Software limits students’ printing

By Richard Magda
October 2, 2003

Ryan Norris

Print limit monitoring software installed to public computers on campus will limit printing per student to minimize excessive use of paper and ink.

The new software, Print Manager Plus, allows each student an arbitrary quota of 500 printed pages per semester. A warning message will appear at 350 pages printed to alert students.

Concern of wasteful printing peaked during the last six weeks of the spring semester last year, according to Dr. John McIntyre, director of information technology and resources.

“Last spring, we were carrying a several boxes of paper to the library a week,” McIntyre said. “We were replacing the print cartridge every two weeks.”

One box of paper contains 10 reams of 500 sheets. According to McIntyre, a print cartridge should last at least one month.

“We’re going to work out what this year is costing us because of the growth last year,” McIntyre said. “This should make students more aware.”

Employees of the Holy Spirit Library agree that several causes lead to wasteful printing.

Students are accessing the text on digital databases and printing them in their entirety, often leaving behind wasted paper, according to reference librarian, Rosemarie DeMaio.

DeMaio flipped through the abandoned pages in a bin next to the main laser printer in the library. Four articles of 15 pages or more were left behind by students who printed that day.

“Five years ago, there would be lines of students waiting to use the photocopier,” De Maio said. “With the technology now, students print the whole entry and some of them just leave it behind.”

Linda Roccas, information access and user service associate in the library, believes that the new software will cut down on waste.

“It will minimize the waste,” Roccas said. “We had to do something. Hopefully students will stop and think that someone has to pay for the supplies. It does cost.”

Cabrini is not the only college in this situation.

At Gwynedd-Mercy College, copiers and printers are provided in the library, but at a cost. Students pay 10 cents per page for photocopiers and for each page printed from electronic sources. “Other schools charge for printing,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre does not rule out the possibility that Cabrini will charge to print from public computers in the future.

Photos courtesy of Heather DiLalla, Photo Editor.

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