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A college librarian and a doctor are 3-D printing protective equipment for hospital workers.

Olivia Rutigliano

March 27, 2020, 4:55pm

It’s no secret to LitHub that librarians are heroes, but a Columbia University librarian is proving this yet again, in face of the supply shortages facing the New York City hospital workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the shortage of personal protective equipment many New York area hospitals are facing now that the coronavirus is debilitating more and more people, Dr. Pierre Elias, a Cardiology Fellow at Columbia University, reached out to Madiha Choksi, a Research and Learning Technologies Librarian at Columbia who specializes in 3-D printing, to ask if it’d be possible to use Columbia’s resources to 3-D print face-shields to protect hospital workers.

Choski altered the design to make it more effective and require less time to make, and began to print as many as possible. Because Butler Library, the main research library at Columbia University and the location for the printers, had closed down due to preventative lock-down measures, Choski took the 3-D printers to her home, so she could continue to make them. Librarian Jeremiah Trinidad-Christensen, who is the Head of Research Data Services and the Interim Co-Director of the Science, Engineering, and Social Sciences Libraries Division at Columbia, has since acquired the remainder of Columbia’s unused 3-D printers to continue manufacturing as many as possible. Once the parts have been printed, they require simple household tools, like hole-punchers, to assemble, according to a video put together by Columbia University Libraries.

Here is the complete printing guide put together by Columbia University librarians, so that other institutions with access to these materials might be able to help, as well.

This week, Choski met with Tangible Creative , a 3D printing services company in New Jersey, to collaborate on building many more face-shields to meet the growing demand, as hospitals become more crowded, and more workers are endangered.

[h/t Vice News]

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