For the first time in Indiana and Kentucky, residents of Trimble County, Ky., and Jefferson County can legally borrow books and become patrons of each other's libraries.

"It had never been legal until now to borrow from other states," said Kristi Harms, library director for the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library.

After months of working with state officials, Harms and Trimble County Public Library director Kathy McKown persuaded the Indiana State Library, Indiana attorney general, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and other Kentucky state agencies to approve their request for an interstate borrowing agreement between the Ohio River communities.

The interstate borrowing agreement is the first of its kind in Indiana and Kentucky and took eight months to complete.

"It's a very nice agreement," Harms said.

"Jefferson County and Trimble County worked hard to get the interstate borrowing agreement," McKown said. "It was a great cooperative effort."

Even though the agreement allows the two communities to share resources locally, it does not allow patrons to check out books statewide.

Trimble County residents using the Madison-Jefferson County library will not be able to use the Evergreen System, which allows patrons to borrow library books from all Indiana libraries. Trimble County residents will only be able to use the books and resources at the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library.

Similarly, Jefferson County residents will only be able to use resources at the Trimble County Public Library. Kentucky libraries do not have a statewide interloan program to borrow books from their branches. However, McKown said that individual Kentucky libraries would have the option of granting Jefferson County residents privileges at their branches.

The cost for Trimble County residents to patronize the Madison library is $35, Harms said, because Kentucky residents do not pay property taxes in Jefferson County. The Madison-Jefferson County Public Library derives almost all of its income from property taxes. The nonresident cards will be valid for one year.

To obtain a nonresident card in Indiana, Trimble County residents will need to take a valid picture ID with the current address, a current Trimble County Public Library card and the $35 card fee, which can be paid by cash, check, debit card or credit card.

Trimble County does not impose fees on its library patrons, so Jefferson County residents can obtain a library card free, McKown said. To obtain a nonresident card in Trimble County, Jefferson County residents will need to take proof of address, McKown said.

"We're very, very excited," McKown said.

For more information on this agreement, contact the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library at (812) 265-2744 or by e-mail at or the Trimble County Public Library at (502) 255-7362. To learn about coming events or programs at the two libraries, go to or