Le Mars Public Library

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Circulation Services Policy

The Le Mars Public Library offers Full Access borrowing privileges to residents of Le Mars and residents of entities that provide adequate yearly funding as defined by the Library Board of Trustees.

 The Le Mars Public Library offers Open Access borrowing privileges to patrons from other Iowa libraries that participate in the Iowa Open Access Program.

 This policy is a part of Le Mars Public Library’s overall policy structure and should be interpreted in conjunction with other existing Library policies. Copies of all policies of Le Mars Public Library are available at our website or upon request. Le Mars Public Library adheres to the provisions of Open Access Terms set forth by the State Library of Iowa.


Full Access library card: may be used to access all digital and physical resources owned by the library.

Open Access library card: may be used to access physical resources owned by the library under the Open Access Terms of Agreement. Digital access is limited.

Full Access- Paid library card:  may be purchased for $40.00 per year and used to access all digital and physical resources owned by the library.

Institutional library card: Government, nonprofit agencies, classroom teachers, group homes, pre-schools, homebound, residential or similar programs with an identifiable address within the boundaries of the funding entities may have a card on file for services to their staff/clients. Institutional library cards may be kept at the library. Institution’s will not be assigned late fees but may have privileges limited if late returns become habitual. These cards are approved on a case by case basis


  1. Residents living within the city limits of Le Mars, are entitled to a Full Access library card free of charge.
  2. Residents of governmental entities in Plymouth County (incorporated or unincorporated) are entitled to a Full Access library card free of charge, if their respective entities provide adequate yearly funding.
  3. Non-residents (not living in the city of Le Mars or other funding entities) who own property within the city limits of Le Mars or other funding entity must present a property tax receipt to receive a free Full Access library card. Tax receipt check is required annually.
  4. Non-Residents (not living in the city of Le Mars or other funding entities) may purchase a Full Access-Paid library card for $40.00 per year. Full Access-Paid card holders will have the same borrowing privileges as Le Mars residents patrons.
  5. Iowa residents, who are Non-Residents (not living in the city of Le Mars or other funding entities) may apply for a free Open Access card. Digital access is limited.
  6. Out–of–State Residents may purchase a Full Access-Paid library card for $40.00 per year. Full Access-Paid card holders will have the same borrowing privileges as Le Mars residents patrons.
  7. International visitors, who have not established a U.S. residence, are not eligible to apply for a library card, but are welcome to use the facilities during their visit in the United States.

Application for a Card:  Each person must complete an Application for Library Card form. Those 18 years of age or older must show identification with mailing address. (i.e.: driver’s license, US mailed envelope)

  1. The library will keep the application forms on file for verification.
  2. Persons wishing to receive a replacement card will need to show identification, proof of mailing address and verify address and phone number information that already exists in the library’s database.
  3. Persons under 18 years of age must have a parent’s signature on the application form. Parents must also hold a current library card and be in good standing with the library.
  4. Replacement cards are $3.00 for all card holders. No refund can be given if lost card is later found.
  5. Address and phone number check is required every 365 days.

Borrower’s Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of the borrower to follow policies of the Le Mars Public Library, including timely return of items borrowed. Items are to be returned in the same condition as when borrowed.

  1. The library user is to keep his or her library card in useable condition, presenting it when needed.
  2. All borrowers must present their own library card when checking out materials. A library card must not be given to another individual for borrowing or other privileges.
  3. Replacement cards are $3.00 for all cardholders. No refund can be given if a lost card is later found.
  4. Borrowers who deface library materials in any way may lose their library card privileges for a period of 2 months.
    1. Defacing of materials may include, but not be limited to: cutting of pages, marking pages with pen, pencil or other material, marking the bar codes on the materials, cutting out pictures, marking the spine of the book/material and other inappropriate markings on library materials.
  5. Borrowers with long overdue items who are referred to the police because they have not responded to repeated requests for books and materials to be returned after being overdue for more than two months, will have their library privileges revoked. These patrons may appeal this decision and be reinstated by the Library Board.

 Loan Periods: An item may not be renewed if a hold/reserve has been placed on the item by another borrower.

 Books & Magazines, Books on CD, Music CD, etc.   2 week check out     3 renewals

 DVD’s            1 week check out      1 renewal

AV Equipment:  Case by case basis

Books labeled “Reference”, current issues of periodicals, and newspapers generally do not check out, but can be reviewed on a case by case basis.


Limits on Quantity: The following limits will be set for all borrowers at all times. The library reserves the right to limit numbers or loan periods for new patrons, holiday materials, or for specific assignments at their peak time.

            Format types                                                           Limit

            Books or magazines                                    50 books, 20 magazines per card

            Music CDs                                                  10 per card

            DVDs                                                          5 per card

            Books on CD                                                10 per card

Fines/Late Fees:  A fee will be charged per item for each day late. Items returned in the outside drop before the library opens to the public will be considered returned on the previous day. Days that the library are closed for Sundays, Holidays, or weather situations will not be counted in late fees.

            Books                                     $.20 per day late

            Music CDs                               $.20 per day late

            Books on CD                           $.20 per day late

            DVDs                                     $1.00 per day

Other Fees:

            Inter Library Loan                 $3.00 ea.  (3 Free ILL’s per Full Access card)

            Fax- sending                        $2.00 first page, $.50 additional page

            Fax- receiving                       $.50 each page

            Print & Copy, Black & White          $.20, per each side of the page

            Print & Copy, Color              $1.00 per each side of the page

            (Misc. charges subject to change: Keurig coffee, used book sale items, earbuds etc.)   

  1. Maximum overdue amount per late item is $10.00.  An overdue fee will not exceed the value of the overdue book. This is not the same as a replacement charge for items not returned.
  2. Fees for unreturned items will be the cost of the replacement plus a $3.00 processing fee. Any fines accrued will be waived.
  3. Borrowers will be reminded of fines/fees owed when they check out materials..
  4. Once a total of $5.00 in fines/fees is on an individual account, that user is blocked from borrowing materials, equipment use, and public Internet/computer use.
  5. Overdue notices are sent via text or email message as soon as an item becomes overdue for those requesting this service.  Those without a texting or emailing capacity are notified via phone calls on a bi-monthly basis.
  6. Fine information will only be accessible to parents/guardians of minor children under the age of 17 who have signed for responsibility.  Families with fines of $5 or more will be required to pay those fines before checking out materials.

 Notices to Return Items. Our ILS system sends notices via email or text to patrons with overdue items at the time an item becomes overdue. The Library makes an effort to call patrons, but timely return is the responsibility of the patron.

  1. Replacement cost plus a $3.00 processing fee per item will be charged for items not returned 2 months after their due date.
  2. Refunds will not be made if item is later returned. Library staff will accept replacement  items + a $3.00 processing fee per item, if the item(s) are new and equal in value to lost or damaged item it replaces.

Failure to return library materials within two months of its due date constitutes a “Theft of Property” under IA code 714.5 a collection agency or local law enforcement will be employed to recover long overdue materials, totaling $25 or more.

Reserves/Holds: Any borrower may request a hold be placed on a particular item. Once notified (phone message or email) the item will be held at the desk for three (3) days before sending it to the next person or returning to the shelf for circulation.  Reserves are handled on a first come first serve basis.

Confidentiality of Records: All records are maintained as outlined under Iowa Code 22.7(13). The identity of a borrower and collection materials used/checked out are confidential information. (See Confidentiality Policy). The Library Board of Trustees has designated the Library Director as the lawful custodian (government body currently in physical possession of the public record) of the Library Records as outlined in Iowa Code 22.7 (see Confidentiality Policy) The Library Director has the authority to release the records in accordance with Iowa’s Confidentiality Law.

 Approved and Adopted 

by the Library Board of Trustees

July 10, 2001
revisions made ’08, 3/11, 4/12, 11/13, 8/14