THE Scottish Library and Information Council has awarded almost £13,000 to Forth Valley College to support the roll-out of 3D printers.
The £12,412 award will be used by the college’s library service to invest in three new 3D printers and scanners with materials to support the creative learning process, with one placed within the learning resource centre at each campus in Falkirk, Alloa and Stirling.
Funding will also cover staff and student training and volunteering sessions.
After training, up to 30 students will be offered the chance to share their learning of 3D printers through volunteer sessions at local public libraries. The students will plan and deliver a series of 3D printing workshops for public library users, enabling the College to improve links with local public libraries and to share the technology with the local community.
Mhairi Shillinglaw, head of Equalities, Inclusion and Learning Services at Forth Valley College said: “Now that we’ve secured the required funding, we’re really excited to be in the delivery stages of this project to introduce 3D printers. They will open up a whole world of opportunities for our staff and students to try new technology, develop their digital skills and literally bring ideas to life.
“A key part of this project is developing our links with the local community through public libraries in the area, allowing us to maximise resources and widen access to more people.”
Last year, 3D printers were rolled out to every public library service across Scotland to improve access to new technology and encourage creativity in communities.
Pamela Tulloch, chief executive, SLIC said: “Forth Valley College’s grant application demonstrated creativity, innovation and inclusion through 3D printers.
"The project is an excellent demonstration of the ability of libraries to adapt to the changing needs of communities, ensuring they remain relevant in an increasingly digital world. It will offer huge learning and development potential for the student body and we are delighted to see the partnership element with local public libraries.
"Working together in this way is exactly the type of activity that is encouraged by our national public library strategy.”
It is expected the 3D printers will be delivered and installed this month, with training taking place throughout the summer. The student volunteer sessions in public libraries are scheduled to be delivered from October through to March 2018.
For more information on the IDF, please visit scottishlibraries.org/funding/innovation-and-development-fund