The person behind much of your reading matter

Four million black and white copies and twenty thousand colour copies in 2009 alone – all printed, finished and filed by one person: Florella Lamole, an employee of an outside contractor who has been based at CERN since 1982.


Florella Lamole and her daily printings

Maybe you know her better as Flo: she's the person in charge of the CERN Print Shop's high-tech printers and copiers. With her beloved machines, Flo produces paper copies of all manner of CERN documents, from Council and Management documents to minutes of meetings, scientific documents for CMS and ATLAS, brochures, students' theses, and even the paper version of the Bulletin you're reading. Flo is undeniably behind a good deal of your reading matter!

CERN's printing demands are high in terms of both quality and quantity. "The Council documents are strictly confidential. And when there's a Council meeting, documents need to be printed straight away, as soon as it's over. That just wouldn't work with an outside printing company", says Flo. The need for confidentiality and speed make an in-house print shop essential.

Cost is a third, non-negligible advantage of an in-house print shop. "Having recourse to an outside company can be significantly more expensive, depending on the type and quantity of the documents to be printed", says the specialist with 28 years of CERN experience under her belt.

A long history

The CERN Print Shop came into existence long before Florella's arrival, of course, right at the beginning of the Organization's history. In the early days, its "raison d'être" was to print the so-called Yellow Reports quickly and in large numbers to ensure that the Laboratory's physics results were the first to make the world headlines. Then, as the Organization's personnel grew in number, important projects were developed and accelerators were built, the Print Shop's workload escalated accordingly, with the annual production figures reaching and exceeding 60 million copies. The simultaneous development of printing equipment made this possible: "The move from mechanical to digital equipment was a radical and positive change, transforming the speed and quality of our printing. Before, we were obliged to scan documents, which affected the quality, especially when it came to photographs", says Flo. But now, with the expansion of the Web, the volume of material that needs to be printed has inevitably decreased. Today, the Print Shop produces "only" 4 to 5 million copies a year...

Florella Lamole's curriculum vitae

Born in Brittany, Florella spent the first years of her career working for a producer of sporting trophies and cups before taking a few years off to raise her two children. Having moved to the Geneva area in the meantime, she started work at CERN in 1982 and was immediately taken on in the Print Shop. She worked with mechanical equipment in the early years of her career as she learned the basics of her trade. Then, as the printing industry and the associated equipment evolved, she followed training courses to keep up to date with developments. In 1999, she received official recognition for skills and dedication when she was awarded a diploma of merit for exceptional services from the Director of Xerox for Suisse Romande, at a ceremony attended by representatives of the CERN Management. Today, with another four years ahead of her before retirement, she intends to follow further training in the installation of a computerised order management system.

by Alizée Dauvergne