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 being.
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 rubber band. 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 unknown.
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.
Director of Library IT
Library Information Technology Services
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 concern
> 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]> wrote:
>> If fines, fee structures, and social contracts in community spaces interest
>> 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:
>>>> Libraries charge to lend books.
>>> Some, by no means all. It's also generally limited to newer
>>> It's universally stupid to do this, in my opinion. The folks that can pay
>>> are already buying copies, and we're hurting the patrons that can't pay.
>>>> 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 definitely
>>> hurting in the fundraising department, which is precisely where it's
>>> 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 that
>>> mind, why are we doing this? Our patrons rightfully see these as nuisance
>>> 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 about that.
>> Nate Hill
>> [log in to unmask]