LIBRARIES in Stirling are contributing to the production of vital personal protective equipment for key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The libraries service at Stirling Council is using its 3D printing technology to manufacture PPE for NHS and other essential staff.

More than 100 face shields are being made each week with the machines printing solid plastic frames for the vital piece of kit.

The move is part of the national crowd printing campaign The Big Print - which handles the assembly, distribution and ordering of equipment with a Scottish centre set up in Falkirk.

Lauren McCombe, who started working as a library technician just a week before the coronavirus lockdown began, has the primary responsibility for printing the PPE.

She said: “Originally I was a bit overwhelmed at the thought of manufacturing PPE when I had barely even switched on a 3D printer before.

“On top of a brand new job and an unfamiliar workplace, it all felt a bit mad.

“However, it turns out that throwing yourself into something like this is a great way to learn the ropes and I've had loads of fun doing it.

“It's been an intensely rewarding process, both in terms of learning a new skill and being able to provide vital PPE for frontline workers who really need it.”

Councillor Chris Kane, convener of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee at the local authority, added: “Personal protective equipment, or PPE, are some of the most in demand items on the planet right now and while in normal times our 3D printers are great educational and learning tools available through our library service, it is a fantastic idea to use them in this way to help supply masks to those on the front line of the fight against Covid-19.”