Library makerspaces are truly transformative environments that advance learning and innovation in communities. This space is a great new way where people can gather to create, invent, and learn, but you will need to be aware of and understand legal implications and concepts related to patent, trademark, and product liability.
The Library’s Legal Answers team—Tomas Lipinski and Gretchen McCord—will guide you in a positive approach to library makerspaces, true to the library mission of intellectual freedom, access, and learning. Cutting through any alarmism about the possibility of such things as guns, sex toys, or illegal drugs being made using 3D printers, they will show you how to limit your liability with consistent practices and sensible policy statements, covering topics such as:
- Key clauses for waivers and partnership agreements.
- How to file a one-page form with the U.S. Copyright Office that will protect you from potential infringing activity
- What to look for in local building codes before you solder
- Guarding against indirect or vicarious liability lawsuits
- Where the First Amendment meets makerspaces
- Protecting privacy in the sign-up process
- Americans with Disabilities Act compliance
You will also learn and be able to:
- Minimize liability for copyright or patent infringement claims
- File a one-page form with the U.S. Copyright Office
- Ensure access for patrons with disabilities
About the instructors:
Tomas A. Lipinski has worked in a variety of legal settings, including the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. He is dean of the School of Information Studies (SOIS) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). He is the author of Librarian's Legal Companion for Licensing Information Resources and Services and co-author of The Library’s Legal Answer Book. Tomas holds a law degree from Marquette University, a master of laws degree from the John Marshall Law School, and a doctorate in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
Gretchen McCord is a Texas attorney and librarian, focusing on intellectual property in digital formats. She is a former academic librarian, and has practiced law for nine years before starting her own legal advising and training consultancy. She is author of What You Need to Know About Privacy Law: A Guide for Librarians and Educators. Gretchen holds a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and an M.S.I.S. from the University of North Texas.
About the Moderator: Dr. Sara Gonzalez is a science librarian at the University of Florida's Marston Science Library. She coordinates the UF Libraries 3D services and the MADE@UF mobile application development lab. She recently co-authored, with Denise Bennett, 3D Printing: A Practical Guide for Librarians.