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What is 'open access' at a public library in Iowa? Open access is a program funded by the Iowa Legislature and administered by the State Library of Iowa.
In essence, open access pays Iowa libraries to serve eligible Iowa residents from outside their local jurisdiction. So, if you are wanting to get a library card from a library that your town doesn't pay to contract with, you are eligible for 'open access' status at participating libraries. The purpose of this program is to offer Iowa residents access to libraries all over the state, so Iowans have the convenience of using a library where they work, go to school, shop or visit.
When you have this patron status at a library you are eligible to check out physical items from the library such as print books off the shelves. Items an Open Access patron are ineligible to check out are downloadable audio, video, e-books, databases, and equipment (laptops, tablets, wireless hot spots). If a person would like to have access to Bridges e-books and audiobooks, the patron would need to use their library card from the town in which they live or that they contract with. Rural members of a community would go to the library in their county that they pay taxes to. Open Access is a great program that promotes literacy where it's most convenient for you to check out books!