Thank you for running the library’s press release in the February 5 edition regarding reduced subscription fees for Area E residents.
The headline that appeared in the print version, “Library lowers some fees: Area E residents benefit from change” could be misleading for some, and I’d like to clarify.
Until 2010, only City of Nelson residents contributed to the library through residential taxes (or through rent). Outside areas paid a subscription fee in lieu of taxes.
In 2010 a referendum was held to expand the Library’s service area to include Area E, Area F and Area H from Winlaw south. If passed, these areas would adopt a taxation-based library membership, and residents would pay no additional fees.
Area F and South H voted in favour of tax-based library service.
Area E did not, opting instead for subscription-based library service.
Spread out over the tax base, the portion of tax dollars for the library would have been relatively small per household as compared to individual subscription fees for Area E residents.
The subscription rate as established for the cost of service — even with subsidies for low income families available — creates hardship for some.
The library board took a hard look, and this year were able to lower fees by 25 per cent per household and introduce a reduced-rate, limited, non-transferable card for individuals, as described in the press release.
To clarify: only Area E residents pay subscription fees in lieu of taxes. Residents of the City of Nelson, Area F and South H do not pay fees to belong to the library.
Of course, anyone may use the library, even without a card. Having a library card allows the holder to take library materials home, download eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, and access online databases.
Adult Services Coordinator
Nelson Public Library