City library services will remain free for all, but the City Council agreed this week to reexamine that policy annually starting in November.
The decision came in response to Councilman John W. Hedges' proposal that residents of other cities be charged for using the library. He cited a report showing nearly half of library patrons live outside Newport Beach.
City residents pay $60 a year in taxes to support the library.
The state reimburses the city $300,000 a year for library use by other residents.
The high use by outsiders shows how good the Newport Beach library is, said Corona del Mar resident Elizabeth Stahr, who with her husband chaired the city Public Library Foundation and raised $2 million to build the main library.
She said students who live in Costa Mesa but who attend Newport-Mesa Unified School District campuses shouldn't have to worry about being shut out of local branches, nor should those who work or shop in the city.
The council voted to revisit the issue in November, in time for budget planning.