Print Release Station

Greetings All!!!

Guess What!!! We are finally getting a Print Release Station!!!! No more printing without paying. No more printing 130 page documents and only paying for 3! No more printing a coverpage of just your email address that was totally unnecessary and a waste of toner and paper!!! Are you all as excited as I am???? The only problem is that with great improvement comes great change…

How Print Release Will Work

Customer Experience
1. Customer makes a computer reservation as usual.

2. Customer logs onto a public computer as usual.

3. Customer uses “File” menu to select “Print” command.

Tip: Staff will need to train customers to use “File” and “Print Preview” before using “File” and “Print” to avoid badly formatted print jobs from some web pages.

4. Customer will see familiar “Print” dialog box where they can select a range of pages or “All” and then click “Print” to proceed. At CEN they will also have the option of choosing a black & white or color printer using this dialog box.


5. If the customer uses the Internet Explorer printer icon button to send a print command, they will not see the dialog box described above. Print job will default to ALL pages. At CEN, the printer will default to the black & white printer if this is the first print job sent for the computer session. At CEN, when a customer selects the color printer for a job, this changes the default printer for that computer session to the color printer until the customer selects the black & white printer again. If the customer does not want additional color print outs, the high cost of the printout (50 cents/page instead of 10 cents/page) should alert them that something is amiss. Training customers to use “File” and “Print Preview” is the best way to avoid this type of surprise.

Tip: We will continue to need to train customers to use “Printer friendly version” and similar links that appear directly on some web pages to help customers avoid getting poorly formatted print-outs. Many email websites and popular websites include these links, but there is no one place to look on every web page. This is a great tip to give customers when helping them with a website or when we print something for a customer at the reference desk. Most “printer friendly” links will display the printer friendly version and the customer will still need to use “File” and “Print” to decide how many pages of the information they want to print.

Tip: When printing PDF files, we will continue to need to train customers to use the print icon that appears in the Adobe Reader task bar in order to get properly formatted results. This will generate a “Print” dialog box that will allow customers to select the number of pages to print, adjust formatting, etc. The Print Release software does not change how this works.

6. After sending a print command, the customer will see “Print this job?” dialog box. Box displays the number of pages and total cost for the print job. Customer can click “OK” or “Cancel.” If the customer doesn’t click anything the box will time out in about 30 seconds and the print job will be automatically canceled.


Tip: If the customer is using multiple windows during their public computer session and sends more than one print job without clicking OK in the “Print This Job?” dialog box, it will display the first dialog box continuously regardless of which window pane the customer switches to, until the customer clicks “OK.” Then the “Print This Job?” dialog box for the next job they sent will appear, etc. If the customer fails to click “OK” within about 30 seconds of the dialog box appearing, each dialog box will time out, automatically canceling the job.

7. After the customer clicks “OK” they will see a new “Print Complete” dialog box that lists a Job Number, and expiration time. The customer will not need to record the Job Number. Unfortunately, the software does not allow for DNS to remove the Job Number from the dialog box. The expiration time will be set to expire 12 hours after the customer sent their print job so that they will have time to pick it up all the way to the end of the business day. DNS is working on updating the pop-up dialog box that customers using computers near closing time see so that it will display a reminder that print jobs must be picked up by closing time.


The “Print Complete” dialog box also displays a list of print release stations where the customer may pick up their print job. At CEN, if the job is black & white, they can pick it up at any print release station in the building. If the job is in color they have to pick it up in the Reference Room because that is the location of the only public color printer in the building. The dialog box will only show the Reference Room print release terminal for color print jobs. The customer can click “OK” to close dialog box or it will time out automatically in about 30 seconds if the customer does nothing. This time out functions the same as if the customer clicked “OK.”

8. If the customer clicks “Cancel” on the “Print this Job?” dialog box, they will see this dialog box:


If the customer does not click anything on the “Job Canceled” dialog box it will time out in about 30 seconds and the job will still be canceled.

9. Customer can now continue their computer session and pick up their print job at a print release station later. Or, if they’re on a 60-min computer, they may choose to lock their session and visit a print release station immediately.

10. At the Print Release Station, the customer will have a touch screen monitor without a keyboard or they may have a regular monitor with keyboard and mouse. Instructions below will be for touch screen monitor. (For regular monitor with keyboard and mouse, just use mouse clicks on the on-screen buttons in the place of touching the buttons or use the keyboard to enter card numbers rather than touch screen buttons.) Customers will need to press “Release a Print Job” on the touch screen monitor to begin.

11. Customer will be prompted to enter their library card number or computer user card number to access their queue of pending print jobs. On a touch screen monitor, if the customer has their actual card with them they can scan their barcode on the built in bar code scanner below the screen. If they don’t have their card with them or prefer to enter the number manually, they will have number buttons to touch on the screen.

Tip: Customer must use the same card number as they used to log on to the computer session where they sent the print job. This shouldn’t be an issue unless customer is using more than one card to access computers on the same day.

12. A list of the customer’s print jobs will be displayed.


13. Customer can touch a job to highlight it and then touch the “Print” button in the upper left corner of the screen to release the print job. As the customer highlights jobs, the black bar at the bottom of the screen will display totals for number of pages and total cost of the job(s). Once they’ve touched the “Print” button, the customer will see a “Vending Deposit” dialog box that says “Please deposit money into the Vending Device.” Customer can use nickels, dimes and quarters at the branch print release stations. At CEN customers can also use dollar bills or 5-dollar bills to pay. Once they have put in their money, they will need to click “OK” to send the job to the printer. The coin box will drop any change and the customer will need to remember to pick it up.


Tip: Once money has been deposited into the coin box the customer will need to print at least one page before they can get any change. This prevents customers from using the coin box as a change machine.

14. Job prints and customer picks it up at the printer next to the print release terminal.

15. If the customer decides they don’t want to print a job they can select the job from the list and click the “Delete” button to erase it. If the customer ends their print release session without choosing to either delete or print some jobs, these jobs will continue to be housed in the customer queue until the end of the day. The customer can come back later on the same day and use their library/computer user card to access and print these jobs.

16. Customer can toggle the “Multiple Jobs” button “On” or “Off” by clicking on the button. The “On” position will allow the customer to send multiple print jobs to the printer at once and pay once. The “Off” position allows the customer to highlight only one job at a time to send to the printer.

17. Customer should click “Done” when they are finished releasing print jobs to close the window that displays their print jobs. If they forget, the window will automatically close after 44 seconds of inactivity. A purple timer near the top right of the window displays the countdown to automatic timeout. As long as the customer is interacting with the software the window will not time out (i.e., each time the customer touches a button the timer resets to 44 seconds). Staff should encourage customers to use the “Done” button to protect customer privacy.

Staff Version of Print Release Software

Staff reference desk computers will have a staff version of the Print Release software that will enable staff to use a library or computer user card number to view a customer’s queue of print jobs and select jobs to print for the customer. The staff Print Release window looks very similar to the customer version. The major difference from the customer version is that the total pages and total cost of print jobs appears in a black bar near the top of the window rather than near the bottom of the window.


When To Use the Staff Software To Release Print Jobs

Staff may assist a customer with print release at the reference desk when:
-the customer needs to pay for printouts with a credit card or personal check
-the customer needs to print on an unusual size of paper (11 x 17) only available at the reference desk printer.
-the customer is having difficulty working with the customer print release station and a line of other customers is waiting.

Staff Version Print Release Steps

1. Staff will open the staff version of the print release software and use the customer’s library/computer user card number to access the customer’s queue of print jobs.

Tip: Staff should only open the Print Release software when they need to use it. Opening the software generates the prompt to enter a customer card number. If the software is left open and inactive the current queue of print jobs will time out and you will need to click “Done” and restart the software to get the prompt to enter the customer card number and view their queue of print jobs.

2. Staff will highlight the job(s) the customer wants to print and click the “Print” button. Staff will verify with the customer that they are willing to pay the total amount for the print job.

Tip: Staff will not have access to a “print preview” of the customer print jobs from within the Print Release software. However, if the customer has multiple jobs and says they only want to print some of the jobs they sent, there are two methods that should help identify which jobs the customer wants: 1) Use your mouse on the gray print queue headings bar to increase the width of the “Document Name” column. This column displays the URL for internet print jobs or the document name for Office documents; 2) Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the print queue to scroll right so you can view the “Submitted” column. This column lists the date and time of each job so you’ll be able to see the order in which the customer sent the jobs. If the customer knows they only want the second job the sent, for example, you’ll be able to find it.

3. Staff will have the option to send the job(s) to the staff ref desk printer or to the public print release station printer(s). For color print jobs at CEN REF, staff will have to select the public print release color printer. If a job is sent to the public printer the staff member will need to go to the print release station immediately and pull the print job to avoid getting it mixed up with other customer print jobs being released at the same time.

4. Staff must collect payment from the customer when using the print release software to release and print jobs for customers. The customer must pay the exact amount shown on the staff version of the print release software just as if they were paying for the print job at the customer print release station.

Cash or Personal Check
If the customer pays with cash or a personal check, use the printouts button on your cash register to ring up the sale (if your location has a cash register).

Credit Card
If the customer pays with a credit card, do not enter the sale on a cash register. Use your credit card machine and print a copy of the receipt to keep in your cash drawer. IMPORTANT: write “printouts” at the top of the copy that you keep.

These procedures for payment should be the same as how you were taking payment for customer print jobs before you got print release software. Dianna McIntosh is the contact for any questions about collecting/processing payments.

Tip: The staff version of the print release software only accesses print jobs sent from public computers. Staff will still be able to print from the reference desk computers to the staff printer without using the Print Release software. If staff choose to print something for a customer using this method, you can continue to use your current methods of collecting payment from the customer or providing the customer with a free printout using your department’s existing “free” printout guidelines (often used as a courtesy for customer account info and limited catalog prints).

Other Print Release Info for Staff

Bypass Key
Each location will have a bypass key for their print release coin box that will function similarly to a bypass key for a photocopier coin box. Staff must collect payment for customer jobs released using the bypass key and process payment as described in the Staff Version Print Release Steps above.

Cash Reports
Staff who normally do the Cash Report for your location and their supervisor or Senior or Manager will receive training about emptying the coin boxes, replenishing the change and completing money reports for the print release station coin box. Dianna McIntosh will contact your location to set up an appointment for this training.

End of the Day Printouts
At closing time customers who arrive at a Print Release Station too late to release their print job can still be assisted by staff using the staff version of the software if staff are still present and a staff computer is still on. The public Print Release Station will stay up until five minutes after closing to allow for print jobs that customers release right at closing to be self-service printed. Staff can still use your location’s normal closing procedures and are not required to stay after closing to assist customers with print release. The software is being set this way to enable staff to use informed judgment about assisting customers right at closing with that “emergency” print job. Please consult with your location’s supervisor/Senior/Manager about closing procedures if you have questions. Customer printouts not picked up by the end of the day will be deleted from the print release queue overnight. There is a limit to how many print jobs can be stored in the print queue before it will begin to negatively impact print release station performance. Deleting unprinted jobs overnight will prevent the queue from becoming too full. Customers who return the next day can always send their print job again. The issue of locations being left with a stack of unpaid customer print jobs at the end of the day will be eliminated. Library resources will be saved and we’ll be more green!

Prices of Printouts
Black & white printouts will continue to be 10 cents/page, available in 8.5 x 11 and 8.5 x 14 sizes via Print Release. CEN REF can assist customers that need black & white 11 x 17 printouts at the Reference Desk. Customers at CEN will have the option of printing in color for 50 cents/page, available in 8.5 x 11 size only.

Print Preview
Staff will need to continue to educate customers about the using “File” and “Print Preview” to help customers avoid getting undesirable print job results. The software does not provide a print preview at the Print Release Station. The print preview function is tied to the software (Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader, Word, etc.) that the customer is using. These software products are from different vendors and the print release vendor software cannot import this function to the print release station.

Staff will need to use informed judgment about when to give refunds for poor results and may need to track repeat offenders to make sure they understand about print preview (or know to always ask for staff assistance before they print) in order to avoid a pattern of repeat refunds. Staff must fill out a Refund Slip for all refunds, have the customer sign it and put it in your money drawer. The need for refunds should decrease as more customers become familiar with the print release software. Staff at each location should consult with their Senior and/or Manager regarding informed judgment guidelines for refunds during the initial period of going live with print release software. Most locations will want to reduce the amount of refunds to a minimum after the initial period. (SCH and UHN have had another version of Print Release software for quite some time and report that they give very few customer refunds.) All locations new to Print Release will need to monitor the levels of money in their cash drawer more closely to make sure that during the initial period of implementation Refunds are not overly depleting their supply of cash. Please contact Dianna McIntosh with questions about appropriate cash drawer amounts if any changes are needed.

Reservation Station
Some locations will have separate Print Release and Reservation Station computers for the public. Other locations will have the Reservation Station function on the Print Release terminal along with the “Release a Print Job” function. This does not affect how print release works, but can be an issue for staff if the print release station develops long lines. One solution would be to ask customers in line if any just need to make computer reservations and offer to make reservations for them on a staff computer

Printers connected to the print release station will be out on the public floor and staff will need to monitor paper supply, toner supply, etc. A daily check before opening and periodic checks throughout the day for busy locations is suggested. Staff will also need to monitor that customers are not tampering with printers or damaging them. Staff who order supplies for your location will need to monitor paper and toner use to determine if they need to adjust their supply orders.

Okay, so here are a few extra pointers:

1. We will be the test station for Central. This means that we will be the only place in Central that has a Print Release Station (PRS) for the next couple of weeks. The rest of Central will go live with PRS on June 22.

2. Patrons will be able to print in COLOR!!! In order to do so, they must select the color printer from the print screen. The only color printer in the building will be located on the first floor in General Reference and it will cost $0.50/page. Once a patron has selected the color printer, the computer will keep sending print jobs to that printer, so patrons must go back to Black and White manually if they don't want to continue to pay $0.50/page for boring old B&W copies.

3. Once someone has sent something to a B&W printer, they can go to ANY B&W printer in the building (once the rest of Central goes live with PRS) and print from there.

4. Occasionally, you may need to help a patron print a copy using the staff PRS. If you do this, PLEASE make sure you collect the money from them before you send the prints. Otherwise, our accounting will be off and either Jesse and I will get yelled at. No fun.

5. We will also be able to make reservations for other computers in the building from our Docent PC!!! You will no longer have to send patrons down to the reference desk to get reservations for regular internet computers!!! Much less confusing all around and will hopefully decrease the amount of hostility towards wait times!!!

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