Staff at the Stettler Public Library have been able to produce ‘ear savers’ for medical masks, which pull the elastics away from the ears for a more comfortable fit. photo submitted

Thanks to the wonders of a 3-D printer, staff at the Stettler Library have been able to produce ‘ear savers’ for medical masks

Looking ahead, re-opening is tentatively slated for June 19th if all goes according to plan

Thanks to the innovative wonders of a 3-D printer, staff at the Stettler Public Library have been able to produce ‘ear savers’ for medical masks, which pull the elastics away from the ears for a more comfortable fit.

“In the early days of this lockdown, when people started wearing the masks, there was a young fellow out of the U.S. who created these mask straps that would be donated to healthcare professionals,” explained Rhonda O’Neill, the Library’s manager.

The straps are designed to help protect people’s ears.

“The band goes on the back of your head and then instead of looping the elastic over your ear, you loop it over this little bit that sticks out. There are four of these, so it can accommodate different sized heads. It can also provide a tighter fit on the masks, or a more custom fit,” she said, adding that Makerspace Coordinator Shaun Ross has been overseeing the project.

To date, about 12 dozen have been created and more are on the way.

“We gave them to acute care, and to Heritage House (here in Stettler) and have offered them to the other facilities, too,” she said.

“If somebody has to wear a mask and they want one of these ear savers, they can call us and we can print them off. And it’s free. If someone wants a large quantity, we would need some lead time on that but yes, there is no charge.”

Meanwhile, even though the Library has been closed to the public due to COVID-19, staff have still been busy serving local readers via curbside service and several online events and activities.

With the curbside service, members can let staff know what they would like from the collection, or they can ask staff for suggestions. “We will meet you at the front door with a bag of goodies.”

Families can also tune in Monday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for Read and Rhyme via Facebook live stream.

“Join Alix live, or watch it when the time is right for you. ‘Like’ our Read and Rhyme Facebook page (@splreadandrhyme), to find the live stream.”

Another example of assistance in finding reliable information on any subject is through the provision of confidential information support.

For this, folks are invited to call 403-742-2292 or email spl@prl.ab.ca. “Our volunteer resource person is also available to assist with navigating employment supports, (so) send in your question via our online form.”

Ultimately, the response to the online programming and such has been appreciated by the public.

“People are taking us up on what we are putting out there,” said O’Neill. “But we do miss having people around – it’s a long day when there is nobody here,” she added.

Meanwhile, materials currently on loan may be kept until the Library reopens, or returned to the book drop located outside the main doors to the SRC building.

“The Stettler Public Library no longer fines patrons for overdue materials so know that this is not a worry.”

Looking ahead, re-opening is tentatively slated for June 19th if all goes according to plan.

In the meantime, anyone who is interested in learning more about the masks project can also call the Stettler Public Library at 403-742-2292.

Coronavirus

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