Eugene "Public" Library:Augments the Gap

Eugene “Public” Library: Augmenting the gap between Eugene and Springfield

In approximately 2005 I obtained a Eugene library card and have utilized the library to check out classic children books for my son and daughter (ages 3 and 5). Friday, while checking out, the automated check out system prompted me to renew my card. I went to customer service and was informed that because I am now living in Springfield I would not be able to renew my card and would have to pay $35 dollars a month for a non-residential card if I wanted to continue to use the library.
I left the library dismayed, with my two young children questioning why they were unable to leave with the books we were planning to check out. Although I have lived in Eugene since 2001, and considered a lane county citizen despite my recent move to Springfield, the Eugene library regards me as a non-resident. To add insult to injury, I am a graduate student at the University of Oregon. The Eugene Library is of great value and resource for students. I am disappointed that I have been excluded from utilizing the free services of the public library simply because I am living Springfield.
Although I plan to move back to Eugene by Summer I refuse to use the Eugene Public library until they change their policies around excluding the people of Springfield from accessing free services. It is discriminatory and I do not like it. I will use my thirty five dollars, the library is asking me for, to build my children their own library. Through Amazon I can purchase classic books (i.e. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, Anansi the Spider and the Moss-Covered Rock, The Lady with the Alligator Purse) my children enjoy for dollars and cents. Of course, they will miss out on the Eugene library experience, and as children they do not understand the disparity and segregation that they are being subject to, due to the location of their home. It saddens me that Eugene residents have a privilege that those who live in Springfield are not entitled to…knowledge should be free for all. Especially to children and college students who are seeking a higher altitude of knowledge.

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reader says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 11:28 AM

it's because eugene city residents' taxes pay for a good portion of the epl's operating costs. springfield has an excellent library, why are you complaining?

risa bear says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 11:38 AM

Springfield also charges nonresidents. This is a standard policy where there are no reciprocal agreements. Lane County was moving toward such agreements before the tax monies from timber etc. began to dry up. Also, librarians do not set this policy.

Rod says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 11:46 AM

This policy has been in place as long as I can remember. Every city library has the same policy. I lived in Portland and it was the same deal. I'm sure it's not personal. And is $35 that much? I'd happily pay that much to use the library.

LibraryUser says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 12:14 PM

Rod ... it is "$35 a month" would you really happily pay that?

LibraryUser says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 12:17 PM

I moved here in 2006 form IL. I was told the same thing because even though my mailing address was Eugene I was lane county because I was 1 block off. Back in IL. I library card at one library was honored at any other library.

LibraryUser says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 12:21 PM

I also lived 10 miles from any town but still was able to get a Library card at the nearest town. Everyone was a member of a library district. So everyone had access to a library. Here I live outside Elmira but still can go to Venita library.

MK says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 12:26 PM

Ummmm, the library isn't free. Doesn't sound like you own a home in Eugene or haven't seen a property tax statement. Seems fair to me to charge you for the service you use.

Prince says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 1:00 PM

I live in Lane County, in the Westfir area. The closest library to us is the Oakridge library. I cannot get a card at any library as I am a county resident, or so I am told by the Oakridge librarian.

misao says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 1:09 PM

I don't own a home...still a broke college student, but I have worked & lived in Eugene a majority of the time that I have been in Lane County.

wink says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 2:05 PM

A quick visit to the library site shows the $35 is for three months with discounts for longer periods.

Barbara says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 3:36 PM

Eugene and Springfield libraries are supported by city rather than county taxes, so those who live in Eugene or Springfield pay for service through their taxes. Springfield has a great library, so Misao and children might try that.

Mark says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 4:09 PM

What's ðe story here? If ðou payest not taxes, ðou art not entitled. Ðere is no such þing as a free lunch.

imobomi says ... on Monday, Jan 31 at 4:14 PM

Eugene public library requires more ID to renew your library card than it takes to cash a check at the bank. Seems like a library should be more open and encouraging than that. Not just a guardian of the city's property - but a beacon for literacy.

mtown says ... on Tuesday, Feb 1 at 12:22 AM

$35 a year for unlimited books vs. having to buy them all year round and never being able to return them is an EXCELLENT deal. People take the libraries for granted everyday of the year. Libraries have to be free, if you meet the requirements.

Lee J says ... on Tuesday, Feb 1 at 9:59 AM

It's around $130 a year, not $35. The library costs so much for non-residents, not because they aren't paying the taxes but because the city of Eugene uses non-resident fees as a blank check to make up for budget shortfalls from their overspending.

Nagrom says ... on Tuesday, Feb 1 at 11:08 AM

$35 a month is $420 a year, which is an absurdity to use a library. You can go to Springfield for free, or buy $40 kids books a year for that much. Buying your own books is far better investment than investing more into Eugene's garbage policies.

lancespring says ... on Tuesday, Feb 1 at 11:29 AM

LibraryUser: What you are saying is not true. The actual cost is only $10 a month, which is most reasonable.

Anonymous says ... on Tuesday, Feb 1 at 11:38 AM

Nagrom: You have the facts WRONG here. The actual non-resident fees are $35 for 3 month, $65 for 6 months, or $120 for a year. That is only $10 per month! Just go to the library's website, and you will see those are the real fees. .

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