Cook Memorial Library to offer non-resident memberships

By on Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

LA GRANDE – Beginning May 1, 2021, anyone living outside La Grande city limits will have the opportunity to become a member of the Library with some or all of the benefits afforded La Grande residents. A full, all-access library membership provides cardholders access to just more than books – from streaming movies and TV shows to “always available” eBooks and eAudiobooks to job and career assistance to online learning, and, coming soon, online academic tutoring.

In order to implement the non-resident membership option and to clean up the Library’s patron database at the same time, all registered library patrons will see some changes with regard to their account over the next several weeks including an expiration notice. By expiring all cardholders’ accounts, the Library will be able to update patron contact information, determine a patron’s home library, and provide patrons with appropriate membership options.

If you live within the city limits of La Grande, you will see no changes to your library membership other than having to verify your contact info and renewing your card sooner than the 3-year expiration date you may have recently received. If, per chance, you have a Cook Memorial Library card but you live within the city limits of Elgin, North Powder, or Union, you will have to apply for a new library card from your home library; your La Grande library card will no longer be valid. The number of local residents with a library card is an important statistic for each library to measure as that figure can affect funding, especially grant funding. Don’t fret though! A library card from Elgin, North Powder, and Union has always been and will remain valid at Cook Memorial Library for all basic library services, including Library2Go.

The most notable membership change will be for those residents of Union County not served by a public library – Island City, Cove, Imbler, Summerville, and all the unincorporated areas. Your existing account will need to be converted to a non-resident account which includes a new library card and barcode number. Union County provides an annual payment to each of the four public libraries in the County with the understanding that each library will provide basic library services to their non-resident county patrons. Basic library service includes the ability to borrow books, magazines, and DVDs, to attend programs and events, to use the public access computers, and to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks thru Library2Go. La Grande receives $40,000 annually from the County.

Anyone, regardless of residency – Union County and beyond – who wants access to the Library’s enhanced services such as streaming movies and TV shows (hoopla, Kanopy), expanded access to eBooks and eAudiobooks (hoopla, Freading), online learning (LinkedIn Learning), job search and career assistance (Brainfuse JobNow), academic tutoring (Brainfuse HelpNow), ability to borrow WiFi hotspots, ChromeKits, museum passes, and so much more, can purchase an all-access library membership. 

All-Access Non-Resident Membership Options:

$20 – valid for 1 month, limit of 12 items checked out at any one time.

$30 – valid for 6 months

$50 – valid for 12 months

$100 – valid for 12 months allows individual accounts for 2 or more household members residing at the same address.

On a per capita basis, La Grande residents spend approximately $50 annually to support library services.