Dubuque County Library District

Circulation Policy

Dubuque County Library District provides public library services to the residents of unincorporated areas of Dubuque County, residents of the cities of Asbury, Epworth, Farley, Holy Cross, and Peosta. Checkout privileges will be issued for citizens of other towns based on a signed contract with the Public Library Agency of Dubuque County or participation in the State Library Open Access program. There is no charge for a library card.

Service will not be denied or abridged because of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, disability or veteran status. The library allows persons from all areas to use materials while in the library.



  • Residents of the unincorporated areas of Dubuque County, the cities of Asbury, Epworth, Farley, Holy Cross, and Peosta, as well as persons who own property in one of these areas are eligible for a library card.
  • Iowa residents who reside in communities that are part of the State Open Access Program may obtain services from the Dubuque County Library. These individuals must present a library card from their hometown library in addition to photo identification and proof of address.  Open Access borrowers must make requests for interlibrary loan at their home libraries. Under the provisions of the Open Access Program, students enrolled in any college or university in Iowa may obtain borrowing privileges for the duration of the school term by presenting identification and a verification of fees paid for the current term at the time of registration. In accordance with the standards of the State Library of Iowa, Iowa residents cannot obtain a borrower card from the Dubuque County Library for a fee.
  • Elementary and secondary students enrolled in Dubuque or Western Dubuque school systems that live in cities that do not contract with Dubuque County Library or the Library Agency may be issued a “school use only” library card which is valid for the duration of the school year. “School Use Only” cards must be kept at the library.
  • Any eligible person 13 years of age and over may register for a library card by providing photo identification such as a driver’s license or state identification card and verifying proof of address.
  • Any eligible child between the ages of 3 and 12 may register for a library card with a parent or guardian present. The parent or guardian must have a photo ID and proof of address.
  • Visitors to the community may purchase a guest card for $10. This card is good for one month and is limited to three items per checkout.
  • First time borrowers are limited to five items for the first visit.
  • A registered day care facility or senior living center may register for an institutional card if they provide service to eligible residents.
  • Cards will be renewed every three years by staff after verifying and if need be, updating, the name, address, email address, and phone number.


A list of loan periods, fines and fees follows below.  Items may be renewed in person, online, and by phone.

  • Requests for holds may be placed at the public service desk of any branch, over the phone or via the online catalog. When a hold has become available, notification will be by phone or email.
  • Changes to name, address, email address, or phone number should be reported to the Library in the interest of keeping records current.


  • The library does not act in loco parentis. It is the responsibility of parents to monitor their children’s use of library materials. Parents or guardians who wish to limit their child’s access to certain library materials should make this desire known to their children and may wish to accompany them to the library to ensure family standards are met.
  • The use of library materials may be denied for due cause, such as failure to return materials, failure to pay fines or fees, or destruction of library property. Failure to adhere to the Conduct in the Library policy may also be considered as cause for denial of service.


  • Cardholders are responsible for all use made of their library card. For this reason, patrons are asked to always bring their library card when to check out materials and should not loan their library card to others.
  • If a card is lost or stolen, patrons should notify the library as soon as possible in order for the card number to be registered as lost. A photo ID may required to replace a lost or stolen library card or to retrieve a lost and found card.
  • A library card should always be presented at the time of checkout. If a card is not presented, a photo ID or other proof of identification may be required.


  • Laptops may only be checked out for in-library use by registered borrowers at least 13 years old, without fines or fee on their account, and with at least a three-month borrower history.
  • Chromebooks and mobile hotspots may only be checked out by DCLD resident registered borrowers at least 13 years old, without fines or fee on their account, and with at least a three-month borrower history.
  • Laptops are for in-facility use only, and cannot be removed from the facility. Removal of the laptop from the library facility will be viewed as theft and may result in prosecution. Chromebooks and mobile hotspots are available for use outside of the library.
  • All devices must be returned to library staff at the service desk at least 30 minutes prior to library closing, even if this does not allow use of the laptop for the entire loan period. Until the device has been placed in the hands of a library staff member and checked in, it remains the user’s responsibility. Devices may not be returned to a book drop or another return location, such as the Carnegie-Stout Library, and a fee of $25 will be charged for this type of return.
  • The borrower is responsible for the device, software, and all accessories/peripherals. Borrowers will reimburse the library for any damages, up to and including replacement cost, if the device, peripherals/accessories or any software installed thereon is damaged, lost or stolen while checked out to them.
  • The borrower agrees to alert library staff immediately if the device or any of its components are damaged, missing or malfunctioning.


Loan Periods  
Books 3 weeks/2 renewals
Audiobooks 3 weeks/2 renewals
Magazines 1 week/2 renewals
DVDs 1 week/1 renewal
Laptops 2 hours/ 1 renewal
Chromebooks 1 week/ no renewal
Mobile hotspots 1 week/ no renewal


DVDs 5 per card
Books 50 per adult/25 per child card
Audiobooks 10 per card
Magazines 10 per card
Laptops 1 per card
Chromebooks 1 per card
Mobile hotspots 1 per card


Replacement cards $1.00
Interlibrary Loan (partial postage reimbursement) $2.00 per request on receipt
Photocopies $.10 per page
Printing $.10 per page
  $.25 per page for color
Fax – Send $1.00 per page
Fax – Receive $.50 per page



Fines are not assessed for overdue materials with the exception of Chromebooks and mobile hotspots; however, accounts with any overdue fines or materials overdue by seven (7) or more days will have circulation and some remote access privileges suspended. An account will return to good standing when all overdue items are returned or renewed, any fines are paid, or lost or damaged materials are paid for.

Chromebooks $5 per day
Mobile hotspots $5 per day
There is no grace period for these items. A fine will be assessed once the item becomes overdue.


Lost or damaged materials

  • If an item, software, or accessory/peripheral is lost or damaged, borrowers shall pay the current list price to replace the material.
  • Borrowers should report any damage, but not attempt to repair any item.
  • The library will refund payment on lost items subsequently returned within 60 days of payment. Refunds of payment for out of print books deemed particularly valuable to the collection and returned after the 60 day period may be made at the discretion of the director.



Per the Library’s Confidentiality Policy and Iowa Code Chapter 22 sections 13 and 18, all library transactions and use of library resources are considered confidential.  The library will not reveal the identities of individual users nor reveal the information sources or services they consult unless required by law.


Adopted 12/09

Revised 7/11

Revised 9/12

Reviewed 7/13

Revised 1/18/16

Revised 8/20/19

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