ERIC Number: ED352990
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Provision of Computer Printing Capabilities to Library Patrons. SPEC Kit 183.
Taylor, Suzanne; Welch, C. Brigid, Ed.
SPEC Kit, April 1992
This publication reports on the results of a 1992 survey of 80 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member libraries on their use of printers for recording references found in online public access catalog (OPAC) and CD-ROM searches. As was found in a 1990 survey on the same topic, only a small proportion of libraries reported that they charged for printing. The 1992 survey also found that the ratio of students to terminals varied widely: the lowest number of students per OPAC terminal was 50 and the highest was 1,308. Approximately 30% of the 80 libraries responding did not provide printers for their OPAC terminals, and in the libraries that did, the ratio of OPACs to printers averaged 14 terminals to one printer. The ratio of students per CD-ROM workstation was much higher overall than that of students per OPAC computer, with the average being 1,349 students per OPAC workstation. The most commonly used printers were the HP Inkjet and the HP Thinkjet. Other common brands and models were the Canon BJ80 and BJ300, the Epson FX850, LX-800 and 810, the IBM Proprinter, the Okidata Microline 320, and the Panasonic KXP-1180. Based on 36 responses to questions on printing costs, the estimated cost was approximately $306 per year per printer. Seven of the responding libraries charge for public printing, 37 have considered charging, and 11 are discussing charging. A frequent reason given for not charging is the administrative problems involved in handling money and refunds. Of the libraries that do charge, the primary method of payment is a debit card. Charges per page ranged from $.05 to $.35. Another solution to the high costs of printing is to encourage library patrons to download information to diskettes, though this raises the concern that users will infect a CD-ROM workstation with a computer virus. This kit also contains information from 2 universities on costs of running printers, users' guides from 14 universities for downloading information from OPAC and CD-ROM terminals, and memos from 2 more universities on virus control. A copy of the questionnaire with a tally of the responses and a list of four suggested readings are included. (KRN)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Computer Printers, Higher Education, Information Seeking, Library Administration, Library Expenditures, Library Guides, Library Services, Longitudinal Studies, Online Catalogs, Operating Expenses, Optical Data Disks, Research Libraries
Systems and Procedures Exchange Center, Office of Management Services, Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of Research Libraries, Washington, DC. Office of Management Services.