It’s a wonderful debate about whether 3D printing fits into library strategies. I fall on the side that yes, for many libraries they do and I fully support the maker movement, from creative writing labs, to business incubators to creating art and patentable objects and inventions. They can make a library collection even more relevant and connect a wide variety of users to their own success scenario and pathway. That said, here are two versions of the points of view on this debate:
Hugh Rundle initiates the debate:
Mission creep – a 3D printer will not save your library
Phil Bradley says it well here:
3D printing – is it for libraries?
Simply, content is content and being able to print off an particular museum art object from the Smithsonian on demand complements a print museum, art and sculpture collection. Besides the bounds of budgets, why privilege one type of content over another? We think we have rights issues with e-books, just wait…!