• Making Magic: Fostering Innovation with a Creative Technology Lab in the Health Sciences Library

      Logue, Natalie; Kouame, Gail; Askew, Bettina; Nogales, Vonny; Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library (Augusta University, 2018-11-19)
      Objective:To offer creative technology services in a health sciences library for innovation and prototyping. Methods: An academic health sciences library implemented a new maker space, the Creative Technology Lab (CTL), as part of a major renovation project in 2017/2018. The Creative Technology Lab provides 3D scanning and printing services, a Cricut machine, circuitry kits, and a lamination machine, with a high-definition data visualization display coming in the next year. Initial planning for the CTL focused primarily on 3D printing and scanning. The space allocated for the CTL was not ready during early phases of the renovation, so the 3D scanning and printing equipment was placed in another work area to allow library personnel to become familiar with how to use the equipment and accompanying software. The CTL Committee developed policies and procedures and posted job request forms to the library’s web page prior to the final placement of the 3D equipment in the CTL space. Interest and some requests immediately surfaced when equipment became available in the library.Results:When the CTL final location was unveiled, requests for 3D scanning and printing increased notably. The CTL is located directly inside the library’s main entrance and has a bank of windows,making it highly visible. In addition, the committee produced marketing materials and presented on the CTL in an online tutorial and at local faculty showcases. Faculty members and students from multiple disciplines have produced 3D printed tools and educational models. Conclusions:Having the Creative Technology Lab as a service at the health sciences library allows for the library to increase its visibility on campus to new users seeking to produce both prototypes and objects for practical uses. The biggest challenge for users of the CTL is understanding the technology and software, so providing feedback on designs and discussing project ideas has been repeatedly requested.