The circulation policies of the Norfolk Public Library exist to facilitate community access to the materials and information in the library's collections, while protecting these same collections.
Norfolk Public Library's circulation polices are intended to be in accord with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights.
The Norfolk Public Library issues library cards to facilitate loan of materials and to enable the library to keep a record of which materials are on loan to patrons.
Obtaining a Library Card
- Any resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Norfolk property owner, or person who is employed in the City of Norfolk 18 years of age or over may receive an adult library card upon completion of an application and provision of proof of identification (ID) and current address.
- The library card of any resident of Norfolk, Norfolk property owners, Norfolk business owner or anyone who is employed in the City of Norfolk also permits full use of the electronic book, electronic audio book, electronic video, and electronic music collection.
- Any adult Virginia Resident who does not qualify as a resident of Norfolk, Norfolk property owner, Norfolk business owner, or employed in the City of Norfolk is required to pay a non-refundable registration fee in person if they wish to check out electronic books, electronic audio books, electronic videos, and electronic music collection materials. This fee is $35.00 for one (1) year from the date of registration. Non-Norfolk eBook library cards are only available to Virginia residents for an annual fee.
- Upon notification of the fact that a resident has become a non-resident, their card will be expired and the profile will be changed to reflect their new profile.
- A current picture identification (such as a driver's license or a government issued ID card) and proof of address is required to obtain a library card or to change the address on an existing card. If the picture ID does not include the person's current address, a second document, with the customer's name and current address, must be presented. This may be a piece of mail that has been sent through the US Postal System, a pay stub, lease, deposit slip, check, etc.
- A non-Norfolk resident owning property within the city limits must provide a picture ID and a copy of their property tax bill. A business owner and operator must provide a picture ID and a copy of their City of Norfolk business license. A business license may not list all the owners of the business, but possession of the license will be considered sufficient identification to obtain a library card.
- Patrons in the US or NATO Armed Forces may use their base or ship address on their applications. If the base mailing address is Norfolk or the ship address is FPO AE or FPO New York it will be considered a Norfolk address for registration purposes. Dependents living in military housing on Norfolk bases will also be eligible for free library cards. Members of the military and their families living off-base must have a current Norfolk address in order to receive a free library card. Proof of address, as outlined above, will be required.
- Library cards are not issued to persons residing outside of Virginia who are not otherwise eligible for a Norfolk Library card; however, anyone without a library card can apply for an Internet card to use the computers.
- On the library card application, the applicant must:
- provide his or her full, legal name, address, and date of birth.
- include the driver's license number if the applicant has one.
- Acceptable photo ID and proof of current address shall be one or more of the following:
- valid Virginia 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
- Acceptable proof of employment in Norfolk shall be a valid City of Norfolk ID badge or a verification of employment letter from the supervisor or the human resources department of the Norfolk employer.
- Military personnel living in Virginia but who reside on a ship and/or have a military post office address, may receive a card after presenting a military picture ID and proof of their permanent home address.
- Acceptable proof of Norfolk employment shall be one of the following:
- A copy of a City of Norfolk business license.
- A pay stub dated within the past 30 days listing a Norfolk address for the employer, or the corporate home office if the permanent work place is in Norfolk.
- Military orders with a Norfolk address
- Residents who cannot verify Virginia residency with one of the above documents can receive an unverified card upon presentation of acceptable photo ID. Patrons with unverified cards will be allowed to borrow only one item at a time. This item must be returned before another item may be borrowed.
- Anyone under the age of 18 can receive a juvenile card that corresponds to their eligibility after completing an application and securing the signature of his/her parent or legal guardian. Children must be present in order to apply for a library card.
- 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 of the agency is willing to sign a statement committing the institution to being responsible for all books checked out on the institutional card.
Renewal of Library Cards
- All library cards are valid for one year. At the end of that year, patrons will be asked to verify their address, telephone number, and eligibility for access to eBooks using documents acceptable as proof when being issued a new library card.
- Non-Norfolk eBook library cards require the payment of the annual fee.
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 before the item is 28 days overdue
- keeping the amount of money owed below $10.00.
- promptly informing the library of any change of address or phone number
- Patrons must present their assigned library card, their assigned library card number that is eye-readable or barcode-readable on an electronic device such as a mobile telephone, or acceptable photo ID to check out materials or conduct transactions on their account. Patrons under the age of 18 may give their address and phone number as proof of identification, but both the address and phone number must match those in the library’s records. If the child cannot provide address and phone number, a parent may do so for them, in person.
- Reported lost cards are deactivated and must be replaced
- Whenever a patron calls into the branch to conduct a transaction on his/her account, he or she must provide a library card number and/or his or her name and answer questions to verify his or her identity.
- A patron's record will be marked delinquent when items are overdue or money is owed. This status will not affect the patron's ability to borrow materials from the library.
- Patron borrowing privileges are suspended when:
- When an item is overdue by 28 days and its replacement and processing fees total $10 or more.
- When more than five items are overdue, for example, six or more children's books are overdue by one or more days.
- A patron exceeds borrowing limits by type or quantity of material
- When the total amount of unpaid fines and fees exceeds $10.00
- When a patron's account has been referred to the Collection Agency and all money owed has not been paid. Once a patron account has been 5 Circulation Policies referred to the Collection Agency, the account must be paid in full before privileges can be restored.
- When a patron's account has five or more claims returned items on it.
- Once a patron's library card is blocked, all library privileges for that patron are suspended including borrowing and renewal of items. Patrons may still use the library computers even when their card is blocked.
- Using another patron's library card to check out materials is not permitted.
Lost, Stolen, or Previously Issued Library Cards
- Patrons must report lost or stolen 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.
- In the event that a card is reported stolen, the branch manager has the option of waiving the replacement fee.
- If a patron reports a card lost or stolen, the patron must provide identification in order to get a new library card in addition to paying the $1.00 replacement fee.
- Children under the age of 18 who do not have picture ID, must give their address and phone number in order to get a new card in addition to paying the $1.00 replacement fee. The address and phone number must match exactly those on the patron's account in the circulation system. In the event that the address and phone number don't match, the child must bring a parent with them in order to get a new library card.
- If a patron comes to the circulation desk with a card that has been reported lost, the patron must show identification before the staff person will look up the current card number.
- Because the Norfolk Public 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 or her card or on the cards of children for whom he/she has signed library card applications regardless of who checked the items out.
- All lost or stolen library cards should be reported immediately because the owner of the card is responsible for all items checked out on the card until the card is reported lost or stolen.
- When a patron moves or changes telephone numbers or email addresses, it is the responsibility of the patron to inform the Norfolk Public Library of the new address, telephone number, or email address.
Norfolk Public Library Employee Borrowing Privledges
- Norfolk Public Library employees are granted fine-free borrowing privileges.
- NPL employees are not permitted to check out Book Express books.
- NPL employees may not renew books that are still on reserve for other patrons or staff members.
- NPL employees must wait their turn on reserve lists and may not change their priority to be higher on the list for materials.
- Staff members who leave the employ of NPL will have their status changed from fine-exempt to one that corresponds to their eligibility.
The Norfolk Public Library sets loan periods and loan limits in order to provide patrons with fair and reasonable access to the library's resources. The Norfolk Public 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.
A loan period is the total number of hours, days or weeks that one patron can keep a specific item.
A loan limit is the total number of items of a specific type or total value that any one patron can have on loan at one time.
An unverified borrower is an individual who has not provided the library with written proof of a Virginia address.
A verified borrower is an individual who has provided the library with written proof that he resides in Virginia.
A High Demand item is one that has four or more holds on it, or that is expected to be in very popular among patrons, such as best sellers.
A Book Express item is a book that is expected to be very popular among patrons and can only be borrowed directly from the branch library on a first-come first -served basis.
- Books and magazines, with the following exceptions, are lent for a period of 21 days. The exceptions are:
- High Demand: 14 days
- Book Express: 7 days
- Reference Books At the discretion of the branch manager.
- EBooks: up to 14 days
The Norfolk Public Library also sets the following loan period limits on non-book items:
- Videos and DVDs: 7 days
- Music CDs: 21 days
- Audiobooks: 21 days
Reference books circulate at the discretion of the branch manager or Main librarian. Main periodicals do not normally circulate. However, a circulating copy of a particular issue can sometimes be acquired for a patron from a branch library.
- The length of time or number of items that patrons may keep items of a certain type (holiday books, books on specific subjects or by specific authors, for example) may be temporarily reduced at the discretion of the branch or Main manager. Time limits must be for a specific period of time and must be removed when that period of time has expired. Examples: during the month of February, Black History books may be set to a circulation period of two weeks. On March 1, the circulation period shall be reset to the original three weeks. At Christmas a branch may find it necessary to limit the number of holiday books borrowed by any one person based on the size of the collection.
- The material loan limits exist to enable fair access to the Library's resources. Patrons are limited to borrowing up to 25 items total plus 3 eBooks and the following limits:
- 5 videos
- 5 DVDs
- 6 audiobooks, regardless of format
- 5 High Demand adult, YA or juvenile fiction or non-fiction
- 5 music CDs
- 5 interlibrary loan items
- 20 adult, 21-day fiction and non-fiction
- 2 reference books
- 20 cataloged paperbacks
- 25 YA and juvenile hardback fiction and non-fiction
- 25 YA and juvenile cataloged paperbacks
- 25 picture books or easy readers, regardless of format
- 1 Book Express
- 5 magazines
- 3 eBooks
- An unverified borrower may have only one item charged to his account at any one time.
- Patrons may borrow multiple copies of the same title at the same time unless the title has holds, in which case no patron may have more than one copy of a title at one time.
- Loan periods on 21-day books may be extended at the discretion of the branch manager, Main department head, or designated substitute for the following reason(s):
- Loan periods on 21-day books may be extended at patron request in the event of vacations. However, the loan period may not exceed nine weeks (63 days) in length. The length of the original extended loan period will be taken into account in determining whether materials can be renewed. For example, if a book is borrowed for an extended loan period of six weeks, the book could be renewed once for an additional three weeks.
- When the due date falls on a holiday for which the library is closed, the loan period will be extended until the next day that the library is open.
- All borrowed materials must be returned to an agency of the Norfolk Public Library which includes the Bookmobile. Items returned to a non-NPL library will accumulate overdue fines until the item is returned to an NPL library and discharged.
- Only books may be returned in the book return. Videos, DVDs, audio books, and music CDs should be returned inside the library to avoid the possibility of damage. Patrons return these items in the book return at their own risk.
- When the renewal limit has been reached, it is the patron's responsibility to return the item or incur a fine.
- A High Demand item is any book for which there are four or more reserves. The library reserves the right to change the loan period of these items from 21 days to 14 days on a temporary basis to make the items available more quickly to a greater number of patrons. High Demand items cannot be renewed under any 9 Circulation Policies circumstances. Only five High Demand items may be checked out to any one patron at a time. Once demand has been met, the loan period for these items will be reset to 21 days. The library reserves the right to set loan periods for potential High Demand items to 14 days before 4 reserves are placed on the title.
- Juvenile library cardholders are not permitted to check out videos that have a Motion Picture Association of America rating of R or its equivalent.
- Books and magazines, with the following exceptions, are lent for a period of 21 days. The exceptions are:
The Norfolk Public 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
- the presence of a request for the material by another patron
- Book Express books and reference materials cannot be renewed. All other materials may be renewed twice providing a hold for the material has not been placed by another patron.
- Additional renewals beyond the original two can be granted at the discretion of the Branch Manager or a designated substitute. So that other patrons may have a chance to find the item by browsing, materials will not be renewed consecutively more than four times. Items must be returned to the shelf for 24 hours before being checked out again to the same patron.
- Staff will not discharge a book then immediately check the book out again to the same patron the same day when the renewal maximum has been reached. Materials must return to the shelf for a minimum of 24 hours before being checked out again to the same patron.
- Library materials can be renewed in person or by phone or through the library's on-line catalog on the Norfolk Public Library website.
- Overdue materials can be renewed; however any fines incurred prior to the renewal will be added to the patron's account.
- To maintain the integrity of the reserve system, items for which other patrons have placed holds on may not be renewed.
- Staff may renew materials up to four times (the third and fourth time shall be at the discretion of the Branch Manager) to allow patrons more time to look for a lost item, providing the patron's account is not delinquent. However, under no circumstances will staff renew materials beyond the permitted four so a patron can avoid paying for a lost item.
- When the renewal limit has been reached, it is the patron's responsibility to return the item or risk incurring a fine or lost book charge.
- At the discretion of the branch manager or a designated substitute and as a courtesy to patrons who cannot get to the library, a one day renewal may be granted beyond the original two full-term renewals to allow patrons to avoid paying a late fee. If the patron does not return the item the following day, overdue fines will be assessed for each day the item is overdue.
- Staff will provide patrons with the 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 delinquent, materials cannot be renewed. Exceptions can be granted at the discretion of the branch manager or designated substitute.
- Renewal requests for Interlibrary Loan materials can only be granted through the Interlibrary Loan department. They must be requested at least five days before the item is due.
- . Renewals are granted dependent upon:
The Norfolk Public 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 Norfolk Public Library charges fees to offset the cost of recovering and replacing lost and damaged library materials.
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.
- Items not returned by the due date will be charged as follows:
- All items (with the exception of those listed in b. below) will be charged 20 cents ($0.20) per item per day up to a maximum fine of $6.00 per item.
- All DVDs, videos 7-day Book Express, reference books, interlibrary loan materials, “Club Read” book club kits and “Toddle Totes” will be charged $1.25 per item per day up to a maximum of $10.00.
- Borrowing privileges will be suspended when the amount of money owed reaches or exceeds $10.00 in fines and/or fees.
- No fines will be charged on the days the library is closed. This will be determined on a branch-by-branch basis when appropriate.
- The library does not send out notices of fines incurred. When the amount of fine money owed reaches $25.00 or more, however, the account is referred to the Collection Agency.
- Staff will inform patrons of money owed each time the patron borrows materials.
Miscellaneous Fines and Fees
- . The Norfolk Public Library reserves the right to pass on the cost of fees incurred when borrowing an item for a patron through interlibrary loan whether the patron picks up the item or not, up to the amount the patron has indicated on the Inter Library Loan form that he or she is willing to pay.
- A fee of $1.00 per incident is charged for the replacement of a library card and should be paid at the time the card is issued.
- The annual fee for non-Norfolk eBook library cards is $35.
- The costs and procedures for printing from computers are described in the Computer and Internet Use Policies.
- Charges for printing from photocopiers and microfilm reader printers shall be 15 cents per page.
Fines and Fees for Lost and Damaged Materials
- Once items have been kept 28 days after the due date, the item will be assumed to be lost and will be marked lost.
- The library adds a processing fee to the cost of replacing any lost library materials. The fee will be waived in the event that a patron is able to provide the 12 Circulation Policies library with a replacement for the lost item that is identical in title and of a format and condition like or better than the borrowed item and acceptable to the Branch Manager.
- The library reserves the right to charge a fee to cover the cost of lost or damaged materials. Charges will be imposed for lost or damaged video, DVD, CD or audio book cases at their replacement cost. (See attached chart.) There will be a charge of $1.00 for lost or damaged barcodes. Lost plastic jackets will be charged $2.00. Branch Managers have the discretion to charge for other types of damage depending upon the severity. If the damaged material can be repaired, the charge for the damage shall be no more than $5.00.
- The replacement cost of lost books, magazines, audio books, videos, DVDs, and music CDs will be based on the current average cost of a new book, magazine, audio book, video, DVD, or music CD for items added to the collection prior to July 1, 2005. The average cost of materials will be recomputed every five years. (See attached chart for current prices.)
- For items added to the collection after July 1, 2005, the replacement cost for any lost item will be the original retail price of the item.
- The cost of replacing individual lost or damaged audio book tapes or CDs will be $10.00 each plus a five dollar processing fee.
- If a patron's account is referred to a collection agency, an additional nonrefundable charge of $10.00 will be added to the patron's library record. See the Overdue Notices and Collection Agency Policy for additional information.
- Once a patron has been referred to the collection agency, all fines must be paid in full before borrowing privileges can be restored. Patron accounts will remain blocked until all money owed has been paid.
- Patrons will receive a receipt for payment received when paying for a lost item.
- The full cost of the material minus the processing charge will be refunded for lost items returned in good condition within 6 months of payment.
- At the discretion of the branch manager, patrons may be responsible for any overdue fines incurred on a lost book at the time the book is paid for.
- The full cost of the item shall be assessed for any items returned damaged if the extent of the damage renders the item unusable.
- The patron may keep any damaged items for which they have paid.
Default Prices for Lost Materials
Default Prices for Lost Materials Item Type
Default Process Fee
BK_XPRESS Book Express
$25.00 $5.00 CASS_BK Cassette Audiobook
$50.00 $10.00 CD_BK CD Audiobook
$60.00 $10.00 (Audiobook)
Single Audiobook CD or Cassette
$10.00 $5.00 DVD DVD $30.00 $10.00 EQUIP Equipment $20.00 $5.00 GAME_CTRL Game Controller
TBD TBD GVDC_DEP_C Gov Doc-Depository-Circulating
$25.00 $5.00 GVDC_DEP_R Gov Doc-Depository-Reference $25.00 $5.00 GVDC_OTH_C Gov Doc-Other-Circulating $25.00 $5.00 GVDC_OTH_R Gov Doc-Other-Reference $25.00 $5.00 HDBK Hardback $25.00 $5.00 HIGH_DMD High Demand
$25.00 $5.00 ILL Interlibrary Loan
TBD TBD J_BOARD_BK Juvenile Board Book
$8.00 $5.00 J_CASS_BK Juvenile Cassette Audiobook $50.00 $10.00 J_CD_BK Juvenile CD Audiobook $60.00 $10.00 J_DVD Juvenile DVD
$30.00 $10.00 J_HDBK Juvenile Hardback
$17.00 $5.00 J_HI_DMD Juvenile High Demand
$17.00 $5.00 J_KIT Juvenile Kit
$35.00 $5.00 J_MM_PBK Juvenile Mass Market Paperback
$5.00 $5.00 J_MUSIC_CD Juvenile Music CD
$20.00 $10.00 J_TRD_PBK Juvenile Trade Paperback
$10.00 $5.00 J_VHS Juvenile VHS
$30.00 $10.00 KIT Kit $25.00 $5.00 LAPTOP Laptop $500.00 $10.00 MAGAZINE Magazine $5.00 $5.00 MMPBK Mass Market Paperback
$7.00 $5.00 MUSC_SCORE Music Score
$10.00 $5.00 MUSIC_CD Music CD
$20.00 $10.00 REFERENCE Reference $60.00 $5.00 SMC Sargeant Memorial Collection
TBD TBD TABLET Tablet TBD $10.00 TRD_PBK Trade Paperback
$15.00 $5.00 VHS VHS $30.00 $10.00 YA_CASS_BK Young Adult Cassette Audiobook
$50.00 $10.00 YA_CD_BK Young Adult CD Audiobook
$60.00 $10.00 YA_DVD Young Adult DVD
$30.00 $10.00 YA_HDBK Young Adult Hardback
$17.00 $5.00 YA_HI_DMD Young Adult High Demand
$17.00 $5.00 YA_MM_PBK Young Adult Mass Market Paperback
$5.00 $5.00 YA_TRD_PBK Young Adult Trade Paperback
$10.00 $5.00 YA_VHS Young Adult VHS
Replacement Costs for Lost or Damaged Video, DVD, and Audio Book Cases
Item Cost Single Video Case
$1.00 Double Video Case
$3.50 Single DVD Case
Double DVD Case
Triple DVD Case
$2.00 4-Capacity Case
$2.50 5-Capacity Case $3.00 6-Capacity Case $3.00 2-Capacity Audiobook Case
$3.50 4-Capacity Audiobook Case $5.00 6-Capacity Audiobook Case $5.00 8-Capacity Audiobook Case $6.00 9+ Capacity Audiobook Case $7.00
Paying Library Fines and Fees
Library fines and fees may be paid in person by cash, check, or money order. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the "City of Norfolk" and include the library card number.
Checks and money orders may be mailed to:
NORFOLK PUBLIC LIBRARY
111 W. OCEAN VIEW AVE.
NORFOLK, VA 23503-1502
- Items not returned by the due date will be charged as follows:
The Norfolk Public Library extends the privilege to patrons of claiming that they have returned materials that the circulation system indicates are still checked out to them. This policy acknowledges that staff occasionally errs in discharging books from a patron’s record.
Claims returned means that a patron has indicated that they have returned an item that the computerized circulation system indicates is still on their account.
If a patron indicates, by phone or in person, that they have returned items the computerized circulation system indicates are still checked out to them, the staff will search the shelves for the items. This may include contacting other branches.
A staff person will immediately initiate a shelf search. If the staff person finds the items in question, the items will be discharged from the patron’s record in such a way that no fines will be incurred.
If the staff person does not find the items in question on the shelf, he/she will mark the items claims returned on the patron’s record.
Patrons will be notified either in person or by phone of the status of their accounts after the search.
Patrons may search the shelves for the items in question. If they are found, the items will be discharged from the patron’s record in such a way that no fines will be incurred.
Items marked claims returned remain on the patron’s record. Patron’s may have four claims returned items on their record and maintain borrowing privileges. Upon claiming the fifth item to be already returned, the patron will lose his or her borrowing privileges until the items in question are returned or paid for. In the case of circulating items with borrowing limits, the number and type of items with claims returned status will count against the total number of items that can be borrowed. For example, if a patron has 2 claims returned DVDs, they will not be able to check out anymore DVDs. If a patron has one “claims returned” video and 2 claims returned audio books, they would be able to check out four videos and 4 audio books respectively.
Claims returned status will be removed from an item on a patron’s record only if the item is located either by the patron at home or by staff at the library and subsequently discharged.
The library maintains, as a 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 will not incur a penalty for doing so.
Staff should go over the “How Claims Returned are Handled at the Norfolk Public Library” form with the patron, providing him or her with the branch telephone number, and taking the steps listed under “We will do the following.”
How Claims Returned Are Handled at the Norfolk Public Library
If you receive an overdue notice for an item you believe you have returned to the library, please call or visit the library you returned the item to as soon as possible. Explain that you received an overdue notice, but you are certain you returned the item listed on the overdue notice.
We will do the following:
The staff person will consult your library record. If the item is still charged to your record, the staff member will go to the shelf to look for the item or call the owning library if the item is normally housed elsewhere.
If the item is found, it will be discharged from your record and there will be no resulting fines.
If the item is not found, we will mark the item claims returned which will prevent you from getting any more overdue notices.
We will notify you of the status of your account.
We will ask you:
To check around your home and your car for the item. Some places to check:
- Under the beds
- Behind the sofa and under cushions
- Under the seat in the car
- Around the television
- On your children’s book shelves
If you find the item, please return it to your closest NPL library.
If you are unable to find the item, please get back in touch with us by calling (branch telephone #).
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT CLAIMS RETURNED
Patrons may have up to four claims returned and continue to borrow library materials.
The fifth claims returned will block your record. To clear your record, you will need to return or pay for the missing items.
Loan limits also apply to claims returned. For example, patrons are only allowed to have two DVDs on loan at one time. If a patron has one DVD is claimed returned, he may only check out one other DVD. Two DVDs in claims returned will prevent future borrowing of DVDs.
The library keeps a permanent record of the number of claims returned declarations a patron makes.
The Norfolk Public Library sends overdue notices to patrons as a courtesy to remind them of materials kept past the due date.
An overdue item is an item that has not been returned to the library by the due date.
An overdue notice is a mailed notice listing library materials that have been retained past the due date.
- The first overdue notice will be mailed to patrons when materials checked out on the patron’s card have been kept 7 days past the due date.
- The first overdue notice will be mailed to patrons when materials checked out on the patron’s card have been kept 7 days past the due date.
- The library does not mail notices for fines incurred. The collection agency will notify patrons of monies owed, including fines, in amounts of $25.00 or greater. See the Collection Agency Policy for more information.
The Norfolk Public Library accepts holds for library materials in order to provide access to high demand materials and materials located at the various Norfolk branches.
A hold is a request, placed by a patron, for an item from the collection to be held in their name for future pickup from a designated location.
A patron in good standing is defined as an individual whose record shows no overdue or lost materials, no fines in excess of $10.00, and no more than four claims returned items.
- All library patrons in good standing may place holds on library materials.
- Patrons with blocked records may not place holds on materials.
- There is no charge for placing a hold on library materials.
- Book Express and Reference books may not have holds placed on them.
- Only items listed in the online catalog may have holds placed on them.
- Holds must be picked up in person and can only be checked out on the card upon which the reserve was placed.
- Patrons are limited to a total of 15 holds at one time, plus 15 holds on eBooks and other electronically downloaded materials.
- Patrons may place holds in person, by telephone, and via the Norfolk Public Library online catalog on the library’s website. Patrons are blocked from placing holds through the online catalog if their records are blocked.
- Patrons may designate the location at which they would like to pick up the hold.
- Patrons will be notified by phone, mail, or email that the held item is available for pickup.
- Patrons may place a hold on on-order items as soon as they are listed in the online catalog.
- Patrons may place a hold on more than one copy of an item at the discretion of the branch manager or designated substitute.
- Holds will be held for the patron for seven days after the notification date. EBook and other electronically downloaded materials are on hold for 3 days.
- A patron can designate another individual to pick up their hold by notifying the library in advance. The person picking up the hold must have a valid library card and must check the book out on his or her own library card.
- Holds will remain active for six months. If the hold has not been filled by that time, patrons will receive a notice from the library that their hold has been cancelled.
The services of a collection agency are utilized to assist the library in recovering long overdue materials in order to maintain the integrity of the Library’s collection and ensure availability of materials to library users.
A collection agency is a company that sends letters makes phone calls to library patrons informing them of the consequences of not returning library materials and, if necessary, reports unpaid accounts to the credit bureau.
- Accounts that have unpaid bills totaling $25 for a period of 45 days will be referred to a collection agency
- When the patron’s record is tagged for reporting to the collection agency, an additional $10.00 charge will be added to the patron’s record.
- The collection agency follows these steps:
- The day the delinquent account is received from the library, the collection agency will mail a letter to the patron.
- Twenty-two days later, a second letter will be mailed.
- Between days 36 and 49, a phone call will be made.
- On day 64, a third letter will be mailed.
- Between days 78-91, a second phone call will be made.
- If the patron has made no effort to settle their account after four months, the delinquent account will be reported to the credit bureaus.
- Once a patron has been referred to the collection agency, all fines and fees must be paid in full before borrowing privileges can be restored. Patron accounts will remain blocked until all money owed has been paid.
- At the discretion of the branch manager, a payment plan may be implemented to pay off a patron’s debt. However, the patron must pay at least $10.00 a month toward the resolution of the debt. During the time the patron is regularly making payments the library will arrange for the collection agency to suspend collection activity. A missed payment will result in the account again becoming active with the collection agency.
- If a patron pays their fines or fees after that accounts has been reported to the collection bureaus, the credit bureau will be updated to show a “paid” status.
When requested by the patron, and once a patron has paid all fines fees on their account, Norfolk Public Library staff will provide a letter indicating the patron’s record is clear of all debt.