You are here:

Circulation Policy

Standard Checkout Periods

Most circulating materials may be checked out for a period of 14 days. Most videos/DVD's may be checked out for a period of 2 days. The Library Director may set the check out length for any item as needed for the efficient operation of the Library. For instance, a new book may have a check out period of only 7 days if the item is in low supply, and the demand for the item is high. Due to some video/DVD ratings, and due to the higher fine, one must be at least 18 years old to check out a video/DVD.  All items must be at the Circulation Desk within 10 minutes of closing to facilitate the circulation process.
 

Renewals

Except as noted below, items may be renewed after the initial check out period. Items may be renewed twice; however, items which are new or have been assigned a special category may only be renewed once or not at all. Overdue items may be renewed under the same guidelines, but the Library user will be responsible for overdue charges from the due date to the day it was renewed.
 
The following items may not be renewed:
 
  • An item reserved by another person
  • An item which was acquired through the Interlibrary Loan process
  • An item which has reached the total number of renewals for that item
  • Any item placed on special status under the direction of the Library director.
 
Renewals placed in person or over the phone must be placed 10 minutes before the Library closes.  Renewals may be made over the Internet at any time.  Click on the Library Catalog and then Renew Books for more information.
 

Reservations

Library users may place up to four circulating items on reserve.  When an item is ready for them, the library will notify them by phone.  There are certain items, such as Reference and Genealogy materials, which cannot be checked out or placed on reserve.  
 
People with unpaid balances may place items on reserve, but they must pay off their balance before they will be allowed to check out the items placed on reserve.  Reservations placed in person or over the phone must be placed 10 minutes before the Library closes.  Reservations may be made over the Internet at any time. This is done by finding an item in the Library Catalog.  Click on the record for that item, and find where it says, "To reserve this title, complete and submit this form:" The form asks for a barcode, found on the back of the  library card, and the person's PIN. 
 
When an item is ready for a patron to pick up, the Library will call and notify them that the item is ready, and give them at least 24 hours to pick it up.
 
If the Library is unable to talk to a person or leave a message, then we will continue to attempt to call the person at various times throughout the day.  If after 24 hours the person cannot be notified, and others are on reserve for the same item, the next person on the list will be contacted, but the person skipped will still be first on the list the next time the item is available.  Once a person has been skipped four times, they will be removed from the reservation list. 
 
Once a person has been notified that the item is ready to be picked up, they will be given at least 24 hours to pick up the item.  If they fail to pick up the item within the time period given, they will be skipped, but will be first of the list the next time the item is available.  Once a person has been skipped four times, they will be removed from the reservation list.
 

Overdue Items

The Library circulates many different formats of materials. Most circulating items fall into the categories of Books, Books on Cassette, Videos, DVD's and Periodicals. Items are typically circulated through the Library System's On-line Public Access Catalog (OPAC), which tracks the item a Library user currently has checked out, when an item is returned, and automatically calculates and charges late fees. There are times in which certain items have to be circulated without using the OPAC, but the following rules apply to these items too.
 
Books
Books returned past the date due in the computer system will be charged at a rate of 10 cents per day per item, for a maximum charge of $10 per item.
 
Books on Cassette
Books on Cassette returned past the date due in the computer system will be charged at a rate of 10 cents per day per item, for a maximum charge of $10 per item. There will be a $1 fee if a book on a cassette is returned not properly rewound.
 
DVDs
Videos/DVD's returned past the date due in the computer system will be charged at a rate of $2 per day per item, for a maximum charge of $20 per item. There will be a $1 fee if a video is returned not properly rewound.  Due to some video/DVD ratings, and the higher fines, one must be at least 18 years of age to check out a video/DVD. There is a limit of six videos per card, and a limit of two DVD's per card.
 
Periodicals
Periodicals returned past the date due in the computer system will be charged at a rate of 10 cents per day per item, for a maximum charge of $5 per item.
 
Other
Other items returned past the date due in the computer system will be charged at a rate of 10 cents per day per item up to $2 per day per item, for a maximum charge of $20 per item. The daily rate will be set by the director of the Library System, and the daily rate and a maximum rate will be posted on the item.
 

Unpaid Balances


Unpaid balances need to be paid in full before a person may have full check out privileges. A person who is listed in the Online Public Access Computer as a responsible person to a dependent is responsible for the dependent's unpaid balance if the charge occurred before the "dependent" turned 18 years of age. A person 18 or older who is listed as a dependent in the Online Public Access Computer will be responsible for all unpaid balances to their account after they turned 18 years old.
 
If a person has an unpaid balance, and states that they are unable to pay off the balance, they may pay either 50% of the balance, or $20, whichever is the smaller amount. Users who make only a partial payment may only have two items checked out at a time.
 
If a person has an unpaid balance because of unrecoverable item charges, the entire balance must be paid before they may check out any more items from the Library.
 

Unrecoverable Items

The Library will attempt to notify Library users when they have overdue items. If a current address is available, the Library will send out three different overdue notices. The first notice, sent out when an item is more than 1 week overdue, will be a gentle reminder. The second notice, sent out when an item is more than 2 weeks overdue, will be sterner. The third notice, sent out when an item is more than 3 weeks overdue, will include a statement about the Arkansas State Law on the failure to return items borrowed from a Public Library. However, failure to send or receive notices will not negate the Library user's responsibility to return the item and pay the overdue charges.
 
When a Library user has an item which is over 4 weeks overdue, staff will attempt to contact the person by any means possible to try and recover the item. When the staff member determines that an item is not recoverable, generally after an item is 6 to 8 weeks overdue, the item will be listed as "Lost," and the person who lost the item will be charged a "Lost Fee." However, failure to contact the Library user will not negate the user's responsibility to return the item and pay the overdue charges.
 
The "Lost Fee" will consist of the following: 1) The basic cost of the item at current rates, 2) The maximum overdue charge for the item, and 3) A service charge of up to $5 to have the item removed from the computer database.
 
The basic cost of a lost item will be the greater of the following: 1) The average retail cost for replacing similar type items, or 2) The actual replacement cost for the item if this is more than $5 over the average cost. The average retail cost will be calculated and determined by the Director of the Library System by evaluating recent purchases in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Books on Cassette, Videos, DVD's, Paperbacks, etc.
 
 
Library users, under the direction of the Library Director, may replace a lost item with the exact title and format of the item lost. However, overdue charges and the service charge will be applied.
 

Damaged Items

Users who return items to the Library damaged will be assessed a fee for the damage. Damage includes items which have had barcodes, date-due cards or other Library markings removed, water damage, torn pages, etc. If the item can be repaired, the cost will be commensurate to the repair costs. If the item cannot be repaired and must be replaced, then the cost will be commensurate to replacing the item. Damage resulting from fragile conditions due to age or frequent circulation would not be the fault of the user. The Library Director will set the fees for repair costs, and replacement costs will be the same as the "lost fee" (listed above), less the overdue charge if the item was not overdue.