Three-Dimensional (3-D) Scanning Within Academic Libraries: Exploring and Considering a New Public Service

Jason A. Reuscher


The article discusses the creation of a three-dimensional (3-D) scanning service within an academic library. Academic libraries generally offer two-dimensional (2-D) or flatbed scanning to their patrons—why not 3-D scanning? Inspired by the routine use of the former, the author investigates the reasoning for offering as a service the latter, defining what it is from a library and information science perspective, how it complements the digital repository and digital scholarship projects being supported within academic libraries, and why libraries should consider it as a public service independently from 3-D printing. A technical description of the scanning equipment and an informal, qualitative account are given from experience using a NextEngine 3-D scanner within an academic library, highlighting some of the challenges and opportunities that such a technology might present.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Jason A. Reuscher

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