Printing options continue to expand on campus

Cooper Josephs, Assistant News Editor

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Assistant Chief Technology Officer Chris Weber ’77 said that printing was a little different back in the days when he attended the University.

“There was one computer and one printer on campus, which was located in the data center. All of the school’s printing came off of that,” Weber said.

Fast-forward to 2015; if the University still implemented the single, communal-printer method, students would fight over like it was the last bottle of water on a great trek through the Sahara desert.

Printing has become a necessary, ubiquitous component in students’ daily routines.

In addition to printing out essays, many professors post their daily lecture notes and assigned readings as PDFs on the University’s Moodle Website. If you don’t print, you risk the possibility of falling behind in class.

To increase printer accessibility, control, and paper waste, the University installed “Follow-Me Printing” at the beginning of this semester, which allows University members to use their IDs to control where and when they would like to print their documents. Students upload what documents they want to print on the University website, called My Print Center, and then tap their ID card on any of the printers in the library.

Weber, along with the Project Manager for L&IT Susanna Jackson, have been directly involved in bringing the printing software to campus. So far, more than 10 different printers across campus have the feature, but more are expected to follow.

“We intend to roll this out across campus,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, the number of printers that will have the new feature is not fixed; it is driven by the needs of where people need to print.

Follow-Me Printing has also prevented people’s printed documents from getting entangled. Not only has this saved time for students–they don’t have to reprint documents–but it has also been beneficial to the faculty, who print confidential information often.

Gretchen Fegley, who works in the Provost’s Office, runs into a particular printing dilemma without the Follow-Me Printing system. She often prints on paper containing the Office of the Provost’s heading and the University’s watercolor seal in the background. If Fegley installs her paper in the printer, and someone else prints before her, the other person’s document will be printed on her paper. Because of this, Fegley has to time her printing so that it does not coincide with anyone else’s.

“I have to install the paper and quickly run back to my office to print,” Fegley said.

“You have more control of the printing … it’s more confidential,” Jackson said.

To further pursue additional printer locations, Bucknell Student Government (BSG), Inter Residence Hall Association (IRHA), and other University parties are meeting on April 15 to discuss the possibility of installing printers in residential facilities.

An antiquated printer in the Smith Hall residential building was already recently replaced by a new Follow-Me printer.

“Before, I usually had to go and print all of my documents in the LC or the library,” Juan Nolasco ’18 said.

The printing software, produced by the company Pharos, will continue improving. Soon, students will be able to print specific pages within a document, and be able to upload more than one document at a time to PrintCenter. A scanning feature, where one can scan a document and upload the picture onto the computer, is also in the works.

Pharos recently created an iOS application, enabling one to print from an iPhone. Pharos is currently working on an Android application that will be coming out sometime this year.

“We are always open to feedback on how to improve this,” Jackson said.

 

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