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Public Service Policy

Section 3: Circulation of library Materials

3.1 Cardholder Registration

Any person who resides in Ohio and agrees to be responsible for materials loaned to them, may obtain a card to use the collections and services of the library. Cardholders will be responsible for library materials from the time items are checked out until the time they are checked in. Cardholders will be responsible for any fees charged to their cards as a result of use of library materials. Cardholders who have overdue, lost, or damaged library materials will have their borrowing privileges suspended until the items are returned and/or charges are paid in full.

3.1.1 Issuing Library Cards

Library cards may be issued only to residents of Ohio or temporary residents who are expecting to live in Ohio for at least three months.

To receive a library card with borrowing privileges immediately, the patron must present photo ID and verification of current address. If the photo ID does not include the patron’s current address, another document with current address is required. A card with limited borrowing privileges may be issued without a photo ID or verification of address.

Acceptable forms of proof include:

For photo ID:

  • Driver’s license
  • State ID
  • Passport
  • Work ID (electronic or print)
  • School ID (electronic or print)
  • Green Card/Matricula Consular
  • Credit card with photo

For address:

  • Personal checkbook
  • Current year car registration
  • U.S. mail postmarked within the past 14 days
  • Current month’s utility bill (electronic or print)
  • Lease or bank documents dated within the past 3 months

3.1.2 Issuing Library Cards to Minors

Parents or legal guardians are responsible for materials checked out to a minor child; therefore full-privilege cards are issued to minors following the verification of the parent or guardian’s ID and address. The parent or guardian must be present in order to issue a card to a minor child. The parent or guardian’s address must be entered as the primary address in the borrower record. The full name of the parent or guardian is added to the borrower’s record at the time the card is issued. There is no minimum age requirement to receive a library card. The parent or guardian will provide identification that satisfies all requirements for receiving an adult card and accept responsibility for the account.

Parents, caregivers, and legal guardians are solely responsible for their child’s materials selection. CRCPL staff does not decide what children are allowed to read, view, or borrow. CRCPL will not assume nor overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians. CRCPL supports the responsibility and the rights of all parents and guardians to guide their own children’s use of the library and its resources and services. Only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children’s—and only their children’s—access to library resources. Parents and guardians who do not want their children to have access to specific library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their own children.

If a child’s parents are divorced or separated, either parent may sign for the child’s card, although it is recommended that the parent with primary custody sign for the card. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that the child has access to the card and to assume responsibility for items borrowed and charges incurred. A child may have only one account. The address entered for the child’s record must be the same as that of the parent obtaining the card. Overdue notices and automated calls for requests will be directed to the address and phone number provided during registration until such time as that information is updated. The library has no way of verifying a custody arrangement and holds the parent who obtains the card responsible. It is advisable to enter the address and phone number of the other parent as another contact, especially if it is the child’s principal residence. Staff will advise the signing parent to inform the other parent that the library card has been issued.

3.1.3 Special Card Types

Teachers’ cards are issued to educators and homeschoolers of children grades K-12. All materials checked out on teachers’ cards circulate for 56 days.

Homebound cards are issued by the Outreach Department to patrons who qualify for the library’s homebound services, and are maintained by the Outreach Department staff. All materials checked out on homebound cards circulate for longer periods. Outreach patrons with limited mobility are also welcome to use their library card at any library location.

Limited use cards are issued to minor children when the parent/guardian is not available to accept responsibility for the minor child’s account, and to adults who lack a valid photo ID and/or address verification. Only three items may be checked out on limited use cards at one time.  WiFi Hotspots and items from the Beyond Books collection may not be checked out on limited use cards.

Student cards are issued to students in our school/public library branches, and are maintained by the branch staff. No movies may be checked out on student cards.

Visitor cards are issued to patrons who are temporarily residing in the area, such as seasonal employment, etc.  This special profile limits users to 10 items checked out at a time.

Electronic resource cards can be obtained by registering for one the library website. They are also issued to students in Ross County schools only.  Electronic resource cards provide access to all of the library’s electronic resources.  Patrons must present their photo ID at any library location to upgrade to a full privilege card.

3.2 Lost or Stolen Library Cards

Patrons are required to report the loss or theft of library cards promptly. Staff will block a card reported lost or stolen to prevent item checkout and issue a new card as soon as possible. CRCPL may assess a fee to replace a library card.

Patrons are responsible for all items checked out on lost or stolen cards that are not immediately reported as such.

3.3 Borrowing Limits

The library wants all patrons to have access to the collections. Borrowing limits and loan periods are established in response to the current demand for the title or format and may be adjusted as interest peaks or wanes. Loan periods for digital materials are often set by third-party vendors.

Physical library materials will be loaned to registered borrowers according to the following schedule:

  • new books, study guides, and high demand collections – 14 days
  • other circulating books and audio books – 28 days
  • music CDs – 28 days
  • periodicals – 14 days
  • DVDs and game discs – 14 days
  • WiFi Hotspots – 14 days
  • Beyond Books items – 14 days

Patrons with full-privilege cards may borrow up to 50 items on their account. DVDs and Blu-Rays are limited to a total of 20 per cardholder at a time, and video games are limited to a total of 10 per cardholder at a time.  Teachers may check out up to 99 items on their account.

3.4 Requesting Material from Other Libraries

The library shares its resources and the resources of other libraries by means of library consortia, interlibrary loan, and reciprocal borrowing agreements. Library patrons may request materials from members of the library’s consortium using the public access catalog. Patrons may request print materials that are not owned by any consortium libraries through interlibrary loan. The library will normally only borrow materials from institutions that do not charge for interlibrary loan. If the requested materials are only available from an institution that charges for interlibrary loan the patron must pay the full cost of the loan.

3.5 Fines and Fees

3.5.1 Fines

In an effort to allow the greatest access to the collection regardless of the user’s financial situation, the library does not charge late fines. However, if a user has overdue items, borrowing privileges will be suspended until the items are renewed or returned. Items not returned within 42 days of being overdue will be marked as lost, and the user will be billed the cost of the items.

3.5.2 Fees

In general, fees are not charged for use of or access to information, library materials or library services, since that is what is provided by taxpayers’ dollars. However, minimal cost recovery fees may be charged for materials that become the property of the individual patron, or services that do not benefit the community as a whole. These may include photocopies, computer printouts and supplies, sending and receiving of personal faxes, and copying and mailing of articles and obituaries in response to remote reference requests.

3.6 Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Library Materials

Patrons who lose or damage items they have borrowed will be required to reimburse the library for the cost of replacement or repair.

If a patron provides a police or fire report for stolen or damaged materials, replacement fees may be waived.

Patrons will not be charged for damage resulting from normal wear and tear, but will be charged for accidental damage or malicious intent.

The replacement charge for lost or damaged library materials is the list price as cited in the library item records.