Our Library Is Not Lending Library, Your Library Card Is Free

Our Library Is Not Lending Library, Your Library Card Is Free

It is not a first time I have been asked if the Aurora library card or membership is free. Since we got our new library cards for free back in August we are regularly taking books and DVDs out also for free. We take then out and we return them. That is how a library works. There is an option to take books out virtually and guess what – it is free.

Aurora Library with Cultural Centre


According to AURORA PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD FEES AND SERVICE CHARGES POLICY last approved September 15, 2010 states:

LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP

There is no charge for membership with the Aurora Public Library to those who live, work, attend school (K-12), or own property, in Aurora or in a York Public Libraries Network municipality (YPLN – Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan).

The annual membership fee for those who do not live, work, attend school, or own property, in Aurora or a YPLN municipality is $40.00 per person.

Temporary Aurora residents are charged a $20.00 deposit which is refunded upon the return of all materials and the membership card.

Replacement cost for a lost or damaged membership card is $2.00.

I think this is fair enough policy.

Aurora Library


I don’t know if I can even call this statistics if you ever ask me for numbers. For information, two residents asked if library was free, and two residents asked where was library located. Ask to where, I understand. But I was surprised that someone would actually ask if library was free to use.

In 40 years I have not paid a single coin for using a library. I always thought it was free. Every definition out there defines the library as ‘a place set apart to contain books, periodicals, and other material for reading, viewing, listening, study, or reference, as a room, set of rooms, or building where books may be read or borrowed‘. In addition, ‘under the Public Libraries Act, the Municipality approves and provides a funding amount…

There is a term out there called lending library, a commercial establishment lending books for a fixed charge. Our library is not.

Couple of months ago I met a lady with two children on the Nokiidaa Trail link boardwalk. She was new to the town. She asked if the town had a library. I told her where to go.

Now, the question is how do we find library in our town?

Telephone book.
Search Google.

That is easy answer.

Aurora Library


The second question, how do you let people know that our town has a library? How do we remind people to visit town’s library and use its resources?

Our library has amazing display of information about the library inside. Unless you visit the library you would never know.

Our library has amazing website. Unless someone is interested in the library they will know how to search the web.

Many of us avoid traffic on the Yonge Street, starting at Wellington Street going South. In the same direction where the library is. That many of us forget about the library. Sometimes visibility can remind us or spark ideas.

Town of Aurora issues The Town of Aurora Parks and Recreation Guide, I think couple of times a year and I am surprised that there was no reference to Library, not a single ad.

To conclude my thoughts I really don’t know where the misconception about library not being free comes from. Did our library once charged its residents for membership or for the library cards? Why would someone even ask? May be new residents come from places where they had to pay membership.

I don’t have all the answers, but may be it is time to let more people know that our library is free for all Aurora residents. I only know so many people to spread the word, meaning not many.


About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.

Comments:

  1. The Library is free in Richmond Hill as well. Even better we have big libraries (Yonge & Major Mackenzie) and small libraries (Scott & Pearson).

    My wife and I each have three library cards as well. One for Aurora, one for Richmond Hill and we found a cute little one in Markham in Thornhill. A great day trip for everyone.

    Just remember to return the material on time…because if not that is when the library is no longer free.
    – Michael

  2. Thanks Michael.
    That is absolutely true about returning all the material, yet fine is necessary always.
    Anna :)

  3. I have never heard of a commercial library (other than Lexis/Nexis online). All libraries in the US are free, supported by local taxes. Fewer and fewer people use them, though, because of the Internet.

  4. I hope these were the only two people in Aurora that were thinking of not being free.
    Anna :