Skip to content

Mission: LSSP

This is how I ended up with 5 feet of scratch paper, no real idea of where to store it all, and the warm fuzzies for all my co-workers who instantly donated more paper than I thought we’d collect in a year.

Hello All,

As you probably know, the introduction of print management last year brought about a huge reduction in paper use here in the library (to the tune of about 17% less paper used!). With fewer duplicate print jobs being sent to multiple printers, fewer accidental print-outs, and more attention being paid to what and how much was being printed, we saw the massive piles of unclaimed printouts dwindle down to a few sheets here and there. And there was much rejoicing in the land.

Much rejoicing until students wanted scratch paper to write on, that is. Having grown accustomed to a Limitless Supply of Scratch Paper (hereafter called the LSSP) near the printers, students took to opening the printers and removing sheets of paper from the printer trays. Not only is this poor use of ITS supplies (they do not exist to underwrite students’ scratch paper needs), but the opening and closing of the printer trays seems to have caused a sharp increase in the rate at which those trays go out of alignment and need repairs. Clearly, something needs to change, and asking students to buy notebooks would probably be met with blank stares.

What we need is a good old bait and switch. To this end, the printer area will serve as bait (so much paper, so much history of free paper, so much traffic in general), but when the students arrive at the printers we will dazzle them with big, beautiful stacks of scratch paper which will mimic the LSSP. Not only will this fill a clear public service and save ITS many printer-tray-related headaches, but it will also be a good use of paper that would otherwise be recycled only partially-used.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help us collect this precious scratch paper. On the middle shelf of the cart near the main black and white printer in the TS area you will find a double-decker Paper Collection Device (PCD). The top level of this PCD, the one marked “Scratch Paper,” is for paper that has been printed on one side and that contains no sensitive information (remember, this will end up in the hands of students) or even paper that is blank on both sides but is no longer fit for the printer. The lower level of the PCD is for anything else (colored paper seems to inhabit it now). The SCIC students [explanation of these students] and the reference librarians will use the paper from this PCD to attempt to keep a pile of scratch paper by the printers dazzling, big, and beautiful in order to mimic the LSSP as closely as possible.

I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, this message will not self-destruct.


Published inRandom Thoughts


  1. Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran

    That’s hilarious! We’re considering print management now – and the sheer volume of paper that has been wasted just since school started three days ago is appalling.

    What print management software do you use?

  2. Iris Iris

    We use GoPrint, and we don’t charge for printing. The reduction in paper use is strictly a result of students thinking about what they print, or not sending duplicate print jobs when they want to switch printers or something. They also stand right next to the printer when they release their jobs, so they don’t forget that they printed something.

    So far, I love it. The students who understand that we’re not tracking their printing also love it. The students who think we’re spying on them, even though we say we aren’t, don’t like it quite so much.

  3. Andrew Andrew

    That’s awesome that you colleagues got you that much paper! We use the Pharos system and still have people leave their jobs and they have to pay for it! You have great colleagues!

  4. ID Card Printers ID Card Printers

    That is really great! We waste so much paper [accidentally] in our library its ridiculous, im actually going to suggest this first thing tomorrow morning! Thanks for posting this!


Comments are closed.