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.
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!