'I cant believe they wouldn't let me check out a book'

EUGENE, Ore. -- A trip to the library is usually considered budget friendly entertainment.

However, people living outside city limits must pay a $120 annual fee to check out books at the Eugene Public Library.

As an alternative to those yearly fees, the River Road/Santa Clara neighborhood created a volunteer library for its thousands of residents.

Nestled inside the River Road Water District office, you'll find aisles and aisles of books awaiting the eager readers living in the unincorporated areas of Eugene.

Volunteer library coordinator Linda Huston said there are about 30,000 people in the 97404 ZIP Code who don't have access to any city library services.

"Almost weekly we get somebody who's new to the neighborhood and says 'I cant believe they wouldn't let me check out a book'," said Huston.

Linda said that limiting literature in a small community cheats its readers.

"If you start with little-bitty kids and get them excited about books, that will carry over into their life," Huston said.

Library-goer Imants Roga, who lives in a part of Santa Clara within the Eugene ZIP Code, is a member of both the Eugene Public Library and River Road Volunteer Library.

"I started reading when I was 4 years old. And it's just come into my blood," Roga said. "The quality of the books and tapes are equivalent of what you get in Eugene. Of course not the amount."

Linda said if you need to do extensive research or use computers, the Eugene Public Library has a more developed technology department. Huston told KVAL she still feels that their library has plenty to offer her community.

"We are small, but we are mighty!" Huston said.