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Where Are All the Printers?

It’s become a common sight on campus: the long line of students impatiently waiting to use one of the few working printers left in O’Neill.

In the first month of classes, students have brought about complaints regarding the apparent lack of printers, resulting in the aforementioned long lines of students waiting to print out class materials. These holdups, along with frequent paper jams and malfunctioning printers, are the cause of much frustration among students who rely on the university’s library resources for their printing needs.

The complaints have risen in light of the closing of the Campus Technology Resource Center (CTRC), which was shut down this summer. The space formerly known as the CTRC had housed three printers and was a popular place for students to print papers and class materials. However, ever since its closing students have found it difficult trying to print on campus, blaming the increased waiting times on allegedly missing printers from the CTRC.

Instruction Services Librarian Syed Khan said that there has been no decrease in printers from the library. “They’re all still here,” Khan reported, saying that the printers formerly located in the CTRC had been moved to the first and third floors.

Photo courtesy of Boston College

Perhaps the printer issue is more a problem of location than quantity. Last semester, the O’Neill Library printers were located in the CTRC, as well as on the first and third floors. The movement of the printers to fewer areas may have caused an influx in traffic during rush hour printing times, giving the illusion that there are fewer printers in O’Neill.

In addition, there has been a general increase in the amount of pages printed. Boston College’s Canvas platform allows professors to post all course materials including syllabi online, changing from paper to an almost exclusively digital way of distributing information and assignments. Despite the transition, many students still prefer a physical copy of readings and syllabi, leading to the large amount of pages being printed, especially in these first few weeks of school.

Currently, there are seven printers on the third floor of O’Neill, located in front of the help desk to the right of the main entrance. Additionally, there are five printers on the first floor. While these numbers may seem insufficient to meet all of the BC population’s needs, they are still the best option for students rushing to print out an essay due the next class.

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