The Bellmore Memorial Library’s newest 3D printers — only acquired shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic began — are being put to charitable use. More than 100 plastic face shields have been printed and sent out to front-line workers in the community.
Before the library closed in March, the staff ordered two new Prusa 3D printers, and only one instructional class was held for adults before all programs were postponed.
“Obviously, the purpose of the 3D printer was to be for the community,” said Director Elaine Cummings-Young. “To have these brand-new 3D printers in a box was driving me crazy.”
Librarian Pam Pagones learned of other libraries in Suffolk and Nassau County that were printing face shields for medical workers. As soon as she received the file to create the protective equipment, she got to printing.
The face shield donations were advertised on social media, and 110 have been donated to the Nassau University and Montefiore Medical Centers and to various workers around the community.
“As much as people want to come back [to the library], we miss having people in the building too,” said Director Elaine Cummings-Young. “So, this was one way for us to stay in touch with people in the community.”
“Seeing the pictures of people we donated these face shields to, it’s such a good feeling to see how grateful they were,” Pagones said, “and that these face shields made an impact for local hospitals and health centers.”
When the library reopens, 3D printing programs for children and adults will continue, Cummings-Young said. Meanwhile, the children’s program lives on virtually every month. Classes can be found at www.bellmorelibrary.org.
Additional face shields are available for the community as well. Anyone interested in receiving them can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Not only healthcare workers can benefit,” Pagones said — face shields can be utilized by businesses currently reopening, such as salons, barber shops and restaurants.