Library copy center to buy cash register to overcome Signature Card complaints

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    By MARISA GRIMMIUS

    In response to an overwhelming amount of complaints concerning a policy in the Harold B. Lee Library that mandated the payment for fees be made solely with a Signature Card, the administration has decided to once again allow students to pay for materials with cash in the copy center.

    On April 28, the library announced that cash would no longer be accepted when paying for copies, overdue fines, interlibrary loan fees, or lost book charges. Since the policy change, employees in the copy center and circulation desk have received nothing but complaints, said Jordan Augustine, copy center employee.

    Augustine, a student majoring in English from Lafayette, La., said problems arise when students forget their cards, don’t have money on their cards, or when a visitor wants to use the copy center but doesn’t own a Signature Card.

    “I never put money on my signature card and I think that most people feel that way too. When people complain and say it is an inconvenience, I just have to agree with them,” Augustine said.

    Augustine said visitors who do not have a Signature Card must purchase a library visitor card for two dollars, put money on the card at the cashier and then return to the copy desk to pay for their materials. Augustine said there have been an inordinate amount of complaints this summer because of all the visitors on campus who are attending conferences at BYU.

    “It’s ridiculous that the library is a place of business, but they won’t accept cash. They might as well turn us all into Signature Card Nazis. I say that facetiously; however, it just makes no sense,” Augustine said.

    Rob Talbot, copy center manager, said due to the overwhelming student demand, the copy center has purchased a cash register and will start accepting cash for payment as soon as the employees can be trained on how to use it.

    Talbot, the middleman between the administration and the employees, said that the problem was slow to be resolved because the complaints were going to the front line employees instead of upper management.

    The initial policy change came because the library was losing too much money on delinquent accounts, Talbot said. Previously, a copy center employee would record how much money the customer owed and then the student would go to the cashier and pay either with a Signature Card or with cash, Talbot said. The problem was that many students were leaving without paying at all, Talbot said.

    “The administration was trying to make it easier for students as well as save money for the library, but we didn’t expect to lose so much business,” Talbot said.

    Talbot said he thinks the problem will be solved as soon as they get the cash machine running. But a cash register in the copy center won’t solve the problems at the circulation desk, Augustine said.

    Erin Solomon, manager of the circulation desk, said they too receive complaints daily concerning the new policy.

    “We have really not liked this policy. I think we are working on a compromise right now, but as far as I know, [the circulation desk] is not getting a cash register,” Solomon said.

    Solomon said because some students look at putting money on their Signature Card as inconvenient, she thinks they are avoiding paying their fees altogether.

    “It is my personal opinion that more people aren’t paying their fees now than before the policy change,” Solomon said.

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