The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library offers some amazing services! From the incredible equipment in the Make-It Lab to free lunches for kids, the Topeka library has something for literally everyone.
They make it really easy to get materials, too! You can use a SmartLocker at the Oakland Community Center or even at the Hy-Vee on Wanamaker Road to check out and pick up materials!
Create something amazing in the Topeka Library’s Make-It Lab!
The library’s Makerspace includes equipment to help you make music, videos, audio recordings, digital art and 3D contraptions! Follow the signs in the Atrium until you reach this dedicated space in the back of the Media Room.
Once there, you can edit photos, create digital art, create videos, record music, transfer videos from old formats to new ones, scan photos and documents, or even print 3D objects on the library’s own Ultimaker 2!
In the Make-It Lab, you’ll find the following equipment ready for your use:
- 2 Apple iMacs
- Alesis Elevate 3 studio monitors
- Flatbed scanner
- Wacom digital drawing tablet
- Ultimaker 2 3D printer and filament
- Canon Vixia camcorder
- Elgato A/D converter
- Marantz audio cassette to MP3 converter
- Video lighting equipment
- M-Audio Oxygen 25 USB keyboard controller
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface
- Microphones (with stands and cables)
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Google Sketchup
- iLife Suite
No time to hang out in the Make-It Lab? Take a piece of the lab home with you with a Media Bag! These bags include basic equipment and an introductory guide.
To check out a Media Bag, you must be age 18+ and have a library account in good standing. You can keep the Media Bag for 7 days. They are not renewable.
Current Media Bags available for check-out include:
- Video Recording Bag includes a Cannon VIXIA HF R40 camcorder and instruction book.
- Home Recording Bag includes a Tascan DR-40 portable digital recorder, 2 Audio Technica AT 2020 microphones, 2 microphone stands, 2 microphone cables and a guide book.
- Digital Photography Bag includes a Canon Powership G15 digital camera and guide book.
- Podcasting Bag includes a Zoom H1 digital recorder and guide book.
Children get free food from the library!
Free afternoon snacks are available every weekday between 3:30pm and 4:30pm in David Jr.’s place at the Topeka library! Children between the ages of 0 and 18 years old are eligible to receive these snacks.
During the summer, kids can also receive free lunches and free backpacks full of food! Harvesters and the AdventureMobile generously provide these programs to all children between birth and 18 years of age. The meals are served in the Edge Teen Room between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm on weekdays. The backpacks are distributed by the AdventureMobile and are intended to provide enough food to get children through the weekend.
Check out free passes from TSCPL!
Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
The Topeka library has eight passes available. Four can be reserved in advance and four are only available for walk-in checkout. To get one, visit the Youth Services desk in the Kid’s Library.
The pass can only be checked out by an adult age 18+ who has a Topeka library account in good standing. The pass is only good for one visit and must be used within 7 days of checkout. When you present the pass at KCDC, the staff will keep the pass and return it to the library. If you haven’t used it or returned it within 30 days, your account will be charged $5.
Get free admission to 712 Innovations and check out their work spaces and makerspace area before you invest in a membership! 712 Innovations offers many types of specialized equipment in their collaborative space, including saws, drills, cameras, air compressors, power tools, lathes, sewing machines, green screens, a mixing studio, fabrication tools, soldering equipment and high-tech electronics.
TSCPL offers four passes to 712 Innovations. They can be checked out by adults with Topeka library accounts in good standing who can fill out a liability waiver. The pass can only be used between 1pm and 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. When you show your pass at 712, you’ll receive an orientation to the facility and equipment.
If you haven’t used it or returned it within 30 days, your account will be charged $5.
Download free movies, audio books, e-books and more!
Just click “Download It” on the TSCPL website and you’ll find a directory to the following online resources:
- Audiobooks provided by Overdrive and Hoopla
- Comics provided by Hoopla
- Music provided by Hoopla
- eBooks provided by Overdrive, Hoopla, BookFlix and TumbleBooks.
- Magazines provided by Flipster.
- Movies & TV shows provided by Hoopla
Learn new skills with online and offline Topeka library resources!
Learn a new language with a free, Topeka library-provided subscription to Mango Languages!
Learn coding and technology skills with Treehouse! Over 1,000 video tutorials are available to help you master skills like business, WordPress, web development, Adobe Photoshop and more. Earn badges as you complete each course!
On-site computer training classes are available from TSCPL! The classes are free but you must register in advance. They’ll teach you everything from beginning computer skills to Pinterest! Classes include Office Suite software (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc), Facebook, Pinterest, iPad Workshops and gadget assistance. Click here to browse the classes and register for the ones that interest you!
Host a book club with Book Group in a Bag. These kits include 10 copies of a book, discussion guides and book group tips. You can keep the kit for six weeks.
Hi-Crest Net Reach Dream Center helps those from the high-risk Hi-Crest neighborhood connect with ESL training, online classes, resume writing, employment opportunities and so much more. The Dream Center offers 4 computers and 5 librarians one day per week. Make an appointment by calling 785-783-2535.
Get homework help in the Oveson-Campbell Homework Center. Helpers are available and can assist with any subject at any level, including trigonometry and thesis statements. Drop by any time during open hours!
Free notary services are available on weekdays!
Free notary services are provided Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm on the main floor. Every person signing the document must be present and provide a valid photo ID before the notary will be called.
Get free tax assistance at the Topeka library!
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is available at the Topeka library between February and April 15th. Hours may vary. For more information, check the TSCPL website.
Disabled and homebound patrons can receive special services.
The Topeka library regularly delivers materiasl to congregate living sites and individuals who are homebound. For more information, please contact a Red Carpet staff member at (785) 580-4400.