Library introduces discounted non-resident youth cards

The Payette Public Library, as seen on July 30. A new, three-month library card has been made available to youth living outside Payette city limits.

PAYETTE — As the Payette Public Library continues to fill the need for library access for kids living in Fruitland or otherwise just outside of city limits, Library Board members have gotten to work seeking ways to alleviate the cost to parents of these kids. At the Payette City Council’s regular meeting on Aug. 3, Library Director Clay Ritter presented the result of that discussion: a new three-month card for non-resident youth. The measure was put on the Council’s agenda as Resolution 2020-05, which also set the fee for the city’s Sidewalk Utility Fee program.

“Previously, we’ve done a forty dollar, yearly [card] for students who might live outside the city of Payette that might need some library access. That  gives them books, computer access, everything that a normal card would get them, at a reduced rate. It’s the same for seniors,” said Ritter.

The new card does come with restrictions, namely a limit of two books checked out at a time and limited access to computers and other media resources.

“We were seeing a lot of kids who … live just outside of city limits, or from Fruitland because Fruitland doesn’t have a library, coming. They need a book for a research project really quick, or something to take out for class, or some homeschooling kids need something,” said Ritter. “This allows them to come in, get the books; They don’t have access to the games, the movies, as long of access to the computers as the other cards do. This gives them the resources that they might need to do a school project.”

Ritter said the card is designed to be friendly toward parents of these youth and has already been endorsed by the Library Board of Trustees.

When Mayor Jeff Williams asked about the thinking behind the card, Ritter said he observed the 90-day period usually covers the needs of those age 17 or younger.

“It’s something to tide them over,” said Ritter.

Williams pointed out that Idaho State Statute requires public hearings whenever a significant fee increase is proposed.

“Obviously, this is a fee that has not existed in the past,” thus warranting a public hearing, said Williams.

Councilor Kathy Patrick made the motion to pass the resolution, with Councilor Mike Kee seconding. The vote to approve was unanimous. With their vote, the discounted youth card is available now.

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