File photo

File photo

Free printing costs King County libraries $1 million each year

The library board is considering reducing the number of free pages from 75 a week to 10.

Starting early next year, the number of free pages that patrons can print at King County libraries may be significantly reduced.

The King County Library System (KCLS) board is considering reducing the amount of pages people can print for free each week from 75 black and white pages down to 10 pages. Library system spokesperson Julie Acteson said the reduction could be enacted in the first quarter of 2020. KCLS spends about $1 million each year of a $125 million budget on printing costs, including ink, paper and printer maintenance.

“People are flocking to our libraries to print, so that ever-increasing volume has really started to become unsustainable,” she said. “A million dollars is a lot of money.”

The preliminary 2019 KCLS budget narrative said the system will be implementing a pay-to-print system to encourage cloud-based options instead of paper printing. In 2017, there were more than 15 million black and white pages printed, and more than 2.5 million color pages were printed at no cost to the user, Acteson said. That increased to 18.4 million black and white pages, and 3 million color pages in 2018.

Library system members currently receive $11.25 each week in credit to use to print. Color pages cost 50 cents, and black and white pages cost 15 cents each. Starting in 2020, the weekly allowance could be reduced to $1.50. Acteson said many other library systems do not offer free printing.

“There’s a lot of libraries that for a long time have been charging to print and offering no free copies,” she said.

Acetson said the move likely would reduce paper consumption at the library system. There have not been discussions about how much money it may save the library system, or where those funds would go, she said.

At the same time, the library system also will be installing self-service kiosks at every library where patrons can put money on printing accounts, pay fines and conduct other transactions. The kiosks already have been installed in five libraries — Redmond, Auburn, North Bend, Enumclaw and Greenbridge. Every library should have one by the end of the year.

Library staff will not be reduced once the kiosks are installed, Acetson said.

More in News

Patch patrol

Kiran Ahluwalia and her daughter Kaia, 1, look at pumpkins with their… Continue reading

Auburn native serves half a world away with the U.S. Navy ‘Seabees’ in Guam

By David Wyscaver, mass communication specialist 1st Class (SW), Navy Office of… Continue reading

Weekend night work planned for intersection of Auburn Way South and 6th Street SE | UPDATES

On Saturday night, Oct. 19, through Sunday morning, Oct, 20, construction work… Continue reading

Free Science on the Sound series offers range of topics at Highline’s MaST Center

Community members can hear from local, regional and national experts during free… Continue reading

Kiwanians present inaugural 5K Purple Sock Walk/Run on Oct. 26

The Kiwanis Club of the Valley, Auburn, presents the inaugural 5K Purple… Continue reading

Wilson invites constituents to 30th District coffee hour on Oct. 21

Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Auburn, hosts a Constituent Coffee Hour from 5:30 to… Continue reading

Entenman to host coffee, conversation Oct. 19 in downtown Kent

State representative to be at Cafe on Fourth

VRFA fire and rescue blotter | Oct. 18

The VRFA responded to 244 calls for service between Oct. 7 and… Continue reading

Auburn Police blotter | Oct. 18

Auburn Police responded to the following calls for service, among many others,… Continue reading

Most Read