Thursday, August 27, 2015

Welcome to Printing Hell



 Welcome back, everyone. Fall 2015 Semester has begun, with lots of new faces, new students AND faculty, and some not-so-new issues that never seem to be resolved, no matter how hard we try.

 In college, the first week of the semester is when students are trying to print booklists, syllabi, Powerpoint presentations, etc. that their instructors have put online in Canvas@, our LMS. On one hand, if the instructor sends the text to the Print Shop, their department gets charged for it. So there is every incentive to have the students print it themselves, and none to have it printed ahead of time on better equipment and given to the student by the instructor. The materials can be accessed anytiime, and since the library (indeed, our whole campus) does not yet charge students for printing, it costs the student next to nothing to print all these materials off here. But in doing so, the printer is frequently tied up, which interferes with others trying to print their own stuff. Worst of all are the A&P presentations, where the anatomical structures are shown in reverse image (white image on black background). Lots of toner is used in printing these images, and the printer gets so overheated while printing the 70+ pages of images that paper literally starts sticking to the drum unit and the printer must be turned off for 30 minutes or more to allow the drum to cool off. Printer off = no one prints.


Welcome to printing hell.




This is an open source textbook that is now part of some teacher's online resources. A student came in and blissfully started printing the 450+ pages of the entire text. This is what was printed before students started complaining that their print jobs weren't coming through. The paper was hot enough to burn your fingertips by the time I got to it. So I cancelled the job to let the other people print (made them happy), spoke to the student who was printing the book (very nice young woman who had no idea of the fuss that had ensued; I explained that she might try printing smaller sections at one time, or go to a lightly-used lab where she would be the only person using the printer and would not block others from printing). Hopefully, she has enough of the text to work on now, and can print more when she needs it as the course progresses. [The picture above is another copy of the text that was left sitting in the printer yesterday afternoon. Sigh.]

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