Council approves changes to non-resident memberships at Round Rock Public Library

A new tiered membership system has been passed for the Round Rock Public Library (RRPL) that limits free access to certain library services for residents living outside of Round Rock’s city limits, while offering a paid option to those wanting the same access as residents. 

Round Rock City Council voted unanimously on first reading at the Thursday, April 25 meeting to move forward with the plans, which were passed on final vote at the May 9 meeting. This change is in effect immediately and will impact library card holders at the time of their renewal.

In 2015, RRPL eliminated non-resident fees, enabling any Texas resident aged 6 years and above to obtain a library card free of charge. This policy was aimed at simplifying library operations and enhancing accessibility. However, this change led to an increase in the library’s usage by non-residents, particularly following the opening of the new library building in January 2023. This uptick in usage from non-residents has coincided with escalating costs for resources, prompting a reassessment of the membership model. 

In 2019, Round Rock Public Library had 6,792 new card enrollments. In 2024, that number had climbed to 14,992.

Unsure if you’re an in-City resident? Use the City of Round Rock’s Address Checker. 

City of Round Rock residents will continue to be able to qualify for free membership with full benefits. This membership, considered “Tier 1,” will need to be renewed every two years. 

Non-residents, including residents of Municipal Utility Districts (MUD) with a Round Rock address, can still acquire free access to check out books, in-house computers, Texshare databases, adult programming, story times, and the Summer Reading program. Some of the services excluded from the free non-resident membership are downloadable audiovisual materials, access to specialized databases, placing holds, interlibrary loans, take-home technology, Discovery Passes, and room reservation services, among others. This free non-resident membership, known as “Tier 2,” must be renewed annually. 

Non-residents can maintain access to all Library resources by obtaining a premium non-resident paid membership, or “Tier 3,” which will cost $120 annually.

This tiered structure is intended to support the library’s commitment to resource quality for its residents while providing neighboring communities and visitors with flexible options. By segmenting memberships, the library can better manage resources and ensure that services remain sustainable and high-quality for all users. 

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