Library access for Area E residents got easier this January when new, lower subscription fees for members living outside of the Nelson Public Library’s service area took effect.
The new fees reflect the Nelson Library Board’s ongoing commitment to provide service to all area residents.
Area E residents opted out of library membership through taxation in a referendum on library service in 2010.
Now, family members living in the same household outside of the library’s service area can each get library cards for a total annual subscription fee of $90, down from $120.
Additionally, the library now offers an individual, non-transferable card with a five-item limit for $45.
“We hope this new fee structure will help reduce the financial barriers some Area E residents experience,” said chief librarian June Stockdale, who noted that subscription fees can be paid in increments as small as three months, and that subsidies are available for low-income residents.
In 2010 the Nelson Public Library expanded its service area to include Area F and the portion of Area H from Winlaw south, when residents of these areas voted to be included in the service area.
“It’s great to see more people enjoying barrier-free library access,” said Stockdale.
“Newcomers to the area who move to Blewett or Balfour are often dismayed to learn there are fees at all. Certainly, we’d like to see as many citizens as possible enjoying everything the library has to offer.”
Libraries today bear little resemblance to those of the past.
While books remain a core aspect of library holdings, the library has become a social hub and information centre, offering programs for all ages as well as alternate ways to access information such as databases, downloadable eBooks and audiobooks, and digital media.
“A library card is really a door to the world,” said Stockdale.
Anyone wishing more information about the Nelson Public Library and its services can go to www.nelsonlibrary.ca or call 250-352-6333.