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Ann Arbor District Library joins community effort to print face shields for frontline workers

Donated face shields pile up in Operation Face Shield Ann Arbor's pickle barrel. A bleach solution cleans the masks, which can be dropped at any time.
Donated face shields pile up in Operation Face Shield Ann Arbor's pickle barrel. A bleach solution cleans the masks, which can be dropped at any time. (Kevin Leeser)

ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor District Library announced this week that it has joined forces with Operation Face Shield Ann Arbor to print protective gear for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff have been printing from home around the clock using the library’s 3D printers and have been sharing updates on social media.

Operation Face Shield Ann Arbor is a public Facebook group that was launched less than two weeks ago. As of Friday morning it has 675 members.

Started by a local RN, it has grown into a full-fledged community movement, with residents pitching in their time -- and filament -- to make face shields for those who need them the most. According to the group’s organizer, the numbers of donations each day have become exponential, with 700 shields donated on Thursday alone.

Among the volunteers are teachers and students from Ann Arbor Public Schools who are printing at home using private and school-owned 3D printers. The three hole punch model that Operation Face Shield Ann Arbor is printing was modified by an engineering student at Skyline High School.

A permanent drive-up donation site has been established in the parking lot of Ann Arbor Distilling Company. There, volunteers collect the face shields and neutralize them with bleach -- all while practicing proper social distancing protocols.

Ann Arbor Distilling Company is at 220 Felch St.

For more information, join the Facebook group or visit its website.


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