Clearing the confusion about library copying
To the editor,
I read with interest and concern the Wildcat's article entitled "Copy cost now falls on students" (Aug. 24). I would like to clarify some points in Mr. Cieslak's report.
On printing at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University: Arizona State University uses the same printing system as we do. They charge ten cents per copy. Northern Arizona University allows free dot-matrix printing (just as we still do) and does indeed charge ten cents in its specialized computer labs.
The University of Arizona Library charges seven cents for laser prints from computer terminals. Users can print pages from the Internet and other library online resources, including some full text articles.
Also, a point of clarification on how long printers have been in the Library. The Library has had dot matrix computers in the library for five years. It has only been a year since we have been able to allow printing from the Internet and Library online resources. We did provide free printing during this time, because we wanted to study and implement the best-cost recovery program possible. Staff have done a cost analysis of our printing system, interviewed peer institutions and went through a bid process.
We did discover that many of our peers, including ASU, University of Oregon, University of Texas at Austin, Ohio State University, Iowa State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Connecticut, and Virginia Tech have implemented a charge. The range of charges is seven to ten cents.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Cieslak and I have played phone tag on thiimportant topic. I have been willing to talk to Mr. Cieslak and regret that this has not happened. I understand the concerns regarding this new policy.
The library's seven-cent charge, the same charge as photocopying materials, will cover paper, machine and database maintenance. We appreciate the suggestion that we charge after a few pages. We did look into this, however, to acquire the proper databases and technical support would be cost-prohibitive.
Library staff is willing to work with our users. There are alternatives to using the printers at the library. For instance, users can download materials onto a disk. Or receive a lesser quality print at our dot matrix printers.
Mr. Cieslak is right; we do plan on meeting with student leaders on this issue. We hope to generate ideas, find our common ground, and reach an understanding on the library's printing policy.