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Thread: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

  1. #1

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    Default Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    It’s a shame that it is so expensive to obtain a library card for people who live outside qualified townships to our Public Libraries. With all the talk of educating our children you would think that our State would find a way to make library membership more affordable. I first realized this many years ago when I wanted to get a membership to the library so I could take my children, to experience the library and check out books. I checked membership prices to many libraries and they were close to $100.00/year. I found that I could get a membership at a library in a neighboring state for $10.00/year, which I did and my children loved it. With the evolution of e-books I recently checked the prices again to see if things had changed since my children have grown and was very disappointed to see they haven’t. Once again I have joined the neighboring State Library so I can check out e-books. The cost has risen to $25 per year for an individual which is at least one third of the cost of our local libraries. I would prefer to be a member of a local library and support them, but the prices make it unobtainable. I was curious if other people have experienced this disappointment.
    “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dalí

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by 2cents View Post
    It’s a shame that it is so expensive to obtain a library card for people who live outside qualified townships to our Public Libraries. With all the talk of educating our children you would think that our State would find a way to make library membership more affordable. I first realized this many years ago when I wanted to get a membership to the library so I could take my children, to experience the library and check out books. I checked membership prices to many libraries and they were close to $100.00/year. I found that I could get a membership at a library in a neighboring state for $10.00/year, which I did and my children loved it. With the evolution of e-books I recently checked the prices again to see if things had changed since my children have grown and was very disappointed to see they haven’t. Once again I have joined the neighboring State Library so I can check out e-books. The cost has risen to $25 per year for an individual which is at least one third of the cost of our local libraries. I would prefer to be a member of a local library and support them, but the prices make it unobtainable. I was curious if other people have experienced this disappointment.
    I do not understand the system that is used to determine if a person qualifies as a resident. I have an Angola mailing address yet I live in Millgrove Township for voting purposes and my public library is in Orland which is a joke of a library. I fail to see why I can not have free access to the Angola library since I have an Angola mailing address. Can anyone explain the rationale for this process to me?
    RFW

    " If you would win a person to your cause, first convince them that you are their sincere friend."
    Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    I am not sure where you live but I know there are libraries in northeast Indiana that charge under $50.00 for a card. Some of them also belong to a consortium where you can use the card at other libraries. This is certainly less than I pay in property taxes to my township's library.

  4. #4
    HomeyG Guest

    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Daconsul View Post
    I do not understand the system that is used to determine if a person qualifies as a resident. I have an Angola mailing address yet I live in Millgrove Township for voting purposes and my public library is in Orland which is a joke of a library. I fail to see why I can not have free access to the Angola library since I have an Angola mailing address. Can anyone explain the rationale for this process to me?
    Seems like public libraries are not really public!!!!!

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Daconsul View Post
    I do not understand the system that is used to determine if a person qualifies as a resident. I have an Angola mailing address yet I live in Millgrove Township for voting purposes and my public library is in Orland which is a joke of a library. I fail to see why I can not have free access to the Angola library since I have an Angola mailing address. Can anyone explain the rationale for this process to me?
    The library system in Indiana is funded by property taxes and is certainly antiquated. My understanding is in Indiana it is up to the township trustees and boards to vote on whether they want to pay property taxes to a certain library. If they decide too, your property taxes will go up. I think this is why many townships chose not to belong, sometimes it is cheaper to just buy the card. Many of the townships in Steuben county have chosen not to fund a library. There is a way to go over the township but I am not sure how that works. In your case I don't know what could be done other than buying a card since the township has already chosen to fund the Orland library.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by sophie8386 View Post
    I am not sure where you live but I know there are libraries in northeast Indiana that charge under $50.00 for a card. Some of them also belong to a consortium where you can use the card at other libraries. This is certainly less than I pay in property taxes to my township's library.
    Could you tell me which Libraries charge under $50.00? I checked the prices of Fremont, Angola, Butler, Kendallville and Auburn and the lowest cost was Fremont at $75.00. The lilbrary I joined the Edon Ohio Library as an out of state resident which I can also use my library card at the Bryan, Edgerton, Pioneer, Stryker, and West Unity branches. At my age I just wanted a library card to access e-books online, with the hours I work and the price of gas I won't be actually visiting the physical library. But it is nice to know I can go to the library now if I so choose. I did some more research on how the Ohio libraries are funded and they do get funding from the State to make them affordable for everyone. With all of the cut backs in spending their funding has declined which explains why their prices increased from 20 plus years ago. When our economy picks up I believe I will write letters to our State Representatives and ask why Indiana does not support local libraries so residents can afford to be a member. I have attached a link on Ohio library funding which also includes information on why the State funds libraries and the cut backs that have taken place if anyone is interested. http://www.olc.org/pdf/LibraryFundingHistory.pdf
    “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dalí

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Thank you so much for your response. I made me feel better to see that I'm not the only person impacted with how the library system is set up. I was brought up with the idea that reading is fundamental in learning. If children enjoy reading at an early age, they will do much better in school.
    “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dalí

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    I am not sure about Butler, Kendallville or Auburn but Angola's individual card is $39.00 and they are part of Evergreen Indiana so you can use it at all the Evergreen libraries in the state. Butler, Waterloo, Kendallville, Noble County and LaGrange are all Evergreen libraries. There also have downloadable books available. You can also get a reciprocal card at Fremont with a card from Carnegie in Angola. The nice thing about Evergreen is, if they don't have a book you want you can order it from one of the other Evergreen libraries and it gets shipped to the library in Angola for you to pick up. As you can tell, I am an avid supporter of libraries.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    2cents again you have raised a worthwhile topic. I live in Spencerville and our township does not donate to the Auburn library. My charges for membership will be $75. I called Hicksville (closest OH town to us). Their membership is $45. My interest will also be the e-books. I do enough driving through the week going to work, and doing the weekly shopping. With the price of gas going where it is going, I am cutting back on ALL driving that is not absolutely necessary.

    I do wonder what the structure & content of our public libraries will be in the next 10-20 yrs with the advent of e-books and internet.
    "It is the power of thought that gives man power over nature."
    Hans Christian Anderson

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHelen View Post
    2cents again you have raised a worthwhile topic. I live in Spencerville and our township does not donate to the Auburn library. My charges for membership will be $75. I called Hicksville (closest OH town to us). Their membership is $45. My interest will also be the e-books. I do enough driving through the week going to work, and doing the weekly shopping. With the price of gas going where it is going, I am cutting back on ALL driving that is not absolutely necessary.

    I do wonder what the structure & content of our public libraries will be in the next 10-20 yrs with the advent of e-books and internet.
    I would like to see the libraries start lending ebooks. They could allow downloads that would expire after 30 days. It would save space and allow for more than one person to check out popular books. I know the technology is doable but the funding for the ebooks would probably be the hangup. The Kindle readers are getting much cheaper and I can envision a time in the near future when an ebook reader will be available for less than $100.
    RFW

    " If you would win a person to your cause, first convince them that you are their sincere friend."
    Abraham Lincoln

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Daconsul View Post
    I would like to see the libraries start lending ebooks. They could allow downloads that would expire after 30 days. It would save space and allow for more than one person to check out popular books. I know the technology is doable but the funding for the ebooks would probably be the hangup. The Kindle readers are getting much cheaper and I can envision a time in the near future when an ebook reader will be available for less than $100.
    The Ohio library I have a membership with does loan ebooks and it is wonderful. You just log into the libraries website and go to the online catalog in the download section. If the book your interested in is currently checked out you can join a waiting list and they will send you an e-mail when it's available. The check out times vary for the type of book, the ones I have checked out have ranged from 14 days to 21 days. After the check out time expires, you will no longer be read the book, but you can check it out again if you haven't finished it. No more returning books or paying overdue fees! I can borrow books from the library website and the Ohio EBook Project website. I purchased one of the cheap e-readers from Menards on clearance, (while my kids purchased Kindles, the Kindles have a nicer screen and hold a charge much longer) but the one I purchased serves my needs until I can afford a Kindle. You can also download the Classic Books at no charge from www.manybooks.net. If you want to try ebooks on your computer you can download the free Kindle for PC program to get started. Barnes and Noble also has free ebook program you can download if you prefer them to Amazon.

    Sophie - Thank you for the information on the individual price at the Angola Public Library, I must have received the family price because it seemed like the going rate was $75.00. I was getting so discouraged and originally was thinking of a family membership so my husband could be a member too. It was also good to hear about the Evergreen Project which I don't believe was available years ago when my children were little. I will keep the Angola Library in mind after my current membership expires.

    HH - I was very surprised at the Hicksville library membership price! You could go to the Bryan or Edon library to get the Williams County membership price of $25.00. If you want to check their website out it is www.mywcpl.org/ - I assumed all of Ohio's membership prices were the same since they get State funding and I know better than to assume anything. We all have our weak moments.
    “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dalí

  12. Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    The fees for non-resident Library usage is in State Code:

    IC 36-12-7-3
    Local library cards; fees
    (b) Except as provided in subsection (c), a library board must set and charge a fee for a local library card issued under subsection (a)(2). The minimum fee that the board may set under this subsection is the greater of the following:
    (1) The library district's operating fund expenditure per capita in the most recent year for which that information is available in the Indiana state library's annual "Statistics of Indiana Libraries".
    (2) Twenty-five dollars ($25).

    2009 ISL Non-resident fees Steuben & DeKalb Counties:

    you'll have to click on the picture to read the figures

    LibraryPolicies.jpg
    Last edited by armyda; 03-06-2011 at 11:00 AM. Reason: picture
    that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Daconsul View Post
    I would like to see the libraries start lending ebooks. They could allow downloads that would expire after 30 days. It would save space and allow for more than one person to check out popular books. I know the technology is doable but the funding for the ebooks would probably be the hangup. The Kindle readers are getting much cheaper and I can envision a time in the near future when an ebook reader will be available for less than $100.
    Kendallville's just started doing this.

  14. #14

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    Auburn, IN
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    Default Re: Expensive Indiana Public Libraries

    Michigan libraries are free to residents and with a Michigan Drivers License for ID I could use any library I wished...yes even on vacation. They have EBooks too! Libraries up north are supported by both local and state taxes which makes this happen. I had assumed all libraries were free till I moved to Indiana and tried to use one. Wasn't until I moved to another location in Indiana that I had library access back again. It was hard enough having to go two years without internet access in Indiana while I waited for NE Indiana to catch up to Backwoods Northern Michigan. No way would I pay for a library card. I donate books and other things to the library in Auburn hoping that they would put the books on the shelf to increase their collection but naaaa they go to their book sale. Thought since my personal library was larger than theirs in several subjects, they would appreciate books I had decided to let go. I still feel sorry for them with their limited funding so continue to donate.

    My taxes were lower in Michigan than they are in Indiana yet far fewer services to show for that money.

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