Shelby County Public Libraries
Countywide Circulation Policies
Revised May 2007
Standard Registration Rules
1. An application must be completed for every person wishing to borrow materials from Shelby County Public Libraries.
2. Applications for minors who are younger than 18 must have a parent or legal guardian's signature. Before issuing a card to minors member libraries must check to see if the legal guardian is in good standing in the library system. Member libraries must check in a variety of ways including name, driver's license, and phone number. If the guardian is not in good standing a card cannot be issued to the minor.
3. If a minor has a card that is not in good standing the guardian of the minor who signed the application is liable for any and all charges or damages. If the guardian wishes to apply for a card the charges on the minor's card must first be paid before the guardian may be issued a card.
4. All applications must be completed at a member library during normal operating hours. All cards issued must be issued at a member library during normal operating hours.
5. Patrons are responsible for materials checked out on their library cards. Parents are responsible for materials checked out on their children's card. For this reason, the library restricts the use of a library card to only the person who applied for and signed for the card. If a member library knowingly allows patrons to use library card other than their own, the member library must assume legal liability and any cost associated with same for materials lost or damaged.
6. Shelby County residents or people working for Shelby County businesses are eligible to receive fist time no charge library cards.
7. Library cards are valid for the period of time issued dependent on the Patron Registration Code; they can be renewed after address and telephone number has been verified for accuracy.
Patron Registration Codes:
Adult 3 years
Juvenile 3 years
Non-Resident 1 year ($30 fee - $15 to library & $15 to HRL)
College Student 1 year
Temporary 1-6 months
VIP/BM/Staff 3 years
8. Identification is required for all patrons before a card can be issued. A form of identification which contains a photograph of the applicant is preferred. A patron without a photo ID showing the correct address, must provide two (2) forms of written address verification. Exceptions to this rule are at the discretion of the Library Director at each member library.
9. If an individual's library card is lost, the patron must report the loss immediately. The patron is responsible for all activity relating to the lost card until the library has been notified and the card made invalid. When an individual's library card is lost, the patron must fill out another application form and pay a fee of $3 for a replacement card. An individual can have only one library card at a time. A card which has been replaced is no longer valid and should be destroyed if later found. The Library encourages patrons to make every attempt to locate lost cards before replacing them, as the replacement fee is not refundable even if the card is found later.
Standard Loan Rules
1. Patrons must present an unexpired library card in good standing to check out library materials. Good standing is defined as: Non-permanently stopped cards with complete data and without long overdue items, without excessive fines/fees (over $3), and without noted problems restricting library privileges. Under certain extenuating circumstances, the library director or authorized staff at the library where a fee of fine is owned can make special arrangements to continue the library privileges made at another library will be honored at their library.
2. Print materials, books on CD, books on tape, music CD's will circulate fourteen (14) days and have a fine of ten cents ($0.10) per day. These materials can be returned to any Shelby County public library without penalty.
3. Video, DVD's and other non-print materials circulate and are fined according to the policies set at the owning library. Acceptable return policies of these items are determined by the owning library.
4. Shelby County library materials can only be returned to Shelby County libraries. If materials are returned to libraries outside of Shelby County, the patron will be charged $5 per item.
5. Only the owning library can waive fines.
6. Fines collected in amounts lower than $25 will be retained at the library collecting the fine. When collecting fine amounts of $25 or more the entire amount will be routed to the owning library.
7. Disputes in fine payments must be resolved at the library where the problem originated. Member library directors and staff are encouraged not to intervene with other libraries on a patron's behalf.
8. Payment for lost or damaged materials must be made at the owning library. Undisputed payments for lost materials may be made at any library without first contacting the owning library. The library handling an undisputed payment must also issue a receipt verifying payment of the material. Should there be a dispute the patron must be instructed to contact the owning library directly to resolve the matter. All payments for lost or damaged materials must be routed to the owning library - regardless of the amount.
9. Cost charged for lost or damaged items will be the cost of the items shown in the computer database. Only the director of the owning library can change the amount to be charged.
10. If a patron finds and returns the materials for which they have paid the replacement costs, the owning library will reimburse the patron as defined by the owning library's local replacement policy. Each library must issue a receipt for lost material payments. Reimbursement of payments for lost materials will only be made upon presentation of a valid receipt.
11. Books borrowed through interlibrary loan and lost by the patron will be dealt with as determined by the interlibrary loan policy. The replacement costs will be the amount listed in the bill issued by the owning library.
12. The ability to renew an individual item is dependent on the owning library's policy.
13. Items that are renewable can be renewed at the owning library, through the website, and /or at any member library.
14. The ability to place a hold on an individual item is dependent on the owning library's policy.
15. Items that are holdable can be reserved at the owning library, through the website and/or at any member library.
Fines and Bills
1. Materials are loaned by the library with the understanding that the borrower will return them in the same condition and by the due date established by the library. The owning library director shall have the discretion to determine if materials returned are in the same condition as when they were checked out.
2. If materials are returned later than the due date, overdue fines will be charged to the patron
3. Fines and other outstanding charges will be brought to the patron's attention at the checkout desk.
4. As a courtesy, patrons will be notified of overdue items by automated telephone notification and/or by mail. After a patron has received an overdue notice an if the item is not then returned, a bill may be sent for the cost of the lost item. Failure to receive telephone and/or mail notification does not negate the patron's responsibility. Patrons are encouraged to notify the library of changes in addresses, phone numbers, names, etc. . . .
5. Overdue fines accrue daily or as defined in individual libraries' local policies.
Lost and Damaged Items
Materials which are long overdue and for which the patron has received a bill are considered by the library to be lost and the patron will be responsible for paying for the cost of the item. The Polaris Automation System will automatically charge the patron account for the lost materials and overdue costs associated to lost materials. Charges for lost items are applied as recorded within the item record or within the bibliographic record if item costs are not present.
Payment for items marked lost due to long overdue not returned can only be made at the owning library. Patrons must be referred to the owning library. No staff member from another library other than the owning library should be involved with the resolution of the lost and/or damaged items. The only exception will be in circumstances in which loss of materials constitutes a system involvement in which case the director of the Harrison Regional Library may consult with the director/directors of member libraries involved.
Suspension of Privileges
1. The library will find it necessary to suspend a patron's borrowing privileges after the patron has accrued a total of $3 worth of fines on his library record. A patron's record will be cleared and privileges reinstated upon payment of owed fines.
2. A patron's borrowing privileges will be suspended after he/she has received a bill for the non-return of one item borrowed from the library. A patron's record will be cleared and his privileges reinstated upon the return of the item and payment of overdue fees or upon payment of cost of the item
3. At the discretion of the library director a patron's borrowing privileges can be suspended from unacceptable behavior including but not limited to physical abuse of facilities or resources, physical or verbal abuse of staff, stealing, vandalism, computer agreement violations, and/or any criminal activities on library property.
4. Patrons can be banned from one and/or all Shelby County public libraries following the completion of predetermined policies for banning abusive patrons. These policies will be developed and approved by each individual member library's board. Only library directors can start banning procedures against a patron. It is recommended that each local library consult with their government authority, police department and city attorney in regard to the development of such policies.
5. Should there be a feeling by a patron that their privileges have been unfairly suspended; the patron has the right to appeal to the member library board. The library board of the involved library shall have the final authority in the matter.
Confidentiality of Patrons Records
All information retained in patron records is for the purpose of conducting daily library business. This information is confidential in nature and cannot be given out to unauthorized individuals or for any other purpose that to carry out normal procedures of the library.
Any requests for patron records or circulation records generated by the Polaris Automated Circulation System must be presented to the director of the Harrison Regional Library. The Director and Board of the Harrison Regional Library in consultation with the Board's attorney will determine the process in which information is released or information is refused. Any request for information is refused. Any request for information must be accompanied by a subpoena signed by a judge of a Shelby County court.