Picture me as a wiggly, goofy, twelve-year-old boy in sixth grade. We had a brand-new, fresh-out-of-college music teacher who was being overwhelmed by a bunch of adolescent kids. Finally, she had enough and with eyes bulging, she pointed a shaky finger straight at me and said that by tomorrow morning, I had to write out “I will not talk in music class,” ONE THOUSAND TIMES! That night, I went home, took out a blank piece of paper and started to write. Ten minutes later, I had exactly seven lines written out. Only 993 to go.
It was time to get creative. I got out our old manual typewriter, some typing paper, a few sheets of carbon paper, and got to work. If you are old enough, you will probably recall the messy, smudgy carbon paper which was the best way to make a copy of something at that time. An hour later, my dad wondered what was going on. I spilled the beans and, bless his heart, he decided to help me out by typing some of the pages himself.
The next day, I showed up to music class with dozens of smudgy pages with the I will not talk in music class message and handed them to the teacher. She took one glance, and tossed them in the trash basket. “I said hand-written! Typing it is cheating! Tomorrow, you will bring me 1,000 hand-written sentences!” Deflated at the wasted effort, that night I told my dad what the teacher said. He told me not to worry about it, and that he would take care of things...and then he gave me a stern talk about always being polite and respectful to teachers. The next day, the teacher did not say a word about the assignment and neither did little Billy.
And speaking of making copies, the new year is bringing new technology to your Tillamook County Libraries! We now have super-duper multi-functional copier machines in every library! It actually doesn’t even seem fair to call them copiers, because they do so much more. I think back over 30 years ago when I was working in a library in the Midwest and we got our first copier for the public. It was slow, the black and white copies were not very clear, and the price was the same as it is today at our libraries.
Today’s copiers are faster, they make crystal clear copies, they can print in color...and they can do so much more. Let’s talk about some of the features. First of all, these machines are also high-quality scanners. So, if you have a document you want scanned, you place it on the scan bed and press “GO”. From there, you have so many choices. You can print out a copy like a normal copy machine. Or you could save the image to a flash drive that you plug into the copier and take it home with you. You could also choose to email the scan to an email address. Still another option is to scan the image and send it as a FAX transmission. How is that for options?
But it doesn’t end there. Let’s say you have a flash drive with a PDF or a JPEG picture on it. You can bring that to any of our branches, plug the flash drive into the copier, and either print directly from the flash drive, or choose one of those documents to email. Not only is the price for black and white copies still just 10 cents a page, but the price of color copies has been dropped down to only 25 cents per page! And don’t forget, we still have remote printing available. What this means is you can log in to the library’s website from your smart phone or home computer, then follow the links to set up a print job at any of our six libraries. Then all you have to do is go to the library you selected to pick up your print job. It really is kind of like magic.
I can’t help but think if I had been given the “1,000 times” assignment today, how much easier it would have been with our new copy machines. But I guess it would still be cheating.