On May 20, 2013, at 4:47 PM, Bigwood, David wrote:
> That's a question every library will have to answer for themselves.
> For us it makes perfect sense. Our scientists are sending out files to
> have 3D models of craters. When the price drops enough it will become
> more cost effective to do that in-house. It will just be an extension of
> maps and remote sensing data we already have in the collection. I can
> see a limit being fabrication related to the mission of the Institute,
> same as the large-format printer.
> A public library might have other concerns. If it is unlimited and free,
> is printing out 100 Hulk statues to sell at a comic convention
> acceptable? How about Barbie dolls to sell at a flea market? Or maybe
> Barbee dolls to side-step trademarks? Lots of unanswered questions, but
> each library will have to decide based on local conditions.
Actually, this made me think back to my undergrad, when I worked
in our schools 'Academic Computing' department. We had a big problem
with students printing out multiple copies of their thesis on the
printers in the computer labs, because they'd:
1. tie up the printers for a rather long time.
2. burn through all of the paper
The result was, one or two bad actors kept everyone else from being
able to use the services, because there were taking advantage of our
Our typical process, when we found someone needed to print their
thesis was to print one copy from the printer in our staff offices,
and they then had to go to one of the local copy shops to make the
additional copies that they needed. (the policy of only one copy
had been established for years, but was only really enforced when
people came in and complained about people printing whole books)
Although I can appreciate some of the arguments for making library
services free, there needs to be some sort of a line drawn so that
one or two people don't end up monopolizing a service.
Just as I left, they ended up going to a system of some number of
free pages per semester per student, with them having to pay if
they wanted to print more than their gratis quota. I don't know
if something like that would work, but you'd have to work out how
to handle it. (number of objects? time spent on the printer?
amount of material used?)