Sunday, September 21, 2008

More on the Espresso Book Machine

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor issued a press release on Wednesday. Here are selected passages:
U-M is the first university library to install the book-printing machine. The Espresso Book Machine, from On Demand Books of New York, produces perfect-bound, high-quality paperback books on demand . . .

The book machine, located in the Shapiro Library lobby on U-M's Central Campus, prints out-of-copyright books from the University's digitized collections. At a cost of about $10 per book, the service is available to researchers, students and the public.

The printing process begins with a reader selecting a digitized book from U-M's pre-1923 collection or from another online source, such as the Open Content Alliance. Most books printed prior to the early 1920s can be reprinted without seeking the permission from whomever holds the copyright. Then the file is downloaded to the Espresso Book Machine, where it is formatted, printed and perfect bound with a four-color cover.

A finished printed book takes 5-7 minutes, depending on the number of pages . . .

In the next several years, On Demand Books expects to install Espresso Book Machines in libraries and bookshops around the world. All the machines will be connected by a network, allowing libraries to share and reprint volumes from their collections.

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