Library Storytellers

Josh + Susan

(Photo) Josh (left), who is the Information and Learning Services Library Assistant, and Susan stand in front of one of the 3D printers housed in the TCPL Makerspace.

(Photo) Susan's white 3D printed wedge sits atop her "scruffy little piece of paper" with a blueprint of the wedge and its dimensions.

Susan: I have a walker that I use. I don’t use it all the time, but when I do, it’s very, very helpful. I had wedges that I could put in to prevent a handle from flipping, which made it much sturdier [and] easier to handle. I flew out to Salt Lake City and the airline lost my wedges, and I couldn’t find anything else. And then I began thinking, I had seen things from the Makerspace. So I thought, 3D printer, heard about that, and I thought, Aha! I had this scruffy little piece of paper, Josh looked at my drawings, and we went from there. I was completely new to this sort of thing, [but] if I had a question, he just made it easy.


Josh: It was really great [working with Susan] because this felt like it was a project that really—


S: It makes a difference.


J: Right, and it was nice to see it actually work, and it helped you out. So I got a lot of gratification from that. I mean the Makerspace has completely changed the work that I do here, and I can see that people, they’re coming in and are like, 'I can’t believe you have this at a library!' Libraries have to adapt and evolve to stay with the times and technology, and this is the perfect medium for that.


S: That’s one of the things that the library’s done for me over the decades, it’s not just a matter of entertainment from a mystery [book] or getting a DVD. It’s also, okay, how do I do this particular crochet stitch? How do I make a wedge for my walker? The library [is] a source of good information.


J: Since we’ve met, I’ve already learned a lot more about 3D printing, so it’s really great for me as a professional. It’s furthering my skillset and sharing that experience with a patron.

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Tompkins County Public Library Foundation

101 E Green Street

Ithaca, NY 14850

(607) 272-4557

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