Many students have a difficult time finding a computer in the library to quickly print documents before class. I believe that this can simply be solved by restricting access to sites that are unrelated to academics such as facebook, myspace and youtube.
When we redesigned our Paley Library computer commons and opened it up to students in the fall of 2008 we thought it would be a significant improvement, and we are pleased to see that it is being heavily used by Temple University students. In fact, as you point out, the usage is so heavy that it can often be difficult to find a computer, especially when one is in a rush and there is a need for a quick printing job – or anything that will just take a few moments.
You actually raise two issues in your suggestion. First, why can’t we make it simpler and faster to just print out a single document. Second, why do we allow students to spend time on web surfing when other students must attend to urgent schoolwork. Both are good questions. As for the second one, please take a look at this prior suggestion in which we respond to this matter.
As for the first item, we think there may be a better solution to the problem than restricting what students can do on the computers. We are going to look into adding an “express printing station” that we would place directly in the printing area in the computer commons. This computer could be used only to retrieve and then send a document to the printers (please note that we would not plan to add a printer for this “express print station” – the existing printers can easily handle the additional jobs coming to them). We think this should be a big help to any student in a hurry who just wants to print something quickly and can’t find a free computer.
Finally, please know that we recently added an additional printer on the second floor east of the Paley Library. If you need to print something and you don’t see an open computer on the first floor, consider heading to the second floor where we have additional computers.
Thanks again for your suggestion which prompted us to consider how we might further improve library services for our user community.
I am student who needs to use cash printing sometimes because I don’t have my TUID with me. It seems that the computers around the reference desk are not networked with the cash printing queue. I was directed to use the computers over by the windows, across the main hall. This was an inconvenience to me because I had been working on a computer by the reference desk, and all of the computers that were supposedly networked with the cash printer were full. Please, can’t cash printing be an option from all of the computers in the library?
We’re glad to hear you find the computers in the library of value to your student work. It is indeed our intention to make it possible for every computer in the library to print to every printer, whether payment is by quota or cash. However, you discovered a glitch we suffered at the beginning of the semester that we are still working to correct – but should have corrected by the time you read this. To enable cash printing we require a special driver (a piece of software) that must be added to the computers. Unfortunately we received the driver later than expected. Once students began returning to campus it became difficult to find downtime for the installation of the driver to all the computers in the library. You were properly directed to a group of computers where the driver had been installed. Our Library Systems office had made a commitment to get the drivers installed on all the computers in the next two weeks. We are sorry that you were inconvenienced, and it is always our goal to make your library experience a great one. We will be working hard to make sure that is the case – but don’t hesitate to tell us when you find something broken that we need to fix.
I think there should be computers for people that only need to print. There should be a max time limit that someone can be on the computer allowing them enough time to log on and get any documents they need from online or the backpack tool. I just know a lot of people that have to go to school a lot earlier in order to make sure they have enough time to stand around for an hour so they can print.
Having individual computers for those who just want to do some quick printing would offer some potential benefits for those in a rush. However, your print job would still go into the regular queue and you would have to wait your turn to print the job. The challenge is that there is a significant demand for computers at Paley Library, and it could be a questionable use of resources to set aside a computer just for those who want to print a document. Also, once on the computer we would not have any control over how many documents the person prints, which might be time consuming. Nor do we police the computers or put time control software on them. So again, we would not prevent someone from still taking their time on our computers. But I will share the idea with others and perhaps we can come up with some potential solutions to your problem, which is really about waiting too long just to print a document when you are in a hurry. For example, additional printers on upper levels could better level printing jobs so they don’t all go to just the two printers in the computer commons. We will also consult with Computer Services about the costs and feasibilty of setting this up since they have control over campus computer printing services.
Thank you for your suggestion. It is a problem for which we will explore some potential solutions.