From the Orchestra Library

Standing By My Copier

Posted in Library Supplies and Equipment by kschnack on September 15, 2009

Some other folks are apparently trying to get my beloved copier to transfer its affections.  They think I don’t notice how they sidle up and flirtatiously tease it with gifts of glamorous projects and new technical thrills.  Or how they have to tear themselves away from it clearly yearning to return.  That is, if I can get them away from it.  Sometimes they spend hours huddled closely together throughout the week, working as one with great attention to the smallest detail. Because it really is addictive, this copier.  Trust me, I know.

You see, it’s not just ANY copier.  It’s so much more.  And I’m not just talking about the universal tray we customized for music paper, or the double-scanner for duplexing, or the faxing or e-mailing capability.  Nor am I even referring to how we can receive a regular letter-sized pdf file and transform it from our computers to the copier which then produces a beautiful image on 60 lb., 10.5 x 13″ paper.  Sure, all those things are part of what makes this particularly fine specimen so special.  They’re just not the whole picture.

So, I have a confession.  I’ve been holding out on you and haven’t told you everything.  There was a clue in the photo when I first introduced you to the light of my library life, but I didn’t let you in on what it all meant.  And why, despite everything we’ve been through and the temptations to which it regularly succumbs, I’m still hopelessly in love with my copier and standing by it no matter what.

Here it is.  Have another look:

DSO Library Copier

DSO Library Copier

Notice that station next to the copier with a monitor and keyboard with the music up on the screen?  (I’ll let the librarians identify what the excerpt is.)  No, that is not just a regular computer turned sideways.  It’s not an ATM either, although nearly everyone in the orchestra called it that when we first got it.

It’s a unit that is designed to fit with the copier (in this case, Ricoh) that uses EFI print management software in a format developed by IKON called DocSend™.

And I can no longer live without it.

DocSend Unit

DocSend Unit

I know that most of this is old technology to those in other fields, or even those in other parts of the music industry.  And, by now, a number of my colleagues around the world have similar units, or, if they don’t have the separate tower, they are doing the same kind of work at their PC’s.  (We like having the tower because we can do all the scanning and editing at the copier without running back and forth to our PC’s.) In fact, we wouldn’t have understood the potential of this gizmo if we hadn’t attended demonstrations by our brilliant colleague Michel Léonard of the Montreal Symphony at a couple of MOLA conferences a few years ago.  As one who is very experienced in music editing, he was using Adobe Photoshop® long before most of the rest of us had even thought about it to manipulate parts electronically — clean and crop them, fix the notation, add rehearsal systems, make excerpts — instead of manually with scissors, tape, erasers, and Wite-Out®.  Not to be confused with music notation programs like Sibelius and Finale, this type of editing is a different process, targeting a different set of problems that, in my view, is even more essential to what the librarian is doing every day:  preparing the parts for performance that have already been created.

Oh, the things we can do together. Erasing without shavings! Extracting excerpts without so much as picking up a pair of scissors!!  Putting those excerpts in any order at all without having to mock up individual physical sheets that then have to be recopied front-to-back, wasting huge amounts of time and paper!!! Sending everything back to the PC, and in just a few clicks, printing exquisite parts on the music paper.  It’s a thing of beauty.

I know.  You must be thinking that none of this sounds all that amazing these days, what with every type of graphic image manipulation software available to anyone who wants to seek it out and learn to use it.  Are orchestra librarians so in the Dark Ages that we can be thrilled with a simple touch screen, over the moon about Deskew and Undo options?

Well, yes, I guess we are.  For a field that is one of the last to use pencils, erasers, and scissors — and not for teaching school children — it’s pretty exciting stuff.  And it makes me happy, happy.

To think that just yesterday I was talking about the old days.

So I’m standing by my copier.  Yes, I realize we are now supposed to call them printers or scanners or whatever.  But to me, he will always just be Doc, The Copier.  I will share him with the others on an as-needed basis.  But I know he knows who his true love is.  I know he knows you gotta dance with the one that brung ‘ya.

Our favorite library tool


2 Responses to 'Standing By My Copier'

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  1. Michael said,

    I was waiting for this post! I miss the DocSend everyday! Photoshop just doesn’t compare!

  2. kschnack said,

    See that? Once you’ve used the DocSend, nothing else ever matches up!!

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