How a Print on Demand solution brings choice to library patrons, featuring KCLS


Featuring King County Library Systems (KCLS)


With 50 libraries managed under the System, 700,000 active cardholders, and 1.4 million people in its service area, it’s an understatement to say King County Library System (KCLS) has countless taste and language preferences to cater to.  With that in mind, KCLS partnered with PressReader to provide access to thousands of publications from all over the world, using PressReader’s Print on Demand solution

We were looking to enhance our service to our world language speakers. Seattle is definitely a draw for a lot of folks from other countries. There are many languages spoken in our service area,” explained Nancy Henkel, Manager of Selection & Order


The Challenge 

The challenge was getting a huge variety of publications from hundreds of different countries to every library operating under the KCLS System – something that wasn’t always a seamless process. Taking the long route meant having to contract multiple language vendors to secure publications. Some regions, like Somalia, were especially difficult to source titles from, and most were only available internationally. So, getting them to the library required paying hefty international air-mail bills every single time there was a new issue available. On a public library budget, this wasn’t sustainable.

“We’re excited to give patrons language newspapers they’ve asked for. In terms of world languages we can be very responsive, quickly. Otherwise it would take months and months for us to acquire world language vendors,” said Samantha Everett, Vendor Relations Coordinator

That's why Print on Demand seemed like a natural choice. 


The Fix: PressReader's Print on Demand Solution

PressReader’s Library and Marketing team worked together to implement a plan. They worked towards the ultimate of bringing content accessibility to every community library. PressReader has been providing a Print on Demand service to KCLS since 2005. The service allows KCLS to print on-site and deliver same-day international and local publications to their libraries, which is something that's virtually impossible without PressReader's print technology. As a result, the solution allows them to bypass the logistical nightmares of sourcing titles and transporting them to any one of their 50 libraries. KCLS was able to save time, operational costs, and brings patrons more choice – fostering a better overall library experience . 

When it came to set-up, PressReader installed print stations at KCLS, and the back-end digital software that enabled the service to operate. The system allowed KCLS to manage periodical subscriptions for the 33 libraries that requested printed publications.



With PressReader’s Print on Demand Solution, KCLS was able to provide their libraries with local, national, and international papers. They were able to bring their world-language speakers a little piece of home and connect them to the news they care about. This went a long way in engaging patrons, and keeping them coming back to the physical library space.

Susan Jonovich, Periodicals Supervisor said, “We have quite a lot of patrons who like to come in and stay a while. Many of our libraries get a lot of printouts because they have communities with multiple language groups.”

Not only are patron’s comfortable coming to the library and staying awhile, but the reading experience is more comfortable too.

“They really like to get access to publications from their home country, and they like reading a paper in-hand. For some, digital access is still not at their comfort level. Particularly if they’re from another country and have to navigate an English language technology space," said Susan.

With PressReader Print on Demand, KCLS is able to bring their patrons choice. They were able to provide their patrons with titles from home and around the world, while catering to different technological skill levels.


Curious about how PressReader can make your patron experience more comfortable? Get in touch. 

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