Espresso Book Machine...The Future of Book Printing?

 white books

I came across an article the other day "To thrive in a digital age, libraries offer much more than books to attract patrons" from the Kansas City Star that talked about an Espresso Book Machine.  I had never heard of one it until this article, but I was intrigued.  Basically, the Espresso Book Machine is an on demand book printer that will print and bind books from a digital file.  These machines can be used to create not only published works, but also allow patrons to create their own books. With a click of a button, one could have a copy of Pride and Prejudice in a matter of minutes.

This machine could really change the way books are published.  Instead of book publishers spending millions on printing books, they could just have e-books and hard copies that would only be available through one of these on demand printers.  This could reduce the cost for book buyers and librarians.  If this is the direction book printing is headed in, what does this mean for libraries?  Overdrive and Zinio are becoming increasingly popular mediums for collection development and circulation.  Would libraries still have print books, or only have ebooks and e-magazines available?

I'm not sure what is in store for our future library stacks, but  I do believe we will be seeing these machines popping up in more libraries.

You can watch a video of the Espresso Book Machine in action here.