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Borrower Policy

 Posted by Amanda Roberts on December 17, 2013
Dec 172013

Important message to our library patrons and taxpayers:

NOPL has been in the news lately.  A new Onondaga County Public Library System Borrower Policy, implemented here in September, was scheduled for implementation in all county public libraries on January 2nd.  The county executive is trying to stop the implementation of the policy that requires residents outside of the county, who do not provide tax support for any Onondaga County library, through their school, library, or municipal taxes, to pay a modest fee of $35.

NOPL libraries are heavily used by our neighbors in Oswego County, where libraries have been de-funded or closed.  We welcome them; many have been NOPL patrons for years.  At the same time we think it’s fair to ask them to support the libraries they use.  Here are some facts:

  • 97% of our funding comes from taxpayers in our library district, which includes the Town of Cicero and the Town of Clay, except for those areas that are in the Baldwinsville or Liverpool School District.  Suburban libraries are assessed an annual fee from the Onondaga County Public Library that supports shared services like delivery and our Integrated Library System.
  • We currently check out approximately 120,000 items each year to Oswego County borrowers. This adds to our costs for staff, materials, processing, and building maintenance.
  • 63% of the usage of the Brewerton Library is by residents of Oswego County.  This fact endangers the future of a wonderful community library.
  • It isn’t all about books – NOPL has strong collections of films, music cd’s, and computer software that are attracting new borrowers.
  • As we add digital content – eBooks, audiobooks, music, TV shows and movies – the problem becomes even more apparent.  Library cardholders can borrow from home, and can be located anywhere. These new resources are expensive.

Libraries aren’t free – Information is free, and NOPL libraries are available to help anyone who walks in the door, whether or not they have a library card.  Our libraries are pleasant places where anyone can read a book or a magazine or a newspaper.  We provide free computers and wireless Internet access, story times, programs of all kinds for children, teens and adults.

A modest fee – and you can check our “What’s Your Library Worth to You” calculator on our website to see just how much value there is in our services – is fair to NOPL and county taxpayers, and will help our libraries to thrive in the future.

If you think that the proposed library fee is fair to taxpayers of the NOPL Special Library District and Onondaga County, please don’t delay – contact:

County Executive Joanne Mahoney
Office of the County Executive
John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 14th Floor
Syracuse, New York 13202
Telephone 315-435-3516
Fax 315-435-8582

OCPL Board President Virginia Biesiada
Galleries of Syracuse Central Library Level
443 S. Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

If you have questions, please contact NOPL administration at 699-2534.

Questions and Answers about the New Library Card Policy (NOPL)

Q: Can members of a family share a library card?
A: Family members may choose to share a card, but cards are issued to individuals only, and the cardholder is responsible for all items checked out on the card. Some OCPL libraries may restrict a card’s use to the individual to whom it is registered.

Q: How does the fee-based card work?

A: The card expires after 12 months. It can be used at the library of registration, as well as the Central Library, city branches, and suburban libraries, and can be used remotely to place holds, use databases and download eBooks, Audiobooks, and music. (Digital resources and access to them varies by library and may be restricted to cardholders at the purchasing library.)

Q: Are there any conditions for waiving the fee?

A: Upon presentation of qualifying credentials, individuals who reside in Out-of-System areas may be
eligible to have the fee waived:
• An individual enrolled in any school, college, or university that is physically located in Onondaga County and provides verification in the form of a tuition bill, current and valid student ID, or letter of enrollment will have the fee waived for one year.
• An individual who owns property in Onondaga County and provides an Onondaga County tax bill dated within the last twelve months will have the fee waived, and the expiration date extended to three years.

Q: Can I still use the library if I don’t pay the membership fee?

A: Yes. Many services remain free to visitors and residents of neighboring counties. Visit the library to read books, magazines and newspapers, use a computer, or access the Internet wirelessly on your laptop or mobile device. You can ask a librarian for information in person, by text, email, or 24/7 chat reference. You can attend library programs and events for children, teens and adults.

Q: I received a letter about the fee, but my neighbor did not – why is that?

A: You received the letter if your registered library is NOPL at Brewerton, Cicero or North Syracuse. If you registered for your library card at another library in the county system (Liverpool or the Central Library, for example) you will receive a notice from that library when they implement the fee.

Q: Does it matter where my card is registered?

A: Yes. Your library card fee will go to your registered library, and you may want those dollars to purchase materials for the library you use most often. Also, your access to some library collections (downloadable audiobooks, music, and eBooks) may be determined by registered library.

Q: How do I find out where my card is registered?

A: Call, or stop in at any county library to inquire, or login to and click on “my account”. Type in your card number and PIN, and you’ll see “my library” entered when you click on “my record”.

Q: Can I pay the fee with a credit card?

A: Yes, you can pay the fee online from home or on a public computer at the library using a major credit card or PayPal account. To pay in cash or by check, stop in at a NOPL library in Brewerton, Cicero or North Syracuse, beginning September 3rd.

Questions and Answers about Library Funding

Q. How are NOPL libraries funded?

A: NOPL is a Special District Library, which means that we go directly to our taxpayers for a budget vote each year.

  • 97% of NOPL’s funding comes from taxpayers who live in the Town of Cicero and the Town of Clay (except for residents of the Liverpool, Baldwinsville or Phoenix School Districts).
  • System services, including delivery among the 32 libraries in the county and our automated catalog and circulation systems are supported by funding that comes from Onondaga County tax revenues and New York State.
  • NOPL receives a small amount of funding directly from New York State (0.4%). The amount we receive is based on the population of our special library district.
  • If you live in Oswego County, state funding to support your library use is going to the North Country Library System.

Q: How much do NOPL residents pay to support their libraries?

A: Per capita (per person) annual support from NOPL taxpayers in 2012 is $39.21. Overall, in
Onondaga County, average per capita support for libraries is $53.19.

Q: I live in the Central Square School District. Don’t my taxes support the Brewerton or Cicero Library?

A: No. At one time the Central Square School District contributed a small amount to NOPL’s budget, but this support stopped in 2007.

Q: Do other libraries impose non-resident fees?

A: Yes. Many libraries throughout the country charge non-resident fees. Fees are also common in New York State: Saratoga Springs, Auburn, Geneva, the Four County Library System (Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego), and libraries in the Ramapo Catskill, Upper Hudson, and Nassau County library systems.

The Monroe County (Rochester) Library System charges a $45 annual fee and Buffalo-Erie County Library System charges $40 per year.


 Posted by Amanda Roberts on December 9, 2013
Dec 092013

Free Music MP3s from Freegal

FreegalLogoFreegal is a free service for all NOPL library patrons, available on any computer with an internet connection (and now on Apple and Android phones). Each week, with just your library card and pin number, you can pick three songs to own for free from the Sony Music catalog. They arrive as MP3s and you can add them to your music players or burn them to CDs.

Chances are if you like music, Freegal has music you’d want.  Songs are taken from the Sony Music catalog as well as hundreds of other labels.  Freegal has new popular songs and thousands of classic songs and albums, including nearly every song by Bob Dylan, Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis, A Tribe Called Quest, and Miles Davis (just to name a few).

You could download 150 free songs this year alone. Given that there are 3 million songs available, there’s no worry that you’d run out of free songs to buy and enjoy.

 Hoopla! Stream movies on your desktop, tablet, or phone.

hoopla-homepageHoopla lets you stream TV shows and films right to your desktop, tablet, or smartphone (android or apple), available to any NOPL patron.


CDs at the Library

Click here to search for music available at all NOPL and OCPL libraries.

NOPL Patron Reviews

 Posted by Amanda Roberts on September 13, 2013
Sep 132013

We’d like know what you’ve been reading!

Check out some of our favorite patron reviews on Pinterest!

NOPL Express

 Posted by Amanda Roberts on July 20, 2013
Jul 202013

NOPLexpress-showcaseCheck out our new NOPL Express collection!

  • New Bestsellers, Fiction and Non Fiction.
  • 7-day loan
  • One 7-day renewal
  • No holds
  • Books must be returned to any NOPL Library.

Here are the latest and upcoming Express books:

Jun 132013

AARP Tax Preparation

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 12 to 5pm
February 3rd – April 14th
NOPL @ N. Syracuse

Three times a week an AARP representative will help you prepare your 2012 tax forms this tax season. Sign up at the NOPL @ N. Syracuse information desk at or call 458-6184. (No program on Presidents Day.) Click to see all times in our calendar.

Forty Above: Workers in Transition

Fridays from 9:30am – 11:30am
NOPL @ N. Syracuse

40 Above is a networking group for unemployed professionals. Get job search advice, learn how to improve your resume, prep for job interviews and share contacts and resources with others seeking new career opportunities. New members welcome each week. Click to see all times.

Online databases

LearningExpress Library

An interactive online practice for academic and licensing tests including civil service, ACT, ASVAB, GED, SAT and more. It also contains dozens of career related eBooks and software tutorials.

Job & Career Accelerator

Combines everything you need for a successful job search. Explore occupations, search national job postings, create resumes and cover letters, and improve your work skills with software tutorials.

In our catalog

Here are twenty recent personal finance, money, and invenstments books available at the NOPL Libraries: Money-Smart-Books-at-NOPL.pdf

Free financial literacy web resources

The U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.

Money Matters: Federal Trade Commission
Money Matters is a comprehensive personal finance website sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.) The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, created this website to help you tackle some money issues head-on. Educational categories include: Scam Watch, Credit Cards, Managing Your Money, Dealing with Debt, Your Home, and Jobs.

Money As You Grow
The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability has developed Money as You Grow, a website creatively highlighting the 20 essential lessons kids need to learn about money. It divides up the lessons per age group and includes a downloadable poster.

National Endowment for Financial Education
Smart About Money, or SAM, is one of the many resources of the National Endowment for Financial Education(NEFE). NEFE is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping you make sound financial decisions throughout life’s ups and downs. At SAM, you’ll find practical articles, worksheets, tips and valuable resources from across the Web to help you understand and manage your money.

WaysHome: Fannie Mae
WaysHome™ from Fannie Mae is an innovative new tool in mortgage education. If you are struggling with your mortgage payments or facing foreclosure, Fannie Mae has created; so you can find the information you need, and get help before it’s too late.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
360 degrees of financial literacy is a free program of the nation’s certified public accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life.

Library Farm Open House

 Posted by Amanda Roberts on June 4, 2013
Jun 042013

Library Farm Open HouseIt’s a perfect time to visit the LibraryFarm and see how we are growing and changing. The LibraryFarm will host informational programming, with plenty of hands-on fun for everyone. We will also have volunteers available for group or individual tours of the LibraryFarm.

Schedule of Events in our Community Room:
11:00 am “Sustainability: What’s the Big Deal?” Presented by GreeningUSA
12:00 pm “Attracting Butterflies to Your Yard” Presented by Janet Allen, Habitat Gardening of CNY
2:00 pm “ All about Organic Farms and Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)” Presented by Freedom Rains Farm

Informational stations, occurring throughout the day, will be located under the front portico:

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener’s “Ask a Gardener!” Station with soil testing available
  • GreeningUSA
  • Friends of the Cicero Public Library
  • [Located in garden] Growing strawberries/lettuces in a barrel with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners
  • An interactive presentation of the LibraryFarm’s Master Plan

Hands-on Stations are found outside on the library’s picnic tables and consist of:

  • Make a container scarecrow
  • Plant and Take a sunflower and pumpkin
  • Make a seed bomb
  • Make a wasp decoy
  • Help stuff the garden scarecrows

And so much more!

Light refreshments will be served throughout the day in our community room.
Some events happening outside will be moved indoors in the event of rain.