Alone in Charles Library: Makerspace Manager Takes Part in University-Wide Effort to Make PPE

About nine months ago, the new Charles Library opened on Temple Main Campus. This forward-thinking academic library in the heart of campus was a cause for much celebration, and it quickly became an integral hub for gathering and collaborating, study and research, creating and exploring. 

And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In mid-March, Temple made the decision to move all courses online and closed most university buildings. That included our brand new Charles Library.

photo of the empty Charles Library atrium

The empty Charles Library atrium

Charles Library is empty now of people, save for one: Makerspace Manager David Ross. In the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio on the third floor of Charles Library, David is putting the 3D printers, laser cutters, and other equipment in our production-oriented facility to work.

David is part of a university-wide task force comprised of Temple faculty, staff, and students that assembled to answer the question: what can we do to help address the critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical professionals?

Named the Temple University COVID-19 Assistance Team (TUCAT), this cross-disciplinary effort began in March and is still ongoing. The team spans across the university, from the College of Engineering and College of Science and Technology to Tyler School of Art and Architecture to Temple Libraries, Temple Health, and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The team members are practicing social distancing and working separately to avoid any further spread. 

So what’s it like to be in Charles Library alone? David says it’s a bit lonely, though there are a few perks, including:


  • My own bathrooms (PLURAL)

  • Listening to Music or NPR super loud in a library!
  • Being asked to turn on computers, or get items for staff…So I get to walk through the office spaces and see coworkers’ desk personalities. Some of these are really fun— one person has an amazing LEGO set, a few have forests growing across their desks 
  • I have the pick of the litter for reading material and games and such—makes for nice breaks
  • I dance! I bet the security guards watching the video love seeing me act a fool

David demonstrating a completed face shield

David demonstrating a completed face shield

David’s primary focus in the Makerspace is creating face shields. In other spaces across campus, team members (who may or may not also be dancing while they work) are making other components, as well as assembling, cleaning, and packing the PPE for delivery. The team also donated a number of iPads and helped develop a system to remotely run the iPads in order to help doctors maintain social distancing.

While we aren’t the only organization employing our Makerspace to make PPE, the Temple task force made the early decision to take a faster and safer approach. The team determined that 3D printing the face shields themselves wasn’t feasible on a mass scale, because the process can be expensive, slow, and prone to error. 

Instead, David worked closely with Professor Tonia Hsieh from the Department of Biology and came up with the idea to use 3D printers to create molds, from which many face shields could then be quickly cast. What’s more, the material used for casting—a flexible resin—can be cleaned and reused, making it ideal for use in hospitals.

Photo of molds

Face shield molds

 

David pours material in shield molds

David pours material in shield molds

The Temple team has shared their unique process, including designs and molds, with universities and partners across Philadelphia and even Delaware, which according to David, turned the project “from a Temple effort to a Philadelphia effort.” The team has also created a how-to guide so that “this can grow from a Philly effort to an American effort to even a global effort,” David notes.

In reflecting on the experience, David says that “one of the best parts of this for me was being allowed to use new types of casting materials and learning new methods for making this process efficient.” He also notes Charles Library’s role as being a natural place for facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration and that “without cross-disciplinary work, the project would never have happened.”  

Extra Seating in Charles Library for Finals

We know that preparing for final exams and papers is stressful enough without having to worry about where to study. Head on over to Charles Library, which is open 24/7 starting December 5th at 8 a.m. For final exams, we’re also opening up more study spots and seating options. 

Check out the following rooms, which you are welcome to use any time they’re not booked (schedules are posted outside each room):

  • 113
  • 202
  • 210 (complete with desktop computers!)
  • 381
  • 401

We’re also setting up extra seats and tables in the first floor event space and throughout the building. And be on the lookout for the comfiest new option around—bean bag chairs! 

From all of us here at the Library, good luck with finals.

New Semester, New Look at the Libraries

Charles Library, photo by Betsy Manning for Temple University

Welcome to the fall 2019 semester! While Temple University Libraries has a new Main Campus building (Charles Library, heard of it??!) and a new website, we are committed as ever to getting you the materials, resources, and expert help you need as you start a new academic year at Temple!

First off, we hope you’ll stop by the new Charles Library building, where you’ll find a variety of specialized and flexible spaces. Explore all the cool things you can do in the new Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, including 3D printing and experimenting with virtual reality. Watch the BookBot in action, grab a snack at the new cafe, then stay up all night in the 24/7 study area. There’s so much more to this state-of-the-art building—come see us in person

If you want to learn more about Charles Library, we’ll be offering tours from 9:00 am–4:00 pm as well as a staffed info table the first two weeks of the semester. No need to register: just stop by and get to know your new library.

Once you’ve scoped out your syllabi, head over to our comprehensive Research Guides for each of your course subjects, as well as our How Do I…? guides for help with basic tasks and services. 

Or maybe you are looking for new ways to learn or spend an afternoon? Check out the Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series for a variety of free programs, concerts, workshops, and more, many of which will take place in Charles Library’s new event space

Here are a few more tips to help you start the new school year off right:

Libraries Launch New Website

On Monday, August 19, 2019, Temple University Libraries will launch a new website culminating two years of work and research. The timing of this launch is paired with the opening of the new Charles Library. This new environment serves to enhance discovery of library resources, and promote the use of services and amenities both online and within our walls. The last time the libraries’ website received a major overhaul was about seven years ago, in 2012.

An overarching goal of the website redesign and restructuring was to create a consistent look across all of our web platforms. Last summer, we launched our new Library Search as the first step in this process. Launching the new website on an open source and flexible platform is the second step. The new website will have a seamless integration with Library Search, and website content will be discoverable alongside book, article and database information.

We also continue to build out Library Search as we prepare for the changes to how users will navigate our collections. This will include the option to retrieve items from the BookBot and to browse our collections in the order that they would have appeared in the old stacks.

We sought to build a website that incorporated input and feedback from all of the communities that we serve. Over the course of the project, we conducted several in-person user-testing sessions with library patrons as they passed through the halls. We also did an online survey and looked at web analytics for our most popular pages.

A project of this scope has an impact that will reverberate throughout our community, and we are committed to persisting links to library resources. We thank you for your patience with this development, and we look forward to working with you into the future.

Farewell, Paley Library!

Saying goodbye to Paley, photo by Brae Howard

On May 9, the Libraries hosted a “Goodbye to Paley” open house. Paley has been the library’s home on Main Campus since 1966, and has meant so much to the Temple students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors who have walked through its doors.

Library staff performs hits from 1966, photo by Brae Howard

Around 250 people joined us to celebrate, to reminisce, and to say goodbye to Paley. Our open house featured an SCRC photo exhibit, zinemaking station, video booth for sharing Paley memories, library furniture sale, live music, and more. Dean Joe Lucia also offered remarks on the history of Paley and the shifts we’ve seen in academic libraries since the 1960s, when Paley first opened. It was a fitting send off as we prepare to open a new 21st century library across the street.

At the end of the day, we officially closed Paley Library in order to begin the move to Charles Library. The move process will continue throughout the summer, as we work toward opening the new library for the fall semester in August.

 

Images of Paley Library from the SCRC, photo by Brae Howard

While Paley will no longer function as a library, the building will live on as “Samuel Paley Hall.” It will be the new home for the College of Public Health and will continue to house the Center for Academic Advising and Professional Development for the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Technology.

 

 

While we will miss Paley dearly, we are excited about completing the move to Charles and opening the new state-of-the-art facility to the public.

Library furniture on sale, photo by Brae Howard

New Year’s Resolutions? No Problem! Let the Libraries Help

Happy 2019 and welcome back for the spring semester! Are you ready to make 2019 your best year yet? The Libraries have you covered. Read on to learn about new and ongoing initiatives and resources that will help you keep your resolutions and start off the new year strong.Image of tree blooming into spring

 

Exercise your creativity

Today marks the opening of our creative writing contest to commemorate the new Charles Library and the launch of the Short Edition short story dispenser. Submit a short original piece by March 8 for a chance to win a cash prize and/or be published in Temple’s first short story dispenser.

Make some extra money

If you’re an undergrad, consider submitting your research and creative projects to the Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards (submissions open through February 18) for a chance at winning a prestigious honor and cash prize.

Start a new project

Want to try your hand at podcasting, photography, or film? The Libraries can help! We lend out audiovisual equipment like DSLR cameras, Flip cameras, audio recorders, and tripods from our Media Services department. We also have workstations for editing your projects. Visit the Media Services desk on the ground floor of Paley Library to learn more.

Learn a new skill

Interested in 3D printing or Virtual Reality? Our Digital Scholarship Center houses a makerspace and VR lab. You will also find expert staff on hand and a variety of workshops and orientations to get you started.

Read a good book

There’s nothing like getting lost in the world of a new book. Browse Paley Library’s leisure reading collection on the first floor, near the Ask Here desk, and see what new worlds you can discover.

Elevate your research

Use our Ask a Librarian service to work with an expert subject librarian to deepen and develop your research and/or personal projects.

Take in a cultural experience

Need a little more culture in your life? The Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series offers a variety of free lectures, concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, and more that are sure to entertain and engage. Did we mention they are free?

 

Library Search: Enhanced version now live

Based on feedback received from the university community, Temple University Libraries released an enhanced version of the Library Search on August 13th, 2018. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Libraries will continue to make further updates to the search.

Please refer to our Library Search Road Map and Frequently Asked Questions page for more information and check the library website throughout the year for further updates. If you have any additional questions, please contact asktulibrary@temple.edu.

CONTENTdm Responsive Site Goes Live

Temple University Libraries’ Digital Collections site has a new look! We are excited to roll out a responsive version of our existing Digital Collections website. The new software has better mobile and tablet compatibility, an improved image viewer, and is compliant with WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines.

You’ll find all of our collections on the website homepage, along with an easily navigable single search bar and advanced search option. You’ll also see a link to “Explore Our Collections,” where you’ll find several options for browsing our collections by repository, by subject, by format, or through our digital exhibitions.

Users can access our Digital Collections through the Temple University Libraries homepage, through the Special Collections Research Center homepage, or by visiting http://digital.library.temple.edu/digital/

There will be continuous upgrades and improvements to the software over time, so be sure to look out for new features in the site. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to suggest new digitization projects, please contact us at diglib@temple.edu.

–Stephanie Ramsay
Digital Projects LIbrarian

Library Search: Updated Beta Release

Based on feedback received from the university community, an enhanced version of the Library Search is currently under development at Temple University Libraries. A beta version was released in February 2018, and was updated with new features on June 25, 2018. Try it out at librarybeta.temple.edu/bento.

On August 6, 2018, this updated version of the Library Search is scheduled to replace the existing interface. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Libraries will continue to make further enhancements to the search.

Please refer to our Library Search Road Map for more information and check the library website over the summer for further updates. If you have any additional questions, please contact asktulibrary@temple.edu.

National Poetry Month Is Here!

What better way to bring in April than with National Poetry Month? Established by the Academy of American Poets, this month celebrates the enduring legacy and ongoing work of American poets and encourages us to support poets and poetry.

Wondering how you can join in the fun? Sign up for Poem-a-Day at poets.org, and you will receive a brand new, previously unpublished poem in your inbox every day. Check out today’s poem, “Agatha” by Dorothea Lasky.

If you’re interested in getting involved on campus, look no further than the Babel Poetry Collective, which is a collection of spoken word poets, musicians, vocalists, and emcees.

Another way to celebrate poetry is to share your favorite poem with a friend. Here, I’ll start: check out “Onset” by Kim Addonizio. Now, it’s your turn!