I was at the local -- the town will remain nameless to prevent mysterious overdue fines from appearing on my account -- library recently trying to print something and I was shocked at the cost: 20 cents per page.
I was mildly annoyed, but paid the fee. But in a larger sense, I believe that the library is doing a serious disservice to its patrons by charging such an exorbitant printing fee (Most libraries I've been to charge 5 or 10 cents).
In this economy especially, a large percentage of the people using the library are low- and moderate-income folks printing out job listings and resumes.
The Billings Gazette reports that "Montanans are using public library facilities to apply online for unemployment benefits and to do word processing for home-based businesses."
MSNBC recently reported on the increased demand for library services -- the lure of free Internet access is leading to lines queuing up prior to the opening and long waits for computers.
Here's an idea for a novel way to give back to your computer: Donate money to provide free resume/job application printing for your local library. The library would be able to get quite a bit of publicity by offering the service and your relatively small donation could help reimburse the library for the cost of printing.
Ideally libraries would cut their printing costs for job seekers themselves but with local budgets as tight as they are, they need all the revenue they can get.
I just sent an e-mail to the library mentioned above, asking how much it would take to help provide free resume printing this summer. I'll report back soon to let you know what they said.
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