Thursday, September 18, 2008

Book-Printing Machine Installed in U. Michigan Library

The University of Michigan recently installed an Espresso Book Machine in Shapiro Library. This book-printing machine “produces perfect-bound, high-quality paperback books on demand. A Time Magazine ‘Best Invention of 2007,’ the Espresso Book Machine has been called ‘the ATM of books.’” Michigan is the first university library to install such a machine. From the 17 September News Release:

The book machine, located in the Shapiro Library lobby on U-M's Central Campus, prints out-of-copyright books from the University's digitized collections. At a cost of about $10 per book, the service is available to researchers, students and the public.

The printing process begins with a reader selecting a digitized book from U-M's pre-1923 collection or from another online source, such as the Open Content Alliance. Most books printed prior to the early 1920s can be reprinted without seeking the permission from whomever holds the copyright. Then the file is downloaded to the Espresso Book Machine, where it is formatted, printed and perfect bound with a four-color cover.

A finished printed book takes 5-7 minutes, depending on the number of pages. . . .

"This print technology will allow the Library to maximum advantage of digital technology," said U-M's Courant [Paul Courant, dean of libraries at U-M].

"Digital and print versions work in tandem, and soon researchers anywhere in the world will be able to browse U-M's digitized holdings, select a book from our out of copyright collections and have the book printed within minutes."

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