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Harford library staff uses 3-D printing to make ear clips for hospital workers’ mask

Ryan Rickels, IT director for Harford County Public Library, was part of the team that made more than 100 3-D ear clips at the Innovation Lab at the Abingdon Library.
Ryan Rickels, IT director for Harford County Public Library, was part of the team that made more than 100 3-D ear clips at the Innovation Lab at the Abingdon Library. (Photo Courtesy of Harford County Public Library)

Harford County Public Library made and donated over 100 ear clips to University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. Ear clips help ease the pressure caused by the elastic that goes around the ears when face masks are worn for hours on end.

The ear clips were made using two 3-D printers at the Innovation Lab at the Abingdon Library.

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Ryan Rickels, the library’s IT director; Lisa Mittman, Abingdon Library branch manager, and Frank DiBeneditto, Abingdon Library senior circulation manager, spent several days in the Innovation Lab creating the clips on 3-D printers. Harford County Public Library donated the entire cost of the project including the purchase of the filament, the 3-D printer use and staff time.

The donation was dropped off by the library team to University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center on May 4 to Denise Wilkes, respiratory therapist at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. Wilkes reached out to the library to see if the 3-D printers could be used to make the clips.

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“Harford County Public Library is committed to helping our community in any way possible,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. "When we received the request, we jumped right into action. It was a team effort, and we were honored to provide support to our frontline health care professionals during this time of crisis.” 

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