How Do I Get a Library Card? Visit one of our libraries and ask at the circulation desk to apply for a card. Please bring proof of identification.
- document with current residential address
- children under age 17 should have a parental signature form completed to verify identity and confirm responsibility
- a membership card from a partner organization or school
- Some people may need to bring a fee (Most people who live in Pennsylvania have access to FREE public library service, but people who live in these areas are not eligible for an AccessPA card.)
In the future, we may allow online applications, but for now, for a PeCoInfo card with digital collection access, you must visit one of our locations in person. If you only want to use “digital” library services, apply online for a card through your District Library Center, Dauphin County Library System.
USER FEE FAQS
If you do not qualify for FREE borrowing privileges at all libraries in our county, you may be eligible to purchase services. Here is information about purchasing a library card at:
- Newport Public Library: An entire year of service at NPL is $50, or you may pay $5/month. Payments may be made by cash, check, or VISA/MASTERCARD. You will get these privileges with your paid card: borrowing limits, computer use time, and electronic resources/ebooks access.
- Marysville-Rye Library: An entire year of service is $25 or you may pay $5/month.
- Bloomfield Public Library:
- Community Library of Western Perry County: This library does NOT charge user fees. They will issue a FREE card to anyone who visits that gives limited borrowing privileges at their location, but this card type limits holds; this card type does not allow access to ebooks and district provided online resources.
Feel free to contact any of the libraries if you would like additional information. Some libraries will issue a temporary visitor card to access internet services too!
All PA residents with Access PA privileges may freely use public libraries across the state. The blue Access PA sticker on a library card indicates Access PA privileges, the right to use state-aided public libraries at no charge. The Office of Commonwealth Libraries, part of the PA Department of Education, oversees the Public Library Code, coordination of library services, and state provided public library funding. The state is a financial partner with local governments in providing library service to communities. As a first step to receiving State Aid dollars, a public library must show Commonwealth Libraries that its community is willing to make a commitment to stable financial support year after year. In other words, to have free library service, local communities must help fund it for their own residents.
How do PA residents get a FREE library card with a blue Access PA sticker?
To get a library card with a blue Access PA sticker, you must have a ‘home library’. To have a ‘home library’, a person must live in a public library’s service area. A service area (defined by borough and township borders) is based on population size and how much local money is contributed to provide library service. Each PA public library has a legally defined service area, and if you live within a service area you have a ‘home library’; if you do not live within a service area, you do not have a ‘home library’.
Why don’t all Perry County residents have a ‘home library’ and Access PA privileges?
The short answer: We don’t spend enough money on library services to serve the entire county population according to state standards.
Some history of Perry County Libraries: Until 2002, all Perry County residents had a ‘home library’ because the entire county population was claimed within the service area of the Perry County Library System (made up of the Newport Public Library, the Bloomfield Public Library, the Marysville-Rye Library, and the Community Library of Western Perry County). However, in 1999, Commonwealth Libraries revised the PA Library Code and updated State Aid standards. That system disbanded, and now each of the four public libraries operate as independent libraries with individual service areas. Each library can only claim a population amount for which they can spend a minimum of $5 per person in local financial support. As a result, 54% of the county population does not have a ‘home library’ or Access PA privileges.
In order to spend a minimum of $5 per capita in local financial support, the Perry County Libraries must first receive a minimum of $5 per capita in local financial support. To include the entire county population in its service area, the libraries would need to receive at least $218,010 ($5 x 43,602 for 2000 or 45,969 for 2010 census) each year. Although money received from fundraisers, private donations, and other local sources of revenue can be counted towards meeting this minimum requirement, current local funds are not enough to operate an effective library system for all of our county residents. Possibilities for meeting this requirement are: (1) Local government can pledge stable, long-term funding to the system by placing the libraries in the county budget (as Juniata County does, for example) or (2) County residents can pay an annual dedicated tax to support the libraries (as is the case in Dauphin and Cumberland Counties). In May 2002, a library tax referendum was defeated in Perry County. Without adequate annual funding, the minimum State Aid standards for giving service to all residents of the county for free cannot be met.
Why do most libraries charge user fees at this time?
We strongly believe that library resources should be freely accessible to all, but if every library gave away their services for free, there would be less incentive to encourage other municipalities to contribute. We hope that you will talk to your municipal leadership and ask them to make an annual contribution to the library.
Public library service expenses include facility maintenance, utilities, staff time, materials costs, equipment and much more. We hope that our local communities will help fund it for their own residents and we do fundraising events all the time.
Which Perry County residents are subject to user fees?
The people who live in these 13 municipalities (54% of the county population) do not have a ‘home library’ or Access PA privileges. As a result, they may be assessed a user fee at PA public libraries.
|New Buffalo Borough
Are other area libraries charging a user fee to PA residents without a ‘home library’?
The Dauphin County Library System charges $60/year. The Cumberland County Library System charges $60/year. Note: Paid cards do NOT get an AccessPA sticker and allow service only at the “home library” or within the “system” they have purchased.
Can more than one person in the same household use the same library card? Yes, but the signatory is responsible for all charges on the card.
Ask the library you purchase service from what benefits you will receive with your FREE or PAID card. Each library offers different benefits and services, but they work together to serve you.