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A new agreement between Kentucky and Indiana now allows residents in Trimble and Jefferson counties to register as users at both public libraries.
The agreement, the first of its kind in Kentucky, allows Trimble County residents to obtain user cards at the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library – an opportunity previously only allowed to Indiana residents. The user fee is $35 and must be renewed annually. The agreement became effective in November.
“We are the first county in Kentucky to make this agreement with Indiana,” said Trimble County Public Library Director Kathy McKown, who believes the deal will be most beneficial for residents in Milton, many of whom live closer to the Madison, Ind., facility than the Trimble facility in Bedford.
Work on the agreement began in March 2009, said Kentucky State Library Wayne Onkst, who said the Indiana law required the OK from both states’ attorneys general and state library directors, as well as board members of both facilities.
“It’s very progressive,” Onkst said. “I’m sure the relationship between the two libraries will be much stronger now.”
Onkst said similar agreements are in place between Ohio and Kentucky for interlibrary services between Boone, Kenton and Campbell county libraries and Cincinnati’s public library system. But Indiana law requires separate agreements between participating counties in each state, he said.
“I commend Kathy and her board and the folks in Madison for making sure this came about,” he said. “It breaks down barriers; I think that’s really important for people who live and work in McKown said the agreement stops short of providing interlibrary loans. Users “have to bring back materials to the library from which they borrowed them,” she said.
McKown said the Trimble library has always “reached out regionally,” allowing anyone with proof of address – such as a current utility bill – to apply for a library card, regardless of which county they live in.
One of the benefits to the agreement is that this allows both libraries to specialize in different areas. What one library may not have, the other might, and now residents of both counties can take advantage of that, she explained.
“It’s just a better sharing of resources,” she said. “It’s been a long time in the works, and I’m happy that it’s finally done.”