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Circulation Policy

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This policy sets the guidelines for applying for a library card and defines cardholder responsibilities, borrowing procedures, the suspension of privileges, and fees.

Applying for a library card
Full access Waterloo Public Library cards will be issued to applicants who provide a government, employment, or school-issued photo ID and proof of current Iowa address, such as a piece of mail.  New full access cardholders will have a three-month introductory probationary period with a limit of five items at one time.  This limit does not apply to the library’s digital collections.

Limited access Waterloo Public Library cards will be issued to applicants who are unable to provide a government, employment, or school-issued photo ID and/or current Iowa address.  Borrowing privileges for these cards are limited to three items at one time.  Hotspots, Library of Things items, and interlibrary loans cannot be borrowed with a limited access card.  Limited access cards can be converted to a full access card once photo ID and proof of current Iowa address are provided.

Children 5th grade and below must have a parental or legal guardian signature to obtain a full access borrower’s card.  Limited access borrower’s cards may be issued to children 5th grade and below without a parental or legal guardian signature.

Educator cards with extended checkout period privileges are available to teachers, home school educators, and daycare and preschool providers in Black Hawk County.  Inquire at the Youth Services desk for more information.

Organizational cards with extended checkout period privileges are available to places such as senior living centers, assisted living facilities, or other transitional living agencies.  Some institutions may qualify for delivery service through the Library’s Third Age Project.  Delivery service is subject to staff availability and is not guaranteed.  Inquire with the Library’s Third Age Coordinator for more information.

Homebound cards with extended checkout privileges are available to patrons who are unable to come into the Library on a temporary or permanent basis.  Homebound delivery is available to patrons who reside within the city limits of Waterloo and have signed a Homebound Service Agreement.  Materials eligible for delivery through this service are limited to books and books on CD.  Homebound delivery is subject to staff availability and is not guaranteed.  Inquire with the Library’s Third Age Coordinator for more information.

Additional card types may be issued at the discretion of the Library.

The Library will issue library cards in compliance with Open Access rules for statewide reciprocal borrowing.

Cardholder Responsibilities
By applying for a library card, patrons become responsible for their card and agree to abide by all regulations of the Library.  They agree to report a lost card immediately.  The Library charges a $2.00 fee for a replacement library card in the first three months of issue.  Patrons agree to fully compensate the Library for any lost or damaged items checked out on their library card.

Library cards expire periodically, depending on the type of access, to ensure the Library has the most up to date contact information. Cards can be renewed in person, over the telephone, or via email.

Borrowing items

  • Express Items
    • Express DVDs - 3 days, with no renewals or reserves
    • Express Books - one week, with no renewals or reserves
  • Blu-Rays, DVDs, TV Series, New Music CDs, New Magazines
    • One week with two 1-week renewals (DVDs & Blu-Rays limit 10 per card, TV Series limit 5 per card)
  • Library of Things & Hotspots
    • Two weeks, with two 2-week renewals (limit 1 hotspot per card, 3 Library of Thing items per card); patrons borrowing hotspots or tools must sign the corresponding waiver agreement
  • Books, Audiobooks, Playaways, Older Music CDs, Older Magazines, Dementia Care Kits
    • Three weeks with two 3-week renewals
  • Digital Collections
    • Determined by vendor
  • Interlibrary Loan Items
    • Determined by the lending library

Renewing items

Patrons may renew items in person, over the telephone, or online.  Items may not be renewed if the material is on reserve for another patron.  Interlibrary loan renewals are determined by the lending library and are not guaranteed.

Reserving items

Patrons may place reserves except on express or non-circulating items.  Reserves will be held for seven days.  Patrons will be notified when reserved items are available for checkout via email if they provide an email address.  They will otherwise be notified via phone call, or postcard if they cannot be reached by phone.

Suspended privileges and fees

Overdue items

  • The Library does not impose or collect fees for the late return of library items.  Overdue notifications will be sent via email if a valid email address is provided by the patron.  Alternatively, they will be sent via US mail.  Accounts will be suspended if there are any items overdue by seven (7) or more days until items are returned or renewed.

Damaged items

  • Patrons with any items returned in damaged condition may have borrowing privileges temporarily limited.  The patron is responsible for paying fees associated with damaged items as determined by the Library.  The Library will notify the patron of damaged items.

Lost items

  • Items not returned 4 weeks after the due date will be considered lost.  Library of Things items not returned fourteen days (2 weeks) after the due date will be considered lost.  The patron is responsible for paying fees associated with lost items as determined by the Library.  Bills will be sent via email if a valid email address is provided by the patron.  Alternatively, bills will be sent via US mail.  Cards with charges exceeding $50.00 for longer than 60 days may be turned over to a collection agency. The replacement cost of all outstanding items will be billed to the account along with an additional $10.00 collection fee.

Payment

  • The library only accepts cash, check, or money order for payment.
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