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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Library to switch to WhoCash for printing and copying

Published: December 7, 2007
Section: News

Students will soon be able to use Whocash to pay for photocopying and printing services in the Main Library, said Lisa Wiecki, Assistant Director for Public Services and Outreach for LTS.

In an effort to make students’ lives easier, members of Library and Technology Services and the Campus Card Office have been working for the past year so that students would be able to use WhoCash to pay for photocopying and printing instead of the Conway cards.

“A lot of different parties moved carefully and deliberately to make this happen,” said Anne Livermore Assistant Director of Student Technical Services.

LTS consulted the Student Library Advisory Council and the Student Information Technology Advisory Committee while researching for this project.

One of the components of the project that had to be carefully investigated was the connecting software that would be used, which would link the WhoCash system to the Conway printing system.

At the moment, when a student purchases a Conway card and adds value to it, he or she is paying directly to the Conway printing company. The chosen connecting software had to be able to securely transfer money from a student’s WhoCash bank account to Conway.

LTS decided to use billing gateway software from Pharos Uniprint, as it is the company that produced the software for the current photocopying and printing system.

SLAC member Anna Mazhbits ‘08 expressed enthusiasm about this development. She stated in an e-mail, “I am very excited about this change. It will hopefully be a much more efficient and reliable system than the current one.”

Currently, students have to purchase a Conway printing card, which because of the constant erasing and rewriting of the magnetic strip on the back of the card each time a new value is added or deleted to it, has been subject to error. “I sense that the Conway cards won’t be missed,” stated Wiecki.

Those who do not have WhoCash will soon have the option of being able to add WhoCash online instead of via the Campus Card office.

There will also be a photocopier and printer available that will not be dependent on WhoCash, but will be either coin operated or the Conway card system, Livermore explained.

Students will be able to use WhoCash to pay for printing after February break. During February break, however, students will not be able to use the printing or photocopying services when the new card readers are being installed.

Livermore stated, “we will try to choose a time that affects the fewest amounts of people, but we hope that with enough notice, people will make alternative plans.”

Wiecki stressed that the change would be worth it and she “does not know who won’t be excited about it.”

Student response to the change was generally positive. “It’s an awesome idea. The cards they have now are so easily damaged, ripped, or lost,” said Kristin Little ’10.

Evelyn Moreno ’11 said “I don’t really use the printers at the Main Library now because I usually don’t have cash on me. I usually pay for things with my WhoCash and debit card. I would definitely use it more if they replaced the old system with WhoCash.”

Mazhbits commented that the switch to WhoCash “is the beginning of many great changes and modernizations to the library.”