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Non-Local Borrowing and Wisconsin State Law


  1. Types of Library Users
    1. Residents: individuals who live within the boundaries of a municipality or county which operates a legal public library.
    2. Non-residents: individuals who live in municipalities without legal public libraries.

  2. Types of Library Borrowing
    1. Within the Community (Resident Borrowing): residents of a municipality using their own library.
    2. Within a County, and Across Adjacent County Lines (Non-resident Borrowing): residents of municipalities without libraries using libraries within their county or an adjacent county.
    3. From One Library Community to Another Library Community (Crossover Borrowing): residents of a municipality with a library who use a library in a community other than their own. These may be within the same county or across county lines.
    4. Across County Lines (non adjacent): (Non-resident and Crossover Borrowing): residents from a county using a library in a county that is not adjacent to that county.

  3. How the Statutes Address Each Category

    Reimbursement generally: payments for non-residents or crossover borrowing are made to libraries, not to municipalities in which the library resides.
    1. Within the Community: [43.52(2)] “Every public library shall be free for the use of the inhabitants of the municipality by which it is established and maintained...”
    2. Within a County, and Across Adjacent County Lines: [43.12] Each library is to be reimbursed an amount equal to at least 70% of the library's unit cost to circulate an item for each item borrowed by non-residents without libraries.   Exception:  Counties which maintain consolidated county libraries are not required to reimburse other libraries.
    3. From One Library Community to Another Library Community: [43.17(6)—library system boards, 43.52 (4)—municipal library boards, 43.57 (1)(d)— consolidated county library boards, 43.57(3)—county boards, and 43.60 (1)—municipal library boards] Various boards have the authority to contract with library organizations in and out of the state to provide or receive library services.
    4. Across County Lines (non adjacent):
      1. If they are in the same system: [43.11(3)(c)] The approved county plan for library service must assure access to any public library in the system for any county resident, and must provide for reimbursement for that access.
      2. If they are in different systems:   [43.17(11)(b) through (e)] A library in one library system may refuse to honor the valid borrowers’ cards from a library in an adjacent library system if, in the most recent year in which the public library honored such cards, the reimbursement in the previous year is less than the adjusted cost incurred in honoring that card. The adjusted cost is calculated by determining the actual cost for each loan, and multiplying that amount by the total number, less 500, of loans that year to the adjacent library system.


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