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Honor system ending for library printers

6:20 pm January 16th, 2013

Pierce County Library System is making operational changes that officials said are helping save time and money, including the public’s access to library printers.
Those changes, plus an end to the honor system for public use of library printers, were discussed during a meeting of the system’s Board of Trustees Jan. 9 in Tacoma.
The Library System’s deputy director, Georgia Lomax gave an overview of the changes in operations staff made in 2012 that will save time and/or money. In some cases, the system has stopped doing what has been determined no longer necessary or valued by the public. In other instances, technology improvements have saved time or money, according to officials.
Changes include:
• Stopped advertising in Dex phone books, saving $2,117 annually.
• A new roof installed at the Sumner branch is expected to saving $10,000 in energy costs annually.
• Hired a new landscape service, saving $25,000 annually.
ª Changed the computer administration system, for savings of $60,000 in 2012 and an expected $69,000 in 2013.
• Implemented a new software system for recruiting and hiring staff, saving 250 hours in staff time annually.
• Changed the process for moving books from library to library, saving 2,100 in staff time annually.
In another operational shift, the public will be moved this spring from an honor system of paying for items they print on library printers and copiers to a computer system that will automatically require payment. Customers will also have more printing options, including multiple paper sizes, color printing and back-to-back copying, officials said.
Customers will be able to pay for printing and copying with credit cards or cash.
The new system for Pierce County libraries is used in other libraries throughout the U.S., according to officials.
Meanwhile, the libraries here will be closed Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. During the one-day closure, the public can continue to access free services from the online library at www.piercecountylibrary.org, which offers downloadable audiobooks, e-books, songs and subscription magazines.
Pierce County Library is the fourth-largest library system in the state, serving 555,000 people with 18 library branches and online.

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