Bailey/Howe's going cashless
No coins to print, copy
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 13:09
With cash and coins no longer needed, library printers now rely on another kind of currency: Cat$cratch.
As of this August, the only means of paying for printing and copying at either the Bailey/Howe or Dana Medical Library is by UVM’s prepaid debit account for students.
The sudden switch comes down to the fact that neither library had enough staff members to handle the staggering amounts of cash coming in, said Angus Robertson, director of access services at Bailey/Howe Library.
“It’s a problem for us to be handling such a fortune of cash,” Robertson said. “The staff was constantly handling money — we had to make the change.”
Previously, cash and coins had been, without a doubt, the most popular means of paying for printing, copying and scanning by students in the UVM libraries, he said.
Both libraries’ staff found itself in need of a cash handling system that is amenable to the best practices possible for the libraries, Robertson said.
It costs students three dollars to add money onto their Cat$cratch at a 20-dollar minimum, however students and library-goers can also purchase a generic CATcard from a machine at the front of the library, Robertson said.
These one-use CATcards cost only a dollar and give students the full dollar of printing, he said. In the past, these cards cost five dollars for just three dollars of printing.
The libraries have also lowered the cost of black and white printing or copying from 10 cents a page to only five cents and have made scanning free of charge, making the UVM libraries home to the cheapest printing and copying in the Burlington area, Robertson said.
Junior Colin Bradley is an upperclassmen with neither Cat$cratch nor points and said this has deterred him from using the library as a resource.
“I don’t even print here anymore,” Bradley said. “It’s almost like the University is trying to just monopolize on ‘buy our Cat$cratch and points’.”
Despite the grumblings of some students, the library staff said they have gotten remarkably few complaints for such a major change of policy.
“I think it is a better system because it’s probably kind of annoying for [the library] to deal with all the coins and whatnot,” junior Makena Whitaker said.
Robertson asserts that the switch from cash to Cat$cratch is far from an inconvenience. There are 140 shops and restaurants within the Burlington area, both on campus and off that accept UVM’s prepaid card.
“We’re hoping people will voice their opinions [on switching from cash to Cat$cratch],” said Robertson. “We’re trying to make this transition as smooth as possible.”