Thermal Paper Shortage Continues

The saga of the toxic thermal paper receipt paper continues. The paper we use for check out receipts is thermal; it uses a chemical for the printing reaction. The main manufacturer of this chemical was in China, but shut down by the government because of over pollution. Let that sink in for a minute. This caused a price increase over the last couple of  years that has now more than tripled. Several other companies stepped in to make chemicals that have turned out to be even more toxic. So toxic in fact, that the paper should not even be recycled. Just imagine the pile of receipts in your purse that have been printed on thermal paper. Yeah, let that sink in too. Please note: our library system, and Seneca library in particular, do not use this more toxic paper!  We will soon be using an eco-friendly paper, that’s completely recyclable, toxin free, and contains vitamin C. You could eat this stuff, although we don’t recommend it. Good news for the environment and our patrons. Bad news for our budget.

How can you help? Go paperless! Talk to us about paperless options instead of printed check out receipts. 


Originally Posted September 1, 2018:

The library staff  learned in January 2018 about a shortage of the thermal paper we use to print your check out receipts coming later this year. No, this was not caused by damage to thermal trees in the hurricanes. It is much more complex than that. We’re sharing a link for those of you who would like more information. This site was last updated August 23, 2018.

What this means for us as a library and you as our patron is conservation. The cost of the rolls of paper is expected to rise again, so we are thinking of ways to use less of this paper. We will no longer automatically print a receipt for everyone. Patrons are encouraged to sign up for email receipts, which list your items, a text receipt will not. Other options for you are to request electronic notices for advance notice of item due and item due alerts via text or email.

If you would like to know all the items you have checked out we can open an online account for you. This will allow you to peruse your list and even renew items if you need to…IF they are not on hold or new items or overdue. We will be happy to talk with you about all of this when you visit the library.