Musselman Library Celebrates Earth Day

By Alexa Schreier, 2015-16 Barbara Holley Library Intern

Photo courtesy of Musselman Library.

Photo courtesy of Musselman Library.

In celebration of Earth Day, April 22nd, Musselman Library hopes to create awareness and reduce wasteful printing within the library by competing in a month-long printing challenge between the libraries at Gettysburg College, Dickinson College, and Franklin & Marshall College. In the first week of April, Gettysburg printed a massive 73,442 pages, which was more than both Dickinson (23,492 pages) and F&M (48,963 pages) combined. The objective of the challenge is to see which library can print the least number of pages each week throughout the whole month of April.

Both Dickinson and F&M use a print release system (PaperCut), which requires users to approve their print jobs before they are processed in order to cut down on waste and accidental printings. Gettysburg College currently does not have a similar system, and therefore it is up to all of us to be more purposeful when it comes to reducing excessive printing. As part of the challenge, the printing numbers for each college library will be updated weekly throughout April and are displayed on a poster above the printers on the main floor of Musselman Library.

As many students know, the library printers can often be heard spewing out an endless stream of printed papers at nearly all hours of the day. While many students at Gettysburg treasure their printing freedom, it’s important to remember that printing has a large environmental impact, including harvesting the materials to manufacture the paper and inks, energy used to run the printers, and resources wasted from unused print jobs.

Excessive printing is a large concern, but what is even more problematic is the number of print jobs left behind. Even though there are papers, projects, and articles to print, we all can do our part to become more aware of our printing habits and make efforts to reduce waste. Four simple solutions to reduce unnecessary printing include:

  • Being more selective in choosing which articles and resources to print- try reading an eBook online or on a tablet rather than printing it.
  • Making sure to cancel any duplicated print jobs, and checking the printer for your paper before reprinting.
  • Proofreading documents before printing in order to avoid reprinting, and making sure to only print as many pages as you need.
  • Adjusting print preferences in order to print multiple pages or PowerPoint slides to each piece of paper.

Stop by the library to watch the printing challenge unfold over the coming month and feel free to direct any questions to Alexa Schreier at

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