After a new printing system was implemented in the library, complicating a process that should be simple, everybody’s go-to printing place has changed.
Self-service printing has been eliminated in the library and replaced with a student worker who sits at a table and assists students with printing, so rather than students printing and retrieving their printed documents themselves, they instead must check in with a student attendant who gives them their printed sheets, along with a printed receipt to separate jobs. The student worker lays all of the different printing jobs on the table and students come to pick up whatever they printed.
With the old system, the library staff said that there was an excess of papers that students weren’t picking up laying around the library and these papers went to waste, but it’s not as much of a waste as printing out a receipt for all the print jobs that go to the printer. The purpose of this new process is to provide students with a more efficient way to print and guarantee that every student who prints something will actually receive it.
We agree that the new printing system is organized, but in the long-run is just as much of a waste of paper, if not more of a waste, than the old system. The major problem they’re trying to address is students not picking up their prints, but we think that students only abandoned their prints after the printer took too long to print sheets, which is most likely due to the fact that the printers were out of order most of the time, and weren’t attended to by library employees. The new system also requires two people in the library to manage the prints of everyone who prints something out, which is something that students can easily manage by themselves. This process takes more time, especially when everyone is in a hurry to get their prints before class.
With every print job a students prints, a cover page with the student’s SRU login ID accompanies the job. The purpose of this page is for students to be able to differentiate their own papers from any other paper that may be sitting on the table at that time, a paper that ultimately gets thrown away, which arguably wastes as much paper as someone who doesn’t pick up a one-page document. Next to the printing desk, there is a blue recycling bin for students to throw away the cover page. There are 8,628 students who attend SRU. If every single student comes to Bailey Library to print something at least once a week, that’s 8,628 pieces of paper that are thrown into that recycling bin.
Now of course, that is an extreme case, but we know that Bailey Library is heavily used for the printing needs of students. So in the long run, that one cover page that prints with every job is going to accumulate to the same amount, or more, than was previously being wasted with the self-serve printers.
During busy time periods like common hour and before classes, lines form at the printing desk and clogs the flow of printing traffic. It’s annoying to have to stand in line when in the past, students were able to walk up to the printers, get their papers and be on their way.
We really liked the self-service printers because we liked the freedom of being able to come into the library, print something out quickly, and then leave without the hassle of waiting in a line to retrieve your printed pages.
We do genuinely appreciate the attempt to conserve paper and the fact that the library wants to provide students with a more efficient way to print, but the old system worked fine and we feel it shouldn’t have changed.