costs they're seeking to cover. So
> >>> with
> >> in
> >>> mind, why are we doing this? Our patrons rightfully see these as
> >>> fees. If we're doing it to avoid abuse, which is why I assume a
> >>> lot of these are implemented, there are usually better ways to go
> >>> Cheers,
> >>> Brooke
> >> --
> >> Nate Hill
> >> [log in to unmask]
> >> http://4thfloor.chattlibrary.org/
> >> http://www.natehill.net