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This policy covers the rules for borrowing from the library collection.

Circulation Policy

Approved: 01/23/2012

Updated: 12/29/2014

I)        Registration

A)     All borrowers must be registered and must have a valid local patron account to borrow library materials.  Physical library cards will be issued at the request of the patron.  Otherwise, the patron’s name is usually all that is required to check out material.  However, library staff may ask for the patron’s address or phone number as confirmation.

B)      Borrowers are responsible for all materials checked out on their account.   They should not let anyone else use their account, and should not attempt to use someone else’s account. 

C)      Patrons must fill out an application for to register for a new account.  Patron’s must agree to the following:

1)      to be responsible for all items borrowed with their library account, including items borrowed with it by others

2)      to comply with all library rules and policies, both present and future

3)      to give prompt notice of change of address or phone number

D)     Library accounts are approved immediately if the applicant has a photo identification and proof of current residential address at the time of application. A post office box is not a sufficient address.  Mail may be used as proof of address if it has been postmarked within two weeks of the current date.

E)      Eligibility: Persons eligible for library accounts must be a resident of Keota, Harper (contracting city), West Chester (contracting city) or unincorporated Keokuk County.  Also, persons living within the service area of an Iowa library, approved for reciprocal borrowing through the Open Access Program (check at the circulation desk for confirmation.)

F)      Children ages 5-14: Children who fit the residence requirements and are at least 5 years old are eligible for a library card according to the discretion of their parents or legal guardian.  A parent or legal guardian must accompany the child in person to complete the application, as an in-person signature from a parent/legal guardian is required for persons under age 14.  Responsibility for a child’s selection and return of materials, and any fines or charges accrued on the child’s card, is held by the parent or guardian of the child.

G)     Older children: Older children (age 14 and up) not accompanied by a parent need to have photo identification (like that issued at school or driver’s permit/license) and address verification (mail recently sent to the child is acceptable.) Another way to verify the child’s address is for us to send a library card to the child’s address.  If a parent is not present at the time of application, checkout may be limited to two items until the child receives a physical library card.

H)     Temporary users: Applicants for a temporary library card must provide proof of local residence. If the applicant has no proof of residence, a voucher from the applicant's landlord or other local property owner must be provided.

I)        Out-of-state temporary users: Persons from out of state (or persons living in Iowa, but outside the service of an Open Access library), are eligible to apply for a temporary out-of-state library account.  A refundable $20 deposit is required, and checkouts will be limited to one item at a time.  Unpaid fines or replacement fees may be deducted from the deposit.  The deposit (or balance thereof) will be returned once the user is ready to close the account and has returned all materials in good condition. 

J)       Computer-only users: Persons without a permanent address in the Keota area are eligible to register to use the computers. A photo i.d., such as a driver’s license, is required. Registration forms are available at the circulation desk.


II)      Loan periods

A)     Loan periods vary as listed in the chart below.  The library director may establish the loan period under special circumstances, including school projects or other special events.

Description of materials

Loan period

Grace period


3 weeks

3 days

Books: juvenile and young adult

3 weeks

3 days

Books on CD

3 weeks

3 days


3 days

3 days

Interlibary loans


3 days


3 weeks

3 days

B)      Returns: An after-hours return slot is located on the south side of the library building. To avoid overdue charges, return materials by midnight of their due date.

C)      Limits: DVD/Blu-ray checkouts are limited to 3 DVDs/Blu-ray per library account at any one time.  There is total limit of thirty items that may be checked out on one account. 

D)     Limits due to fines: No DVDs/Blu-ray may be checked out it the borrower has any unpaid fines or fees.  If a borrower’s unpaid fines or fees exceed $20, no material may be checked out.  The library director may impose further limits as necessary, such as to limit the number of new books checked out a once, or if a patron has excessive fines or lost/damaged items.  (For more information, see section C. Overdue fines and D. Lost or damaged items.)

E)      Renewals: Materials may be renewed two times in person or over the telephone, unless the material is reserved for another person.

F)      Reserves: Materials can be reserved in person or over the telephone.  Patrons will be notified by phone when the item is available.  Reserved items will be held for the patron for 3 days.  There is no charge to a patron for placing a reserve.

III)    Overdue fines

A)     Fines will be charged for overdue materials according to the above listed chart.  If an item is overdue for over a week, library staff will attempt to contact the borrower.  (However, it is the borrower’s responsibility to keep track of what items are checked out and when they are due.)

B)      After the grace period, a daily fine is charged on each item starting from the day it was due. In other words, once you exceed the grace period, you must pay fines from the original due date.

C)      Fines are limited to a total of $5.00 per item.  A borrower may not have any unpaid fines in order to check out DVDs/Blu-ray.  If a borrower’s unpaid fines or fees exceed $20, no material may be checked out. 

D)     If an item is not returned within a designated period of time, the borrower’s account will be charged with the cost of replacing the material, plus any applicable charges for processing, cataloguing and postage.  (See section D. Lost or damaged items.)

IV)   Lost or damaged items

A)     If a borrower cannot locate material he/she has checked out, he/she should notify the library that the material is lost.  If a borrowed item is not returned within a designated period of time, that item will be considered lost by the user.  The borrower’s account will be charged with the cost of replacing the material, plus any applicable charges for processing, cataloguing and postage. 

B)      If materials are damaged to the point of being unsuitable for the library collection (as judged by the library director), the borrower’s account will be charged with the cost of replacing the material, plus any applicable charges for processing, cataloguing and postage.

C)      If material is damaged but is still suitable for use, the borrower may be assessed a damage fine, plus any applicable charges for cleaning and/or repair.  The damage fine is not to exceed the cost of replacing the item.

V)        Interlibrary Loan Policy (ILL)

A)     If the Wilson Memorial Public Library does not have certain material requested by a patron, the librarians will be glad to request the sought after materials from SILO (State of Iowa Libraries Online). If not found on SILO, the materials will be requested from OCLC-First Search.

B)      ILL Fee: Patron's will be charged $1.50 for each item requested to help defray the cost of return postage.

C)      ILL Limits: Patrons will be limited to 3 items requested at one time. The total amount could go up to 5 items depending on the type of materials and usage intended. For example: a school teacher could request up to 5 items when used for a class unit. When those items are returned by the patron, more items can be requested.  There is no cap on the amount of items a person may request in the course of a fiscal year (July-June).

D)     ILL Circulation Period:  The circulation period is set by the lending library. Renewals are up to the discretion of the lending library. If a renewal is requested by a patron, we will contact the lending library and request an extension; then contact the patron with the answer.

E)      Notification: Patrons will be contacted up to 2 times when an item is received at the library and contact dates will be noted in the patron record. If the item(s) is not picked up by the patron by the date due, the patron will be charged the full cost of the return postage.

VI)      Confidentiality

A)     Confidentiality is essential to protect the exercise of First and Fourth Amendment rights. In accordance with First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Iowa Code and professional ethics, the Wilson Memorial Library respects the privacy of users and recognizes its responsibility to protect their privacy.

B)      As specified in the Code of Iowa 22.7 "Examination of Public Records (Open Records)", the following public records shall be kept confidential, unless otherwise ordered by a court, by the lawful custodian of the records, or by another person duly authorized to release such information:

The records of a library which, by themselves or when examined with other public records, would reveal the identity of the library patron checking out or requesting an item or information from the library. The records shall be released to a criminal or juvenile justice agency only pursuant to an investigation of a particular person or organization suspected of committing a known crime. The records shall be released only upon a judicial determination that a rational connection exists between the requested release of information and a legitimate end and that the need for the information is cogent and compelling.

C)      Professional Ethics: "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted." (Source: Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.)

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.