Athens Regional Library System Circulation Policies

The Athens Regional Library System is a participating member of the PINES statewide consortium. PINES libraries adhere to uniform circulation policies and procedures as documented at http://pines.georgialibraries.org/circulation.

Library Cards

Library cards are free to all residents of Georgia. Persons who attend school, own property or are employed in Georgia are eligible for a free PINES card. Patrons of both PINES and non-participating Georgia public libraries may receive a PINES card.

An applicant for a new card is required to provide proper identification, which includes a photo ID showing current local address OR photo ID and one item from the PINES approved list showing current, local address. Original documents are required. Acceptable IDs include valid driver's license, valid voter registration card, valid matricula consular, checks with pre-printed addresses, utility bill, tax receipt or other piece of mail that shows the patron's name and current address.

There is no minimum age for a child to receive a PINES card. A parent or legal guardian may register a child. Parent or guardian must show proper ID to register a child. In the Athens Regional Library System, a parent or guardian must sign the application for all children 18 years or younger.

Signing a PINES card application denotes acceptance of responsibility for all fines and fees for lost or damaged materials. Most PINES cards are valid for two years. All fines and fees must be paid to renew a library card. A valid library card is required to check out materials.

Loan Periods

Materials from the collection circulate as follows:

Audiobooks/Books on Cassette and CD 14 days, 2 renewals
Audiobooks/Downloadable Variable due dates
Books 14 days, 2 renewals
DVDs / Videos (VHS) 7 days, no renewals
Magazines Varies according to local library
Music CDs 14 days, 2 renewals
State Park Pass 7 days, 1 renewal
Zoo Atlanta Pass 7 days, no renewals
eBook Devices 14 days, no renewals
Ukulele (not available at all libraries) 7 days, 2 renewals

Materials will not be renewed if there is a "hold" placed on the item. Renewal requests on eligible materials may be made in person, online or by calling the library.

Audio-visual items and any age-protected items owned by the Athens Regional Library System are only available for holds by patrons registered at an Athens Regional Library System facility and are only available for pickup within the Athens Regional Library System.

DVDs, games, and VHS tapes are limited to 15 simultaneous checkouts for each item type per PINES card.

Fines

To encourage the prompt return of material, the library has established a schedule of fines for those patrons who fail to return library materials by the date due.

Overdue Books, Audiobooks and CDs $.20/day
Overdue DVDs and Videos (VHS) $.50/day
Overdue Georgia State Park Pass $3.00/day
Overdue Zoo Atlanta Pass $.50/day
Overdue Ukulele $3.00/day
eBook devices $5.00/day

Fines are not to exceed the price of the overdue item as determined by the owning library.

Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy. Failure to receive notices does not exempt patrons from the responsibility for library materials or overdue fines.

PINES fines may be paid at any PINES participating library. Fines will be retained by the collecting library regardless of the owning library. Returned materials which are owned by other PINES libraries will be promptly returned via PINES courier service.

Patrons may pay all or a portion of overdue fines.

Authorized staff may forgive overdue fines for patrons who have been ill, hospitalized or other extenuating circumstances.

Library Card Blocks

A patron must present a PINES library card in good standing in order to borrow materials. A patron's library card will be blocked from additional borrowing if the patron owes $10.00 or more in unpaid fine and/or fees. A library card cannot be renewed until all fines and fees are paid in full.

Damages

Damages to library materials for such things as torn pages, pencil- or crayon-marked pages, torn book jackets, and wet/moldy books, are assessed according to the schedule set by the Athens Regional Library System's Library Board. (see Fines/Fees Schedule)

If the total replacement price as posted in the PINES database is assessed for severe damage to an item, the patron may keep the item after paying the replacement price.

Lost Materials

Library staff will mark an item as lost in PINES when a patron declares the item "lost." The price of the item as listed in the PINES database, plus the processing fee designated by the owning library, will be assessed to the patron's library card. The Athens Regional Library System will not accept a replacement copy in lieu of payment for a lost item. The full replacement cost may be assessed if one or more parts of a multi-part item are lost. Overdue fines are forgiven when a patron pays the replacement price for a lost item. Lost items may be paid for at any PINES library. Payments for lost or damaged materials will be returned to the owning library. These payments must be remitted monthly.

If a lost item is found and returned within 6 months of payment, a refund will be given, minus the overdue fines which have been accrued and the processing fee. The "found" material may be returned to any PINES library, with the understanding that the owning library will be the final authority on whether the material is in acceptable condition for return. The owning library will issue a refund check to the patron via U.S. Mail. The refund check will be payable to the library cardholder on whose record the materials were circulated.

Materials lost through acts of God will be exempt from replacement charges. Materials stolen from houses or automobiles will be exempt from replacement charges if the item(s) are listed on an official police report. The report must be presented to the circulation supervisor or branch manager.

Holds

A "hold" may be placed on an item in person, over the phone or online with the patron's library card number. Blocked cards may not be used to place a "hold." There is a limit of 50 holds at a time on a patron's card. If a "Hold" has been placed on an item, it may not be renewed.

Confidentiality Law

The Georgia Confidentiality Law (O.C.G.A. 24-9-46 (2008)) prohibits the disclosure of any patron information, including titles checked out, amount of fines/fees owed, and phone numbers/addresses. Library staff shall not disclose any information regarding library patrons unless legally compelled. If proper legal documents are presented, a Library Director or designee must approve the decision to release confidential records.

Purchase Requests

Patrons may request that the library purchase a material which is not currently owned. Acceptance of a purchase request does not constitute an agreement to purchase the item. If the item is purchased, the requesting patron(s) will be placed on a "hold" list for that item and will be notified when the material is ready to circulate.

Donations

See Donations Policy.

Return Policy

Library materials may be returned to any participating PINES library regardless of where the materials were checked out.

7/10/01

Amended 4/17/03

Amended 7/17/08

Amended 2/16/09

Amended 1/20/11

Amended 7/18/13