Circulation Policies

Approved 01/27/2020

The circulation policies of the Ottawa Library exist to facilitate community access to materials and information in the library’s collection, while protecting these same collections. 

Ottawa Library’s circulation policies are intended to be in accord with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights. 


1. Library Card Policy

The Ottawa Library issues library cards to facilitate the use of computers, loan of materials, and to enable the library to keep a record of which materials are on loan to patrons. Individuals are limited to one library card in the NEXT system. 


Obtaining a Library Card 
Any resident of the Kansas area over the age of 18 may receive an adult library card upon completion of an application, provision of proof of identification (ID), and current address. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the library executive director. 

Acceptable photo ID and proof of current address shall be one or more of the following: 

  • Valid Kansas driver’s license or other government issued photo ID with current address 

  • Utility bill 

  • Printed checks 

  • Property tax statement 

  • Canceled mail, postmarked within the last two weeks 

  • Typed lease that shows the address 

  • Department of Motor Vehicles issued change-of-address card 

  • Insurance Forms provided they display current address 


Anyone between the ages of 5-18 years old can receive a juvenile card after completing an application and securing the signature of his/her parent or legal guardian who has a library card. This signature must be witnessed by an Ottawa Library staff member. Grandparents may only get a card for a child if they are the legal guardian. Children must be present in order to apply for a library card, and all applications require proof of ID and current address for the responsible parent. 

Library card applications may not be removed from the library; however, a copy will be given upon request. All library card applications are the possession of Ottawa Library. 

Emancipated minors who have proof of their court ordered emancipation, may receive an adult card without parental consent. 

Institutions may receive an institutional library card providing the director (or other authorized person) of the agency is willing to sign a statement committing the institution to being responsible for all items checked out on the institutional card. 

All library cards are valid for one year. At the end of that year, patrons will be asked to verify their address and other contact information (i.e. phone number, email, alternative contact, etc.). 

Use of Library Cards 
Patrons can maintain full library privileges by:

  • returning materials on or before the due date 

  • adhering to the borrowing limits for all types of material 

  • paying for lost or damaged materials 

  • keeping the amount of money owed below $10.00 

  • promptly informing the library of any change of address or phone number 




When a patron calls the library to conduct a transaction on his/her account, he or she must provide a library card number and his/her name. 

A patron’s record will be restricted/blocked when items are overdue or money is owed. 

A patron retains full library borrowing privileges as long as his/her library record is not restricted/blocked. A library record will become restricted/blocked under the following circumstances: 

  • When an item on a patron’s account is overdue 21 days 

  • Patron exceeds borrowing limits by type or quantity of material 

  • When the total amount of unpaid fines and fees exceed $10.00. The account balance must be under $10.00 before privileges can be restored.

  • When a patron’s account has five or more claims returned items on it. 

  • When a patron violates the Patron Code of Conduct, at the discretion of the library executive director and/or staff. 

Once a patron’s library card is restricted/blocked, all library privileges for that patron are suspended including borrowing and renewal of items. Patrons MAY NOT use the library computers if their card is restricted. 

Because a patron’s borrowing privileges are restricted/blocked, he/she may not use another patron’s library card to check out materials or use computers. 

Parents/legal guardians are responsible for the check-out selections and internet viewing choices of their children. 

Lost or Stolen Library Cards 
Patrons must report lost cards in order to avoid being held responsible for materials checked out on their cards. 

There is a charge of $1.00 to replace a lost library card. 

Patron must provide identification in order to get a new library card in addition to paying the fee. 

Children under the age of 18, who do not have a picture ID, must give their date of birth, address, and phone number in order to get a new card in addition to paying the fee. The date of birth, address, and phone number must match exactly those on the patron’s account in the circulation system. In the event that an address and phone number don’t match, the child must bring a parent with them in order to get a new library card. 

Patron Responsibilities 
Because the Ottawa Library verifies the identity of all library card applicants, the individual named on the account is responsible for all fines and fees assessed to that account. 

A library patron is responsible for all materials checked out on his/her card or on the cards of children for whom he/she has signed library card applications regardless of who checked the items out. 

Once a child turns 18 and becomes an adult user, their fines and fees as a minor may be transferred to the parent or guardian’s account.

2. Material Loan Limits Policy Statement


The Ottawa Library sets loan periods and loan limits in order to provide patrons with fair and reasonable access to the library’s resources. The Ottawa Library sets limits on the length of time that an individual can keep a specific type of material in order to more fairly distribute limited resources such as audio-visual materials. The limit also reflects the fact that it takes more time to utilize some types of materials than others. 

3. Renewal Policy


The Ottawa Library allows patrons to renew library materials as a courtesy to patrons who have not completed their use of an item. Limits on renewals exist so that all patrons can have an equal opportunity to use the library’s materials. 

A renewal is an extension of the original loan period. 

Renewals are granted dependent upon material type and existence of a request for the material by another patron. 

DVDs, BluRays, and video games do not renew. All other materials may be renewed twice providing a hold for the material has not been placed by another patron. 

Eligible library materials can be renewed in person, by phone, or through the library’s online catalog at the Ottawa Library website. 

To maintain the integrity of the reserve system, items for which other patrons have placed holds may not be renewed.

Staff may renew eligible materials two times provided there are no patron holds on the item(s). 

Eligible overdue materials can be renewed; however, any fines incurred prior will be added to the patron’s account. 

Staff will provide a new due date whenever an item is renewed. If an item is renewed over the phone, it is the patron’s responsibility to record the new due date. 

If the patron’s account is restricted/blocked, materials cannot be renewed. Patrons must return or pay for items that have been marked lost. Materials in this category cannot be renewed. 

Renewal requests for InterLibrary Loan materials can only be granted through the ILL department and at the discretion of the lending library. 

4. Fines & Fees


Policy statement: The Ottawa Library charges fines as an incentive for patrons to return materials in a timely manner so that other patrons can have access to the items. The Ottawa Library charges fees to offset the cost of recovering and replacing lost and damaged library materials. 

Definitions: A fine is a variable charge imposed for the late return of library materials. A fee is a fixed charge imposed to cover the cost of processing replacement library materials or recovering or replacing lost ones. 

Overdue Fines 
Items not returned by the due date will be charged as follows: All books and audiovisuals are charged per item per day up to a maximum of $3.00 per item. Current fines are $.50 per day for movies and video games, $.15 per day for print/audio, and $2.00 per day for eReaders. These rates are subject to change. 
Borrowing privileges will be restricted/blocked when the amount of money owed reaches or exceeds $10.00 in fines and/or charges. 

No fines will be charged on the days the library is closed. 

Staff will inform patrons of money owed each time the patron borrows materials. 
Miscellaneous Fines and Fees 

A fee of $1.00 is charged for the replacement of a library card and should be paid when the card is issued. 

Fines and Fees for Lost and Damaged Items 

Once items have been kept 45 days after the due date, the item will be assumed to be lost, will be marked lost, and billed to the patron.  If these items are returned before 180 days, the item charge is eliminated, but the fine remains. 

The replacement cost of lost books, magazines, audio books, DVDs, music CDs, video games, and readers will be based on the listed replacement price on each item record. 

Patrons will receive a receipt for a payment accepted when patrons are paying for a lost item. 

Patron accounts will remain restricted/blocked until the balance owed is under $10.00. 

The full cost of the item shall be assessed for any items returned damaged if the extent of the damage renders them unusable. 

If a lost item is found on the shelf, it will be discharged from the patron’s record in such a way that no fines will be incurred. 

Items overdue 180 days (6 months) will be marked withdrawn. Patrons will be required to pay for these items because they cannot be reinstated into the library’s collection after this period of time. 

5. Claims Return Policy


Items marked “claims returned” remain on the patron’s record. Patron’s may have 4 claims returned items on their record and maintain borrowing privileges. Upon claiming the fifth item, the patron will lose his or her borrowing privileges until the items in question are returned or paid for. 

Claims returned status will be removed from an item on a patron’s record only if the item is located by the patron at home or by staff at the library and subsequently discharged. 

The library maintains, as part of the patron’s record, the number of items a patron has claimed to return over their lifetime as a patron. 

If a patron finds an item previously claimed to be returned, they are expected to return the item to the library and pay the fine that would have accrued. If the item is damaged, they will also be billed the replacement cost. 

eReaders are not eligible for claims return.

6. Overdue Notices Policy


The Ottawa Library sends overdue notices to patrons as a courtesy to remind them of materials kept past the due date. Patrons with email addresses entered on their account will receive notices via email. 

The first overdue notice will be sent to patrons when materials checked out on the patron’s card have been kept 7 days past the due date. 

The second overdue notice will be sent to patrons when materials have been kept 21 days past the due date. At this point, a patron’s account will be restricted/blocked. 
The third notice is sent at 35 days past due. It informs the patron that the items are considered lost, and they are responsible for replacement costs. Patron accounts remain restricted/blocked until all charges are settled with the library. 

The library does not mail notices for fines incurred. 

Billed items returned after 6 months cannot be added back into the collection, and money paid will not be refunded. 

7. Library Material Holds Policy


Policy Statement: The Ottawa Library accepts holds for materials in order to provide access to high demand materials and materials located in NEXT. 

A. All library patrons in good standing may place holds on library materials. 
Patrons can not place multiple holds on an item record. Only one hold per item record is allowed.
B. Patrons with restricted/blocked records may not place holds on materials. 
There is no charge for placing a hold on library materials. 
C. Only items in the online catalog may have holds placed on them. 
Holds must be picked up in person. 
D. If it becomes necessary, Ottawa Library may limit the number of holds a patron has on their account at one time. 
E. Patrons may place holds in person, by telephone, and via the NEXT catalog on the library’s website. Patrons are suspended from placing holds through the online catalog if their account is restricted/blocked. 
F. Patrons may designate the location within the NEXT system where they would like to pick up the hold. 
G. Patrons will be notified by phone, email, or post card when the held item is available for pickup. 
H. Holds will be held for the patron for seven days after the notification date. 

8. Collection Agency Policy


After all collection activity has been exhausted, the library will proceed pursuant to K.S.A. 21-3701/K.S.A. 21-3702

9. Gaming Policy


Ottawa Library welcomes patrons ages 11-18, 6th-12th grade, to use the gaming system in The Cave. 

Gaming is offered to encourage the public, especially the youth, to visit the library and to expose them to the vast array of services available at the library. This opportunity was made possible in part by the State Library of Kansas Library Services and Technology Act and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 
Anyone using the library’s gaming system should read the Gaming Policy, Internet Policy, and the Patron Code of Conduct Policy. 

Any damages that occur to the library’s space and equipment will be the responsibility of the patron checking out the materials according to the library’s Circulation Policy. 

Gaming Rules and Guidelines 
All games, controllers, and accessories will be checked out at the Children’s Department desk.

Patrons must have a valid library card in good standing to check out games, controllers, and accessories. 

The patron checking out the materials takes full responsibility for any damages that occur to the items during check out in accordance with Ottawa Library’s Circulation Policy. 

Items check out for a 30-minute time limit. If the system is in use, register at the Children’s Department desk. If there is no one waiting to use the system, play may continue for a maximum of 2 hours. 

Users must end play immediately at the request of a library staff member. 
All items must be returned and the gaming system shut down 15 minutes before closing. 

Gaming availability is limited and may not be available at all times the library is open. 

Gaming time limits are at the sole discretion of the library staff. 

Gamers will respect others and keep the volume and noise level low. Disruptive behavior, including foul language, will result in the patron’s loss of gaming privileges for a length of time determined by library staff and the Ottawa Library Director in accordance with the Ottawa Library’s Patron Code of Conduct Policy. 

All games must be rated T (teen) or lower. 

Patrons are allowed to use their own controller, accessories, and games (rated Teen or lower) pending approval from a library staff member. Abusing this privilege and/or not receiving prior approval may result in loss of gaming privileges. Ottawa Library assumes no responsibility for any damage or loss to the patron’s personal belongings brought to Ottawa Library.