[Michlib-l] Wireless Printing Summary

Mark Morton markmorton at lelandtownshiplibrary.org
Tue Jul 29 10:41:38 EDT 2014


I received about 16 replies to my inquiry about who allows patron devices to
connect to their printers and had several requests for a summary so here it
is.

Only a few libraries allow patron devices to connect to their printers and
most that do use management software where the patrons upload the document
to the software and then that connects to the printer rather than having to
download the driver from the printer onto the patron device.

One suggestion was to have a separate printer for patron devices to connect
to but we don't have the demand yet here at Leland to justify the expense.
For now we will continue to have patrons either send the documents to their
web based email and then access it from our public computers or use a thumb
drive to transfer documents from their laptop (no USB ports on iPads) to our
computers. We will be getting a replacement printer that has wireless
capability but probably won't allow direct connections from patron devices
at least to begin with.

I have copied and pasted the text from the emails I received below. Thanks
so much for all the replies it was very informative.

Mark

 

Mark...do you use a time/print management product such as SAM or
Envisionware?  If you do, both products have add on products for wireless
printing from wireless devices.

 

We have a public printer with wireless capability but my tech guy still
won't let people use it with their own devices.  I'm not sure I can say why
for sure, but something to do with security, plus they would have to
download the printer driver to their device for it to work.  I think.  I may
be way off on why, but he doesn't allow it.

 

We have not set up for wireless printing because of concerns that people
using our wireless from outside the building will then go away without
collecting their printing or paying.  If people want to print documents, we
suggest that they email the documents to themselves and access their web
email on our public PC's for printing.

 

We have just purchased a Ricoh that has that capability.  We were due for a
new copier anyway and we made sure we got one with wireless because of the
amount of requests we were getting.  It hasn't been delivered yet so I can't
tell you about the technical difficulties.  But I did use it at the show
room and it was pretty easy to do.  

 

We don't have a wireless printer (in fact, ours is an HP 4050 that we got
through a Gates grant in 2000!), but laptop users can print to it because
it's connected to the public network.  I know just about enough about this
to be dangerous, but if a laptop user chooses to add a printer in devices
and printers, then chooses a network printer, their laptop will "find" the
HP 4050 and they can connect.

I hope this helps -

 

I've gone through months and a lot of hoops with public printing issues in
general. For public computer access we use Envisionware which helps us
manage wired printing. That's the best solution there so far. This lets us
also do wireless printing from Windows OS and Mac OS machines.

It's so much tricker with mobile OS's. I just bought a Brother HL-6180DW.
It's a printer that has AirPrint compatbility and it seems to work well with
IOS devices. The downside is the print management features seem to be pretty
slim. I think it might let me individually enter in access codes each time I
want to let a device print, but I haven't done enough testing yet. 

 So really, any AirPrint compatible printer with the addition of print
management features should work for you, but it only helps with iOS devices.


 

Mark--we will be deploying remote printing from patron device later this
year.

 

We use the Pharos system to log patrons on to our public computers.  It logs
them out after one hour.  It validates with our circulation system that the
patron (if using their library card to log in) has no outstanding fines, or
it won't log them on.  It provides printing capability with a coin box for
pre-payment.  

We do not allow patrons to directly access our printers.  We bought a Pharos
software module that provides wifi printing, but the patron is sending an
email into the Pharos system, with a document attached.  The patron can be
in the building or anywhere on the globe.  The print job will be in the
system 24 hours.  Then the patron can come in, and bring up the print job on
the print station, pay, and send it to the printer.

 

We don't allow them to print yet.  If I could get it to work with our
mconsole print management software (we release the jobs as the patrons
confirm the number of pages), I would.    I'm very leery about connecting it
to our color laser printer - as the cartridges are SO expensive!  Will you
post summary of answer or send to me if possible - I'm very interested in
what the others are doing.  

 

Our public printers are wireless, but linked only to the public computers.
We charge 10 cents per page. We block laptops, etc. I did get some IPADs and
they have a feature that allows them to print to just about any wireless.
Some tablets, such as a Samsung are limited to printing to a specific type
of printer. We ended up blocking our printers from IPADs. Basically IPADs
are too easy to print to wireless in general.

 

This is a large company who operates 'in the cloud' but is really famous
worldwide for good, simple service. If you look at their location map it is
mostly Richoh (sp?) world wide company and hotels (with various different
printers). They broker the job so you don't have so much time walking folks
through app installs, etc. And you can offer printing from home if you want.
A few libraries around here use that. I think the direct approach for a
small library is not very risky, I'd roll it out to staff first, and then a
'soft' opening to those in the public who ask for it. then you'll all know
how to use and support this before making the grand announcement. This is a
great service to offer! Of course if you really want to spend a pile,
Envisionware LDS can take print jobs, can scan to a mobile device, can
perform OCR, fax, and you can add a vend unit if wanted. But you'd have to
have the $$$ (we are worried about that here!).

 

We offer wireless printing for three years now, though we use PaperCut print
management software rather than allowing patrons to connect devices to the
printer or adding a printer to the wireless network. PaperCut allows us to
monitor what is being printed, so we don't end up with reams of unwanted
print jobs.  Basically, patrons upload documents for printing and then
library staff release them from the queue.  The drawback is that only
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF documents can be uploaded for
printing.  

We've had little trouble with it.  The company we purchased our copy machine
from installed the software.  Patrons do use it, not everyday or every week
but at least once a month.

 

We have 2 printers, one attached to our public computers and we use a  "HP
Office Jet Pro 8100" for just wireless units.  

 

http://www.brother-usa.com/Printer/ModelDetail/1/HL5470DW/Overview

You could add something like this to your wireless IP space as an
inexpensive way to provide wireless printing. We used to have a laser
printer on our wireless via a windows share on a machine in the wireless IP
space. That worked, but was cumbersome to set up for patrons. The techie at
our co-op recommended the Brother printer. It plays nice with different
flavors of computers, and does Android / iOS support via AirPrint,
GoogleCloudPrint, and an app called Brother iPrint&Scan. Also does PCL6
emulation, so patrons can use a generic PCL driver if the Brother driver is
not on their computers. We have ours as a wireless only printer, and it's an
honor system to pay.

 

Right now all of our printers are wireless.  However, we do not offer
printing from wireless devices.  We do not have our patrons sign in to use
the wireless internet, so we would not know how to manage all of the
printing that would take place.  We are very happy with our HP Laser Jet
P1606.

 

We used to have our public printer on both the wired PAC network and the
public WiFi network, because it was a "single" network (IP addresses had the
same initial 7 digits, 192.168.1.xxx). The only technical difficulties at
that time were helping patrons locate and download the appropriate driver
for our now 17 year old printer (newer laptops just don't expect those old
printers to still be in use, so they don't come with the right driver
installed!).

Now, thanks to a firewall change patrons can no longer access the PAC
network, and consequently cannot send print jobs to the printer (wired
network is 192.168.1.xxx and wireless is 192.168.2.xxx). If they need to
print something we ask them to sign on to a PAC, and if it really must be
done from their laptop, I am able to connect their laptop to the network via
an extra Ethernet port, in essence disabling their internal WiFi card
temporarily). Of course that won't help if they're trying to print from a
smart-phone or tablet, but so far one of the two previous work-arounds has
always been sufficient.

Something you might want to consider--if you get a printer with wireless
capabilities, will it be accessible by your wired network computers? Do you
have a firewall which for security reasons prevents your WiFi and wired
network from interacting?

 

Mark Morton

Technical Services Librarian

Leland Township Library

203 E. Cedar St.

P.O. Box 736


Leland, MI 49654

231-256-9152

 

From: michlib-l-bounces at mcls.org [mailto:michlib-l-bounces at mcls.org] On
Behalf Of Mark Morton
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 5:02 PM
To: Mich Lib Listserv
Subject: [Michlib-l] Wireless Printing

 

We are getting  more and more requests from patrons to connect directly to
our public printer with their own devices such as laptops and iPads. Our
current printer does not have wireless connectivity and we are looking at
replacing it (we call it Bob Marley because it keeps on jammin') We are
questioning if we should get one with wireless capability and connect it our
public wireless network so other devices besides our public access computers
can use it. 

I'm wondering if other libraries allow patron devices to connect to their
printers and whether or not there been a lot of technical difficulties
associated with letting people do this?

 

Mark

 

Mark Morton

Technical Services Librarian

Leland Township Library

203 E. Cedar St.

P.O. Box 736


Leland, MI 49654

231-256-9152

 

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