As more people across the nation get vaccinated, public libraries are beginning to look for new, cost-effective — and safe — ways to throw open their doors to the public once again. Many solutions include reworking time-honored, traditional ways of doing things in favor of procedures and services that bring a higher level of public health and safety to bear.
Some of the shifts that occurred over the past year include programming changes to honor social distancing guidelines, budget cuts that have affected staffing levels, new health and safety protocols including wearing of facial coverings, and a deeper reliance on digital technologies to move forward.
While some changes will likely be discarded as libraries reopen more fully, some — such as virtual programs, an increase in digital resources, contactless options, and curbside services — will continue as libraries develop new initiatives to deliver high quality services to the public.
How Print Management Helps Libraries with Innovative Solutions
One of the services libraries provide is photocopying and printing services. Students, writers, and other library patrons rely on library print services to print school assignments and other materials from the library’s computer stations or from their own laptop or mobile device.
The problem with this for libraries is that accidental or unwanted printing causes unbudgeted costs to impact their bottom lines. Wasteful public printing can take a serious toll on supplies of ink, toner, and paper — and add uncompensated wear and tear to print devices, resulting in added maintenance and services costs.
Fortunately, managed print services (MPS) can bring libraries the technology they need to continue to offer public printing — often in a contactless manner — while reducing the waste and cost of unclaimed printing for better budget control.
Contactless Printing or Printing from a Patron’s Device
Managed print technology can assist libraries in bringing faster, more usable print solutions to patrons. Modern options include payment and release stations where the print software will select and hold print jobs until patron payment is made — and then release them at a specified printer location for pick up.
Release stations can accept credit cards, run on point-of-sale software, or use cash, eliminating the need for in-person staff. Reducing in-person staff provides patrons with a contactless print option, and further reduces the strain on the budget.
Printing from a patron’s device, or mobile printing, can be achieved with a WiFi-enabled printer paired with a release station. Mobile apps customized to your organization can be installed to manage payment and route print requests to the appropriate printer.
Reducing Waste and the Impact of Unclaimed Printing
Print management allows libraries to tap into waste-reducing features such as pull printing where print jobs are queued until a user arrives at the printer to collect them. In this case, a payment would be made before the job is released, which also helps secure any printed materials from unauthorized access by other patrons.
Not only does this feature reduce the impact of print waste, excess energy use, and wear-and-tear on your library’s fleet of print devices, but its self-service nature allows library staff to focus on more mission-critical tasks.
Plus, your MPS can be completely managed through a competent third party, removing the burden from your in-house IT staff or removing the need for in-house IT assistance altogether.
Blue Technologies Can Assist Your Library with Leading Edge MPS
There is no denying that libraries that want to continue to offer access to books and services to their loyal patrons need to find a new way to do it that fits within the constraints of shrinking budgets — and the new guidelines regarding public health and safety.
At Blue Technologies, we have a team of print and imaging professionals that can help your organization get started with innovating print management tools that can help you do just that. Our experts can take a closer look at your challenges and needs and create an MPS that is custom-tailored to the specifics of your library — then deploy, maintain, and manage it for you for the ultimate in ease-of-use.
Help your library gain control of the costs of public printing. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and discover how a custom managed print solution can benefit your organization today.