Program Session

5 - Where’s the Printer? How One Library Dared to Eliminate Printing

Sunday, May 28
4:05 PM - 4:20 PM
Room: 603

Objectives: This presentation describes the decision-making process and impact of eliminating printing at the NYU Health Sciences Library. Factors motivating this decision included planning for a new public facility, moving to a fully digital collection, supporting an iPad requirement for students and residents, changing user behavior, and a desire to eliminate the expense and hassle of printing.


Methods: During planning for a new library space, administration required the development of “business cases” for the potential services and resources under consideration. These cases were constructed through focus group meetings with stakeholders, research into best practices around modern library facilities, and emphasis on how users were expected to behave in the future. Data collected for the business case on printing included a survey of similar libraries, an assessment of available printing resources outside of the Library, and investigation of the cost and projected impact on library staff. Mitigation strategies for users were also identified, including public scanning, providing free USB drives, and the availability of staff printing for “emergencies.” A final consideration for eliminating printing was the desire to make the space and equipment as environmentally sustainable as possible.


Results: The Library’s new public space opened in June 2016 without providing printing. Subsequently in December, printing was eliminated at another branch of the Library. In both cases, this decision was met with confusion and/or dissatisfaction by some users that assumed printing would be available in the new space, or had printed previously in the established space. In each case the user was offered alternatives including staff assistance in saving information onto a networked drive or portable storage device. Because user dissatisfaction was anticipated, there was preparation for significant expressions of dissatisfaction such as formal requests to the Library’s Administration to reconsider this decision, or staff interaction with angry users. This has not happened. The implementation of “going paperless” is now considered a “non-event.” Library staff have observed and experienced benefits from this decision, including: cost reduction, elimination of hassles, messiness, waste, and decreases of sensitive information, e.g., PHI, being left at printers. Eliminating printing also gives library staff the chance to educate users on alternative ways of retaining and accessing information.


Conclusion: Despite reservations about eliminating a service our users had learned to expect, they have demonstrated adaptability in developing new ways access and retain needed information.


Keywords: Evidence-based librarianship, User services, Management, Library facilities



Program Session

Jeff D. Williams

Deputy Director
NYU Health Sciences Library
New York, New York

Jeff Williams, MLIS, AHIP is the Deputy Director / Director of Education for the NYU Health Sciences Library. He mentors and coaches library faculty that are working with users across the NYU Langone Medical Center. Jeff also oversees the Library's dedicated librarian support programs, information discovery systems, and user support services. He has experience with information services (liaison, curriculum support, reference), collections (coordinator, bibliographer), user services (circulation, reserves, ILL), and emerging technology support. He earned his MLIS from UCLA, and is currently a PhD student in Antioch University's Leadership and Change Program - Healthcare Concentration.

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Ashley F. Curran

Branch Manager
NYU Health Sciences Library
Forest Hills, NY

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David DeSimone

Manager
NYU Health Sciences Library (Hosp Joint Dis Branch)
New York, New York

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Aileen McCrillis

Assistant Director, User Services
NYU Health Sciences Library
New York, New York

Aileen McCrillis is the Assistant Director of User Services at the NYU Health Sciences Libraries. She earned her MSLIS from Pratt Institute and her MPH from the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College.

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5 - Where’s the Printer? How One Library Dared to Eliminate Printing

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