12 July 2005

Photocopy cards

There is a proposal to put student card readers on photocopy machines so that students can pay for photocopying through their Pharos accounts.

It appears that the University Library is upgrading its photocopying machines to accept student cards to manage payments instead of the dedicated photocopy cards currently in use. The Division has a number of photocopiers using the Library’s card system (in the CRC, the CLRC and the ILTC, as well as the 5C44b lab), but no infrastructure to issue or recharge the cards when they run out of credit: this is currently handled by the Library with a charge-back system in place to ensure the Division gets its money for the photocopies done on its machines.

Under the new system the Library may no longer issue or recharge the old photocopy cards. If this happens, the Division will have to install its own system to issue and recharge photocopy cards, or upgrade the card readers on the photocopiers to read student cards instead of the old cards. Some of the readers in the Division are rented through the Library, others leased as a part of rental agreements with Canon.

The new student card readers will need access to the computer network in order to reverify the cards and manage the transactions required for students to pay for their printing. While this appears not to be a problem with the Division’s multifunction devices (which are already connected to the network), some of the photocopy machines will need access to network ports where none is currently available. There will be some cost involved in extending the network to allow the new card readers to access the network ($300+ per port depending on the individual location and network capacity).

The CRC Manager is liaising with the Library on the project to see if she can establish a time scale and costs for the changeover: best option would be to covert all the Division’s machines to use student cards at the same time that the Library changes over, but there will be some as yet unknown costs associated with the changes.