Local public libraries in New York State are supported, in large part, by property taxes paid by library district residents. Residents who live in library districts that are taxed, and that therefore financially support their local public libraries, are given “direct access” privileges within their library system. “Direct access” means that a library card holder can take his or her local library card to check out materials at any public library within Ramapo Catskill Library system, which covers Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, and part of southwestern Ulster Counties.

Due to funding issues surrounding the use of Highland Falls Library by West Point residents, the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), authorized the restriction of direct access privileges for West Point residents. This means that West Point residents are no longer eligible for library cards with direct access privileges. Both Highland Falls Library and Cornwall Public Library have chosen, however, to allow West Point residents to be issued “local access” library cards. Local access library cards allow their holders most of the borrowing privileges of direct access library cards. Local access library cards, however, cannot be used at libraries other than the issuing library.

What does this mean for me?

As a resident of West Point, you are welcome to apply for a local access library card at either the Highland Falls Library or the Cornwall Public Library. Since individuals residing within the Ramapo Catskill Library System are only allowed one library card from one RCLS member library, you would have to choose which library you would like to use. Your choice can be based on any number of things – proximity to your home or work, your use of the library’s collection, programs available at the library, etc. The library of your choice becomes your “home library.” No matter which library you choose, you can still place holds on books and other materials belonging to other libraries – you simply need to choose your chosen home library as your “pickup location” and pick up your holds at your home library.

Can I change my mind?
Yes – if you find that you would rather use the library other than the one you initially chose, you would simply give up your current library card and apply for a new library card from the new library. If you are choosing Cornwall Public Library, please remember to bring a photo ID and one other form of ID with your current street address with you to apply for your new card.

Can my children attend your library programs?

Cornwall Public Library offers many programs for both children and adults that are open to all, regardless of where you get your library card. Some of our programs are limited to Cornwall cardholders only, and some of our story times offer registration first for Cornwall cardholders, and then for others. If your library card is from Cornwall, you are welcome to register for those programs limited to Cornwall cardholders, including the Summer Reading Program. If your library card is not from Cornwall, you are more than welcome to register for programs open to all and to register for story times once registration is open to all. You will want to check ahead with other libraries about attending their programs.

Can I use the computers or the wi-fi at Cornwall Public Library?

The library’s wi-fi is open to all. The library’s computers are available to anyone with a valid RCLS member library card, including a local access card, that is free of fines.

Can I interloan library materials with a local access card?

Yes, if you have a local access card from Cornwall, simply specify Cornwall Public Library as your pickup location and pickup your holds from Cornwall when they arrive. If your card is from Highland Falls, you would need to pick up your holds from Highland Falls. If you would like to request a book from a library outside of the RCLS library system, you would need to place that request through the library you have chosen as your home library.