murphymicgoldappeleteSPRINGFIELD – Children living in unincorporated areas will no longer have to pay large non-resident fees to access resources in libraries outside of their district, thanks to a law led by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“It is long past time to increase access to library materials for our children who need to succeed and learn by reading,” Murphy said. “This law will ensure all children—regardless of where they live—will be able to gain knowledge through their local libraries.”

Currently, children who want to access resources from a library outside of their district must pay a non-resident fee. These fees are determined by each library’s board of trustees, and typically are at least equal to the cost paid by the residents of the district. However, the fees are often far too expensive for children who want to access resources, like reading materials or computers, during their school breaks. Murphy aims to address these disparities by waiving non-resident library fees for kids who want to expand their horizons through reading.

Murphy is a longtime supporter of increasing accessibility to library resources. In 2020, she advocated for a group of high school students living in unincorporated Des Plaines who could not check out reading materials from their local libraries without paying hundreds of dollars in non-resident fees. To address this issue, she supported a bill that extended library access to children residing outside of the municipality where their local library is located, which passed the Senate unanimously.

“Reading from an early age is proven to make children more successful in the future,” Murphy said. “This law will give more children access to library books—giving all kids opportunities to the tools that will help create a better future.”

SB 3497 was signed into law May 13, 2022. It goes into effect immediately.