Lauinger Library has failed to embrace the environmentally friendly practices of the 21st century. The system of libraries across campus does not adequately advertise or subsidize any form of double-sided printing. Though library printers have always allowed double-sided printing, the cost is the same as single-sided printing and involves tech-savvy skills. In a day and age with increasing environmental concerns, Lau needs to subsidize double-sided printing to reduce our campus paper use.
When professors try to save students the cost of buying additional books for just one assignment by uploading PDF files online or our campus community prints readings and essay drafts, we use a lot of paper. And we can: All libraries on campus provide us with a surplus of paper to guarantee we can print away to our GOCard debit dollar limit. As a result, we forget our commitment to the environment and waste hundreds of sheets to single-sided printing as we hasten to print the slides for that class starting in five minutes.
Meanwhile, on the other side of campus, University Information Services has always provided users with double-sided printing. This amenity would be great, except for the fact that UIS has historically operated at a loss and therefore couldn’t fund our campus’s capacity for printed documents. More concerning, there isn’t actually a single library on campus that uses UIS as a printing provider. While the group’s green efforts are to be commended, they’re effectively rendered useless.
Now is the best time for Lau to make the switch as they make positive changes like the electrical system upgrades. Environmentally friendly practices must be made a priority by administrators — and by students. While starting the conservation conversation may be a small step, if it can lead to halving our paper usage, our campus will be better off.