By: Carl Sullivan
There was a time when folks flocked to the local library to read newspapers from other cities — usually secured on those awkward wooden rods. Then along came the Internet and many libraries canceled their subscriptions to far-flung print publications.
Now, the public library in Vancouver, British Columbia, is trying a more reader-friendly option: a print-on-demand, same-day newspaper service offered by NewspaperDirect of Richmond, British Columbia. Using the Internet and proprietary technology, the company allows out-of-market newspapers to be laser-printed in 11-by-17-inch formats. Vancouver library patrons can get their newspapers in less than five minutes after they request it, NewspaperDirect said.
The library pays NewpaperDirect a monthly fee, with the cost working out to about $2.95 (Canadian) a newspaper.
More than 150 newspaper publishers, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, and El Pais of Madrid, send their newspapers electronically to NewspaperDirect, which redistributes them via printers.
A similar technology is offered by PEPC Worldwide of The Hague, Netherlands. That company distributes 108 print-on-demand newspapers using satellite technology.