Ventura County Library Commission Discusses Free Library Service County-wide

The Ventura County Library Commission met in their regular session on Thursday August 21, 2008.
Among the agenda items approved by the commission was one which directed the Library Director, Jackie Griffin, to work with the County Executive Office and the City of Thousand Oaks to look into the possibilities of ending library fees between districts in the county.
The fourteen libraries of Ventura County give free library service to anyone in the state of California, as do the cities of Oxnard, Moorpark and Santa Paula. The City of Thousand Oaks charges most residents of Ventura County, outside the city limits, $80.00 annually for a library card. In addition, the County Library also pays the City of Thousand Oaks approximately $187,000 annually to provide library service to residents of Ventu Park, Newbury Park and Lynn Ranch.
In the last two years, 1,578 residents of the unincorporated areas have used the Thousand Oaks Library, while 2,600 Thousand Oaks residents have used the Ventura County Library.
In 1998 when Ventura County agreed to pay Thousand Oaks for unincorporated residents to use Thousand Oaks libraries, the Ventura County Library was unable to provide adequate library service in those areas. In recent years, Ventura County has built a new community library in Oak Park and the new Camarillo Library has opened. In addition, the Ventura County Library offers many online services that all residents of Ventura County (including residents of the City of Thousand Oaks) can access online for free including e-books, homework help and 47 databases.
“We appreciate the service that the City of Thousand Oaks offered unincorporated residents when there were no other libraries in the area” said Director Griffin, “but times have changed and we’re all on a level playing field with library service wide-spread throughout the county. It would be great if Thousand Oaks would join the rest of the libraries in Ventura County in providing free library services to all residents.”