If you want to use the Richland city library, and you don’t live in Richland, you need to pay a non-resident fee of $30.00. I remember when you used to be able to use the Richland city library for free, no matter where you lived. I think it was in the late 90’s that they began to assess a charge for non-residents, as they were very busy and the city couldn’t afford to increase the staff to the necessary levels to handle the patrons. The irony was that soon after they instituted the fee, patronage declined to such levels that the increase in income wasn’t necessary. It soon leveled off, though, and now Richland is building a new library to better serve its users.
I went to the Richland city library the other day (in its temporary digs on Lee) with my kids to pick out some books. I figured it had been about a year or longer since I’d last paid my non-resident fee, so I was all geared up to pay again. I whipped out the debit card and the librarian sadly told me they didn’t accept those. Then, she had a brilliant idea -“Do your kids go to Richland schools?” she asked me. The schools in West Richland, where we live, are in the Richland school district. So, my kids were able to become card holders at the Richland city library FREE OF CHARGE because they’re in Richland schools. How cool is that? Sure, the cost would have been $30 which wouldn’t have broken me, but I’ll take that deal!