Home » Fun Stuff » Thanks to the Greenbelt Library, I can ditch my printer!

Thanks to the Greenbelt Library, I can ditch my printer!

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This is the latest in a long history of printers that I’ve owned and hated – every last one of them! It may be that I’m uniquely challenged in my mechanical abilities (people have told me) and I’m setting them up wrong. Still, I find comfort in the New York Times’ description of printers as “annoying. All of them” in their product review section.

But my current printer is bad in a whole new way because it’s wireless, and repeatedly – mysteriously – loses the ability to communicate with my desktop. Here again I find comfort (and discouragement) in the many reviews that say this is common – that they communicate for a while, and then have to be reconnected again and again.

Let the Library Do the Printing

I rarely print anything, so the annoyance of dealing with printers is rare for me – maybe four times a year – but consistent. This week I needed to print a couple of financial documents for signing and mailing (not in Greenbelt’s mailboxes recently targeted by thieves, but at the nearest post office). and when once again the error message told me my computer didn’t even recognize the existence of my printer (which I swear was plugged in, etc) it occurred to me to go elsewhere. And not FedEx or another paid service but the Greenbelt Library, which prints the first 10 pages for free!

These “spots” are the official pick-up location for print jobs at the Greenbelt Library. Although in the case of the documents I had printed – with personal financial information – I received them directly from the people at the front desk.

Ordering Online

I’ve ordered printing online from places like FedEx and found the library’s process to be much simpler – yay! It starts here, with instructions for desktop, mobile, etc.

After clicking “Greenbelt” above, you see this next screen.

See, you just have to choose between black and white (15 cents per page after 10) or color (60 cents per page), provide an email address, find your document and then click that green printer icon.This is the one flaw I saw in the process. To “book an appointment,” meaning to actually make the printing happen for a certain pick-up time, you have to copy and paste that web address – https://www.pgcmls.info/v/assets/116. It should be a hot link. This is where you choose a pick-up time.

Information on the library’s website tells us that “Jobs will stay in the queue for 24 hours from submission.” I asked and found out that means if the “appointment” isn’t booked – which makes the printing actually happen – then it’s deleted, because the process hadn’t been completed.

Communal Printing Reduces Waste

I’ve decided to rid myself of my most hated possession once and for all – by donating it somewhere I haven’t determined it – and I thank the library for making it possible. A service like printing and others – the library also scans, faxes and copies – can save so many of us the expense and annoyance of having to buy another crappy, short-lived gadget. So wasteful!

Follow Susan Harris:
“Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV.

  1. Lore Rosenthal
    | Reply

    Susan, I have had similar experiences at home. Last time I think I tried to figure it out myself for over an hour or two. Then I changed strategies and finally called Epson Customer service. They walked me through the process and probably fixed the problem in 5 minutes. Moral of the story, it is OK to ask for help. Also I agree with you that everyone in Greenbelt doesn’t need to own their own printer. We can share. In that spirit, feel free to contact me next time you need some printing. I already do that for one friend. I have another friend who prints for me if I have a big job, like 35 copies of a multiple page document, back to back. My poor printer would experience multiple paper jams for a job like that. Thanks for bringing up this important topic.

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