Photo credit: Julia Chandler/Libraries Taskforce
Wi-Fi printing at Slough Libraries is an important part of the digital offer and a service they are proud to provide. Lorensbergs talked with Patsy To, Operational Manager for Libraries and Culture at Slough, about the library’s introduction of netloan Wi-Fi print and how it’s been welcomed by staff and customers.
“It’s a service we’ve provided since early 2019 and gives a great example of how we continue to develop the digital services in our libraries,” explains Patsy. “We’re continually looking to improve all things digital – faster Wi-Fi and better computers. It’s important that we’ve also enhanced our printing. We would highly recommend netloan Wi-Fi print – it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made!”
As libraries continue to update and expand the technologies they offer, Slough’s introduction of Wi-Fi printing met a growing expectation amongst users:
“Library customers would assume that the library supports printing from personal devices. They would ask ‘Why can’t we?’ when wanting to print from their phones, tablets and laptops. Libraries need to constantly adapt, so it’s great we’ve been able to expand our use of netloan to provide this service and meet customer expectations.
“As it was important for Slough Libraries to introduce a Wi-Fi print service for our customers, it was the first thing I prioritised in my role. Printing is also the biggest revenue generator for Slough Libraries, so it was an obvious service to invest in and expand – to be able to provide PC printing and Wi-Fi print side by side.
“Since the pandemic lockdown, digital services are even more important and it’s what libraries need to continue to develop. At the time of introduction though it still felt pioneering and we were really pleased to start offering the Wi-Fi print service.”
“Training was delivered over two days for Wi-Fi print. We took an informal approach to enable staff to get used to it, and practise using it from both the customer and staff perspective. This worked really well. We began with a soft launch of the service, then when staff were completely confident with supporting the process, we began to publicise it.
“A stack of flyers were left in places where users with devices were most likely to be spending time in the library. Crib sheets to support quick understanding on the processes were circulated to all staff. All the materials provided by Lorensbergs were used and very helpful.”
Staff and customer experience of Wi-Fi print
“Staff find using the service is quick and easy. When news got round that we offered wireless printing it encouraged new users to come into the library with their devices. It’s also succeeded in meeting the needs of existing library members.”
Some customers are very familiar with their devices, and prefer to print directly from them to a library printer. Some are working from home and simply wish to drop into the library to print a job without logging onto a computer. Providing netloan Wi-Fi print meets this demand, providing opportunity to create paper copies of the many types of documents and information stored on mobile and home devices.
“Customers need to print off forms before completing and returning them. They need to print legal documents, tickets for events and travel, and parcel labels.
“They’ve found that using netloan Wi-Fi print has made using library print services much quicker and generally provided a very positive experience.
“Staff are quickly able to show someone how to print from their own device which is great when the library is busy. We also provide users with supporting materials, so they can easily see the steps needed to connect their devices to the service. Posters from Lorensbergs help publicise availability of the functionality to all customers using the library.”
“Printing in libraries is essential to meeting customer needs – it’s what our customers want and netloan Wi-Fi print is a key part of this at Slough. Computer printing is still required and it’s essential for continuing equal access to library services, not least for jobseekers and benefit claimants. Having a combination of desktop and wireless printing means that all needs are met, and our libraries now aim to provide the same quality and speed of service for printing from all types of device.”
With thanks to Patsy To at Slough Libraries.