The University of Alabama at Birminghams Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences has long been recognized as a leading health sciences library in the state of Alabama. In 2017, the library added two LulzBot Taz 6 3D printers as part of a university-funded project intended to investigate the feasibly of creating anatomical and molecular models for use in the librarys circulating collection. The 3D printed models currently available for check out in the library have been very enthusiastically received by students, and there is a high amount of faculty interest in future uses of models to enhance instruction and training. The library would like to continue to explore opportunities to provide students and faculty access to new technologies by making an Allevi 1 bioprinter and the associated software and knowledge base available to members of the UAB community. Three-dimensional printing and bioprinting are rapidly developing technologies that are not yet integrated in to health sciences curriculums, even though applications of technologies are beginning to appear in clinical settings. Making bioprinting available for student and faculty learning in the library will provide a unique opportunity for self-directed learning in an intersectional space at the university. Having access to these tools in the library will enable interested students, faculty, and staff to explore potential applications for these technologies in current instructional settings, as well as providing a forum for faculty who have read about these new tools in the health sciences literature to visit the library to build a basic set of skills and understanding of potential applications as a route to developing new research interests.
University of Alabama at Birmingham