New Passport Program Extends Library Access Statewide

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sponsored by: Cooperative Library Services Department, Administration Division

Washington County, Oregon: Beginning this month, the new Oregon Library Passport Program will permit Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) cardholders to register and use other participating libraries across the state. Eva Calcagno, Director of WCCLS chairs the Oregon Library Association Resource Sharing Committee that developed the Passport Program. Calcagno is excited to include WCCLS as a charter member of the program to expand our patrons’ access to materials beyond our county borders. Libraries across Oregon are signing up to participate in the voluntary Passport Program.

According to Calcagno, "the Oregon Library Passport Program recognizes that library service ought to mirror the way Oregonians live, work, shop, and play, and reduce barriers to library service. The underlying premise of the Passport Program is that cardholders of legally-established libraries ought to be able to use other legally established libraries and vice versa."

The key to the Passport Program is that you first need a library card from your "home" library. Here's how it works for Washington County residents: take your WCCLS library card to another Passport participating library, for example Astoria Public Library. You can then register for that library’s card without the customary out of area card fees, and check out library materials. Your home library card essentially becomes your "passport" or ticket to registering for library cards at other participating libraries throughout Oregon. You will continue to be responsible for managing your own checkouts, complying with the Passport member library’s local policies regarding due dates, late fees, and material limits, and you must return materials directly to the library you borrow from; there is no library-to-library return delivery mechanism with this program. Likewise, Astoria Library patrons can use their cards as passports to Washington County libraries, and so on for the other Passport participating libraries.

This program benefits anyone who lives, works or vacations in multiple places throughout the state and would like the ease of borrowing and returning items to and from the most convenient library. People who are conducting research will also be able to use the Passport Program to tap into the vast resources of academic libraries, including the Oregon State University libraries, Oregon Health Sciences University and several community colleges.

Passport Program details can be found at including a list of participating libraries. The list continues to grow from the 58 libraries that were signed up to launch the program. Additional libraries will continue to join throughout 2013.

The new Oregon Library Passport Program adds to the interlibrary cooperative efforts WCCLS has championed for decades. In the Portland metro area WCCLS has been part of the well-established Metropolitan Interlibrary eXchange (MIX) agreement since the 1980s. This allows any resident of Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Hood River counties in Oregon or the Fort Vancouver Regional Library System and the City of Camas in southwest Washington to use any library in the metro region. Last year nearly 3 million items were checked out by MIX participants. The new statewide Passport Program builds upon the success of MIX by adding a variety of other public libraries and academic research libraries throughout the entire state.

The Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS), includes the: Banks Public Library, Beaverton City Library, Beaverton City Library @ Murray Scholls, Cedar Mill Community Library, Cedar Mill Community Library @ Bethany, Cornelius Public Library, Forest Grove City Library, Garden Home Community Library, Hillsboro Public Libraries (Main and Shute Park), North Plains Public Library, Sherwood Public Library, Tigard Public Library, Tualatin Public Library, and West Slope Community Library.


Media Contact:

Jodie Nielsen, Senior Program Educator