3D Printing and Public Policy

Through my work with makerspace resources, I came across this new campaign by the ALA, Progress in the Making: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Public Policy. It is a great tool to frame discussions on the issues around 3D printing such as intellectual property, intellectual freedom, safety concerns, and product liability.

The biggest issue that stimulates the need for public policy on this topic is illustrated here:
“As this technology takes off, a growing number of people will gain the ability to create and market complex and potentially dangerous products” (ALA, 2014, p. 2).

It was interesting to see this article looking towards pharmaceutical product printing at home and the question of whether libraries would be liable for user products printed at a library: The answer is unclear as “courts have yet to interpret product liability in the context of 3D printing” (p. 2).

Lots of issues to look at as 3D printers continue to gain prominence in libraries.

American Library Association (2014, September). Progress in the making: An introduction to 3D printing and public policy, 1. Retrieved from


Banned Book Week 2014

Scary StoriesIn honour of Banned Book Week, here is a timeline of challenged works. This timeline selects one controversial book that was challenged for year from 1982 to present. I still remember reading Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz as a child. Although they were scary, I loved them and I think it helped expand my imagination.

We’re studying collection policies in my collection development course at the moment and with how important this document is for any library I’m amazed that some libraries do not have them or do not have them publicly available. It is instrumental in justifying your collection choices, should any challenges arise, and gives a framework to your acquisitions. So far, of all the collection policies I’ve seen, I was impressed by the completeness of the North Vancouver District Public Library‘s policy. Writing my own version has been enlightening in just how difficult crafting these documents can be!

Especially since a section on intellectual freedom should be included in any selection policy, I feel like banned books week should also celebrate collection development policies because these documents help keep challenged books on the shelves!