Trent Johnson shelves books at the CEU Library.
For ever since anyone can remember, the College of Eastern Utah Library has been open to the public like any public library is. People could get a library card at no cost and check out materials, use the the micro fiche machine, use computers, etc.
As of July 1, 2010 some of that will change.
"Basically forever this library has been an academic library," said Aimee Lauritsen, director of public services at the library during an interview on Wednesday morning. "We have been free to the public. Students had to pay fees during the school year and some of that went to supporting the library's services. However with recent budget woes and other changes, the public will now have to pay $25 a year to get a library card from us to check out materials."
While this is a change for the local college, all the other public colleges and universities, with the exception of one, in the state of Utah have been charging for public use for many years. Snow College still retains a policy of having local residents provide an ID and local address and they can check things out free. Other school charges range from $50 a year at the University of Utah to $15 a year at Weber State University.
However Lauritsen made a point that even if residents don't pay a fee, they can still use the library.
"Computer use, library research within the library and photocopy services will still be available," she said. "The fee applies for getting a card for checkout purposes only."
Carbon County does have some public library services available in Price, Helper and in Wellington at the Bookmobile Services Center. However the Price Library does charge $15 a year for a card if the applicant is a resident of another incorporated entity within the county. For non-incorporated area residents they only need to provide address and identification.
Over the years the CEU Library has had a great many public patrons, particularly in the areas of media, such as VHS and DVD movies. The collection available in that area was recently changed and some of that activity has declined.