Thursday, May 28, 2009

Libraries Provide Desktop and Wireless Printing Services for Students and Faculty

The University Libraries provide students and faculty with access to more than 380 computer workstations, including 18 Mac units. All of the popular productivity software used across campus are accessible at these workstations through a key server. The Libraries also provide access to almost 200 specialized, research-oriented, information e-resources including Academic Search Premier, LexisNexis Academic, Web of Science, as well as access to over 16,701 unique full-text e-journals.

Throughout the Libraries, the public workstations are always busy. One sees students working collaboratively in groups or individually on Word documents, creating PowerPoints, performing literature searches, viewing streaming video, videoconferencing, or performing a host of other coursework or research activities. Students can also be seen writing or reading e-mail and staying in contact with friends and family via instant messenger utilities.

A highly used service that we provide clientele is our printing capabilities. The Libraries have 10 laser printers that print documents from students, faculty, and others using the public workstations or submitting wireless print jobs from their personal laptops.

During the 257 day period from August 25, 2008 to May 8, 2009, which spans a few days more than the fall and spring semesters, the Libraries’ users printed 6,212,041 pages for an average of 24,171 pages per day. Of these, 16,748 persons printed 51.2% of the pages during fall semester 2008 and 16,011 persons printed 48.8% of them during spring semester 2009.

The interested reader can find data for fiscal year 2007-2008 published in The Library Insider 6(8): 2, 2008.

The accompanying table reveals the breakdown by user classification for each semester for persons printing documents in the Libraries. This percentage can be interpreted as the Libraries’ penetration into each user group for providing printing services. For example, during fall semester, 64% of Ball State’s freshmen students printed at least one page in the Libraries. As a whole, during fall semester, 75.5% of Ball State’s undergraduate students used the Libraries to print documents, and 62.8% of the university’s graduate students used the service.

The table also shows the average number of pages printed by user group for each semester. For example, among undergraduates, seniors printed the most pages each semester, 277.7 pages in the fall and 264.5 in the spring.
Analysis of the Type of Documents Printed

An analysis of the types of documents printed, as identified by the VendPrint Print Management Solution software, shows similar results for each semester. For fall semester, for example, the breakdown was as follows: Word (36.4%), PDFs (20.9%), PowerPoint (14.7%), non-BSU Web pages (11.1%), BSU Web pages (2.4%) Photo/Images (1.7%), Excel (1.1%), Publisher (0.5%), Miscellaneous (0.1), and Other (11.1%). The first seven of these categories account for 88.3% of the types of documents.

These data show that making it easy for students and faculty to print their documents in the Libraries is an important part of shaping their informational activities and enhancing their overall library experiences. The volume and types of documents printed suggest that the Libraries’ printing service is an important element for students’ and faculty’s research, teaching, academic achievement, and learning needs.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home