Close to two years ago, Systems Librarian Hainan Yu was approached by many students regarding the printing defaults in the Library computer labs. The Library set the default to print double sided. This did not mean that a student could not print single-sided, but you had to take an extra step or two to do so. Due to the large number of student requests, we accommodated the student body and set the default to single-sided printing.
At the start of the Fall semester this year, SBA President Paul Molina brought the issue up again. This time, the request was to set the default to double-sided printing. This requires students to take that extra step or two in order to print single sided. At the time, I asked Mr. Molina to send a survey to the student body to determine their preference. I explained to him that we recently went through this issue and we wanted a clear mandate from the student body. My suggestion was to get that mandate and then live with the decision for a reasonable period of time – perhaps 3 to 5 years in order to avoid the ping pong effect. Coincidentally, soon after that conversation, a student concerned about green initiatives made the same request.
As I know the student body is very busy learning the law, the Library has decided to take the survey on your behalf as part of an assessment process. Our assessment process is designed to help us, help you better. Along with the question about double-sided printing, we would like to learn more about what we can do better and what we should stop doing. I hope that you will participate in the survey when it is sent around in early November.
Setting policies on behalf of the student body that we can live with for a number of years helps everyone. If we have a set policy in place, such as defaulting to double-sided printing, it provides a definitive statement for the librarians to deliver, and creates a set of expectations for users of the computer labs. We are going to recommend to Associate Dean Jones-Wooden and SBA President Paul Molina, that student-driven policies involving shared resources be adopted for a reasonable length of time before being reviewed again.
We look forward for your thoughts on our survey!