Washington County Public Library (WCPL) loans material to eligible guests. To provide this service in an orderly and equitable manner to all users, WCPL adopts the policies stated in this document.
3.1 Library Cards
Eligible individuals can obtain a library card to access the Library’s services, most of which are available free of charge. The individual accepts all responsibilities associated with the library card as well as the safekeeping of the card.
3.1.1 Library Card Eligibility:
Washington County Public Library cards are available at no charge to:
- Residents of Virginia
- Out-of-State residents who own real property within Washington County
- Out-of-State residents who attend school in Washington County
- Out-of-State residents who are employed in Washington County
- Institutions in Washington County
A library card is available to all others for two (2) years at a fee established by the Library Board.
Residents of counties and cities where WCPL has a reciprocal agreement with the local library are eligible for a free library card. These counties and cities include Johnson County, TN, as well as, the city of Bristol, TN.
Holston Associated Libraries (HAL) Member Libraries
WCPL is a member of the library consortium Holston Associated Libraries (HAL). Members include Emory and Henry College, King University and Tazewell Public. A library card issued by WCPL is also valid at any HAL library. Borrowing privileges may vary among the member libraries.
Non-resident students, faculty, and staff of Holston Associated Libraries, Inc. member libraries, which includes Emory & Henry College and King University, are entitled to a WCPL library card.
3.1.2 Registration Requirements
Verification of identity and residence are required to obtain a library card.
Valid forms of identification include current driver’s license or state issued identification.
Valid proof of residence can be the address on the approved form of identification if the address is current. In the absence of a current address, valid proof of residence can include a utility bill, rental agreement/lease, property tax receipt, or vehicle registration.
A signature is required to complete the library card registration process.
The applicant is responsible for notifying the Library with changes of address information or any other changes to information given during registration.
Borrowing privileges may be suspended, revoked, or denied to anyone whose current or previous record as a library borrower reveals willful or habitually careless disregard for the protection and return of borrowed material or for the evasion of payment for assessed damage to Library property.
Children’s Library Card:
For registration of a child under 18, the child must be present, and a parent or guardian must show identification and verification of residence and sign the child’s application.
Parents/guardians are responsible for materials borrowed by children. According to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3705.7.03), access to library records, including borrowing records, of patrons under 18 years of age shall not be denied to the parent, including a noncustodial parent, or guardian of such library patron.
Neighbor Library Card:
WCPL believes that persons who are currently unable to verify a permanent address are neighbors in our community, and are eligible for a Neighbor Library Card. Neighbor Cards are good for 60 days, and patrons may have up to three (3) physical items checked out and three (3) active holds at one time. Neighbor Cards may be used to access all WCPL e-resources and public computers. Neighbor Cards may not be used at Holston Associated Libraries (HAL). Verification of identity is required to obtain a Neighbor Card. A photo I.D. is preferred, but if it is not available, another proof of identity is required. Neighbor Cards may be renewed when necessary with verification of identity.
Institutional Library Card:
Institutional Library Cards are available to institutions, such as schools, assisted living facilities, and day care facilities in Washington County. An Institutional Card may be issued to individual classes, but the application must be signed by the principal or library director. The card may not be used by staff for personal use. Privileges may be revoked if the Institutional Card is abused in any manner. Abuses may include, but are not limited to, personal use of the Institutional Card, failure to pay for a lost or damaged item, and failure to return items on time. Institutional Library Cards expire every year and can be renewed by completing a new institution card registration.
Online e-Card Registration:
Any eligible person may register for an e-card using the Online Registration form on the library’s website. Online registrants may checkout and use digital resources. To check out physical material, online registrants must visit a library branch and verify their identity and residence to obtain a permanent library card. Online registrations are valid for 14 days.
3.1.3 Replacement Cards
Replacement cards are issued free of charge.
3.1.4 Library Card Expiration and Renewal
Library cards expire two years from the date of issuance and every two years thereafter. Adult users will be asked to update registration information when the card is renewed. Users under the age of 18 will be asked to update registration information; however, no parental or guardian signature is required for the renewal of the card.
3.2 Loan Rules
The Library’s loan rules apply to materials that may be borrowed by users with a WCPL library card. The number of items that may be checked out on each library card is limited to 50. Specific loan rules may be found in Appendix D.
Materials borrowed at one location may be returned to any other WCPL location or HAL library.
A library card must be presented at checkout. As a courtesy, an individual may use a driver’s license or state issued identification in lieu of a library card. Library users under the age of 18 who are without their library card may be required to provide their address and birthdate for checkout.
Material may be renewed in person at any library location, by telephone or online. Materials on hold for another person may not be renewed. Specific loan rules may be found in Appendix D.
Most materials may be placed on hold/reserve for pickup at any library location. Holds/reserves may be placed in person at any library location, by telephone or online. Specific loan rules may be found in Appendix D.
3.2.4 Claims Returned/Never Had
A user should notify the Library immediately if items on their account are believed to be returned or never checked out. Library staff will conduct a search for the item or investigate the unauthorized activity on the account. Items will remain on a library account until the issue is resolved.
3.3 Fees for Services
The Washington County Public Library has determined that some services will be provided for a fee. See Appendix D for a fee schedule to charge guests for the value-added service of interlibrary loans, out-of-state library cards, computer printing, faxes and photocopies.
3.3.1 Overdue Fines
WCPL does not charge overdue fines for late materials. Items are considered “long overdue” if they are not returned three weeks after the last due date. A library account’s borrowing privileges are suspended when there is a balance of $15.00 or more. When an account is “suspended” patrons cannot check out additional library materials. However, patrons can still visit the library, use the public computers and attend library programs.
The Library will issue email or text message courtesy reminders when due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue. It is the responsibility of the user to notify the Library if they do not receive courtesy reminders and to update contact information given at registration.
3.3.3 Billed Items
An item is considered “long overdue” three weeks after the due date. A replacement cost for the item will be added to the account at this time. This will be cleared when the item is returned. See Appendix D.
3.3.4 Lost or Stolen Library Card
The guest is responsible for immediately notifying the Library when their library card is lost or stolen. The Library will then place a block on the record to prevent unauthorized activity. The user remains responsible for up to $50.00 in charges on the account from the first instance of unauthorized activity due to a stolen or lost card. The guest is responsible for the entire account balance should any future unauthorized activity occur due to unreported library card loss or theft.
3.3.5 Lost or Damaged Material
The Library charges for material reported lost or materials damaged beyond repair. The user has fourteen (14) days from the return date to examine a damaged item.
3.4 Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library. In the interest of providing quality service, libraries have an obligation to obtain material to meet the informational needs of library guests when local resources are not available.
Washington County Public Library (WCPL) recognizes that sharing materials between libraries is an integral element in the provision of library service and believes it to be essential to the vitality of all libraries.
ILL loan policies of WCPL are governed by the American Library Association’s Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (2001), the Virginia Interlibrary Loan Code (1989), the Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code, and by the regulations of lending libraries. Within the limits of the policy set forth here, WCPL will offer to obtain for users requested material not available in the collections of this system. WCPL will consider such factors as geographic proximity, type of library, and lending fees when determining to which library an interlibrary loan request will be made, when there is a choice.
Abuse of ILL privileges including failure to return material on time or to pay overdue fines and related fees may result in loss of these and/or other library privileges.
3.4.1 Eligibility for ILL Services
Interlibrary loan service is available to all with an account in good standing. ILL requests may be made in person at any library location or online. Users may have up to five (5) items active and in process at any one time.
3.4.2 Types of Material Borrowed/Loaned
WCPL, as borrower, will not process requests for: new books published in the last 12 months; non-print material; reference and genealogical material; rare, valuable, or bulky material; textbooks; entire issues of magazines and newspapers; or material determined to be in violation of copyright law. An item that is already owned by WCPL will not be borrowed unless it has been overdue for one month, billed, or considered lost.
WCPL, as lending library, will not process requests for: new books published in the last 12 months; non- print material; reference and genealogical material; rare or valuable material; entire issues of magazines and newspapers; books in high demand at specific times; leased books; or material determined to be in violation of copyright law.
ILL transactions are made from library to library.
3.4.3. Restrictions on Borrowed/Loaned Materials
In order to ensure the effectiveness of ILL service, it is necessary to maintain a positive relationship with cooperating libraries, therefore loan periods and use restrictions established by the lending library must be strictly observed.
WCPL may impose restrictions on material lent to other libraries, including requiring that the material be used only in the borrowing library (library use only). WCPL reserves the right to determine the length of time for which the material is lent, whether renewals will be granted, and has the right to recall material at any time.
The lending library may impose restrictions on material lent, including requiring that the material be used only in the borrowing library (library use only). The lending library determines the length of time for which the material is lent, whether renewals will be granted, and has the right to recall material before the due date.
3.4.4 Charges for ILL
A flat fee per item, established by the Library Board, will be charged for each item borrowed from another library payable when the request is picked up. If an ILL item is not picked up, related fees will be added to the user’s library record. (See Appendix D).
If the lending library charges a fee or postage, the charge will be passed on to the user. WCPL will obtain authorization from the user before ordering material for which there is an additional charge.
If the lending library charges fines for materials that are overdue or lost, or assesses a fee for repairs or replacement charges, these charges will be passed on to the user.
WCPL assesses no charges for books or photocopies provided to other libraries. However, repair or replacement fees will be assessed for damaged or lost materials.
3.4.5 Loan Periods and Renewals
The lending library determines the loan period. A renewal period, if any, is determined by the lending library.
WCPL lends materials for a period of four (4) weeks. Items can be renewed on a case by case basis.
3.5 Confidentiality of Library Patron Records
The Washington County Public Library supports every patron’s right to have his or her library records remain confidential. Library records include patron registration data, circulation records, overdue and reserve records, participation in library sponsored programs, record of library visits, record of computer use, and/or any data that contain information that links a specific patron to specific materials or services used. Each patron has individual control over his or her borrower’s card and presentation of the card permits access to information about the borrower’s current circulation record. Except during the actual period of transaction (circulation, maintenance of record on unpaid fines, reservation of materials), the library does not maintain a record of transactions. When no longer needed for library administration purposes, records will be expunged.
According to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§2.2-3705.7.03), access to library records, including borrowing records, of patrons under 18 years of age shall not be denied to the parent, including a noncustodial parent, or guardian of such library patron.
Library records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government or any individual except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power. Upon receipt of any inquiry, process, order, or subpoena seeking library records, the matter will be turned over to the Library Director. The Director and the Washington County Virginia Attorney will determine if such inquiry, process, order, or subpoena is in proper legal form.
Nothing in this policy shall prevent authorized library personnel from using library records in the administration of their regular duties. By separate action, the Washington County Public Library has endorsed the recommendations of the American Library Association’s Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records.
3.5.1 Holston Associated Libraries—Cooperation with Law Enforcement
The official response to any inquiries about patron or item records by the Holston Associated Libraries, Inc. consortium will be to refer the inquiring agency to the member library’s institutional officials.
It is important to note that access and information about all patron records is strictly the responsibility of the individual member institutions that comprise the Holston Associated Libraries, Inc. consortium. No consortium member is to surrender any records at any time to anyone without a duly executed search warrant, subpoena or other legally enforceable court order. No member library will grant access to any records other than their own by law enforcement officials or other parties.
The staff member who is first approached by a government investigator should notify their Director immediately. That Director will then notify the other members of the HAL Executive Board and keep the board apprised.
3 weeks (excludes Libby/Overdrive Materials, Interlibrary Loan Items, and New and High demand materials)
New and High demand items—14 day check out period
Libby/Overdrive—14-21 days check out period
2 renewals, 3 weeks each (excludes Libby/Overdrive materials, Interlibrary loan items, and New and High demand materials)
New and High Demand Items—1 renewal, for 14 days
Libby/Overdrive—1 renewal, 14-21 days
*An item that is eligible for renewal may be renewed provided there have been no holds placed on the item by another user.
Overdrive/Libby—6 items per account
The total number of items that may be checked out on each library card is limited to 50.
20 holds per account (excludes Libby/Overdrive materials)
Libby/Overdrive—6 holds per account
Item is Considered “Long Overdue”
3 weeks after the due date. A replacement cost for the item will be added to the account at this time. This will be cleared when the material is returned.
Borrowing Privileges Suspended
A patron’s account is suspended from borrowing additional items when there is a balance of $15.00 or more on a library account.
The library charges a fee for the following services:
Printing/Photocopies (Black & White)
$0.20 per page
$0.50 per page
$3.00 postage recovery fee
Plus additional fees when applicable
$1.00 per fax sent or received
Non-Resident Library Card
LOST OR DAMAGED LIBRARY MATERIALS
Library patrons are responsible for fees associated with the replacement of lost or damaged books and other materials that are checked out on their library account.
Adult Hardback Books, Trade Paperbacks & Audiobooks
Replacement Fee: $10.00
Juvenile and Young Adult Books & Audiobooks
Replacement Fee: $5.00
Mass Market Paperbacks
Replacement Fee: $5.00
Replacement Fee: $1.00
Replacement Fee: $10.00 per individual title
Binge Boxes/TV Seasons
Replacement Fee: $30.00
Replacement Fee: As assessed by lending library
APPROVED BY THE WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ON: March 23, 2017; Revised: September 25, 2018; November 1, 2019; January 26, 2021.