The DeArmond MakerSpace was certainly not alone in the response to the Covid-19 Pandemic spreading across our country, but I still want to highlight what we did. When the spread of virus hit the Oregon State area, our DeArmond MakerSpace, along with the Technical Service shop on campus, and the South Eugene High School Robotics Team shop folks all started working on making personal protection equipment. The library is considered an essential function of campus and therefore remained staffed after the closure by the Governor. During the first week of the University shut down, although the library doors were closed, our makerspace was active and our 3D printers churned out face-shield after face-shield, all delivered to our local hospital.
Once we got those shields finished, we moved on to PPE for our own staff. Since the UO Libraries’ buildings were closed to the public, we worked to create material for opening back up. Right now we are printing our own safety face-shields and have almost 30 done at the time of this post. MakerSpaces all make this possible, and there are plenty of other things that were done in other spaces around our area.
It was an amazing thing see on TV, hear on the radio, read in the paper, and physically watch in person as MakerSpaces across our country and even across the globe all kicked into gear and worked to fill in the shortage gap of safety equipment lacking from our doctors, nurses, and other hospital support staff.
A big “thank you!” goes out to everyone that gave us ideas, from our own interim library dean, to students in the School of Architecture, to faculty in Neuroscience and Chemistry, and to our local and university community of makers. I think we made a difference!