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Library stiffens new-card charge

Too many patrons leave theirs at home, file for replacement

– Beginning next week, Allen County Public Library patrons will have to shell out a few more dollars to request a replacement library card.

The library board of trustees approved a price increase Thursday in an effort to curb the large number of requests for replacement cards.

Currently, the cost to replace a misplaced or stolen card is $1. Under the revised policy, patrons can obtain the first replacement card free but would pay $3 for each subsequently replaced card.

Cards that wear out or don’t work will still be free to replace, library Director Jeff Krull said.

The change takes effect Tuesday, Krull said.

Each year the library receives about 50,000 requests for cards. Officials say that’s too many, considering 348,000 people live in the county, Krull said, and the county hasn’t seen a large influx of residents.

Staff dug deeper and determined most of those card requests were for replacements, he said.

Patrons often come to the library to use a computer and realize they left their card at home. So they sign up for a new card so they can use a computer during their visit, Krull said.

Krull said the change in policy was meant to curb those “casual” replacements.