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Libraries Scrap VendaCards

College, Law School Moving to Crimson Cash for Photocopies


In a move that could signal the beginning of much broader use of Crimson Cash throughout the University, two major library systems have decided to adopt that payment method for photocopying services.

Beginning today, the College and Law School libraries--including Widener, Lamont, Hilles and Cabot--will begin phasing out VendaCards in favor of Crimson Cash.

The new system will allow students and faculty members to charge photocopies on their Harvard ID card. Harvard Dining Services (HDS) is also setting up Crimson Cash Value Transfer Systems to facilitate the process of adding more Crimson Cash to ID cards.

Administrators said the use of Harvard IDs for photocopying will reduce the number of cards students and faculty members need to carry to the libraries. A given VendaCard can only be used at a limited number of libraries within a system.

"The students wanted one card--too many students had too many [VendaCards] and they had to use different cards at different locations," said Jay Willwerth, director of imaging services for the College Library. "This will have the students use their own ID card, and it will be good everywhere, eventually."

With ID cards already being accepted as payment at campus restaurants--including Loker Commons, Dudley Cafe and the Greenhouse--it may not be long before Crimson Cash becomes Harvard's unofficial currency.

And indeed, Harvard Dining Services' point person on ID issues, HDS Access System Administrator Jeffrey B. Cuppett, said yesterday that the use of Crimson Cash throughout the entire University library system is a realistic possibility in the next year.

Cuppett also said the use of ID cards for washers and dryers is likely in the near future.

Students interviewed yesterday said they were pleased with the new system.

"It's definitely going to be a lot easier, dealing with one ID card rather than seven VendaCards," said George A. Morton, a graduate student in the Government Department who was doing research in Widener yesterday.

No More VendaCards

The dismantling of the VendaCard system will begin today. Over the next week, technicians will install Value Transfer Stations in Widener, Lamont, Tozzer, Hilles and Cabot libraries, and ID readers in all those as well as the remaining College libraries. The system should be fully in place by August 20, Willwerth said.

To add funds to an ID, users insert the card and money into one of the Value Transfer Stations, in a process similar to that used for VendaCards.

Library users without Harvard IDs can purchase Crimson Cash cards for $1 at any of the Value Transfer Stations.

HDS will maintain a computer keeping a record of how much money is on students' ID cards. Thus, unlike VendaCards, users can retain the value of their Crimson Cash photocopying stash even if they lose their ID card, Cuppett said.

VendaCard users can exchange their cards for a full refund in Room 90 at Widener library.

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