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January 26, 2010 / schulerbooks

Schuler uses the Espresso Book Machine to help out Haiti!

Check out this article, published in the January 26 issue of the Grand Rapids press!

Schuler Books prints Creole-English medical pocket translator for use in Haiti

By Ann Byle | The Grand Rapids Press

January 26, 2010, 7:55AM

GRAND RAPIDS — Schuler Books & Music is using some new equipment to meet a unique need in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The business’s new Espresso Book Machine allows print-on-demand publishing. Schuler owner Bill Fehsenfeld and Pierre Camy, Espresso Book Machine manager, recently used the emerging technology to print 50 copies of “Haitian Creole-English Pocket Medical Translator” when On Demand Books, which sold them the machine, contacted them.

On Demand Books has access to almost 3 million public-domain books that it makes available to users of the machine. Most of those titles come through Google, the company that originally contacted On Demand Books about the Creole-English book project.

“Google contacted On Demand Books, which contacted us,” said Camy. “We said ‘yes’ immediately after we learned about the project.”

The book is a pronunciation guide and dictionary that translates Haitian Creole terms into English. It is divided into sections such as orthopedics, anatomy, dental and medical history.

“This is one small thing, but if it gets into the hands of medical workers, it will help,” said Fehsenfeld. “With so many people going to Haiti who don’t speak Creole, this book will help them help others.”

Google is waiving its usual fee for accessing a title in its collection, and On Demand Books did the file set-up for free, so the only cost to Schuler is materials, about $2.50 a book. There is no royalty fee either, despite the book’s release in 1996 by the International Medical Volunteers Association. It’s rare for a book so recently released and still under copyright to be available for use in this way, Camy said.

Three other bookstores — at the University of Washington, the University of Arizona and Harvard Bookstore — were asked to contribute 50 copies as well.

“Google sent the file to On Demand Books, which e-mailed us Friday morning,” Fehsenfeld said. “They loaded it onto our machine, and by 2 p.m., we got the go-ahead to print.”

Camy began printing Friday and finished Monday, completing seven or eight books an hour. He said he’ll send the books to a doctor working for Physicians for Peace in Virginia, with Google picking up the shipping costs. The books will then be brought to Haiti.

“This is a very good use for the machine,” said Camy. “The timing was perfect for us and the book will help people in Haiti.”

“These books are a little bitty part of helping Haiti and a unique piece of the puzzle down there,” Fehsenfeld said. “Printing these books couldn’t have happened otherwise, and we are in the position to make it happen. How else could these books have gotten there so quickly?”

*Photo Credits:

Photo 1: Pierre Camy, operator of the Espresso Book Machine at Schuler Books and Music, is running 50 copies of English Creole Medical Book to be sent to Haiti. Lori Niedenfuer Cool | The Grand Rapids Press.

Photo 2: An English Creole Medical Book printed by Schuler Books and Music to be sent to Haiti.  Lori Niedenfuer Cool | The Grand Rapids Press

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