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The Blue & Gray Press | April 21, 2019

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New printing system implemented in HCC and Simpson Library

New printing system implemented in HCC and Simpson Library


Staff Writer and News Editor

During the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, new printers have appeared inside both the Hurley Convergence Center and the Simpson Library.

Students at the library have had trouble adjusting to the new system and had struggled to figure out how to operate these new printers.

The Manager of the Hurley Convergence Center, Cartland Berge, explained the reason behind the shift in printers.

“Our contract with our old mail and print vendor expired last year, which we are required by the commonwealth to put out a call for bids from new vendors, to see if anyone can offer a better and/or cheaper service than what we have had in the past,” said Berge. “In this case, Swiss Post Solutions was determined to be a better option than our old vendor (though I wasn’t on the selection committee, so I don’t know the details), and so the University signed a contract with them to provide our mail and print services going forward.”

With the change in printer vendors, UMW has been facing an adjustment period to get used to the new system.

“SPS uses a whole different system than the old vendor, so over the course of the last few months we have been transitioning away from the old Pharos printers and installing the new multi-purpose printer/copier/scanners provided by SPS.” said Berge.

Though some students have had trouble with the new system, Berge described the improvements that the new printing system has brought.

“There was a lot about the old Pharos system that I didn’t like,” said Berge. “We were never able to get the web print function working properly and sees all jobs printed by all users when you swiped your card was not ideal. The new system has a functional web print, as well as print jobs tied to your NetID, built-in photocopying, and free scanning.”

While some difficulties have been presented, overall the transition has appeared to go smoothly.

“With the promise of all that, I had no problems saying goodbye to the old printers and I think the systems are about the same, difficulty-wise,” said Berge “I can’t speak for the Library, but the roll out in the HCC has been less difficult than I expected.”

While Berge recognizes the disadvantage of having to learn a new system, believing the positives outweigh the negatives.

“There is always a learning curve when procedures change, as people who were used to the old system will have to start back at square one with the new one,” said Berge “But Pharos was a terrible system, and this one is quite a bit less terrible, so I think it’s a net gain for everyone. My only advice is: consider the environment before turning off double-sided printing (it is on by default now).”

Zoe Cooper, a junior majoring in Spanish and Data Science, works at the Simpson Library and has helped teach students how to operate the new printers.

“I feel like people are intimidated by them, but they’re not that scary,” said Cooper. “You can do more with them.”

Senior accounting major Sophie Gringer has utilized the new printers, and feels the change was not overly significant.

“After being shown the first time, I got the hang of it,” said Gringer. “I felt indifferent towards the change.”