Information Technology Services has been asked to provide a print management solution for the laser printers in the open computer labs, classrooms and other community computing spaces. The purpose of this project is to help reduce wasted printing and also to allow reasonably-priced color printing. The project started during the 2009-2010 academic year and continues into the fall of 2011.
After reviewing several print management solutions, ITS selected PaperCut developed by PaperCut Software International coupled with card readers supplied by Boscop, Inc. The PaperCut print management software provides support for operating systems most commonly used on computers in the community spaces and classrooms, as well as the ability to provide managed printing to students’ personally-owned Windows PCs, Macs and Linux computers. The system also integrates with the college’s CBord campus card system.
During the fall 2010 semester, the first PaperCut managed printers were introduced to campus. The CCL and ARH GenComp printers have provided color laser printing for a fee and no-cost black-and-white printing since November, 2010. Those two printers now require individuals to use a PCard to approve their queued jobs at a release station before printing. This reduces waste by eliminating printouts that otherwise would go to the printer and not be picked up, and by allowing printing mistakes to be deleted from the queue.
For the opening of the second semester of the 2010-2011 academic year, ITS added PaperCut print management to the printers in computer labs and the libraries. Print management was added to the residence hall printers over spring break. However, for these printers, print management was introduced without the use of release stations. The print management system with these printers was used primarily to develop a baseline of printer use during the course of a semester in anticipation of the introduction of pay-for-print service.
Status of the Project for Fall 2011
Over the summer ITS installed print release stations to all computer lab, classroom and residence hall printers that had been under the control of PaperCut during the previous spring semester. Print release stations were also added to several MathLAN printers that are used by students. The printers that now have release stations are
AVLAB BASKERVILLE GENCOMP JRC_EMAIL LIB_IIF
READ SCILAB TORY CCL CLEVELAND
DUERER LAZIER LIB_1ST LIB_2ND NORRIS
PALATINO ROSE SCILIB YOUNKER
For the fall semester these printers now require individuals to use a PCard to approve their queued jobs at a release station before printing. This reduces waste by eliminating printouts that otherwise would go to the printer and not be picked up, and by allowing printing mistakes to be deleted from the queue.
A feature of PaperCut that is available beginning this fall is follow-me printing. With this feature a printout can be directed to a shared print queue, one that is associated with several printers on campus. Something printed to the shared, or follow-me, queue can be released at any of the printers that are part of the follow-me queue. Two follow-me queues have been created for the fall. DORMPRINTERS is the follow-me printer queue that includes the READ, CLEVELAND, LAZIER. NORRIS, ROSE, and YOUNKER printers. Something printed to DORMPRINTERS can be released at any of the individual printers in the group. The second follow-me queue is BURLING-BW. BURLING-BW includes black-and-white printing to LIB_IIF, LIB_1ST, and LIB_2ND.
Pay-for-Print and Print Quotas
Part of the discussion of the purpose of print management on campus the past two years has revolved around the use of pay-for-print to reduce printing waste. In this model of printing on campus, students would be provided a quota for an allocation of no-charge printing. Any printing beyond the quota would have a cost attached. The cost would be paid through the student’s campus cash account.
The original plan was for a fall 2011 semester implementation of print quotas and pay-for-print. However, after additional consideration, it has been decided to postpone implementation until no earlier than the spring semester. In the meantime, the PaperCut system will continue to be used to monitor printing volume on campus, and, hopefully, to reduce waste through the use of print release stations.
The PaperCut Client
As part of this project the requirement that a username and password be used on the Macs was introduced last year in the areas most likely to need to use these printers. This includes any Macs in the AV carts in classrooms, as well as Macs in the community labs, computer classrooms, and residence hall computer clusters.
Another impact of PaperCut is the need to have the PaperCut client installed in order to print to one of these managed printers from an office or personally-owned computer or laptop. This is not a problem in the classrooms and labs – the clients are included as part of the standard software offering. However, to use one’s own computer to print to any of the printers mentioned above, a client must be installed.
Instructions on how to acquire the PaperCut client and other information about using PaperCut are available on the TC wiki at http://tcdb.grinnell.edu/wiki/bin/view/Grinnell+Specific/Paper+Cut.
August 18, 2011