Submitted by Ginny Bukowski
Between May 20 and May 27, Jeff Lahaie, Brian Foley, and Petar Mitrevshi will place print release stations in the following public printing locations:
Armstrong Science Library
Sunderland (computing labs)
Robert A. Jones (basement)
As always, students, faculty, and staff will be able to print to any of these printers but will be required to release the job in order for it to print. Guests will have to pay for their printing as of June 8 and will be limited to black and white printers in the Middlebury libraries. Guests are people not in Active Directory and include, but are not limited to, regional visitors, potential students and their families, alumni, and dependents of staff and faculty.
We are aware of a few categories of people who are not in Active Directory (not active students, faculty, staff) or guests such as teaching assistants as well as Language Schools doctoral candidates and Language Schools’ week-long guests. For the time being, they must print via local or departmental printers. If you know of additional groups who fall into this category, please let Ginnie know.
Carol and Doreen are creating the cards and the accompanying internal accounting system. LIS will sell guest printing cards to the college, who will sell them at the bookstore, MiddExpress, and Wilson Café. Through these $5 cards guests will be able to create and maintain a PaperCut printing account. Cards will be non-refundable. They will have a warning that the guest should treat them like cash. The college will not be responsible for them once sold. For those of you at customer service points, you will receive complimentary cards for people who have legitimate grievances such poor printing quality.
Departmental guests will have the option to use the host department’s printer at no charge. If there is a guest who is in need of a public printer for an extended time, the host department will need to purchase a card or cards for that individual.
Of course, your printing to departmental or local printers will not change because they are not public printers.
Mary, Linda, Elin, Joseph, Mike, and I are working on the various communications required. An announcement by Mike to the college is imminent.
Of course, there will be an adjustment period for those who use public printers; we hope you agree that the reduction in wasted resources will make this stage worthwhile. Your support and understanding, especially of those who interact with users of the printers, will be appreciated.
You may be wondering, “What about student quotas?” Mike asked Jon Isham’s economics class to assess student quotas. Once that information has been provided along with collected usage data, quotas will be discussed in Phase 3 over the fall term. In the meantime, Phase 2 will be an assessment of release stations and guest printing. Phase 2.5 will be what may be done for the non-Active Directory and non-guest categories.
This seems inconsistent with our photocopiers, where we sell $1 cards. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve dealt with visitors only needing to print a page or just a few pages – not 50 pages. Yikes.
One statistic I’m very interested in seeing is what the reduction in printing is just due to the need to release jobs. Often it seems, students will be running late and send a small job to a printer, go to the printer and see it in the middle of a 200-page job, then send a new job to another printer to get around the delay. I have no idea how big of a percentage this is, but the recycle-bins seem to be full of such wasted prints.
While quotas will probably be even more helpful in cutting down less-needed printing, it would be great to use part of the semester to evaluate the effectiveness of the print-release stations without quotas. Once we have those numbers in hand it would allow us to independently evaluate the effect of quotas separate from the reduction in waste due to the print-release system.
Thank you for your posted concern, Brenda. The $5 card/50-page rate was set after considering smaller and varying denominations. It was determined that one denomination should be offered for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the staff and electronic resources required to supply, sell, and support this process. As you know, the copy cards are via machine; they do not require significant amount of staff time.
Remember, guest printing cards are just an initial portal to printing on campus, with the actual support structure in the PaperCut system. People setting up accounts, which are maintained by the college infrastructure, for a single request that involves 1 or 2 pages would be extreme.
Don’t forget, print accounts may be set up with a $5 card and used for multiple small printing jobs as needed. There is no need for a guest to use all $5 in one or two visits.
In addition, we are not the only resource for guest printing. For those who want to print only 1 or 2 pages, there are several outlets in the area for them to do so, at varying costs:
Main Street Stationary*
* offers color printing as well.
Response to Adam’s comment (#2)…
Numbers will continue to be gathered allowing us to compare this year’s Language Schools and fall term to the recent past. Such information, along with Mike’s work with the economics class, will help us to determine what step to take next (specifically looking at quotas). As you note, there seems to be a great deal of unnecessary and unclaimed printing. After reviewing the data this fall, it might be decided that the print release system – in essence forcing users to reconsider whether they really need something printed – is sufficient.
Adam, would you like to be part of the quota sub-group? It hasn’t, yet, been determined who will be on the quota sub-group, but if you’re interested, please shoot me an e-mail.