Sno-Isle Libraries customers get improved computing and printing services

Sno-Isle Libraries has successfully completed a major update to its public computing, printing and copying services.

Hannah Lobban uses a public computer at the Arlington Library.

Customers can still visit any library to use a Sno-Isle Libraries computer or laptop. They can still print and make copies of documents.

Now, there’s a lot more of those good things.

Sno-Isle Libraries customers who want to use a library computer can hop on any open computer and log. Those without a library card may request a day pass.

Once logged in, customers will get a minimum of 2 hours of use, instead of the old 2-hour limit. If no one else is waiting, the customer will get a screen prompt to extend the session by 20 minutes, up to 30 times to a maximum of 12 hours. If a waitlist forms, the logged-in customer will receive several notifications that the session will end before the computer automatically logs off to allow a new user.

Want to print, copy or scan? New combination scanner-printers at every community library now allows customers to print wirelessly from their own laptop, tablet or smartphone. They can also use the printer’s scan feature and save images to a USB drive.

The remote printing login window.

For all those times a customer’s own printer is out of ink or paper, or both, the new remote printing portal lets any Sno-Isle Libraries customer print anytime from anywhere.

To use remote printing, customers log in to using their library account information. After clicking “Web Print,” the customer selects printing in black-and-white or color, selects the number of copies and uploads a file. When complete, the status bar will show the selected printer, document name, number of pages, cost and status. Customers can cancel print jobs without charge.

Email-to-print is available for document attachments. Create a new email and address it to print@sno-isle.org without a subject. The customer types their Sno-Isle Libraries account number in the body of the email, attaches the document and sends. This service will print most Adobe PDF files, picture files and Microsoft Office documents, but not the email itself. It works just like remote printing.

Sno-Isle Libraries Public Computing Lead Librarian Erica Trotter and IT Operations Manager Jason Latham set up MyPC and PaperCut at the Brier Library. Brier was the first library to get the new system.

Customers have 24 hours to retrieve remote printing at any community library using letter, legal and ledger-sized paper. They scan their library card bar code at the Ecoprint station to release files for printing and pick up the files right at the printer. After 24 hours, PaperCut automatically deletes unprinted files.

Sno-Isle Libraries customers have available the equivalent of $7 per week on their account for printing and copying. Letter- and legal-size prints or copies cost 10 cents per page for black and white, 50 cents per page for color. Prices for ledger-size paper are 20 cents for black and white, $1 for color. A summary window shows account balance history.

Scans saved as files are free.

If the cost of the requested printing or copying exceeds the weekly account amount, the customer will be prompted to pay at the printer with cash or a credit or debit card. Customers using cash will get exact change. The weekly printing allowance cannot be converted to cash and unused amounts do not carry over from week to week.

At the Arlington Library, the recent transition to MyPC and PaperCut went well, Library Circulation Supervisor Debbie Adriance said.

“I think the transition has been really easy,” Adriance said. “Customers love the idea they can print from home. They love the print, copy and scan features. They’re happy with the print queue. And they like the privacy with the printer.”

Sno-Isles Library patron Art Otto holds a photo of himself that Arlington Librarian Amy Stefany helped him print with MyPC and PaperCut.

Librarian Amy Stefany helped patron Art Otto print a photo of him marching in the Arlington July 4 parade that was printed in the Arlington Times. “He was a very happy customer,” Stefany said.

Adriance has her own reasons for liking the scan feature.

“I have a lot of old photos I need to scan and save,” she said.

Hannah Lobban of Arlington logged in to MyPC and PaperCut for the first time recently and liked what she found.

“That’s a generous amount of printing you get for $7,” she said.

Blake Kiltoff, technical services project manager for Sno-Isle Libraries, said the move to MyPC and PaperCut will save the library district money by consolidating all customer printing services with one vendor, including service and maintenance.

Library district officials were already looking at replacing the library district’s leased and owned printers and copiers with a single vendor, Kiltoff said. At the same time, there was a need to replace the computer reservation system and printer payment devices.

Under the new contract, Sno-Isle Libraries pays Ricoh USA a fee based on the number of pages printed and Ricoh covers all maintenance. The library district anticipates saving money and patrons will benefit from the “robust” remote printing feature, Kiltoff said.

“We were looking for better computer time and print management systems,” he said. “We saw opportunities for greater improvements.”