ASTORIA - Astoria Public Library and the Dora Badollet Library at Clatsop Community College are participating in a new Oregon Library Passport Program, which allows card-holders from participating libraries to register and use other participating libraries across the state. The Oregon Library Association is launching this voluntary program that expands Oregonians' access to library materials, something that has been a goal of the professional organization for many years.
"The Oregon Library Passport Program recognizes that library service ought to mirror the way Oregonians live, work, shop and play, and reduce barriers to library service," said Michele Burke, president of the Oregon Library Association.
The underlying premise of the Passport Program is that cardholders of legally-established libraries ought to be able to use other legally-established libraries. The Passport Program is meant to be an exchange; a library extends service to users of other participating libraries and vice versa.
Here is how it works. Oregon public and academic libraries opt to become Passport Program participating libraries. Their registered card-holders are then able to visit, register without the customary "out of area" card fees and use the materials at any other participating library. Their home library card becomes their "passport" or ticket to registering for library cards at other participating libraries throughout Oregon. Patrons are responsible for managing their checkouts, complying with the Passport member library's policies regarding due dates, late fees and materials limits, and must return materials directly to the library they borrowed from; there is no library-to-library return delivery mechanism.
Astoria Public Library director Jane Tucker describes the Oregon Library Passport Program as "a wonderful opportunity for Astorians and all Oregonians." Tucker said she is especially excited that "with the Passport Program, cardholders at the Astoria Public Library get to engage in a strong collaboration with Clatsop Community College and many other libraries around the state."
Clatsop Community College library director Candice Watkins emphasizes that the program expands opportunity for county residents. "Since Clatsop County doesn't have county-wide library service, this is a golden advantage for those county residents who purchase cards at a participating library. We invite county residents outside the city limits to join a participating library and gain access to an extensive network of public and academic libraries, including the CCC library and the Astoria Public Library."
So, if you are traveling south down the coast and need some beach reading, you can sign up for library cards in Rockaway, Garibaldi or Florence. Or perhaps you live in Astoria, but work in Hillsboro, and want to use Hillsboro Public Library during your lunch hour. No problem. In addition, Oregonians who are conducting research will be able to tap into the vast resources of academic libraries, including the Oregon State University libraries, Oregon Health Sciences University and several community colleges. The key to the Passport Program is that you first need a library card from your participating local "home" library.
Passport Program details and a list of participating libraries can be found at www.librariesoforegon.org/Passport. Or contact Astoria Public Library at 503-325-7323 or Clatsop Community College at 503-338-2462 for more information about the program. The list of participating libraries continues to grow - by January there were more than 55 libraries statewide signed up for the program and additional libraries will continue to join throughout 2013. If Oregonians are interested in using the Passport Program, but your local library is not yet listed as a participant, be sure to inquire with your library's staff.
For nearly 75 years, the Oregon Library Association has existed to promote and advance library service through public and professional education and cooperation. Learn more at www.OLAweb.org