An earlier post here mentioned the Espresso Book Machine, for producing on demand copies of books.
Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the University of Michigan is the first university library to provide the Espresso to its patrons:
U. of Michigan Library Installs ‘ATM of Books’
Just about any digitized, out-of-copyright book from Michigan’s collection can be printed and bound on the spot. Printing takes five to seven minutes, and the cost is about $10 per book. Users will also be able to print books from online sources such as the Open Content Alliance.
A university press release includes a photo of the machine.
Jason Epstein, Chairman of On Demand Books, has a letter to the editor in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Books Have a Bright Future and Not Just a Digital One.” Mr. Epstein discusses the machine he calls the Espresso Book Machine, which “automatically prints, binds, and trims one copy at a time, on demand, quickly . . . “ I would love to have such a device in our library, so that we can purchase more monographs on demand and less on speculation.
There’s also an article by Jon Swartz in today’s USA Today about a new service, Zinio, that offers digital versions of over 750 magazines. The story, “Zinio puts hundreds of magazines a click away – Digital versions give readers new options,” is interesting but I see less of a need for this at the law library than the ability to download and rapidly print books. Although the story notes that “. . . Zinio offers for free 120 ‘digital classics’ such as Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Great Expectations through its website . . . The books are downloadable.”