Kewaunee County's library bill from Brown County

KEWAUNEE, Wis. (WFRV) - Kewaunee County is asking its residents to use local libraries whenever possible. That's because if they check out a book from the bordering counties of Brown and Manitowoc, it comes with a bill that Kewaunee County must pay. 

It all boils down to the fact that Brown County runs a consolidated public library system - meaning it's managed and finance by the county and Kewaunee County does not.

And under a state law, consolidated public library systems like Brown County, can bill adjoining counties that are non-consolidated, like Kewaunee County, whenever residents check out materials from their libraries. 

That law is Act 420 and was passed in 2006. Since that time Kewaunee County has been billed over $300,000 for materials county residents checked out of the Brown County library system. The most recent bill is for $53,000.

But the Kewaunee County administrator says those bills could be eliminated if Kewaunee County residents simply used the two-public libraries located in the cities of Kewaunee and Algoma, while also using their online services to order whatever else they need.   

“That's a book, that's a c-d, that's a movie, any type of items that you would regularly check out of a library,” said Feldt. “They can order them from the library and they can come from those out of county libraries -  but it doesn't cost Kewaunee County a dime.”

To try and change people’s habits, the County Library Services Board has launched a “Read Local” marketing campaign to bring awareness to the high cost of out-of-county library usage.

Manitowoc County also sent Kewaunee County a bill for $1,000.


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