If the library is more than its collection, then use of 3D printing to create knowledge is a good fit – but 3D printing in library makerspaces can also provide greater access to collections by transforming 2D images into 3D tactile informational objects for use by blind or visually impaired patrons.
Will new negotiations between libraries and publishers of journals, images, maps and other visual resources now include access to files for 3D printing tactile objects for on-demand creation of 3D prints for tactile use? Is a 3D print of a 2D photo or digital image a derivative work? Will the treaty recently passed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) positively impact the making of tactile learning objects? What must faculty and students know about copyright and fair use before beginning to make things with 3D printers? Will libraries be responsible for providing makerspaces and staffing to assist in the production of tactile informational objects?
ADA expectations for compliance change with availability of new technologies such as 3D printing, which has been shown recently to be capable of producing tactile learning objects so blind or visually impaired students can sense through touch and feel what sighted students can see with microscopes and telescopes (www.nextgenemedia.com/ELDpres/assets/fallback/index.html
). Whose responsibility is it to be sure that visual information contained in digital or 2D form is made accessible to the blind patron? Does copyright stand in the way of making 3D printed informational objects for use by visually impaired patrons?
The impact of making 3D printed informational objects will be discussed and 3D prints of microscope and telescope informational objects will be available for a touch and feel experience by attendees. It is expected that attendees will become more knowledgeable about how 3D printing and related copyright issues can impact future library services and staffing.