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The Espresso Book Machine: a change agent for libraries

Kenning Arlitsch (J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 8 March 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the disruptive implications of the Espresso Book Machine on library user services, collection development, and special collections.


The approach takes into account various published articles and online statements to help articulate and support the arguments.


Library users can derive immediate benefit from a machine that prints books for them in only a few minutes. The EBM's impact on collection development in libraries may change a decades‐old model of speculative buying to one of buying on demand. The EBM can also help libraries bring high‐quality facsimiles of their unique special collections books to the public, and perhaps even generate a revenue stream that might offset costs.


This is an original article that draws on other published and unpublished research and opinion articles.



Arlitsch, K. (2011), "The Espresso Book Machine: a change agent for libraries", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 62-72.



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