Putnam District Library

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Special Circumstances

Additonal Library Account Procedures

FineThresholds

If a patron's overdue fines total $5 or above, the account will be restricted until the fines are under $5.

If a patron’s fines are at or above $10—or if the total fines on accounts that share a responsible adult comes to that amount—then that account, and all accounts linked to it by a responsible adult, will be restricted. A bill will be sent to the responsible adult. If no action is taken within 30 days, the account (s) will be turned over to the library director.

No checkouts or Internet use will be allowed on any restricted accounts.

Lost or Damaged Library Materials

Damage to library materials consists of, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:  torn pages, marks on materials, water damage, heat damage, “a dog ate my library book” damage or any other type of damage that deems the material unsuitable for circulation.  This will at the discretion of the director.

Typically, lost or damaged materials are replaced in one of two ways.  First, the patron may pay the replacement cost for the item.  Second, the patron can purchase a quality replacement copy for the item, if prior arrangements have been made with the director.  Lost and damaged items should be reported as soon as possible to avoid accruing overdue fees/processing fees on top of any replacement costs.

Once a replacement fee has been paid, no refunds shall be given for items found at a later date.

Overdue Procedures

After items reach overdue status, staff members will do a shelf check for the item(s).  If the item is not found, a phone call will be placed to notify the patron of overdue materials and that fines are accumulating.  Patrons may not renew an item online or over the phone once it is overdue, but they may physically bring it in, and then check it out again. 

Three attempts will be made to call a patron.  If this results in no action, an account check will be made and an overdue bill/letter will be sent to the patron.  At this time the patron’s account will be frozen as well as any accounts they are responsible for.  No checkouts or Internet use will be allowed on any of the restricted accounts until all overdue materials are returned or replacement fees for the missing items have been paid.

If no action is taken after the bill is sent, then the patron’s account will be turned over to the library director.

Deleted Library Accounts

Upon referral to the director, a final attempt will be made to contact the patron whose account is in question.  If no resolution is made after this contact, the patron will be deleted from the system.  All accounts for which this patron is responsible will also be deleted.  When a patron has a deleted library account, they may not check out additional materials or use the Internet computers.

These accounts may be reopened after resolution is made.  Resolution will involve paying for all items not returned as well as all fines and fees assessed through the overdue process.  Arrangements to reconcile these accounts are to be made with the director.

Claims Lost Materials

A claim lost is when a patron has received an overdue notice and is claiming he or she returned the materials.  A claim cannot be made over the phone.  A claim form must be filled out completely and turned in for review by the director. 

  1. The first claim will be accepted and kept on file; the patron will be still considered active and in good standing.
  2. Should a second claim be filed, the director will review both claims and decide the standing of the patron and their borrowing status.
  3. Upon a third claim, the library board will review all outstanding claims; the board will decide the standing of the patron and their borrowing status.