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New rules could be in the cards at library

Getting ‘carded’ at the library could be getting a bit easier in the near future.
Part-time residents, college students and people who work in Carter County would have the same access to the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library as full-time residents if the ECCPL Board approves proposed policy changes.
Library Director Mel Goff presented the proposed changes to the board at Thursday’s meeting.
Goff said the issue came to her attention after she received an email from a part-time Carter County resident who was denied a library card last year by mistake. The patron then traveled to another area library and was issued a card. Goff said the patron returned this year and was issued an ECCPL card.
“I feel bad that someone who resides in Carter County, even part-time, could not get a library card here, but had no problem getting one at another library,” Goff said.
Goff said the library policy covers residents who own or have a lease in Carter County, whether they live here full-time or part-time. Goff said she also felt residents who rent part-time in the county are allowed to have a ECCPL card.
She asked the board if the same coverage should be extended to college students who are here from out of state during the school year and to people who travel to Carter County to work, but live somewhere else.
Board chair Richard Barker said he felt the card privileges should be extended to the part-time residents.
“I think we should give them that accessibility,” he said.
Board member Dan Winters questioned how the library would be able to get in touch with these people, specifically college students, if they had fines or unreturned materials that had not been taken care of before they returned to their other address.
Goff explained the application included the patron’s phone number and would also include their other address so they could be contacted.
The board agreed to consider these inclusions. Goff said she would review other area library’s policies and return to the board with a proposed ECCPL policy in the next meeting.