Harford County Public Library’s Innovation Lab uses 3-D printers to make mask wearing more comfortable for health care workers

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) 

Staff at the Abingdon Library used the 3-D printer in their Innovation Lab to create ear clips that can make wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 more comfortable. The library donated the clips to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health for use by frontline health care workers. Here are the details provided:

Harford County Public Library Makes, Donates Ear Clips for Masks at UM Upper Chesapeake Health

Clips were made using 3-D printers at the Innovation Lab at the Abingdon Library

Belcamp, Md., May 4, 2020  — 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. 

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 two 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.

“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.” 

For more than 74 years, Harford County Public Library has provided its communities with access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 6.3 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, attending classes and events. In 2019, Harford County Public Library received the Maryland Library Association’s first Excellence in Marketing Award. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.