19th September 2016 |

During 2016 SLIC introduced 3D printers to every library service in Scotland, opening up a whole new world of creativity and digital learning.

The £76,000 project was made possible through funding from the Scottish Government’s digital participation programme.

Through the project SLIC has ensured the digital offer for libraries is consistent across Scotland and staff are equipped to make best use of resources and information available for the benefit of the communities they serve. SLIC has produced a detailed final report which looks at every aspect of the country wide project.

3D Printers in Scotland’s Public Libraries Report

As well as receiving state-of-the-art 3D printers, staff in Scotland’s public libraries received detailed training – delivered through a mix of face-to-face training sessions and the SLIC Moodle online training site. Staff have also benefited from ongoing support to ensure project success.

A network of 3D Printing Champions has now been established within every library service, who will promote the use of 3D printers in their library and develop bespoke projects within their local communities. The initiative is already helping to promote libraries as social hubs in their communities and offer support to businesses.

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive, SLIC said: “I believe 3D printing in public libraries offers huge potential for local communities to learn and create.  Thanks to additional funding from the Scottish Government, more people will have access to this exciting technology. Who knows what it might lead to in some communities – the possibilities are endless and ground-breaking ideas can from the most unexpected places.

“This is just one of the innovative projects underway in libraries across Scotland to meet the aims of the public library strategy, which we launched last year.  A key aspect of the strategy is to ensure libraries reflect the needs of modern communities. The 3D printing project is an excellent demonstration of the ability of libraries to adapt to the changing needs of communities, ensuring they remain relevant in an increasingly digital world.”

Through the introduction of 3D printers more libraries should be able to offer popular initiatives such as creative storytelling sessions, Minecraft clubs and other digital participation activities which will appeal to new audiences.

Download a copy of the SLIC 3D Printers in Scotland’s Public Libraries Report

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