Sunday, October 24, 2010

PSU Bookstore

On my recent visit to the PSU Bookstore I talked several staff about their experiences working at the store. Many have worked there a decade or longer, since the Bookstore was in its former (now the SHAC office). They were most excited to show off the newest addition to the store, the in-house printing press.

The Bookstore is one of only 3 institutions testing the top secret new piece of equipment. (University of Kansas and Arizona State are the other two.) This white cabinet actually holds the machinery for a small, self contained printing press. The prototype is so secret that I was told I could not photograph or even look inside.

What's different about this printer? It can print your textbooks on demand, presents significant cost and environmental savings from traditional textbook printing and, most interestingly, provides new opportunities for small run, local publishing. In other words, you can send them a PDF and they will print your book.

To complete the printing process books are assembled with equipment that alignes the pages and adheres the cover.

The Handy Jog taps paper back and forth quickly so it aligns before binding.

The binding glue heats up for 45 minutes, to a temperature of 180 degree Celsius, before it is hot enough to use. These rollers apply the glue to the spine of the book before the cover is attached.

This roll of plastic film is used to laminate the book cover.

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