The Williamsburg Regional Library has started making and distributing face shields during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic –––for free.
Barry Trott, spokesman for the WRL said they started planning this weeks ago, in the second half of March.
“As the library was closing down, we were thinking about our 3D printers,” he said. “Obviously there was a need for personal protective equipment.”
After experimenting with 3D printer designs and meeting with medical professionals to figure out exactly what was needed, Trott said they reached out to various organizations in the community and received their first request on April 8.
The face shields were delivered the next day.
“The shield itself is actual a thick, plastic mylar often used for book covers,” Trott said, approximately 10 millimeters thick.
Both the frames and adjustable headbands for the face shields are being made with the 3D printers, he added.
“Whenever we get a request, we’ll work with them to see how much we can provide,” he said.
So far, the WRL has delivered 75 face shields to the James City County General Services department, Williamsburg House of Mercy, Virginia Oncology Associates and the Pediatrics Associates of Williamsburg.
“We made masks for some of our staff for added protection,” Trott said, noting some of the library staff was still working on site.
There are currently 12 organizations with pending orders or an order of roughly 788 face shields, Trott said, mostly comprised of nursing homes or assisted care facilities such as Consulate Healthcare, WindsorMeade and Williamsburg Landing.
The other organizations include Cenevia, Williamsburg Dental Group, Brookdale Chambrel Williamsburg, Dominion Village at Williamsburg, Edgeworth Park at New Town, Patriots Colony, St. Charles Lwanga House, White Oaks at Williamsburg and Riverside Family Medicine at the Brentwood Medical Center.
The Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation are funding the project giving the library money for supplies, Trott said, and library staff have taken the three 3D printers home.
The WRL ordered a fourth printer which should arrive by the end of the month.
“Libraries all about helping in whatever way we can,” Trott said. “We want to help.”
Local organizations in need of face shields can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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