Question: At Hawaii state public libraries, there is no charge for printing documents from the Internet. I witnessed a patron printing about 50 pages, keeping one and throwing the remaining pages in the trash. This is a waste of toner and paper. Will the public libraries be charging for printing so patrons will not be so wasteful?
Answer: Yes, but not until next year at the earliest. We’re told it’s not simply a matter of charging computer users for printing off the Internet.
The Hawaii State Public Library System “has undergone a lengthy process of creating an administrative rule” that will allow it to charge patrons to print documents from public computer printers, said spokesman Paul H. Mark.
However, budget cuts have delayed upgrading to a newer version of print management software to allow for the assessing of fees, he said. Currently, library officials are looking to upgrade the software by the end of 2011 and to begin charging printing fees in early 2012.
“A number of ongoing, interrelated technological projects” must be completed before the fees can be implemented, Mark said.
The projects include installing 768 new public computers in the libraries, provided by an Access for All grant and funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Opportunity Online program; upgrading existing software; and training library staff on how to use the upgraded software.
Currently, people printing Internet documents are asked for a voluntary donation of 15 cents per page to help cover costs, Mark said. He said patrons donated about $45,700 for the first 10 months of this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Asked how that compares to actual costs, Mark said toner, ink and paper usage varies from library to library and that no one keeps track of these statistics.
“In an effort to minimize the printing of unwanted pages, library staff teaches patrons how to print efficiently from our computers on a daily basis,” he said. “Many libraries also attempt to recycle paper whenever possible, when confidentiality is not an issue.”
Question: On May 25, there was a big accident on the Pali Highway, where supposedly a tour bus lost its brakes and crashed into a car that burst into flames. However, the bus drove off afterward. What was the story with the brakes?
Answer: The matter is being investigated by the Honolulu Police Department, said spokeswoman Michelle Yu.
No one has been charged and no determination has been made yet as to what caused the TP Transportation bus to lose control and cause a chain-reaction crash involving four other vehicles. Two people were injured.
“It would be premature” to say anything about what might have caused the accident, Yu said.
The accident also prompted the state Department of Transportation to audit TP Transportation’s maintenance records. Although the Highways Division has completed its investigation, the results are not being released, pending a ruling from the state Attorney General’s Office on whether the results can be released to the public.
“Our investigation doesn’t perform actual mechanical inspection of the bus parts,” a DOT spokesman said. Rather, the department’s “role is to ensure that commercial companies perform regular maintenance on their vehicle fleets.”
Basically, the companies are responsible for mechanical inspections and logging maintenance histories, he said.
To the Girl Scouts, who decorated the graves with lei and flags at Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe on Memorial Day. My husband and son are both buried there. Job well done! God bless them all. — Barbara Sheer/Kaneohe
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