Library Policies

Library Card Policy

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.

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

A current and valid photo ID must be presented to apply for a library card. This includes:

  • Driver's License
  • DMV Photo ID Card or Photo Voter Registration Card
  • U. S. Military ID Card
  • U. S Passport or U. S. Passport Card
  • Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card")
  • Student ID from an accredited public or private university, college, community college or trade school
  • Bank or Credit Card with photo
  • Iredell County Jail Photo ID Card

If the applicant does not have photo ID with the 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 computer. The cardholder should sign his or her library card before it may be used.

Non-residents of  Iredell County may purchase a guest pass to use a public access computer if they present a valid current photo ID specified in "Forms of Identification for Application."

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

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

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, Playaways, etc.)

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 2009, one lost item in March 2011 and one lost item in January 2014. 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.

Internet Use Agreement

All users accessing the Internet through the library must agree to abide by the following rules:

  • The library uses software to block access to Internet sites that violate the Child’s Internet Protection Act. Library users who believe that access has been blocked to a site that does not violate the Childhood Internet Protection Act may request that the library staff unblock the site.
  • The Iredell County Public Library is not liable or responsible for any loss or damage incurred by any library user accessing the Internet through the library’s public use computers. This includes, but is not limited to, any loss associated by buying or selling merchandise or services through the Internet, theft of credit card or other financial data, any personal information disclosed through the Internet, or any other information or data transmitted through the Internet.
  • Users age 12 to 17 require a Public Computer Use Agreement signed by a Parent, Guardian or Legal Care Giver. Users age 18 and over require a signed Public Computer Use Agreement.
  • The reception, transmission, or display of sexually explicit images, messages, or cartoons, or an transmission or use of communications containing ethnic slurs, racial epithets, or any other material that may be construed as harassment or disparagement of others based on their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or religious or political beliefs is prohibited.
  • Misuse of e-mail or other communications to defraud, threaten, harass or misrepresent oneself to others is prohibited.
  • Illegally adding, deleting, copying, modifying or "hacking" files or programs on the computer or any other computer or network accessible through the local network or the Internet is prohibited..
  • Violating copyright laws or software license restrictions. Misrepresentation of self by password or signature is prohibited.
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding minors is prohibited.

Adopted by the Iredell County Board of Commissioners 3/17/02

Public Wireless Network Policy

By using ICPL’s wireless network, you agree with the following conditions:

  1. The user assumes all responsibility for the use of the Library’s wireless network.
  2. The Library does not guarantee that all devices will be compatible with our wireless network.
  3. The Library’s wireless network is not encrypted. Information sent from or to your device could be intercepted by anyone else with a wireless device and the appropriate software.
  4. The library is not responsible for any financial loss, interception of private information, infection with viruses or malware, or any other harm you may have while using the library’s wireless network. We advise you to avoid sending sensitive information, such as online purchases or online banking, on any public wireless network.
  5. Wireless users requiring sound must use headphones so as not to disturb others.
  6. Please be considerate of other library users and refrain from displaying materials that might reasonably be considered objectionable. The library uses content filtering software on the public wireless network in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Users of the Wi-Fi network are responsible for complying with CIPA. Violations of CIPA on the library's Wi-Fi network may result in suspension of access to the network.
  7. Users of the public wireless network are prohibited from gaining unauthorized access to other computer systems, damaging or attempting to damage equipment or software; interfering with system operations, integrity or security; gaining unauthorized access to another person’s files, and/or sending harassing messages to other computer users.
  8. Violations of this policy may result in restrictions on library use.

Library Behavior Policy

Purpose

It is the policy of the Iredell County Public Library to offer the full range of library service to all residents of the community, regardless of age, sex, race or ethnicity, religion, economic status, etc. It is the intent of the library to provide its services with a minimum of regulations and restrictions, adopting only those which are absolutely essential to the library's operation.

The library recognizes that the users of the library are in fact the owners of the library. As users and owners, the public has certain expectations of the library. These include an outstanding collection of library materials; pleasant, attractive surroundings; and courteous, efficient and effective service.

Library users have a right to assume that visits to the library will be free from harassment, physical discomfort, danger, and psychological stress. The library staff has the same rights. Each member of the staff should be able to do his/her work free of harassment, abuse, discomfort, and undue psychological stress.

The rights of both the public and the staff are sometimes violated by the attitudes and behavior of a very small number of persons. Therefore, it shall be the library's policy to maintain a quiet, pleasant environment conductive to serious study as well as casual use. To assure the successful implementation of this policy, unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

Minor Violations

  • Blocking or in any way interfering with the free movement of any person or persons.
  • Bringing animals other than service or assistance dogs into the building.
  • Consumption of food or beverages unless approved by library staff.
  • Distribution or posting materials such as flyers, leaflets, or other literature without authorization.
  • Failure to wear shoes or a shirt.
  • Loitering or sleeping on library property.
  • Failure to obey posted signs on library property, including parking and other traffic signs.
  • Loud conversation or laughter which is disturbing to other users.
  • Rearranging of any library furniture or equipment from one location to another without authorization by staff.
  • Using tobacco products inside the building.
  • Soliciting or selling of any kind.
  • Use of library telephones by any person other than library personnel unless approved.
  • Use of radios, tape players, etc., if not using headphones so that sound is transmitted to others.
  • Use of mobile phones of any kind.
  • Any other behavior that is disruptive or any failure to comply with directions from library staff.

Major Violations

  • Carrying unauthorized weapons of any sort.
  • Engaging in disorderly conduct, committing a nuisance, or unreasonably disturbing and offending library users.
  • Fighting
  • Following staff or users or other harassing behavior such as staring or other intimidating acts.
  • Indecent exposure as defined by General Statute of North Carolina 14.190.9
  • Intimidation of library staff or library users.
  • Obscene or abusive language.
  • Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs.
  • Removal of any library property from the building without authorization through established leading procedures.
  • Sexual activity
  • Threatening library staff or library users.
  • Willful destruction of or damage to any library property.
  • Any other behavior that is intimidating, threatening or dangerous to library patrons or staff.

Enforcement of Library Behavior Policy

Persons who violate any of these policies will be addressed in the following manner:

Minor Violations

  • First Violation-Verbal Warning
  • Second Violation-Verbal Warning
  • Third Violation-Person must leave library property.

Major Violations

  • First Violation-Person must leave library property.

If criminal behavior is involved, law enforcement authorities will be notified immediately. Repeat violators of these minor violations, or any persons who commit major violations, will be subject to exclusion from the library premises. Decisions to exclude persons from library property will be made by the Library Director or the assistant Library Director. Persons may be temporarily banned by the supervisor in charge during evening or weekend operation. It is unlawful for any person to fail to leave library property after being asked to leave. Criminal behavior will be prosecuted under the law.

Statutes

G.S. 14-76 Larceny, mutilation, or destruction or public records and papers.

G.S. 14-127 Willful and wanton injury to real property.

G. S. 14-132 Disorderly conduct in and injuries to public buildings and facilities.

G. S. 14-190.9 Indecent exposure

G. S. 14-269 Carrying concealed weapons

G. S. 14-277.1 Communicating threats.

G. S. 14-398 Theft or destruction of property of public libraries, museums, etc.

Iredell County Code

Child Safety Policy

  • For your child’s protection, children age 8 or under must be in the immediate presence of a parent, sibling or caregiver or other responsible person age 16 or older at all times while on library property.
  • Children between the ages of 9 and 11 must have a parent, sibling or caregiver or other responsible person age 16 or older in the library building at all times.
  • If a child age 15 or younger is left unattended at closing time, library staff will attempt to locate or contact the child’s parent or other responsible adult. If the adult cannot be located, we will contact the police to assume responsibility of the child.