Pay for Print

A+library+W.E.P.A+kiosk.--+Photo%3A+Brooks+Clarke

A library W.E.P.A kiosk.– Photo: Brooks Clarke

Story by: Shelli Block Staff Writer

A library W.E.P.A kiosk.-- Photo: Brooks Clarke


How badly do you want a hard copy of that essay you just wrote? If you want to print it out in the Library or a computer lab, you’re going to have to pay for it. Ten cents for each single sheet, 20 cents for double sided and 50 cents for color, to be exact.  These changes came about from Montgomery College spending approximately $175,000 in paper and toner last year. Part of this came from Librarians who saw students print whole textbooks, only to use two or three chapters. Even worse, students would realize they printed the wrong book and print another book instead. Students at all three campuses printed out 10.4 million copies in 2010, which is equivalent to 1,248 trees.

According to Dr. Kathleen Carey-Fletcher, Director of Auxiliary services, pay for print was instituted to, “Stop financial bleeding in the area of free printing.” “This was based on a college wide study done in 2010,” she added.

The college chose contractor, W.E.P.A. (Wireless Everywhere, Print Anywhere) because it had the lowest bid and met their needs best.  W.E.P.A. kiosks are installed in libraries, labs, learning centers – anywhere there is public access to printing on all three MC campuses. However, classrooms, offices and departments will continue to have free printing.

Two weeks before kiosks were installed, library and lab users were asked about paying to print at MC. “I’m not going to pay to print anything,” said a student printing in the Rockville campus library, “I’ll do my printing at home,” he added. “It’s unfair to students who don’t abuse the 10 page rule,” a computer lab worker said. “I’m against it too.  Now I have to print at home and won’t have the convenience of printing on campus,” added her co- worker, “The College should find another way to solve this problem.”

“I’m concerned because I can’t afford it,” said a student sitting in the cafeteria, “A lot of people on financial aid can’t afford it. It’s a hardship for me and I’ll just have to go somewhere else and print.”

In order to use the W.E.P.A. system, students must go to “www.montgomerycollege.edu/printing” and set up an account.  A student need only enter their name and email address in the account so the kiosk can recognize who a document belongs to. Students can print using one of the following options: direct print, using USB drive, through their smart phone or MAC files.

Students have three options to pay for printing. They can use a W.E.P.A. card, which can be purchased at the bookstore. These cards are available in increments of $2, $5, or $10. Debit cards or credit cards can also be used, though banks will charge interest on cards.

W.E.P.A. kiosks are tended to by student employees and monitored by a control center in Alabama. W.E.P.A. is a global system and students are not limited to kiosks on MC’s campuses. Locally, kiosks are in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The college earns one cent out of every 10 cent copy and five cents out of every 50 cent copy. According to Dr. Fletcher, the MC stands to bring in approximately $100,000 next year. MC’s W.E.P.A. site manager is Patty Sieber and her information can be found at “www.wepanow.com” or on the MC home page.