The $1.6 million pages printed from the Mason Library for the 2009 fiscal year was a tip-off to the Mason Library Dean that a change needed to be made.
In 2004, with the help of a grant received from the President’s Council, the Mason Library installed a print management software that required each student to verify what they wanted to print by releasing their print jobs to a print station, where they would authenticate the job. After this software was installed the library started noticing a decline in the number of pages being printed.
However, within the past six years that number has skyrocketed.
Mason Library Dean Irene Herold attributes this change to the increase in the population at Keene State College, the number of full- text data bases, and the amount of people who use the Mason Library, as it is a public library, for their printing and library needs.
According to a spreadsheet obtained by Herold, in 2010 the library spent $25,850.75 on paper, toner, and replacement kits for the printer. In comparison to the library’s supply budget, this number becomes a bit of a problem.
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“I have $16,717 in my supply line and last year we expended $41,752,” Herold said.
When the library goes over budget in one aspect of its “bottom line” account, Herold said less money is put into other planned areas. “It means maybe we don’t replace furniture or computer equipment, or we can’t hold as many events,” Herold said. “We have to pick and choose what is important.”
As of Aug. 26, 2011 the Mason Library, with the support of ITG, are piloting printing through a new authentication system with the goals of responsible printing and environmental stewardship in mind.
Through the authentication system, VendPrint, library officials will be monitoring the number of pages printed. As of right now, every student at KSC has $25 preloaded onto their student accounts, which at 5 cents a page, allows 500 pages to be printed per semester.
Because this year is just a pilot year to see how many pages are being printed, if a student goes over their 500 pages, Herold said the student can visit the circulation desk and another $25 dollars will be preloaded onto that student’s account.
Herold said this system is just bridging the gap until the KSC campus has one card that students can put money onto and use for printing purposes.
As of right now Herold is trying to work out the kinks. Herold mentioned if a student were to run out of the preloaded $25 pages once the system was in full swing, that student would have to preload exactly $25 more dollars. However, Herold is looking into implementing the dollar amounts of $5, $10, $15, and $20 dollars for those students who want fewer than 500 pages.
Student Body President Colin Daly said allowing each student to print 500 pages per semester for free is “too generous.”
“I don’t think I have printed off 500 pages in a year,” Daly said. If students had to pay, Daly said it would bring more awareness to what students are printing.
Student Assembly Secretary Kaleigh Liupakka said the number of pages a student prints can be dependent on their major. “English and journalism majors who have to write a lot may need to print more than 500 pages,” Liupakka said.
Herold stressed the library’s mission is to effectively manage printing. “It is a resource that we are safeguarding for the students,” Herold said.
Twenty-nine percent of the physical items that are checked in and out of the library, such as books and green bikes, are by the public.
Implementing the print authentication system will police the free printing by non-KSC students.
However, because the Mason Library is a public library, Herold said there will be a coin-operated printer set up on the first floor in the west wing of the library for use by non-KSC students.
KSC students can still use this printer and have their print jobs authenticate through their student account, even though it will be coin-operated.
“It is hard to tell who is a public patron and who is affiliated with the college,” Herold said.
As of right now, the new authentication system is only set up in the library’s hands-on classroom, room 104, because faculty and staff are not yet authenticated through the new system. Herold said once faculty and staff are put into the new system, print authentication will be turned on in all areas of the library.
Jordan Cuddemi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.