John Schneiderhan, Van Pelt and Opie Library technologist

A man wearing a Michigan Tech Huskies face mask and a plastic shield working at a 3D printer in a library.

What I miss most of all are the students and their energy. We see many aspects of the students’ lives here as the weeks pass each semester. The year has a flow. The library is a safe space, an oasis where students come to find solace, dedicate time to their research and study, eat, sleep, or collaborate on group projects.

One of my responsibilities is scheduling and coordinating 3D prints for students and patrons. I can see the 3D printers and scanner right outside my office door. Normally, I have a group of regular students that navigate to the devices with curiosity or interest in being creative or innovative.

Today it is just David Holden and myself here in the library with the occasional facilities staff member doing their part and helping wherever they can. There is a glimpse of normalcy within our social distance collaboration with the incredible materials sciences and engineering students working on the 3D-printed personal protection equipment (PPE) project. They bring so much value and energy to the production. They deliver insight, technical innovation, compassion, and conservation to the cause. The atmosphere is completely different without the students, without the staff, without people. It’s not the library. It’s just a building. It’s a building where David and I have been coming to work on production, to do our best to help and support the health of the community. #mtuhumans