Re: Holds Policy Update

We understand that many people have questions about the upcoming changes implemented by the Lakeland Library Cooperative (LLC).  We hope the following helps to address some of your concerns:

Q: Do these changes mean that I can’t use KDL branches any more if I’m not a KDL resident?
A: You are welcome to visit and borrow materials from KDL branches.  The changes only apply to placing holds through the catalog. 

Q: Why can’t I purchase a non-resident card if I don’t live in the KDL service area?
A: KDL does not contract with individuals for library services by providing non-resident cards for many reasons including administrative overhead costs and the impact on library resources.  Kent District Library provides service for 26 local municipalities in Kent County through a district-wide tax millage.

Q: How will these changes save money?
A: The primary goal of these changes is to reduce the number of items that have to be transported between libraries through the Lakeland Library Cooperative delivery system.  By placing limits on high-demand items such as new books and AV materials, the Cooperative hopes to reduce delivery volume and save money on transportation and sorting costs. The need to reduce these costs comes primarily in response to drastic budget cuts at the state level.

Q: How does this affect me as a KDL (or non-KDL) resident in terms of placing holds?
A: Please refer to this guide to determine how this policy will affect you.

While we would like to support library users outside of our service area, our primary responsibility is to the Kent District Library patrons who support KDL through their taxes.  Like all libraries throughout the state, Kent District Library is facing budget challenges as revenue declines due to falling tax values.  We understand that these changes will make the library less convenient to use for some people.  We encourage all library supporters to communicate with elected officials to encourage continued library funding.

Thank you,

Martha Esch
Library Director, Kent District Library

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41 Responses to “Re: Holds Policy Update”

  1. Jed Says:

    Is there an exception for A/V materials not owned by KDL? Or will I just need to order those the MelCat now?

    I’ve often thought that I wasn’t in such a rush for a reserved book that you needed to ship it from Muskegon or wherever — glad you implemented this. I for one am willing to wait slightly longer to help save the system $$.

  2. Kathy (KDL) Says:

    Unfortunately, AV items are not able to be interloaned via the MeL system.

  3. Jamie Says:

    As a Reynolds Twp LLC card holder, can I place holds on DVDS that are LLC owned (non KDL) or am I not allowed to place holds on any movies?

  4. Steve Says:

    I read earlier that you can change your “home” library branch if another is more convenient for you. I live in Ottawa Co. but the Walker KDL is the one I use, can I change my “home” branch if I live in a different county?

  5. Sarah Says:

    I am tired of hearing that a GRPL patron can visit a KDL branch and check out items, but cannot put anything on hold to be delivered to a specific branch. The majority of the books that I want to read are not located at the KDL branch that I visit (East GR). So what good does this do me? I find it disturbing that people have not thought about this. I put more books on hold than I take them off the shelf.

    KDL, GRPL and LLC need to think about this: if the original point of the cooperative was to spare the cost of purchasing new materials for every branch or system, are you really going to save money now? There are plenty of books and other materials that only GRPL has, or only KDL, or only LLC. What are we, as patrons, to do now when we want to read something that only one branch has, and it’s miles away?

  6. Jerilyn Bell Says:

    I would like to know who determines where the lines are drawn when it comes to which library system you belong to? I am only 4 miles from Sand Lake KDL but am considered in the Cedar Springs library system which is 7 1/2 miles from my house and is not part of the KDL system. How does that make sense? From the posts I have read here there are other people in a similar situation. How do we change this?

  7. Kathy (KDL) Says:

    Jamie- You will only be able to place holds on DVDs that belong to your home library.

    Steve- Only KDL residents can use the KDL branches as their ‘home library’.

    If anyone hasn’t yet, I would also recommend reading over the ‘guide’ that is linked in the above post. It is laid out according to your residence and how this change will affect you.

    I hope this helps to answer your questions!

  8. Jane Says:

    The lines are drawn according to what city/village/township you live in and pay taxes to support. You may live close to the boundary but it’s like the line between Michigan and Ohio — if you live on the Michigan side of the line that is where your taxes go, even if Ohio is just across the street.

  9. Jan Says:

    If we live in GR, we also live in Kent County. Can we get a KDL card? We do pay country taxes. We use the EGR branch since it is the closest to our home, but usually have to order books that we want as they are not on the shelf.

  10. Tara Lovejoy Says:

    Why does the change for KDL members just affect AV material? Most of my holds are for books on CD that are not at my branch so being allowed to only place holds on books really makes it hard for people like me. The book on CD I have right now is from the Dalton Branch, so in July I am supposed to travel all the way to Twin Lake if I want a book on CD from there again?
    I think books on tape should not be included in the change since they are still books. Items like movies and music should be the only things affected.

  11. Val Says:

    I am in a similar situation as Jan. I also live in Grand Rapids, but always go to the KDL East Grand Rapids branch over a GRPL branch since it is closer to my home. I am a bit confussed how as a Kent County resident I can not have full access to a Kent county District Library. Why do my taxes not give me equal access?

  12. Diane C @KDL Says:

    Jan and Val–
    While you do live in Kent County, if you live in the City of Grand Rapids, you do not pay for the Kent District Library as we are not a county department. The Kent District Library broke away from the County of Kent in 1995 and we assess a separate tax to residents of 26 governmental units, EXCLUDING the City of Grand Rapids, Cedar Springs, Sparta and Solon township who have chosen to fund their own library. The best way to know if you are a KDL taxpayer/resident is to look at your property tax bills for a separate tax titled “Kent District Library”.

  13. Stacy Says:

    KDL is not actually the Kent County District Library, but the Kent District Library. It hasn’t been part of the Kent County government since 1994.

  14. Steve Says:

    So even though I’ve been a patron of the Walker KDL my entire life as of July I can no longer send the items that I put on hold to that branch.

    Some how I think that all of the branches with the co-op are going to lose more money than they are going to save based on the fact that they will now have to order many more unique items and they’re going to lose a good number of patrons if this goes through.

  15. Jill Says:

    I too am technically in Grand Rapids, but am close to the Walker branch. I am very unhappy with this change, especially since GRPL frequently does not even have some of the books I am looking for in their system. My question is what happens to some of the new releases that I have already requested a hold for. Will that hold still be honored even though the release date is after June 28th? It is really unfortunate that in such tough economic times, the libraries would limit access to their materials. Also, very unfortunate that people can’t choose their library system based on which location is the most convenient for them. I would gladly trade my GRPL card in for a KDL card.

  16. Chris Says:

    This is sad…I would rather give my money to my local library system via a non-resident card with privileges. Instead I will have to use Netflix for movies and Booksfree for audiobooks. That’s over $40 a month, $480 a year, that could go toward “overhead” costs mentioned above. I would much rather patronize my local library, but we home school and this truly hurts our available resources.

  17. Very disappointed Says:

    It’s clearly understood that your first and foremost obligation is to your KDL patrons and that the June 28 cuts will insure they continue to receive services. That’s exactly how it should be. However, it is not understood why some consideration cannot be extended to non-KDL cardholders if they are willing to provide monetary compensation in the form of an annual fee.

    When you issued the first Holds Policy Update notice, a number of the people responding to the blog indicated support for the annual fee (or buy a card) concept. On this current blog, the concept is again being discussed. As KDL has lost funding and we non-KDL cardholders don’t pay taxes, many of us are willing to contribute for KDL privileges. With this second Holds Policy Update notice, you totally ignore any reference to that ongoing discussion. If the idea has been investigated and cannot be done, please explain so that we understand. Otherwise, it certainly seems an idea worthy of consideration and as one blogger simply described it, a potential win/win situation. Please address.

  18. TBo Says:

    Yes, my home library is KDL Cascade and it is horrendous. I only recieve books through the holdshelf. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I actually found a book I wanted to read that was on shelf at said library. It just seems like the library branches are getting lazier and lazier-first they limit the number of holds you can get, then you have to return to the same library you got it from, now their limiting what you can hold and assigning home branches, soon there will be no holds for patrons, then your library card will only work at your home branch with the way things are going. Thanks for using the millages wisely and our tax dollars.

  19. Jason Says:

    Yeah, I don’t understand why they can’t issue non-resident cards. I do understand why the changes are being made though. As a KDL resident, this actually benefits me because KDL has most of the items I want and now they won’t be lending them out to other libraries. Remember, it’s KDL resident that PAY for the items that KDL sends to all the other libraries. I think KDL residents should get first dibs. As much as I empathize with non-KDL residents, if library service is so important to them then they should consider moving to a KDL service area. That’s the harsh reality. Sorry if I’m being too blunt but you’ve got to look at the business side of the situation. I wish more of these bureaucratic institutions would do the same.

  20. non_resident Says:

    As a non-KDL resident, I too am disappointed but Jason makes a valid point. Everyone should stop complaining. I’ve lived in areas where library service isn’t anywhere near what it is here and you don’t know how good you’ve got it. Move down to the rural south and you’ll find out. I just want to thank my local libraries and librarians. If you value library service then just let your government know!!

  21. Rachel (KDL) Says:

    Jill, the new policy begins on June 28 and all holds placed prior to that date will not be affected.

  22. Pam Says:

    When you refer to AV materials, does this include all books on tape/CD/MP3 player? Very often KDL does not carry the books I order. Also, how does one determine their home area? I am 1/2 mile from one branch (walking distance), but it is located in another township. This is where I have renewed my card. I do use the other branch in my township, but it is not on the way to anywhere.

  23. Steve Says:

    I may live in Ottawa Co., but I work in the city of Walker. I pay taxes that go to funding of the Northeast Ottawa Branch of the KDL as well as as taxes to the city of Walker which as far as I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong here) a portion of said taxes go towards the funding of the Walker KDL.
    So why shouldn’t I be allowed to browse and use books that are part of the KDL when I pay taxes as for them as well. Just because I don’t live in Walker doesn’t mean that I don’t pay for the materials used there and in other branches.

  24. Robert_H Says:

    “Q: Do these changes mean that I can’t use KDL branches any more if I’m not a KDL resident?
    A: You are welcome to visit and borrow materials from KDL branches. The changes only apply to placing holds through the catalog.”

    –So, as a GRPL cardholder, I can continue to jack up KDL’s transportation costs, as long as I stop into a branch to place a hold? Or are you saying that I can only check out a book onsite to the branch and I’ll have to drive all over the KDL district to find a book? That’s environmentally sound!

    “Q: Why can’t I purchase a non-resident card if I don’t live in the KDL service area?
    A: KDL does not contract with individuals for library services by providing non-resident cards for many reasons including administrative overhead costs and the impact on library resources…

    –Why can’t the people who are administering the current/resident cards manage the non-resident/paid card program? I can’t think of too many businesses that turn down money. They find a way to meet the demand for services.

    Or charge a nominal fee for GRPLs, etc, to place a hold. You can collect late fees from us now, seems like a hold fee couldn’t be that hard to tack on. Just have the card lock-up and refuse any more holds when the balance hits a designated amount.

  25. Diane C @ KDL Says:

    Steve —

    Since you live and pay taxes to the Northeast Ottawa District Library, that is your home libray and that is the library you support. KDL does not have any branches outside Kent County. See

    Your Walker income taxes pay for Walker city services, not the Kent District Library. Libraries in Michigan are funded through property taxes.

    You may continue to walk into the Walker Branch and check out materials; your holds will now be delivered to your home library in Coopersville.

    You may place holds on GRPL items from your home GRPL branch. Per the guide cited in Q4 above, you will no longer be able to place holds on KDL or other Lakeland Library items for delivery to Grand Rapids as our catalogs are not compatible.

  26. Diane C @ KDL Says:

    Audio visual items are all of the items you list plus DVDs, VHS, story bags…essentially anything that is non print.

    If you are a KDL card holder and want to suggest something for us to purchase for you to listen to, we welcome your suggestions at

    Also, if you haven’t already done so, check out the downloadable books at
    The Plainfield and Cascade branches even have specialized download stations for your use.

    The easiest way to determine your home library is: in what city/township do you vote? That is where you pay your property taxes and therefore where your home library is. That said, if you are a KDL card holder and primarily use another branch different from your “home” library, talk with your branch staff.

  27. C Says:

    I am wondering this after reading the guide to the changes: why are KDL patrons still able to place GRPL holds through Evergreen and pick them up at GRPL locations, but GRPL patrons cannot place KDL holds anymore?

  28. Tammy Says:

    I only have time to read with my ears and not my eyes anymore so the vast majority of holds I place are for books on tape and books on CD. The policy change will put a crimp in my reading habits but having a library system that’s financially broke will put an even bigger crimp in my reading habits. Sign me up as willing to pay an LLC user fee should that ever become an option. Meanwhile, do non-print items also include ebooks and audio ebooks?

  29. K. Says:

    Steve- Through these policy changes, the catalog that KDL and LLC libraries use (Millenium) will require a hold to be sent to a ‘home library’. Since your home library is set to where you pay your property taxes and since GRPL is on a different catalog system (Evergreen), GRPL patrons do not have a home library in Millenium and will not be able to place holds through that catalog.

    On the flipside, Evergreen does not require patrons to have ‘home library’, so KDL and LLC patrons outside GRPL can still request holds through Evergreen, but they have to be picked up at a GRPL library.

    I hope that helps to clarify a bit! You will still able to go into a KDL library and check out books. This change just affects holds.

  30. Steve Says:

    First off let me say thank you for correcting on the tax issue, I wasn’t aware that only property taxes went to support the library in Walker.

    Next, how does it save the LLC and KDL any money by shippng my hold into Coopersville instead of Walker. I can’t say this for 100% of my holds (and obviously I can’t speak for others here), but the majority of the items that I put on hold come from the Plainfield and Comstock Park branches. A basic sense of geography is the only thing needed to realize that it would cost more money for fuel to ship to Coopersville instead of to Walker since Coopersville is a much more remote location.

    So basically you’re going to make me waste more money by driving to the Coopersville branch which is actually further away from me than the Walker branch, and you’ll be wasting more money by shipping items to a more remote location than they otherwise would have been shipped to. Doesn’t seem very financially sound to me.

  31. another reader Says:

    Steve, I think it saves money because they will no longer be shipping GRPL requested items all over the place. Many of the holds for AV items are from GRPL patrons, so KDL is forking over the money to pay for transportation costs to a patron that doesn’t pay any property taxes to help support THAT KDL library. This new policy seems justified to me, or do you want the libraries to start closing in order to meet the budget cuts instituted by the states? Would that be a better solution?

  32. Jessica Says:

    This is a no win situation for many library users. I live in a city with a very small library and a small budget for buying new books. Unfortunately since I have a non-KDL library this will make it harder for me to read many of the books I’ve enjoyed. Most of the books my kids want to read won’t be found at my “home” library. Out of 6 books I put on hold today only 1 of them will have a copy at my “home” library. Granted the changes don’t take effect yet but little libraries don’t have a budget to spend on all the books to keep up with the KDL’s of the system. I see that everyone wants to save money but with so many people utilizing the libraries this may have the wrong outcome. Many of us aren’t willing to drive to other libraries that are far from home because we are trying to save money too. It’s too bad that other solutions haven’t been looked at. I won’t be using the library system much anymore. It was great while I could use it.

    People are willing to pay a fee to continue this service —– why won’t anyone listen??????

  33. annoyed Says:

    If you live in a community outside of KDL, your tax dollars go to fund your local library. The employees at your local library are paid with your tax dollars. Not KDL employees. KDL employees are paid with the tax dollars of KDL residents. They should not be doing the work of residents who don’t pay their wages. It’s that simple. If you live close to a KDL location but don’t pay taxes to KDL you should be thankful that you will still be able to walk in and use their services. Maybe someday soon even that privilege will go away.

  34. jvanderploeg (KDL) Says:


    Unless you are a Grand Rapids Library card holder, you will still be able request materials through the Lakenet catalog and pick them up at your home library. In fact, the only items that will be restricted are new books and AV materials. New books and AV materials can only be placed on hold if your library owns the title.

  35. Nancy Says:

    Concerning a non-resident card: charging a fee for people to use a library is completely against the ideals and practices of our democratic society. Public libraries, like schools, are provided through taxes by all, so that all may use them, regardless of their ability to pay. If your local government is not providing adequate library services, you should speak to them about it loudly. Freedom to read, listen and learn is one of our most important and cherished privileges.

  36. Starr Says:

    I’m a Tallmadge resident, so I’m really out of luck. We pay taxes to no library, so we’re stuck, which is heartbreaking.
    The way I read this information, it seems like everone is mad at KDL, when it was the Lakeland Coop who had to institue the cutbacks. We should maybe vent at them, but money is so tight that they did what they had to. Like Granny said, library use is a priviledge, not a right.

  37. Ned Says:

    I understand the budget crunch and the need to save money. But the two catalog systems work together now, so evidently the separate systems are not the problem.

    KDL has decided to save money by restricting delivery of AV and new books to KDL members and by restricting holds on all materials by GRPL or other non-KDL members. Meanwhile GRPL will allow KDL members to place items on hold and pick them up at a designated GRPL branch.

    Items will continue to be delivered among KDL branches every day. So why not let GRPL and other non-KDL members designate a KDL branch where they can pick up a KDL book (more than 6 months old)? The volume of items on the move would be larger, but the number of trips would be approxmately the same. Why discriminate against the patrons of the largest system in the area, whose resources expand the offerings of KDL?

  38. PageTurner Says:

    The bottom line of these policy changes is twofold: property taxes (by which libraries are locally funded) have decreased and state funding to local libraries was cut by 40%. 40%!! The Lakeland Library Cooperative is trying to cut costs in order to deal with these major decreases in funding- reducing current delivery costs makes the most sense. KDL, GRPL, and other libraries are also individually trying to cut costs. From where would you have them cut the spending? Staffing has already been reduced to the bare essentials, and many patrons aren’t too happy to have to wait in line for five to ten minutes to talk with a librarian or worker. Library hours have been reduced in the past and may well be the next step. You can still place printed items on hold to be picked up at your home library. Collection purchases have NOT been reduced: the desired materials are still on the shelves and you can still walk in and check out other items (non-print) from those libraries. You may just have to inconvenience yourself a bit to get them if you really want them. Plan your road trips with a little more foresight. Carpool. In these economic times, the libraries can not cater to the whims and circumstances of every individual. For every person that speaks out against the policy change, there are many who will accept the changes for what they are: necessary. This isn’t “punishment” being inflicted on anyone; everyone is still welcome to come in to the branches and borrow the materials. The current policy change only affects *placing holds* on items. Individual libraries have to be responsible first to those people who are financially responsible for their support. Anyone outside those boundaries is truly privileged to be able to use a library for which he is not paying. As for paying a user’s fee, it was approximately $120/year five years ago and was used by a very small number of people. To adjust it for these current times and for the increased number of people who say they would pay, would make the cost soar (due to overhead and administrative costs) and be prohibitive for most families.
    The answer is twofold: vote yes on the next millage for your own library, and contact your state representatives regarding library funding.

  39. Hannah Says:

    So if I live inside the KDL “service area”, can I still have holds delivered to whatever branch of KDL I want?

  40. Morgan (KDL) Says:

    Hannah – yes, if you have a KDL card you can change your pickup location. Stop at a reference desk with your library card and ask to have it switched.

  41. James L Wieland Says:

    Cut backs seem to be what it is all about and who can be against saving money.
    However, even though I live in GR, I donate every year to KDL in both time and money. I used to also give to the GR Library system until they chose to be non-compatable with KDL. Then I gave the entire amount to KDL. I also have been a long term member of The Friends of East Grand Rapids Library, and I sort for them regularly. I also volunteer for their sales. I received a very nice thank you letter from KDL this year too for our donation. I also donate books and other media to help the KDL libraries.
    It sounds like I can not even set a hold at a branch and then go and pick it up at that branch even though this would not cost KDL anything. This means you expect me to drive to a branch where the item I want is supposed to be available, but you will not put a hold on it. I can see that often these so called “on shelf items” really are not on the shelf. So, I stand in line and take up an employees time to try and find it. If it is not available, my time and money and your employee’s time and your money has been wasted and another supporter of the KDL libraries is not happy and frustrated. This just does not make sense.
    By the way I always vote for library millages because libraries are one of the most important community resources we have.