BETHEL PUBLIC LIBRARY
SECTION 1: LIBRARY CARD ELIGIBILITY AND PRIVILEGES
The Bethel Public Library issues library cards free of charge to all residents of the town who are five years of age or older. Children under the age of five may receive their own cards provided they are able to print or write their own names. Library cards may also be issued to other categories of borrowers such as the homebound, institutions, or out of state residents.
A valid library card entitles the owner to borrow any materials from the Bethel Public Library which are available for loan. A valid library card also entitles the owner to use any of the services, programs, and equipment of the Bethel Public Library for which a borrower card is required. Use of these cards is subject to the guidelines outlined below. All library cards issued by the Bethel Public Library are subject to the rules governing the borrowing of library materials from the Bethel Public Library as outlined in the Circulation Services Policy.
This library card may also be used in all public libraries in Connecticut that participate in the Connecticard reciprocal borrowing program. Use of a Bethel Public Library card in another library is subject to the rules of that library.
SECTION 2: LIBRARY CARD RESPONSIBILITIES
Owners of Bethel Public Library borrower cards assume responsibility for the care and safekeeping of all materials borrowed on their cards. The person in whose name the card is issued assumes responsibility for settling any and all fines, damages, losses, or other assessments incurred by the use of their cards.
Card owners are asked to report changes in names, addresses, and telephone numbers to the Library as soon as possible, so that the Library’s borrower records can be kept up to date. Card owners should also report lost, stolen, or damaged cards to the Library as soon as possible.
SECTION 3: LIBRARY CARD EXPIRATION DATES
The Library Board of Directors shall fix expiration dates for all categories of library cards.
SECTION 4: BORROWER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
A. BETHEL RESIDENTS
A Bethel resident is any person who makes the Town of Bethel, Connecticut his/her principal place of residence.
Adult cards: A Bethel resident 14 years of age and older who wishes to receive a library card must complete a borrower registration form provided by the Library. Identification and proof of residency are required at the time of registration.
Juvenile cards: A Bethel resident age 5 through 13 who wishes to receive a library card must complete a borrower registration form provided by the Library. A child under the age of five may receive his/her own card provided he/she is able to print or write his/her own name. A parent or legal guardian will be asked to prove identity and residency and co-sign the registration form for his/her child under the age of 14. By co-signing, the parent or legal guardian accepts responsibility for settling fines, damages, losses, or other assessments against the library card of his/her child.
NOTE: An adult card will be issued to a child age 14 or older without parental permission. However, the child’s parent or legal guardian remains responsible for all materials borrowed, as well as any and all associated fines and/or fees, on the child’s card until the child reaches the legal age of 18.
B: HOMEBOUND BETHEL RESIDENTS
A homebound library card will be issued free of charge to any Bethel resident who meets the eligibility requirements to receive homebound delivery service. Those wishing to apply for this service must complete an application for homebound delivery service as well as a borrower registration form which is included on the application form. The homebound library card is kept on file at the Library and is for use in the Bethel Public Library only.
An institutional library card will be issued free of charge to institutions with offices within Bethel town limits for use in the Bethel Public Library only. This category includes businesses, schools, churches, and other organizations.
A request for an institutional card must be made in writing on official letterhead and signed by the officer or person who will assume responsibility for any and all items borrowed, as well as for settling any fines, damages, losses, or other assessments against said card. Said official must also complete a borrower registration form.
An institutional card will be issued jointly in the name of the institution and the official applying. The institution will be asked to furnish a list of persons authorized to use its borrower card, and only those so designated will be permitted the use and privileges of that card upon presentation of suitable identification.
The card is for use by the institution only and not for personal use by any employees.
The Library Board of Directors may make exceptions for institutions outside of Bethel. ‘Institution’ for this purpose is defined as an entity that serves a population that lives within the institution. (See Residential Institutions Circulation and Interlibrary Loan Policy.)
D. OUT OF TOWN RESIDENTS
A Connecticut resident who does not live in Bethel may borrow materials from the Bethel Public Library by presenting a valid library card issued by his/her hometown library. This is in accordance with Connecticard guidelines. An out of town resident has the same privileges and responsibilities as do Bethel residents.
E. BETHEL PROPERTY OWNERS WITH PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE IN ANOTHER CONNECTICUT MUNICIPALITY
A person who owns property in Bethel, but who makes his/her principal residence in another Connecticut municipality, must receive his/her library card from the library of that principal residence municipality. In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes (Title 11, Section 3a, part e) and the Connecticard Program guidelines, ‘principal residence’ is determined by the address printed on a current driver’s license, social security card, or income tax return. A borrower in this category has the same privileges and responsibilities as do Bethel residents.
F. BETHEL PROPERTY OWNERS WITH PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE IN ANOTHER STATE
A person who owns property in Bethel and lives in Bethel part of the year, but who makes his/her permanent residence in another state, may be issued free of charge a library card for use in the Bethel Public Library only. A borrower in this category has the same privileges and responsibilities as do Bethel residents.
G. VISITORS TO BETHEL
An out of state resident who visits relatives or friends in Bethel for at least one month at a time may be issued free of charge a temporary library card for use in the Bethel Public Library only. The head of household, or consenting adult member of the family with whom the visitor is staying, as well as the person requesting the card must complete and sign the borrower registration form. The head of household or adult co-signer is responsible and liable for any and all fines, damages, losses, or other assessments against said card. A borrower in this category has the same privileges and responsibilities as do Bethel residents.
H. OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS
A New York state resident who does not own property in Bethel may be issued for a fee a library card for use in the Bethel Public Library only. He/she will be required to present a valid library card issued by his/her hometown library. The fee for an out of state card is $30.00. The fee may be waived for New York state residents who work in Bethel. A borrower in this category has the same privileges and responsibilities as do Bethel residents.
I. LIBRARY STAFF
Staff of the Bethel Public Library will be issued a Bethel Library staff card to check out materials from the Bethel Public Library only. All materials borrowed by staff members must be charged out on the automated system. Staff have the same borrowing privileges and responsibilities as do Bethel residents, except where noted otherwise. (See Circulation Services Policy.)
SECTION 5: PROOF OF IDENTITY AND RESIDENCY
Library cards of all categories will be issued only after the applicant presents proof of personal identity and Bethel residency. The preferred form of identification is a valid Connecticut driver’s license. If a valid Connecticut driver’s license is not owned, then one of the following forms of identification will be accepted:
· Connecticut car registration
SECTION 6: LOST OR FORGOTTEN CARDS
Lost, stolen, or damaged library cards may be replaced for a nominal fee.
Patrons are strongly encouraged to present their library cards at the time of checkout. If a patron has forgotten his/her card, the number of items he/she may check out at that time may be restricted. A person who has forgotten his/her card must present a valid piece of identification proving name and address before materials may be checked out. (See Circulation Services Policy.)
SECTION 7: USE OF LIBRARY CARDS BY CHILDREN
The Library staff and trustees are charged with the responsibility of providing free and equal access to library materials and services to all eligible people. Moreover, it is impossible for them to know or predict the opinions of parents or guardians regarding the specific borrowing selections made by minor children.
It is the policy of the Bethel Public Library that parents and guardians, not the library staff or trustees, are responsible for monitoring and approving the selection of materials made by minor children. It is the parents or guardians - and only these - who may restrict their children - and only their children - from borrowing specific library materials. Parents or guardians who wish their children not to have access to certain materials should accompany or otherwise advise their children. The Library staff and trustees cannot and do not act in loco parentis.
SECTION 8: USE OF LIBRARY CARDS BY PERSONS OTHER THAN THE OWNERS
The Library encourages borrowers to use their own library cards exclusively and not to lend them for use by other persons. However, when a patron wishes to borrow materials using a card that belongs to another person, the Library staff is authorized to use its judgement in assessing the safety of the transaction, and to permit such a transaction when circumstances warrant. Under no circumstances should a person use another person’s library card to avoid paying any fines or fees assessed against his/her own card. The person in whose name the card is issued is responsible and liable for any and all fines, damages, losses, or assessments against said card.
SECTION 9: POLICY EFFECTIVE DATE, AMENDMENTS, AND REVISIONS
This policy is effective upon approval of the Library Board of Directors. Amendments and/or revisions to these policies shall be formulated and recommended to the Board by the Policy Committee. They may then be amended and/or revised at any regular meeting of the Board, provided proper hearing of 30 days has been given.
Approved by the Library Board April 23, 2001
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