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Library lending dispute could affect residents in Brown, Outagamie counties

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APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A major library lending dispute is taking place between the Brown County and Outagamie Waupaca Library Systems.

On Thursday, officials with the Outagamie Waupaca Library System said they plan to stop allowing residents of Brown County to check out materials beginning January 1st.

That's unless the Brown County Library System rescinds a $33,000 bill. Brown County wants Outagamie County to pay for materials loaned to residents of Outagamie County this year.

Because of a change in state law in 2006, Brown County can bill Outagamie County for lending services, but not the other way around.

Outagamie County officials have asked Brown County to rescind the bill, but so far Brown County has denied that request.

In October, Outagamie County library officials voted to stop lending materials to the roughly 1,500 Brown County residents who have library cards for Outagamie County libraries.

Rick Krumwiede, the director of the Outagamie Waupaca County Library System, says the library systems send roughly 20,000 materials each year.

John Peterson with the Appleton Library Board of Trustees says it boils down to fairness.

"They want to charge Outagamie County for all the books that are checked out of their libraries by our residents and at the same time they want Outagamie County to provide the same service to Brown County residents for free and that's just not fair."

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