University of Pittsburgh
September 21, 2010

University of Pittsburgh Unveils New Espresso Book Machine Sept. 27

Revolutionary technology makes possible the printing of library-quality paperback books with full-color covers in just minutes, expected to reduce cost of select student textbooks
First book to be printed will be Where the Evidence Leads by Pitt alumnus and trustee Dick Thornburgh

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—A new digital book production system that prints bound paperback books in just minutes will be unveiled at 4 p.m. Sept. 27 on the ground floor of the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 

The first of its kind ever to be used in Pennsylvania, the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) can print, align, mill, glue, and bind a book in less than 7 minutes, complete with a full-color laminated cover. The machine is made by On Demand Books, LLC. The University of Pittsburgh is one of only 30 higher education institutions to have this new technology.  

Pitt’s EBM was purchased this summer by the University Library System (ULS), working in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Press and the University Book Center, to print books as the titles are ordered. Books can be printed at the point of sale in the exact quantities needed—a less expensive process than a minimum run from a printing company. 

Available through EBM will be thousands of titles in the ULS D-Scribe online collections and most University of Pittsburgh Press books. In addition, EBM’s EspressNet database includes nearly a million titles, including books used for courses. Pitt’s University Book Center will soon be able to print selected textbooks on demand, which could reduce the cost to students. 

The first book to be printed by EBM will be the revised paperback edition of Where the Evidence Leads (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003) by the Honorable Dick Thornburgh, former Governor of Pennsylvania and a member of the Pitt Board of Trustees.

Those expected to be in attendance for the Sept. 27 demonstration include: 

Dick Thornburgh, former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General, member of the Pitt Board of Trustees, of counsel to the international law firm of K&L Gates, LLP; 

            Mark A. Nordenberg, chancellor, University of Pittsburgh; 

            Rush Miller, Hillman University Librarian and director of ULS; 

            Cynthia Miller, director, University of Pittsburgh Press; and 

            Debra Fyock, director, University Book Center. 




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