COLORADO SPRINGS — While libraries in the Pikes Peak region may be closed employees are still doing their part to help those in need.
The library district is using it's 3D printing machines to help make face shields for first responders. It's all part of the Make4Covid initiative in Colorado. The 3D printers and other supplies in the makerspaces at libraries are normally used by the public, but with facilities closed staff members are donating them to local makers and not letting their functions go to waste.
John Spears, chief librarian and CEO of PPLD, said, "Being able to do something that contributes to the effort to fight COVID - that is something pretty amazing."
It's a project that Spears says has been in the works for awhile.
"We have four large 3D printers that we're using to print off the head pieces for face guards."
They're working with four local makers to build PPE equipment for the medical community.
Spears said, "We were able to get the equipment out on Saturday and so it's already in production."
One of the makers is Dorian Ferrari, owner of Catz Design Farm. Ferrari said, "I have a sister who's a nurse, her kids are nurses...they're scared. They're worried."
Ferrari shared that even before he got equipment from PPLD he was already printing head straps and he says so far he's made about 400.
"Me being able to have the resources to help out...it kind of, to me, was important to be able to help out our first responders."
As for Spears, he said, "We are a community resource and any opportunity we have to serve the community is something we're going to grasp...anything we can do to make their jobs just even a little bit easier is worth it."
Spears explained that as things move forward they are going to have library staff doing some of the printing, possibly for other types of devices like mask straps. They also might use their laser cutters to make the face shields.
Click here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.