Project Explores Interlibrary Loan of 3-D Objects

Nora Dethloff, assistant head of Information and Access Services at the University of Houston Libraries, is a co-investigator on a Texas Tech University Libraries project team that is reimagining resource sharing.

3-D depiction of mathematical models created at Texas Tech

3-D depiction of mathematical models created at Texas Tech

The project, Sharing and Helping Academics Prepare for Educational Success (SHAPES), is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. As users’ demands for new types of resources increase, librarians from Texas Tech and UH are working to fulfill the need for sharing of 3-D objects by creating a database of plans that can be rendered through a networked printing service.

Video: Texas Tech librarians discuss an interlibrary loan program for 3-D objects.

“We’re envisioning the program as the interlibrary loan of three-dimensional objects,” Dethloff said. “For instance, someone at Texas Tech could discover a plan that was created here at UH for a replica of a human retina, and they could then request to have that object created on a 3-D printer at Tech through a transmittal of the plan.”

The new service can also provide a means of “loaning” unique or rare items that are currently only available in-person. Through shared plans and replication, students of one institution would be able to see, touch, and interact with an exact replica of a rare item held at another.

Learn how a Texas Tech education professor is using 3-D models in the classroom.

The project team is building the repository and testing the mechanism that will transmit data in order for patrons from either institution to discover available 3-D object plans, which heretofore were limited to those with access to an engineering lab or high-end software for 3-D object modeling.

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Posted on March 24th, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on Project Explores Interlibrary Loan of 3-D Objects