Library Policies-Library Card Policy

Purpose

Confidentiality of Library User Records

Library Cards

Application for Library Card

Forms of Identification for Application

Use of a library card

Number of library cards

Patron responsibilities

Lost cards

Damaged cards

Patrons with Inactive Cards

Non-Resident Annual Fee for Library Card

Institutional Cards

Borrowing Materials

Borrowing Guidelines by Material Type

Borrowing Limits

Blocks on Use of Card

Loan of Non-Circulating Materials

Renewing Materials

Reserves

Returning Materials

Late Fees and Lost Items

Late notices

Blocks on patron accounts

Lost Items

Refunds for lost items returned

Damaged materials

Patron disputes lost status

Waiving late fees or charges for lost items

Exceptions to circulation policies

Purpose

The purpose of the Iredell County Public Library’s circulation policy is:

  • To help residents of Iredell County easily and conveniently borrow books, audios, videos and other material from the library’s collection.
  • To protect public property shared by all residents of Iredell County.

Confidentiality of Library User Records

The Iredell County Public Library maintains the confidentiality of library user records. The library does not disclose any information about a patrons account or use of the library, including items charged to a patrons card, items requested by a patron, any questions directed to library staff, or any use of library computers including time and dates used or use of the Internet. This confidentiality also includes all materials used in-house, for which certain identifying information may be kept for statistical purposes.

Such records are not to be made available to any person or agency including agencies of state, federal or local government except pursuant to subpoena court order or where otherwise required by law.

Exceptions: Information about items currently checked out to a library user’s account may be made available in the following instances:

  • To the parent of a minor under age eighteen.
  • To any person whom the library user has given written permission to obtain such information.  A valid Library Card or valid picture ID is required each time an inquiry is made about this account by anyone other than the cardholder.
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by law. Any request from law enforcement officers should be referred to the Library Director or Assistant Director.

BASIS OF POLICY: North Carolina State Statute § 125-18 & §125-19.

Library Cards

Application for Library Card

Users must complete and sign a Library User Agreement to open a library account and receive a library card. Applicants age 17 and younger must have a completed application form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Forms of Identification for Application

Patrons must present a  driver's license or photo identification card showing their current address issued by the United States Government or a State Government .

If the person applying for a library card does not have ID with their current address, a library card will be mailed to the patron.  Patron whose cards are mailed may check out three items before they receive their card.

Minors under age 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present driver's license or photo identification  card showing their current address issued by the United States Government or a State Government when applying for a library card. The parent or legal guardian must sign the application for the minor . The parent or legal guardian signing the form is responsible for all items checked out to the minor's card.

Users under age 18 who are legally emancipated from their parents are eligible to apply for a card if they can present driver's license or photo identification  card showing their current address issued by the United States Government or a State Government and court documents declaring they are legally emancipated from their parents.

Use of a library card

A valid Iredell County Public Library card is required to borrow materials from the library or use a public access Internet computer. The cardholder should sign his or her library card before it may be used.

Patrons are discouraged from allowing other individuals use their library card. If someone besides the card holder uses the library card, the card owner bears full responsibility for all items or fees charged to their card, unless the card is reported lost or stolen as defined below.

Number of library cards

A patron may have no more than one active card at any time. Patrons who have lost their card should obtain a replacement. If a patron is found to have more than one card, the most recent card issued will be valid and all other cards will be declared invalid.

Patron responsibilities

By signing the Library User Agreement the patron agrees:

  • To sign the Library Card
  • To abide by all library policies.
  • To pay all overdue fines for materials charged to their card.
  • To pay for any lost materials charged to their card.
  • To assume full responsibility for items charged to their card. If a patron allows another individual to use their card or to borrow items that are charged to their card, the card owner bears full responsibility for all items or fees charged to their card.
  • To promptly report lost or stolen cards.
  • To promptly report any change of address.
  • That they have read Iredell County Code Sec. 6.5-1 and agree to comply with its provisions.

Failure to comply with these responsibilities may result in the suspension of borrowing privileges.

Lost cards

Patrons should report immediately when their card has been lost or stolen. There is a $2.00 charge for the replacement of a lost or stolen card.

Patrons will not be held responsible for materials charged to their card if the card has been reported stolen or lost. All materials charged to a card prior to its being reported stolen or lost are the responsibility of the patron.

Patrons must present a valid picture ID when getting a replacement card.

Minors under age 18 may obtain a replacement card by verifying pertinent information such as date of birth, address, phone number, etc.

Damaged cards

Damaged cards should be returned to the library for replacement. There is no charge for replacement of a damaged card.

Patrons with Inactive Cards

If a card is not used for a period of five years, the patron’s card is declared inactive. Patrons with inactive cards must apply for a new card following the same requirements as a first-time applicant.

Non-Resident Annual Fee for Library Card

There is a $20.00 annual fee for a library card for persons who do not live in Iredell County or do not own property in Iredell County. The fee must be paid annually when the library card is renewed. The fee is nonrefundable.

Institutional Cards

Institutions such as assisted living centers, group homes, or childcare facilities may apply for an institutional card. Applications for institutional cards are mailed to applicants to confirm correct address. An application for an institutional card must be signed by an individual that has legal authority to sign agreements for the institution. The institution is responsible for all items charged to the institutional card.

Borrowing Materials

Basic Guidelines

The Iredell County Public Library aims to provide and promote the greatest possible use of its collection of books, recordings and other items by the residents of Iredell County. Therefore, the library's policies are intended to provide convenient and quick access to the collection. However, as a steward of public resources, the library also must enforce reasonable policies for insuring that its resources are equally available to all library users and protected from loss, theft, or vandalism. The purpose of the library's policy is to balance these two goals.

A valid Iredell County Public Library card issued by must be presented each time items are borrowed from the library.

Borrowing Guidelines by Material Type

Materials

Loan Period

Late Fee

Maximum Late Fee per item

Maximum Items Charged to a Card

Books (Hardcover and paperback)

21 days

25¢ per day

$5.00

50

New Books

14 days

25¢ per day

$5.00

NA

Audio Recordings (Books on CD,  Playaways, etc.)

14 days

25¢ per day

$5.00

5

eBooks eAudio

14 days

No late fees

No late fees

3

 

Borrowing Limits

Patrons may have no more than up to fifty items charged to their account at one time.

The library may limit the number of items that may be borrowed due to demand. A patron may also be restricted from borrowing all items in a particular subject area or by a particular author.

Blocks on Use of Card

“Block on Use of Card” means that a patron may not check out any items from the library until the block is resolved. A library card is blocked from use under these circumstances:

  • Expired Card-Cards are valid for a period of one year. Cards may be renewed annually if all charges for lost items have been paid and the card has an outstanding balance of $0.00. Cards that have expired may not be used until they are renewed.
  • Unpaid Balance-A card is blocked if a patron has unpaid fines and fees equaling or exceeding $10.00. Other blocks are unaffected by the payment of fines and fees. Cards blocked for exceeding the $10.00 limit must have all outstanding fines paid and the balance reduced to $0.00 before the block is removed.
  • Lost Items-A card is blocked if a patron has any lost items charged to their card. The patron must pay for all lost items before the block on the use of the card is removed. Other blocks are unaffected by payment for lost items.
  • The patron has been banned from the library for violating library policies.

Loan of Non-Circulating Materials

The library does not normally loan non-circulating items such as reference materials, magazines, newspapers, microforms, etc. Such materials may be loaned in rare occasions only with the approval of the Library Director, Assistant Library Director or the Reference Librarian. Items from the Local History Room may be loaned with the approval of the Local History Librarian. In such an exception, one non-circulating item may be loaned for a period not to exceed 24 hours. This privilege is available to residents of Iredell County only.

Renewing Materials

Patrons may renew items for two additional loan periods if there are no other patrons who have reserved the item. All other borrowing policies apply to renewals. If there are reserves on the item, it may not be renewed.

Items may be renewed only for one additional loan period. In rare instances, the Library Director, the Assistant Director or the Circulation Manager may prevent a patron from borrowing an item if a patron is repeatedly borrowing the same item, thereby preventing other users from having reasonable access to the item.

In person

To renew an item in person, the user should bring the items to be renewed to the check-out desk. If the items are not present, they may still be renewed by presenting a library card with the items on it to a staff member. A printed receipt with the new due date will given at that time.

Using the library catalog or web site

To renew an item using the library catalog, the user should login to their account under “My Account” on the library catalog. Users may access the catalog on any public computer in the library or from the Iredell County Public Library website at www.iredell.lib.nc.us. Users must enter their library account number and their PIN number to renew items. User should be responsible for noting the new due date. Due dates can be checked at any time using “My Account” on the library catalog.

Telephone renewal

Users may renew items by telephone using the library's automated telephone system. They should have their library card number available, as well as the titles of all items to be renewed.

Reserves

Patrons may reserve items that are currently checked out. Reserves may be placed at the Checkout Desk, by telephone, or directly by patrons through the library’s on-line computer catalog.

In the event there is more than one patron reserve for an item, reserves are placed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Patrons accessing the library’s catalog through the Internet may request that items that are checked out be reserved for them.

When a reserved item becomes available, the patron is notified that the item is available. The patron has seven days from the notification date to pick up the reserve. If the patron does not pick up the item by the date given, the item is then passed on the next patron on the reserve list or, if there is no other reserve, returned to the shelf.

A patron may have no more than twenty items on reserve at any one time.

Returning Materials

Items should be returned to the library by their due date. The library has an outside book-drop that is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Inter-Library Loan items should not be placed in the book-drop but returned inside the library to prevent damage.

Items returned to the book-drop by the opening hour of the library for that day are counted as being returned on the previous day.

Late Fees and Lost Items

Late fees

The following late fees are in effect as provided Iredell County Code Sec. 6.5-1.

Materials Loan Period

Overdue Charges

Maximum Overdue Charge per item

Books (Hardcover and paperback)

21 days

25¢ per day

$5.00

New Books

14 days

25¢ per day

$5.00

Audio Recordings (Books on CD, Music CD’s, Playaways, etc.)

21 days

25¢ per day

$5.00

CD-ROM’s

21 days

25¢ per day

$5.00

eBooks and eAudio

14 days

No overdue charges

No overdue charges

 

Late notices

Notices of late materials and unpaid fees are provided to library users as a courtesy. A user is responsible for all late fees and lost items charged to his or her card whether or not a notice was sent to or received by the user. Notices are provided according to the following schedule:

Notice

Days after item due

1st notice (telephone call)

2 days

2nd notice (telephone call)

5 days

3rd notice (telephone call)

10 days

Billing Notice (mailed)

21 days

Telephone notices

Users with late items are notified through an automated telephone messaging system. The system automatically calls users two days after their items were due, five days after the item was due, and ten days after the item was due. The automated system will leave messages on answering machines and voice mail systems. Users are responsible for all late items and late fees charged to their account whether or not the automated telephone message was received.

Blocks on patron accounts

A patron’s account is blocked and no additional items will be charged to the account if:

  • The patron owes more than $10.00 in unpaid fines or fees.
  • Any items with a lost status are charged to the card.
  • The patron has knowingly provided false information for their record.

Lost Items

An item is declared lost if:

  • It is reported lost by the patron who borrowed the item.
  • The item has been overdue for more than 50 days.

If a patron has an item on their record that has been declared lost, the item must be resolved before additional items can be borrowed. The library will not accept donations in place of paying for the cost of a lost item.

Refunds for lost items returned

Patrons may receive a refund for lost and paid item for is returned to the library in good condition along with the receipt for the payment. An original receipt of payment for the lost item is required for a refund. Refunds are not made for materials after 30 days. Any late fees up for the lost item to the maximum late fee of $5.00 will be deducted from the refund.

Refunds are not made at the time the material is returned. Refunds are processed by the County Finance Department and checks are mailed to recipients.

Damaged materials

If an item is damaged but still usable, there is in no charge to the patron. If the item is damaged beyond repair and cannot be returned to the collection, the patron is responsible for the full cost of the item. The Circulation Manager will determine if the items is still usable.

Patron disputes lost status

If a patron disputes that an item charged to their card is lost, claiming that the item has been returned or that they never borrowed the item, the library will clear their record of up to three (3) lost items. This is a lifetime limit and is not limited by time period; the three items may be lost over a period of time or at one time.

Example: A patron has one lost item in July 2004, one lost item in March 2006 and one lost item in January 2007. They have reached the three-item limit. The next item declared lost cannot be cleared if disputed.

Example:  A patron has five items declared lost. They have exceeded the three-item limit. The three most expensive of the five items will be cleared from the patron's record. They are responsible for the other two items, and for any additional items declared lost in the future.

Waiving late fees or charges for lost items

The Library Director, Assistant Director or Circulation Manager may waive late fees or lost items under special circumstances. Special circumstances may include (but are not restricted to):

  • Loss due to fire, flood, accident or other similar disaster or accident.
  • Death of a family member.
  • Serious illness or injury.
  • Any other special circumstance in the judgment of the Library Director, Assistant Director or Circulation Manager.

Exceptions to circulation policies

The Library Director, Assistant Director or Circulation Manager may grant an exception to any Circulation Policy due to special circumstances.