There are many debates going on around Northwest Indiana regarding “Town/City Rights” vs. “Region Rights.” I put those terms in quotation marks because I made them up based on my training as a history and government teacher concerned with “States’ Rights” throughout U.S. history. Let me give two examples of the Town vs. Region conflict here.
1. E-911 consolidation. In the wake of waggled federal money (I think), 12 Region towns including the one where I live have signed an agreement to merge their communications systems. 4 local towns have opted out of the consolidation, saying it costs too much and decreases efficiency. More news as the rollout unfolds.
2. South Shore (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District) expansion. This time DEFINITELY due to waggled federal money (hmm, these debates are turning out to be about states’ rights, too), several local communities want to move forward on a plan twenty years in the making to expand the commuter rail south into some towns that don’t currently have service. The mayor of my own town has expressed that he doesn’t see why Hammond should contribute money when we have our own South Shore station already.
So, my 0 readers can plainly see that Northwest Indiana is both a collection of neighboring towns and a larger regional whole.
Enter my very first workplace in life, the Hammond Public Library. I worked at two branches of the Hammond Public Library both as a teen and as a college student on breaks. Sadly, due to what I only assume was a drastic decline in Hammond’s literacy rates, ALL branches of the Hammond Public Library are closed. Only the main library in downtown Hammond remains. In the early days of my substitute teaching career, I got my Hammond Public Library card and was all about my Hammond pride. It was very convenient for me not to incur late fees because every week or so I would get a subbing assignment near downtown Hammond.
However. I was then selected for a series of long-term sub jobs at one particular school. The school where I’ve been working is 5.3 miles from the Hammond Public Library downtown. It is only 2.5 miles from (drum roll please) the Lake County Public Library.
So I bit the bullet and I did the thing I said I would not do. I got myself a Lake County Public Library card. This post is for the purpose of telling you about that process.
It’s a good thing that I had a Hammond Public Library card, because the libraries are in two different tax umbrellas, so even though I am a resident of Lake County, I am classified as a non-resident for the purpose of borrowing from the Lake County system. As a non-resident, you MUST have a card from your library district of residence, and your card MUST be in good standing. Check, and check.
Following is the list of things I can and cannot borrow as a non-resident of the library system in the county where I live.
I CAN borrow: circulating books, circulating magazines, sound recordings, and DVDs.
I CANNOT borrow: Downloadable music, audiobooks, e-books, or interlibrary loan materials. In addition, I am not allowed to place holds on AV materials or access online databases from my home.
So. Town. Or region?