MSUToday
Published: April 6, 2020

MSU Libraries help unite local PPE makers and ramp up face shield production

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For more than 150 years, MSU Libraries have used their resources, skills and knowledge to help the MSU community. Now they’re helping in a whole new way, working together and with others on campus to produce Personal Protective Equipment in the Hollander MakerSpace and helping to unite the local community of PPE makers. 

Dean of Libraries Joseph A. Salem, Jr. said printers are running throughout the night to make shields, and Library staff have worked to create a webpage to help unite the PPE maker community. 

“We have a whole crew of people working together to make PPE,” Salem said. “Many other units on campus and in the community are working to produce these masks and shields, and we’re really glad to join this team of makers. We work, always, to adapt to meet the evolving needs of our community. We certainly didn’t predict we’d be making face shields, but we are happy to share our resources and knowledge. This new work, like all of our work, is founded on a culture of empathy and a commitment to contributing to our community.” 

The MSU Libraries recently ordered two more Prusa 3D printers to help with the work and Salem anticipates the Libraries will be making at least 20 face shields a day.

“Our team is stretching our elastic supplies by using 1/3 elastic and 2/3 other fabric for the straps. We're also prototyping splitters for ventilators, and we might soon experiment with N95 masks, though that will depend on if we get more information about which designs work best.”

Kelly Sattler, MSU Libraries head of web services created a page on the MSU Libraries website to serve as a central resource for all groups and individuals contributing to making PPE for the Michigan medical community. The webpage includes resources, design specifications, a list of participants, maker forms, drop-off forms, and information about the MSU/local area network of PPE makers. 

The Selma D. and Stanley C. Hollander MakeCentral: Makerspace is an alternative learning environment and gathering space that encourages cross-discipline collaboration, experimentation and learning. All students, staff, faculty and community members can use the space for maker projects and activities. The space encourages hands-on and social learning about new technologies and techniques. The MakerSpace includes 3D printers, 3D scanning, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, a button maker, and opportunities to borrow cameras and other technology.

MSU Libraries MakerSpace staff Jamie Moriarty (top left) and Kristina Jones (right) model shields made in MSU Libraries. Photo courtesy of MSU Libraries.