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Library bands together with hospital to assist healthcare workers

Staff at Singleton Public Library have answered the call from local doctors, harnessing cutting-edge printing technology to create bands to help make wearing face masks more comfortable for healthcare workers in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Utilising the Library’s 3D printer that was a vital part of the creation of the LABrary, Council staff have “printed” and donated over 50 ear guards – a piece of plastic that stretches across the back of the head and secures the two mask straps, alleviating pressure on ears.

Anthony Egan, Council’s Director Business and Community Services said with greater emphasis on essential services in response to COVID-19, Council’s operations have taken on even more significance to rally the community.

“This crisis has strengthened Singleton Council’s purpose and encouraged us to think outside the square in the delivery of services in this new era of social distancing and isolation,” he said.

“Our Library staff were approached by doctors from Singleton Hospital to trial printing the band at the start of the week, and immediately took up the challenge.

“The whole idea of the band is that it secures the straps away from the back of ears, so they don’t pull and create tension. The band also includes several loops across its length to allow healthcare workers to adjust the fit as well as prevent gaps at the front of the mask.

“When the first band was tried on by a local doctor, the feedback was that it was instantly infinitely better.

“We are really pleased to be able to provide this service to our local frontline health staff and are responsive to further requests should we receive them.”

Mr Egan said Council was also working hard to support the community by continuing to provide essential services as normally as possible – in keeping with government advice and regulations – and the community was responding to new and innovative ways to connect with Council.

A particular example is the Library’s first home delivery service, which yesterday provided 380 books to 29 customers.

“It has been very difficult to see facilities such as playgrounds and libraries closed, as well as to make decisions such as stopping household waste at the Waste Management Facility because it seems to go against the grain of what Council is here for, and that’s to provide services that bring our community together,” he said.

“But in these times that purpose is strengthened to continue to create community, even though we are socially isolated.

“We are continuing to operate to serve our community by providing essential services, either onsite for water and sewer, maintenance of public spaces and repairs to roads and infrastructure, or working from home for planning and regulatory services and customer service.

“We’ve also become innovative by looking to new and different ways of providing services such as Library programs through online Storytime and a new home delivery service.

“We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of staff who are showing up for work – whether onsite or at home – to continue to provide the services people need and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding in these extraordinary circumstances.”

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