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Bill would allow regional libraries to charge nonresidents for library cards

Regional libraries could charge nonresidents a fee for library cards, under a bill introcuded in the Legislature by Rep.

Regional libraries could charge nonresidents a fee for library cards, under a bill introcuded in the Legislature by Rep. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth.

Large libary systems, like Duluth’s, can’t charge fees now to nonresidents, or they’d risk losing state aid, says a story in the Duluth News Tribune.

Last year, nearly 30 percent — or 14,030 of Duluth’s 49,185 library cardholders — were nonresidents using the city’s public library services for free. Many lived lived outside the city limits but had Duluth addresses.

“We have so many people using these resources, yet they don’t pay their fair share to maintain them,” said Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson. “I’m happy the libraries are accessible, but they [nonresidents] don’t chip in.”

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The public library in Duluth’s neighbor, Superior, Wis., charges Minnesota residents $20 a year to use its library.