The purpose of the Circulation Policy is to establish who may obtain a library card at the Iowa City Public Library, the privileges associated with different types of cards, and the conditions under which those privileges may be suspended. A valid library card provides library users with circulation services which may include borrowing materials and equipment, placing holds, or requesting interlibrary loan service, and allows in-house and remote electronic access to information resources. The Circulation Policy establishes fines and fees for overdue, lost or damaged materials, and other circulation services.
These policies apply to all types of cardholders:
- Individuals of all ages may apply for a library card with proper identification and proof of residence. (See Sections 801.12-801.17 for specific card categories.)
- Cardholders are responsible for all materials checked out on the card.
- The Library Director may refuse or restrict a library card if a pattern of abuse is established.
- Cardholders are responsible for notifying the library promptly if a card is lost or stolen. (See Section 801.22 for cardholder liability.)
- Cardholders are limited to 75 checked-out items, except Institutional cards, which are limited to 100 checked-out items.
- Resident cards are limited to residents and property owners of Iowa City and contract areas.
- Service is provided to residents of areas with libraries participating in the Iowa State Library's Open Access program, in accordance with the statewide Open Access agreement. Some services are limited.
- Temporary cards are issued to persons who will be living in our service area ffrom one to six weeks, and to those living in temporary housing. Some services are limited.
- Institutional cards are issued to institutions and businesses located in Iowa City and contract areas. For purposes of definition the Iowa City Community School district is considered to be an Iowa City institution and all of their schools are eligible for institutional cards even though some buildings are actually in non-service areas.
(See Section 801.27 for fines and fee information.)
- Borrowers who qualify for Resident Cards may apply for At Home service.
- Special cards are available for institutions with ICPL outreach collections and for Johnson County Jail inmates.
- Special cards are assigned to libraries participating in interlibrary loan.
- Patrons who register online must present, in person and within two weeks of registering, proper identification and proof of address to obtain a library card with regular privileges (see 801.12-14). Self-registered cards allow for limited access to online resources but may not be used to borrow materials until a regular card is obtained.
Fines and Fees
- Fines are assessed in the following categories:
- 25¢ per day: Standard adult items, adult magazines, adult uncataloged paperbacks, and art prints.
- 10¢ per day: Standard children's items, children's uncataloged paperbacks, children's magazines, and pamphlets.
- $1.00 per day: Children's DVDs; movies and entertainment television on DVD; book club kits; and children's and adult video games.
$30 per day: Camcorder
$5 per day: DVD Player, eAudio Player, Overhead Projector, Slide Projector, Flip Camera, and Game Consoles.
$1 per day: CD/Cassette Player and Games (Chess and Checkers).
- Maximum fines are calculated as the daily fine times a maximum of 30 days overdue or $10, whichever is less, except for equipment.
Maximum fines for equipment are:
$15: DVD Player Video, eAudio Player, Overhead Projector, Slide Projector, Flip Camera and Game Consoles.
$10: CD/Cassette Player and Games (Chess and Checkers).
- Fines are charged for each calendar day the library is open starting the first day overdue. Materials returned to the library building after closing are considered returned the next day the library is open. Materials returned to the remote book drops after the posted pickup time are considered returned the next day the library is open.
- Fines may be waived in full or part by Circulation staff, on a case-by-case basis.
Lost or Damaged Materials
- The full replacement or repair cost for a lost or damaged item is charged to the borrower to whom the item was checked out at the time that it was lost or damaged.
- Borrowers are responsible for materials that were checked out on lost or stolen cards prior to notification to the library of the card's loss. A borrower's liability for such materials is limited to $50.00.
- The replacement cost of the item includes its retail price plus a processing fee.
Suspension of Circulation and Remote Access Privileges
- Individual cards:
Circulation and some remote access privileges are suspended for cardholders owing the library $5.00 or more in fines or for materials not returned and billed.
- Institutional cards:
Circulation and some remote access privileges are suspended for cardholders owing the library $10 or more in fines or for materials not returned and billed.
- Interlibrary loan institutions:
Service may be denied to those libraries which habitually are late in returning materials or fail to pay bills of $25 or more for long overdue or lost materials.
- Expired cards:
Circulation and other access privileges are suspended when a library card expires. An expired card may be renewed when a patron's address is verified.
- Registered borrowers with no delinquency status may place up to five free holds.
- Beyond the five free hold limit, registered borrowers may place additional holds for a charge of $.50 per item, payable in advance.
Charges for Interlibrary Loan
When it is necessary to borrow library materials through Interlibrary Loan from libraries which charge a fee for such services, these charges will be absorbed by the library, with the approval of the Information Services Coordinator. Postage will be paid by Iowa City Public Library.
Special Cards Fines and Fees
- No fines are charged for late returns of materials from outreach collections, At Home patrons, or jail patrons.
- At Home patrons and the outreach sites are responsible for the replacement cost of lost materials.
Card Replacement Charge
The replacement charge for a lost card is $1.00.
Retrieval of Overdue Materials
Notices are sent at regular intervals to cardholders with overdue library materials. The last notice is a bill for the replacement cost of the item.
Long Overdue Materials
Long overdue accounts may be submitted to a collection agency and/or to a local law enforcement agency for further action. An additional processing charge of $10 will be added to each account sent to collections. (See also Code of Iowa, Chapter 714.5, Theft of Library materials and equipment.)