WOODSTOCK – A resident of PADS transitional living home has inspired the Woodstock Public Library to drop a longstanding rule that banned those staying at the home from checking out books.
Residents of transitional living facilities in either Woodstock or the rural Woodstock library district now can get a library card that provides a similar use to the card that rural residents receive.
For about 10 years, the library hadn’t issued cards to those with the PADS address of 14411 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock. Library Director Nick Weber said the rule was enacted about 10 years ago after several incidents where PADS residents checked out materials, then left the PADS home without returning the items to the library.
“It does give them the ability to check out the materials, but doesn’t give them the same full benefits that a city resident would get, but city residents are supporting the city with their property taxes,” Weber said. “I think it’s a good compromise for everybody.”
The individuals will be able to check out up to three items at a time and download books on electronic devices. They’ll also have continued access to the computers.
The card won’t allow members access to materials from other libraries, and they won’t be able to use their library cards elsewhere – a privilege city members enjoy and rural members can pay for.
The card will expire every six months but is renewable. Individuals can stay at the PADS transitional living home for up to two years.
The library board unanimously approved the policy changes Thursday night, Weber said.
The issue had come into the spotlight last month when Brien Cron, a homeless man currently living at PADS transitional living home, spoke out about being denied a library card.
Cron, 41, who works at Brown Printing Co. in Woodstock, had said the experience made him feel like a “second-rate citizen.”
Upon hearing Friday that his words had brought forth a change, he was in high spirits.
“That’s just awesome news,” said Cron, who likes to read books on computer coding, among other topics. “I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of new signups at the local library.”
Weber, who started with the library in January, said he was happy the issue had been brought to his attention, and that a compromise could be reached.
Cron was complimentary of how the library handled the situation.
“I’m really happy that they passed it, and they understand,” he said. “Kudos to the library for doing the right thing.”