New system can ease hassle of printing in library


Carter Chang

Sophomore Yolo Martinez prints an assignment in the library. Students can set up Mobility Print on their laptops to print to any of the 25 multifunctional printers throughout the school.

Anathea Carrigan, Managing Editor

Year after year, students rush to the printer island in the Pritzker-Traubert Library five minutes before the start of class to print their essays or other homework. Groups of students huddle around the monitors and papers fly off the printer. People in long lines wait impatiently and dodge flying arms that snatch the documents and slam down on staplers. Panic fills the eyes of students who realize they won’t get a turn as they peel out of the library, stressed and unsuccessful, heading to class unprepared and almost late. 

During the first few weeks of this semester, the hassle of printing grew exponentially, but librarians say with just a few additional steps, students can avoid this logjam and print to any of 25 multifunction printers around school

After a year of remote learning, students have grown accustomed to submitting assignments online. Printing for submission, which used to be second nature, now seems to be a foreign, stressful task. 

“If I’m printing for a class, I get a little nervous because I don’t want to go to class unprepared,” junior Zara Baig said. “It gets stressful when there are long lines to print and only one, or no printers seem to work.” 

All multifunctional printers — MFPs for short — have been switched onto a new system, Mobility Print, causing students confusion and difficulty printing during the new school year. 

The library is the main printing hub for Lab students, because of its central location among the four buildings where high school classes are held. 

“For me, the library is the most convenient location to print at the last minute,” Zara said.

Because they are the most commonly used printers, library desktop computers or laptops not being on the new system resulted in a rocky start to the school year.

“We were given just some general information on how to set up printing for our own work laptops,” librarian Susan Augustine said. “But it seemed as if things weren’t really thought through as to how the library might need printing to go really fast on day one.” 

Now, with the printers added to the library’s devices, the source of initial troubles of printing, the ability to print from library computers has been resolved.

The remaining struggle is surrounding students looking to print from their own laptop to a MFP. They must first download a driver, which can be time consuming, and then associate their student ID with the MFP they want to use. 

The process for enabling the new printing system was detailed in the high school digital backpack

“It was a little hard to find for students because it was one Schoology post near the beginning of the semester,” Ms. Augustine said. “We ended up saying that this needs to be available, so we put it on our website.”

I don’t think students realize that if they get into the system, they can print from their computers and pick jobs up from any of the MFPs.

— Susan Augustine

While setting up the printing system has taken some getting used to, it has benefits to students. 

“In the past we’ve noticed that everyone likes to congregate around the printer island,” Ms. Augustine. “We get these bottlenecks at the front of the library on Monday mornings when everyone seems to need to print.”

After students set up Mobility Print on their laptops, they have the ability to print to any of the 25 MFPs throughout the school. 

“I don’t think students realize that if they get into the system, they can print from their computers and pick jobs up from any of the MFPs,” Ms. Augustine said. 

However, students aren’t all aware of the locations of these MFPs and therefore the system seems to provide little advantage. 

Students can utilize the new printing system to their advantage to avoid the flying arms, long lines and hustle and bustle of the library.