In the four weeks since the semester began, more than 175,000 sheets of paper have been printed in Hawthorne-Longfellow Library (H-L) alone.
With such heavy use, the printers in the library and other locations frequently malfunction and prompt exasperated students to wander around campus in search of a working machine.
But relief is on the way.
According to Information Technology (IT), the entire infrastructure of the printing system will be replaced by the beginning of November.
"It's one of our most urgent projects right now," said Deputy Chief Information Officer Rebecca Sandlin.
Although it may appear that individual printers are malfunctioning, the primary problem is actually "on the back end" with the servers, according to Sandlin.
"We've outgrown our current printing system," Sandlin said. "It's worse than ever."
Sophomore Zoe Anaman, who works in the library, said students report problems with the printers every day.
Usually, when printers do not work, the library staff restarts the printers, and then contacts IT if the problem persists.
"It's just ridiculous," said Anaman.
According to Anaman, none of the printers in the library were operating properly on Tuesday night.
"We had to put up signs saying there were no printers," she said.
H-L Circulation Supervisor Phyllis McQuaide reported that the most common problems with the printers are connected to the print release station. Often, requested print jobs do not appear on the screen of the release station, or the screen goes completely blank.
Saira Toppin '09 has been frustrated by printers breaking down.
"Sometimes it happens at prime hours when you're trying to print something right before class," she said.
Toppin said the printers were unreliable last spring, but at the time the problem "wasn't as bad as it is now."
Like Toppin, Sandlin said that IT "knew there were problems in the spring."
"They had the summer to get this fixed," Anaman said.
With the current printing system, several printers share the same print server, and all print servers operate on the same primary server, CSGold Server, which is three years old. When the system is replaced, IT will contract with a company other than CSGold.
"We're not happy with that product," Sandlin said.
"Three years is the right amount of time to replace a server that is used that often," Sandlin added.
In an attempt to alleviate some of the problems, printers have been added to four new locations this semester: Reed House, Stowe Inn, Moulton Union, and 30 College Street. Furthermore, all three printers in Coles Tower and two printers in H-L have recently been replaced.