Library sets printing limits, keeps doors open longer

By on September 5, 2006

Major change is underway at the Arnold Bernhard Library this academic year in the form of a new printing policy and expanded hours of operation.

Students are now allowed to print 500 pages for free per semester at the library. Students are also permitted an additional 50 pages to compensate for possible printing errors. After a student prints 550 pages, he or she will be charged ten cents per page.

“We’ve run studies that have shown that 500 pages would more than accommodate the number of pages students regularly print in one semester,” said Janice Swiatek-Kelley, associate director of the Arnold Bernhard Library.

One misconception that Swiatek-Kelley would like to debunk is that the new printing policy is not in place for the university to make money, but to save paper.

“The object here is not to make money. The policy manages the printing and eliminates paper waste,” she said.

Charles Getchell, the library director, agreed.

“The library staff witnesses first-hand the wasted paper left in piles by the printers,” Getchell said.

A printing committee, which consists of librarians and university officials, met every other week for a couple of months to perfect the new printing policy. The committee will continue to meet again once the policy has been in place for an extended period of time to see if there is need to improve or make subtle changes to the policy. Swiatek-Kelley is quick to mention that the committee will keep its ears open.

“We are driven by student feedback,” Swiatek-Kelley said. “We really encourage students to give us their thoughts about any little thing they think we can improve in the library.”

Sophomore Nick Engels, a frequent patron of the Arnold Bernhard Library, originally was unhappy about the policy.

“When I first heard about the printing policy, it made me really angry; but after hearing more about it I realized their intentions, and it really isn’t so bad,” Engels said.

On the contrary, students such as sophomore Daniel O’Leary have a different view on the policy.

“I really don’t like it. I have many classes where I need to print a lot of pages out, and I need the library for that. I feel that I’m limited; [it’s] just one more thing to think about,” O’Leary said.

Another major alteration to the library this academic year is the adoption of “24/7″ hours of operation. The library will now be open around the clock, every day of the week. University officials made this decision in the spring of 2006.

“When we designed the library in 1997, we built it thinking about 24-hour accessibility,” Getchell said. “So many libraries on college campuses today are open 24 hours, so why can’t we?”

The news came happily to students such as Engels: “I think it’s a great idea. Sometimes I need that extra hour to get my work done.”

Even for students who do not use the library as much as Engels, the idea of the library being open around-the-clock is still intriguing.

“I only go to the library maybe once a week,” said junior Adam DePaolo. “It’s nice to know it’s open that late if I really need to get a last-minute paper done.”

The library is staffed Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. When library staff is off-duty, the library is watched by Five-Star Security personnel.


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