ILS and Operations Administrator
University of Utah
Manager, Library Print Services
University of Michigan
Most installations of the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) are at bookstores, but libraries have an even broader mandate to meet the demands of students and scholars with new technologies and approaches. As the only two academic libraries in the United States with EBMs, the University of Utah and the University of Michigan will report on the number and types of uses, collaborations that have developed, what has been learned, and future directions and goals for the use of the EBM as an integral part of a library’s mission and goals.
The purchase of an EBM by the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah was driven by a vision of exploiting new ways of creating and disseminating new knowledge by the library, the University of Utah Press, and by a vibrant local community of scholars, genealogists and family historians, as well as book artists. The goal was to provide users with multiple avenues to accessing and using published knowledge; to capitalize on the large investment in digitization by the University Library and by others; to expand support and increase opportunities for the University Press; and to increase experimentation to continue to transform the library for 21st century roles and expectations.
Similarly, interest in the machine at the University of Michigan about its potential and a willingness to experiment with new technologies that could provide valuable services to the University community and beyond prompted the purchase. As a complement to the Library’s well-established reprint program and the University Press’s galley program for early reviews (including providing tenure committee copies prior to official publication), on site book-making technology could provide the perfect tool to both unlock the reprint potential inherent in the vast repositories of digitized public domain content that reside within the Library and beyond, and to provide an agile and cost-effective means to distribute the University Press’s galley copies. The Library believed that access to quality, low-cost, fast printing of book-like material would encourage the creation of new content, innovative uses of existing content, and new collaborations within the University and local communities.