Dubuque County Library District

Circulation Policy

The Dubuque County Library District (DCLD) provides public library services to residents and property-owners of the DCLD service area and residents of cities which have a signed contract with the Public Library Agency of Dubuque County. The DCLD service area includes the unincorporated areas of Dubuque County and cities which are members of DCLD. Checkout privileges are also offered to residents of cities participating in the State Library Open Access program.

The following cities are currently members of the Dubuque County Library District: Asbury, Epworth, Farley, Holy Cross, and Peosta.

The following cities currently have a signed contract with the Public Library Agency of Dubuque County: Balltown, Centralia, Luxemburg, and Rickardsville.

Service will not be denied or abridged because of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, disability or veteran status.

  • Eligibility for service
    • DCLD offers library service at different levels of access based on the source of the patron’s eligibility for service. These levels of access are reflected in the library’s patron categories (detailed below). DCLD staff will determine each patron’s source of eligibility at account creation and renewal and assign or update the patron’s category accordingly.
    • Residents and property-owners of the DCLD service area or contracting cities shall be eligible for a full-service library card.
    • Iowa residents of communities participating in the State Library Open Access program shall be eligible for a limited-service library card.
    • Out-of-state residents may be eligible to purchase a temporary limited-service library card.
    • The use of library materials may be denied or limited 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 or limitation of service.
  • Library card creation, renewal, and replacement
    • Any eligible person 13 years of age and over may register for a library card by presenting a valid photo ID. Additional proof of address may be required.
    • Any eligible person 12 years of age or under may register for a library card if accompanied by a parent or guardian who presents a valid photo ID. Additional proof of address may be required.
    • Library cards shall expire on a regular schedule. Expired cards are blocked from borrowing materials. An expired card shall be renewed by staff upon request from the patron after verifying and if need be updating the patron’s name and contact information.
    • The library shall issue a replacement library card upon request from the patron. There may be a fee for this replacement. The replacement of a library card is subject to the same ID and address verification requirements as the issuance of a new library card.
  • Borrowing
    • Patrons are asked to present their library card when checking out materials. Additional verification of identity may be required for patrons checking out materials without their library card.
    • Possession of a library card is assumed to indicate permission from the card’s owner to check out materials on the associated account. For this reason, patrons are encouraged to report a lost or stolen library card promptly.
    • The library may place limits on borrowing due to demand, availability, and licensing agreements.
    • The library will neither institute nor enforce limits on borrowing based on content or intended audience.
  • Holds
    • Patrons may request that an item be held for checkout at the branch of the patron’s choosing.
    • The library may limit how many holds a patron can place concurrently due to demand and availability.
    • Items will be held for a period of days, after which time they may be returned to regular circulation. The duration of this period shall be determined by staff based on availability and demand.
  • Overdue materials
    • The library does not charge fines for the late return of borrowed materials.
    • The library may restrict borrowing privileges for any patron with an item 7 or more days overdue. Any such restriction will be lifted once all overdue materials are either returned or renewed.
    • When an item becomes 30 or more days overdue, the library may assume the item has been lost and charge the patron accordingly.
  • Lost and damaged materials
    • When an item is lost or damaged while checked out to a patron, the library may charge the patron up to the replacement price of the item.
    • The library will not accept a replacement item in lieu of payment.
    • If the lost item is returned in good condition before the replacement price is paid, the replacement fee will be waived.
    • After the replacement fee for a lost item has been paid, the library will accept the item and issue a refund if the item is returned in good condition within 60 days of the payment date.
  • Patron categories
    • The library’s established patron categories include the following:
      • Adult: Residents and property-owners of the DCLD service area or contracting cities who are 13 or more years old. This is a full-service card.
      • Juvenile: Residents and property-owners of the DCLD service area or contracting cities who are under 13 years old. This is a full-service card.
      • DCSD Student: Middle and secondary school students from the Dubuque Community School District granted library accounts via the Public Library Student Access Program. This card allows the patron to borrow up to 3 items at a time and to access some electronic resources.
      • Open Access Adult: Residents of cities participating in the State Library Open Access program who are 13 or more years old. This card allows full use of print materials but generally does not allow the use of electronic resources outside of the library.
      • Open Access Juvenile: Residents of cities participating in the State Library Open Access program who are under 13 years old. This card allows full use of print materials but generally does not allow the use of electronic resources outside of the library.
      • Open Access Care Facility: Residents of a care facility located in a city participating in the State Library Open Access program. This card allows full use of print materials but generally does not allow the use of electronic resources outside of the library. Lending limits and periods are adjusted to accommodate scheduled visits.
      • Organization: Registered day care facilities or senior living centers located in the DCLD service area or contracting cities. This card allows the use of print materials with alternate lending limits and periods for extended borrowing and use by a group of patrons.
      • Temporary: Patrons without a permanent address. This card expires after 1 month and allows the patron to borrow up to 3 items at a time.
      • Guest: Visitors to the community may purchase a guest card. This card expires after 1 month and allows the patron to borrow up to 3 items at a time.
    • The library may establish additional patron categories as needed in order to enforce circulation policies and procedures.
  • Lending limits
    • Patrons in the Temporary and Guest categories may have up to three items checked out at one time.
    • No patron may have more than one hotspot checked out at one time.
    • No patron may have more than one laptop checked out at one time.
    • No patron may have more than one Chromebook checked out at one time.
  • Lending periods and renewals
    • Standard lending periods and renewal allowances are as follows:
      • Print books and audiobooks may be borrowed for 3 weeks at a time and renewed twice.
      • Magazines, DVDs, and Blu-rays may be borrowed for 1 week at a time and renewed twice.
      • Chromebooks may be borrowed for 1 week and renewed once.
      • Hotspots may be borrowed for 1 week and may not be renewed.
      • Laptops may be borrowed for 2 hours at a time and may be renewed once.
    • Library staff may extend lending periods and grant extra renewals based on extenuating circumstances.
    • Renewals shall not be allowed on items for which another patron has requested a hold.
    • Items borrowed from other libraries via interlibrary loan may be subject to alternate lending periods and renewal limits and may incur fines if not returned on or before their due date.

Related policies: Interlibrary Loan, Privacy and Confidentiality

Adopted 11/15/2022

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