5 Great Sites for 30,000+ Free 3D Printing Models

Earlier this week I blogged about 7 Astonishing Objects Made with 3D Printers.  If you’re a fan of learning how to make your own things using 3D printing, then you’ll want to check out these five great websites.  Each will provide you with free downloadable 3D models for you to get started!

1) Thingiverse


Owned by MakerBot, this amazing website is dedicated specifically to 3D printing, offering over 30,000 items that have been uploaded to its site.  This is the largest 3D printing design sharing community, and all of the models or “things” are free!

2) CG Trader


If you set the price to “Free” in the 3D Print Models section of this website you’ll come across hundreds of awesome 3D models you can download the files for in the results!

3) GrabCAD


Wow! This website offers over 3,000 3D printing models for everything from bicycle frames to robotic hands!!! And I have my eye on the Iron Man helmet!!  All of the models on this site are free!

Read the full post 5 Great Sites for 30,000+ Free 3D Printing Models on OEDB.org.

7 Astonishing Objects Made with 3D Printers

3D printers are the latest devices sought after by libraries and patrons alike. They teach patrons valuable skills in math and engineering and transform the library into a partner in production of amazing 3D objects. Wondering what’s possible with today’s 3D printing machines? Here are 7 that will astound you.

1) An Amazing Light Sculpture Lamp

forms_in_nature2 forms_in_nature

The artists at Forms in Nature have created this amazing scultured lamp via a 3D printer. “Forms in Nature is a artwork with a light source surrounded by a dense and unruly tree and root system created in minature sculpture. The forest is mirrored around it’s horizontal central axis and forms a circle 360 degrees around the light source and thereby leads one onto the notion of a real world versus an underworld.”

2) Personalized Action Figures


Make an action figure of yourself! Make use of a 3D printing service such as 3DMe or Twinkind to create a tiny replica of yourself from your photographs or a 3D scan. You can also go the DIY route and build your own 3D scanner, here are the instructions.

3) Extra Body Parts


Scientists have figured out how to print out body parts such as ears, prosthetic limbs, kidneys, even blood vessels and more. These use special 3D printers called bioprinters that use a gel-like substance made from cells or ceramic powder instead of bones.

4) Food


Just like on Star Trek, you can now use a 3Dprinter like a food replicator to produce pizza, chocolates and other edibles. What could be better – dinner and snacks printed on demand and no one has to do the dishes!

Read the full post 7 Astonishing Objects Made with 3D Printers on OEDB.org.

10 Finance Hacks for College Students

Cash-strapped college students need to watch every penny they have and luckily there are a lot of great new ways to do just that. This article will give you 10 tips for how to make the most of new devices, apps, and strategies that will stretch your dollar, organize your wallet, and plan your finances. With the latest technology available, it’s quick and easy to set yourself up to monitor your spending on a daily basis.  Here are some recommendations:

1) Make the Most of Rewards Cards

Students who are savvy about rewards will end up getting back for every dollar that they give out. Before doling out hundreds of dollars on textbooks at the start of the semester, pay attention to how you’re paying for them. If you pay with a rewards credit card you could receive airline miles in return that might help fund your spring break getaway, other credit cards offer cash back for certain types of purchases. Check out annual review lists such as the NerdWallet’s Best Rewards Credit Cards, Spring 2014.

Aside from credit cards, there are also loyalty programs available for nearly every retailer and many restaurants, nail salons, etc. Ask about rewards programs at stores, coffee shops, and restaurants that you frequent so you can cash in on some of the benefits of being a regular.


2) Use One Card to Rule Them All!


Organize your wallet and your life by combining all of those rewards cards onto one device – an actual credit card that holds multiple credit, loyalty, membership, and gift cards in one.  You can scroll through your stored cards, click the button, and swipe away for any purchase. Right now there are two contenders in this space. Coin and Wallaby. You can sign up to take part in Wallaby’s beta program, or pre-order a Coin card for $50 -half the price they’ll be charging when they officially launch. Coin cards will ship this summer.


3) Use Mint for Budgeting and Notifications


Mint is a free application that lets your view all of your financial accounts into one place. Set a budget, track your goals and make your money go further. You can also take Mint with you on your phone, tablet, or any mobile device so that you can keep track of your spending at all times. Mint will also send you notifications of activity in your accounts such as low balance alerts, bill payment reminders, etc. What I really appreciate about Mint is all of the colorful graphs and pie charts it provides to give you an idea of how you’re spending your money at a glance.


4) Put Your Wallet on Your Phone


New mobile wallets enable smartphone owners to store coupons, boarding passes, event tickets, store cards, ‘generic’ cards, and other forms of mobile payment in their cell phones. Apple’s iOS Passbook stores and displays a variety of 2D barcodes such as QR codes, each of which is considered a “pass” that can be used for boarding most major airlines, as a mobile movie ticket, or to pay at Starbucks, Subway, Walgreens, Sephora, and many more retailers. The Square Wallet app also works with Starbucks and a variety of other merchants, as does the Google Wallet. Why not organize all of these into the one place that’s most convenient and always at hand – your phone?!


5) Use Handy Budget Apps


  •  ATM Hunter to Avoid Fees – Locate the closest ATMs with this handy app. You can specify which banking networks to search for to avoid fees or only search for your own bank.
  • Scoutmob For Your Next Meal – Scoutmob is a local, budget-friendly app that helps you find real-time deals on restaurants, retailers, and events. Once you have the app it will alert you whenever you walk into a restaurant with a dining discount or a store with a coupon.


  • Cash-Strapped for Controlled Spending – Set a daily, weekly or monthly budget for all your disposable income and keep track of it with Cash-Strapped. Each time you spend money at Starbucks, buy a slice of pizza, or go out to the movies, simply enter the amount and your remaining budget will be recalculated immediately.


  • PayMeBack to Track $ Borrowed – If you’re following all of these budgeting tips, you may be in better shape than many of your friends who may come calling to borrow money. Whether you lent someone a few bucks or covered a dinner bill for a group, this app will keep track of who borrowed what and how much.



Read the full post 10 Finance Hacks for College Students on OEDB.org.

34 Library Stories You May Have Missed in April

April was chock-full of great library-related blog posts, articles, and presentations.  Check out this list to get caught up on everything from evaluating the eBook reader market to the EPCOT Center Library!  Here are 35 library-related stories you may have missed last month:

  1. 10 Awesome Presentations from Computers in Libraries 2014
  2. License to loan: Academic Library Directors Reject Licensing Agreements
  3. Managing a Library of Congress worth of data
  4. 10 Great Literary Mugs for Librarians
  5. Beginner’s guide to the professional book review
  6. Becoming a solo librarian
  7. Keeping Up with MOOCs
  8. Why I don’t buy print reference books
  9. Learning to Read: Navigating the ebook reader market
  10. 15 books about libraries and librarians
  11. Rethinking the model for library book groups
  12. Acquiring books and people
  13. Harvard book bound in sheepskin, not human flesh
  14. Libraries are dying? Think again
  15. Which metrics really matter?
  16. Read the full post 34 Library Stories You May Have Missed in April on OEDB.org.

5 Ways Libraries Can Use Vine for Marketing

Last summer I wrote about 15 Cool Ways Libraries Can Use Vine to Create Social Videos and suggested a variety of different uses for Vine videos for libraries. Since then, many companies have been making use of the 6-second video format offered by this Twitter-owned social media company and in some very creative ways.   Here are five fantastic implementations of Vine videos for you to ponder how you could steal these ideas to market your own library !


1) ASOS Makes the Mundane Interesting

  This UK retailer took an otherwise boring task – opening a box – and made it into an exciting video highlighting its products and capturing the interest of potential customers. The company also encourages its customers to create their own and attach a hashtag to their videos. What about libraries opening boxes of books or perhaps other everyday library occurrences such as book binding, spine labeling, stamping, etc.?  

2) Samsung Uses Stop Motion Animation for Extra Points

The Vine app has inherent stop motion capabilities that you can employ by simply by tapping your phone’s screen…here’s how.   Many companies have created stunning videos using this process such as these.  I can think of a million ways that libraries can create stop motion videos such as lightning fast library tours, animations with books, videos similar to this one featuring the high-tech devices the library owns, etc.


3) AirBNB Combines Vines into a Short Film

The AirBNB travel company defied the 6-second time limit on Vine videos by stitching them together to create the first short film made entirely of Vines. The video is 4 minutes long and features the journey of a piece of paper around the world. It premiered at the Sundance Festival. Think of what libraries could do with this format! The free online application Cameo enables you to stitch together your Vines into a longer video.



Read the full post 5 Ways Libraries Can Use Vine for Marketing on OEDB.org.

The Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award


I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that the American Association of Law Libraries has honored me with the Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award.  The award recognizes a significant textual contribution to legal literature and is for my most recent book, Law Librarianship in the Digital Age, published by Scarecrow Press this past November.  The book was a collaboration with many of the field’s leading experts including:

Jean O’Grady

Contributing Authors:
Jennifer Wertkin
Thomas J. Striepe and Mary Talley
Kyle K. Courtney
Cheryl Kelly Fischer and Vicki Steiner
Kim Clarke
Camille Broussard, Ralph Monaco, and Gitelle Seer
Michelle M. Wu
William R. Mills
Andrew Plumb-Larrick
Valeri Craigle
Roger Vicarius Skalbeck
Marcia L. Dority Baker
Carol A. Watson
Rhea Ballard-Thrower
Sarah K. C. Mauldin
Theodora Belniak
Emily Janoski-Haehlen
Kim Clarke and Nadine R. Hoffman
Edward T. Hart
Molly (Mary) E. Brownfield
Catherine M. Monte
Steven A. Lastres and Don MacLeod
Emily R. Florio and Michael J. Robak
Carol Ottolenghi
Jennifer Alexander and M. T. Hennessey
Scott D. Bailey and Julie Graves Krishnaswami

Editorial Board:
Yvonne J. Chandler
Penny A. Hazelton
David A. Hollander
Ralph Monaco

The award will be presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries in San Antonio, TX.  Here’s the announcement.

Read the full post The Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award on OEDB.org.

8 Tips for Libraries to Incorporate Tech into their Summer Reading Programs

Summer is right around the corner and many libraries are gearing up for this year’s Summer Reading Programs.  If you’re looking for ways that your library can add a little tech to this year’s summer reading program activities, here are 8 quick tips and tricks.

YALSA’s Teen Book Finder app


1) Vine Videos for Book Reviews

Teens can create Vine videos discussing the books they’ve read.  Vine videos can be created using a mobile phone or tablet device and are easy to create, very brief (6second) film clips – the perfect length for a short book review/recommendation!  These could be created using teens own devices or the library’s and can be shared on the library’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.


2) Pinterest Book Boards

Not only can the library set up Pinterest boards featuring summer reading titles and related events such as upcoming book discussions, etc. but teens could set up their own boards highlighting the books they’re reading.  Pins could include biographical pins about historical or other figures mentioned in the book, films based on the book, other books similar to the one they’re reading, etc.


3) Start a Group on GoodReads

Libraries such as the Baltimore County Public Library are creating online Summer Reading programs on websites such as GoodReads for their patrons to take part in.  The BCPL Summer Reading Program group has over 400 active members and encourages each participant to post book reviews to the site.  The group supports discussion boards, polls, photos, videos, and event creation.


4) Encourage Reading eBooks

Traditionally summer reading programs have incorporated mainly print titles, but why not take this opportunity to introduce eBooks to those who may never have used them before?  If your library subscribes to the OverDrive or other eBook service, you might offer instructional sessions as a part of your summer reading program and encourage participants to read at least one of their books in eBook format.


Read the full post 8 Tips for Libraries to Incorporate Tech into their Summer Reading Programs on OEDB.org.

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