25 September 2008

Change in Policy at Hillsborough County Libraries

As we have seen at the Pasco County Libraries, policy changes are being made to bring the library operations under the reduced operating budgets resulting from election results in January, 2008 that modified the property tax structure.

We will be seeing more changes in October.

The Hillsborough County Library issued this email to those using the "Reciprocal Borrowing" privilege:
Reciprocal Borrowers (Change in Policy)

Hillsborough County Library Services

Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Dear Library User:

The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System’s participation in Tampa Bay Library Consortium’s reciprocal borrowing program will end on September 30, 2008. The FY09 Hillsborough County budget, approved by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners on September 18, 2008, does not provide funding to extend public library service to users who do not reside in Hillsborough County. The economic effects of the recent passage of Amendment One to the Florida Constitution, the property tax rollback approved by the Florida Legislature in 2007, and decline in property tax revenues have resulted in the need for budget reductions. Some fee based services will still be available to non-County residents. As of October 1, 2008, library customers who live outside of Hillsborough County and wish to continue borrowing materials from Hillsborough County’s public libraries may pay an annual fee of $100 per household to obtain a non-resident card.

  • Customers who choose to obtain a non-resident card will be entitled to check out any circulating materials. Non-resident card holders are subject to the same loan periods and overdue fines and fees as County residents.
  • Items checked out by non-resident cardholders must be returned to any public library in Hillsborough County. They may not be returned to libraries outside of Hillsborough County.
  • Non-County residents who choose not to obtain a non-resident card will still be welcome to use library materials inside the library and attend library programs.
  • Non-County residents who choose not to obtain a non-resident card will need to show photo identification and proof of address to obtain a guest pass in order to use Internet computers. They will be subject to the same daily time and use limits as Hillsborough County residents and non-resident cardholders. Inter-library loan service will not be available.

You may obtain your non-resident library card at the circulation desk at any branch in the Hillsborough County system after October 1. Cash or check payments will be accepted and proof of identification and address will be required. Reciprocal users of Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City should contact that library for further information.

We appreciate your understanding during this time of transition and our efforts to continue quality library service.

I could put books on hold and check them out. This larger library system has great books on the historic periods that my ancestors lived in. We can still use and are welcome to use the resources at the John F. Germany Library in downtown Tampa [parking fees have increased too] and any other of their libraries. Our privileges are now similar to those we have at the State universities.

Orange County Libraries had policies like this over a year ago. Even the "wifi" access in the library required a non-resident user fee.

Please remain positive, use all the resource that remain available, otherwise they will also disappear [they will be seen as unwanted.] The Quintilla Geer Bruton Archives Center should be checked out even by "Snowbirds." and the same with the Polk County Historical/Genealogical Library in Bartow [they both have a very large family history collections.] Since these are threatened resources, you should call them before you drive there.


  1. Does this mean that we can no longer use Heritage Quest on the internet? This has been a very good resource for the census and book searches.

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