SPL Revised February 2024

Library Card and Materials Policy

A. Library Cards

All borrowers must be registered and must have a valid local or system patron card to borrow library materials.

By requesting a library card patrons agree to follow policies and the code of conduct of the library.

Identification and proof of local mailing address are required. [A driver’s license or student ID will be preferred; however, any other official ID or recent non-personal piece of mail may be acceptable. In the case of teens who may not have a personal ID, another patron in good standing or the librarian may approve the application.]

Applicants from 5 to 13 years of age must have a parent or guardian give their consent on the application form before a new card can be issued. Materials cannot be checked out until a library card is issued. All library cards expire after approximately 2years. An ID check at the time of renewal may be necessary. Anyone from out of state may register for a library card for a yearly $10.00 fee.

B. Lost or Forgotten Cards

In the event of a lost library card the patron should notify the library as soon as possible to request a replacement. All patrons, adult and juvenile, are expected to bring their library cards with them if they intend to check out items, however if they do not, they will not be denied checkout privileges

C. Loan periods

1. All materials may be checked out for 3 weeks.

2. Current issues of magazines may not be checked out.

3. Generally, reference books do not circulate. Some reference materials may be checked out overnight at the discretion of the library director.

4. Interlibrary loans are due by the date indicated by the lending library.

5. Books may be renewed twice if there is not a waiting list for the title.

Exceptions for Educators (i.e. teachers and home-schooling parents):

1. Materials are checked out for three weeks and may be renewed three times for a total of twelve weeks

2. Materials may be checked out with a selected due date (approved by library staff) that is commensurate with the length of the study unit(e.g. semester, quarter, 6-week period, etc.).

3. Educators are exempt from fines when materials are relevant to the course of study; however, all other materials are subject to the fines stated below. In the case of the abuse of this privilege, it shall be revoked upon the recommendation of the children’s librarian or the library director.

4. Family members of educators are not included in the extended renewal program, nor are they exempt from fines. They must use their own library cards to check out their own personal materials, and may not use the educator’s account.

The director may establish the loan period for special collections, materials which are temporarily in great demand, such as for student projects, or materials added to the collection which are in a new format, e.g., computer software.

There is a 30-item system-generated limit on the number of items a patron can borrow at one time, except for audio books and DVDs, which each may be checked out 5at a time. This may be overridden in certain circumstances (such as illness, travel, librarian approval, etc.)

D. Holds

Holds may be placed by patrons either in person, over the phone or via the library website. Patrons are limited to 3 inter-library (outside the 9-library consortium) loans at a time, system wide holds have a limit of 10 items. Patrons will be notified by email, telephone or text. There is no charge to the patron for placing a reserve. Items on hold will stay on the holds shelf for one week. If they are not picked up within that week items will be returned to their home library.

E. Fines and Charges

There is a $.10 per day fine for overdue materials after 1 grace day. A first notice is sent after the material is due. If the material is not returned within a designated period, second and third notices will be sent for the material with the cost of replacement oft he material indicated, including a service charge for processing, cataloging and postage. After the fourth notice, patrons will be sent a final notice and a bill for replacement of the item plus all extra charges mentioned above. They also may receive a phone call at the final notice.

Patrons who have been sent an overdue notice shall be blocked and denied borrowing privileges until those overdue materials are returned or paid for if lost and/or damaged. There is a maximum late fee fine of $5.00 per family. There will be two weeks designated in the fiscal year during which no fines are assessed for late materials, and amnesty is granted for prior fines if requested, either in person, or other methods of contact (e.g. phone, email, etc.) Every Friday is fine-free, as are National Library Week in April, and the weeks between Christmas and New Year’s.

See a full schedule of  Fees Charged and Collected by Shepherdstown Public Library here.

F. Damaged Materials

If materials are damaged so as to be judged by the library as being unsuitable for the collection, the patron must pay the replacement cost. A notice of these charges will be sent to the borrower. If requested, and after the item is paid for and deaccessioned, the patron may keep the damaged item