McCabe fixes double-sided printing, considers changing printing process

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Students may have noticed for the past few weeks that documents they were printing in McCabe, Cornell, and Beardsley came out single-sided instead of double-sided, as is the norm. There had been a flaw in the system that had stopped the duplex printing as the default option; this has since been fixed, says ITS’ Robin Jacobsen.

However, the issue of double-sided printing was just one of many brought up at a recent meeting between ITS, the Library staff, and Student Council over paper waste in McCabe. According to Student Events Advisor Myra Vallianos ’05, the librarians are planning on implementing a number of changes to reduce waste and encourage recycling.

First, there will be new bins to hold unclaimed printouts. Rather than just one generic bin, though, printouts will be sorted by content among categories such as PDFs and student papers. The McCabe staff is also looking into tagging PDFs by class, in order to expedite identification.

Also, the staff will be adding signs around the library, reminding students to pick up their documents directly after sending them, and with instructions on what to do if a document doesn’t print. A section dealing with public computing will be added to the portal page in order to receive student suggestions and concerns.

The biggest step, which is still only under consideration, is an print authentication system. After sending a document to the printer, students would then have to go to the printers and select their print job in order for it to print. If the job is never selected, it will never print and will be lost. While it might be a bit inconvenient for students, it would dramatically cut down on duplicate copies. This system is still being looked into, but it seems like a likely step for the future.

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