Library Fines to Start, Turnpike Tolls to Rise Thursday

TOPEKA -- Your Topeka library card provides the privilege of borrowing books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, videos and numerous other items from the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. By using the card, you agree to bring the material back at the end of borrowing time--its due date. Beginning Thursday, October 1st, checking your due dates is even more important, because library materials returned beyond the due date will be subject to a late fee.

This new procedure, which is considered a standard in public libraries, helps encourage people to return items within the check-out period while generating revenue from customers who choose to keep their material past the due date. The library has always charged some fees, but did not charge late fees on items returned after the agreed borrowing time expired. That practice dates back to 1975, but is no longer sustainable in current economic circumstances.

The library announced this operational change in earlier this year, and having been working to inform library users through printed notices, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and talking to community groups.

“We will work with our library customers as we transition to fees,” said Paul Brennan, Collections manager. “If anyone has questions about how to manage their library account, we are ready to help with the process. Our goal is for all cardholders to have unencumbered borrowing privileges.”

The “Rs” message to avoid late fees:
Return on time. Return materials in person at the library, to a bookmobile or to the 16 book drops throughout the community.
Receive reminders. Signup online or ask a staff member how to receive reminders by email. Our email alert system delivers pre-overdue reminders and overdue notices conveniently to your inbox. Go to catalog.tscpl.org and look for the email exclusive offer in the yellow box.
Renew. Renew your materials online at catalog.tscpl.org, or by using our renewal hotline, 785-580-4424, or in person at the library or bookmobile.

Also starting Thursday, October 1st, cash tolls on the Kansas Turnpike will go up by about 15% for passenger cars, and about 5% for commercial trucks. KTA President and CEO Michael Johnston says the cash toll increases will make the Turnpike Authority more efficient.

Tolls will NOT go up tomorrow for KTAG customers. Johnston says that reflects the lower cost of serving customers of the popular electronic toll-collecting system, whose KTAGs allow quicker entries and exits to and from the pike.

Johnston and the Turnpike Authority stffers have worked on cutting their operating budget since 2006 Fulltime staff positions have already been cut by 10% in that time. Johnston says in a newsletter to KTAG customers that "raising tolls is never easy or a pleasant job, but it's necessary to maintain safe operations of the KTA."


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