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Experts to demystify 3D printing policies at 2015 ALA Conference

Felix 3D Printer-Printing Set-up With ExamplesAs more and more libraries nationwide begin to offer 3D printing services, library leaders are now confronting a litany of copyright, trademark and patent complications that arise from the new technology. To help the library community address 3D printing concerns, the American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Legislation’s (COL) Copyright Subcommittee will explore 3D printing policy issues at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Join Tomas A. Lipinski, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies, St. Louis University City Public Library Director Patrick Wall, and Digital Information Law founder and principal Gretchen McCord at the session “Copyright and 3D Printing: Be Informed, Be Fearless, Be Smart!” During the session, leaders will provide a “plain English” overview of 3D printing, its copyright implications and the patent and trademark issues that this breakthrough technology raises for libraries everywhere. The session will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, 2015, at the Moscone Convention Center in room 2001 of the West Building.

Lipinski has worked in a variety of legal settings including the private, public and non-profit sectors. He currently teaches, researches and speaks frequently on various topics within the areas of information law and policy, especially copyright, free speech and privacy issues in schools and libraries. Patrick Wall has been the director of St. Louis’ University City Public Library since March of 2011 and was its assistant director for the previous eight years. He also serves as President of the Municipal Library Consortium of St. Louis County, a group of nine libraries providing collective public access to more than 700,000 volumes.


  • Tomas A. Lipinski, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies, member of the American Library Association Committee on Legislation
  • Gretchen McCord, founder and principal, Digital Information Law
  • Patrick Wall, director, University City Public Library (St. Louis)

View all ALA Washington Office conference sessions

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Jazzy Wright

Jazzy Wright is a former press officer of the Washington Office.


  1. It is interesting to learn a little bit more about the 3D printing industry.Learning how to 3D print things can change the universe as we know it. This article helps me understand a little bit more about how this works.

  2. The printing world sure was turned on its head when 3D printing came on to the scene. I still have no idea how they work and the technology for these printers gets better by the week, so who knows where we will be with these printers in the next 10 years or so.

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