recommendations for public webstation printers

Ellen Carrico ecarrico at
Sat Mar 9 20:31:18 EST 1996

On Wed, 6 Mar 1996 R124C41 at wrote:

> In regard to the question posed by Robert Cameron, Loyola University Library
> (New Orleans) [cameron at] concerning recommendations for public
> webstation printers...
> ---------------------------
> Let me make the following radical proposal.  
> Provide **no** printers at public webstations.  
[delete suggestions about using Acrobat]
> In this way, you will be doing the users a favor in not letting their
> information suffer the heat death of getting transformed onto paper media.

	This statement doesn't make any sense.  Media is media - disk or paper.

>  You will also, I believe, save on consumables.   And finally, if the users
> really do want to print the stuff on paper, they can do it on their home
> computer where they stand the entire cost.
	Yes, you would definitely save on consumables like ink, toner or
paper.  However, we provide these systems in our library because many of 
our patrons have NO system at home.  We are their sole source of access 
to internet information resources in addition to the other resources we 
provide such as Infotrac.

> Isn't this the right way to go?  Isn't this the direction we are all heading?
>  Isn't it important to encourage users to go this direction too?
	No, this isn't the way to go if we are truly interested in making 
sure that all members of our community have equal access to information. 
I don't believe that there is a way for anyone to retain all of the data 
obtained in a single online session (whether it is book titles and 
authors, the content of a magazine article, or statistical data obtained 
from a a website) without having it printed out.  I would encourage our 
patrons to be thoughtful about using our resources when printing, but I 
feel that to not provide those resources would be as silly as telling 
them they can only read reference works in the library and they may NOT 
take any notes.

Ellen Carrico                "A motorcycle is a tool for turning the Machine 
Network & Applications Mgr   Age back on itself, for removing shackles.
Seattle Public Library       won't fix everything that's wrong with the world
(206)386-4168                but, hey, ... it's definitely a move in the right
ecarrico at       direction."  --Paul Pascarella

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