Cleveland Public Library and City of Cleveland Begin Production on Personal Protective Equipment for First Responders Battling COVID-19

Cleveland Public Library is partnering with the city of Cleveland to save lives and protect our first responders from COVID-19.

On Monday, April 13, the Library will be making 2,000 face shields using our 3D printers. Production will begin at 10 a.m. in Tech Central, located at the Cleveland Public Library – Louis Stokes Wing in downtown Cleveland.

“Coronavirus is overwhelming communities around the world. During a time when everyone feels so helpless against this disease, the Library wanted to give back to those on the front lines working to save our lives,” said Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library. “Partnering with the city of Cleveland and using Library equipment to create personal protective equipment is the least we can do.”

The face shields will go to the city’s Department of Public Safety, which includes Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Fire Department, and Emergency Management Services (EMS). The personal protective equipment will also be sent to emergency medical technicians and paramedics at Burke Lakefront Airport and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The face shields will stop bodily fluids and droplets from reaching the wearer’s eyes, nose, and mouth.

sample of visor with clear PPE attached
Sample Visor

“The collaboration between our distinguished Cleveland Public Library system and city government in these times of crisis exemplifies the true meaning of community partnership,” said Eduardo Romero, Risk Manager for the city of Cleveland. “Under the leadership of Mayor Jackson and Director Thomas, we’ve addressed a critical need of providing our first responders with another layer of protection as they battle tirelessly fulfilling emergency needs of our citizenry.”

The Library has been working with the city’s Risk Management Department and Print Shop to design and assemble face shields for workers for the past two weeks.  The Lowe’s in Brooklyn, OH donated the materials. “It was a team effort to find the right materials and perfect the design,” said Suzi Perez, Interim TechCentral Manager at Cleveland Public Library. “It takes about an hour to make one face shield. We will have 13 3D printers going until the job is done.”

“Cleveland Public Library looks forward to the day the city wins the fight against COVID-19. We’re doing our part to help slow the spread of the virus. We encourage everyone else to stay home to help flatten the curve. We’re in this together,” Thomas, Jr. remarks.

The Library has compiled a list of resources on our website,, related to COVID-19, career help, small business assistance, social services, and educational activities.