Remember how, about 10 years ago, the concept of a “paperless office” began to seem like a weird joke? The proliferation of the desktop computer and the ascent of the internet introduced the potential of foregoing paper documents, relying instead on electronic versions. The source of the joke was that instead of reducing our paper use, having access to all these e-mails, websites and electronic documents increased our print output.
An article titled Pushing Paper Out the Door in today’s New York Times documents that paper use has plateaued, and is currently in decline. The actual cause? People saving money on ink, toner and paper. This matches what I have seen in various libraries: people tend to be more conservative when their own resources are being used.
As far as printing from public workstations and labs is concerned, I like the idea of having a certain number of pages printed being included in one’s account, then paying for any additional printing. This seems to strike a balance that allows for modest printing without being overly commercial about it.
link passed to the Web4lib list by Bernie Sloan