When University Information Services updated the printing system across campus this summer, it appeared to be a move in the right direction. The clunky desktop-based setup has been abrogated in favor of placing printers on a Georgetown-wide system.
But all this new fancy printing equipment is to no avail if it gets in the way of printing. So far, it has.
In taking control of the Lauinger Library printers from library employees, UIS also took control of maintenance. The result has been several occasions in which the printers in Lauinger have run out of paper after standard business hours, when UIS employees have long since left work, but students remain on campus, stranded without the standard means to print their work.
Outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. is, of course, a time when students are very likely to need to print their procrastinated readings or the fruits of their all-nighters. And so long as the library is open at all hours, its printers should remain functional then as well.
When Lauinger, one of the most popular printing destinations, was responsible for its own printing, library employees were tasked with refilling the printers regularly. Even if the new system requires more expert maintenance than before, UIS should figure out a way to make sure that library employees working the night shift are able to assist students with printing during Lau’s peak hours.
Although the availability of a printer may seem like a small matter, any campus improvement project should improve campus. Making sure that Georgetown’s new printers are available when their target users — students — need to use them should be a UIS priority.