LIBRARY CARD ELIGIBILITY
Permanent residents of Ohio qualify for a free library card. Persons who go to school in Ohio, work on a permanent basis in Ohio, and those who own property in Ohio also qualify for a free library card. Only one card is allowed per individual, with the exceptions of library cards issued to teachers who work or live in Cuyahoga County and 3 for Me library cards issued to youth aged 17 and under with borrowing privileges restricted to print only. Cleveland Public Library honors the library cards of other CLEVNET libraries for the circulation of materials. Special cards, such as the 3 for Me card and those issued to businesses, educators, and temporary residents are governed by procedures set forth by Library administration.
APPLYING FOR A LIBRARY CARD
To apply for a library card, adults aged 18 or older must fill out an application and present valid, government-issued photo identification and current proof of address, if not listed on the photo identification. Acceptable forms of photo identification include a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, and US. Military ID. Acceptable proof of a current address is either a printed personal check showing the address on the application or an envelope, utility bill, or postcard with a recent (within last 30 days) postmark received at the address shown on the application.
Adults aged 18 and over may also apply for a card online. This card will be valid for electronic materials only until the borrower presents valid, government-issued photo identification (and current proof of address if not listed on the photo identification) in person at the Main Library Lending desk or any Cleveland Public Library branch.
Youth aged 17 and under who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian may apply for and be issued a library card that excludes DVD borrowing privileges. The signature of a parent or other adult accepting financial responsibility along with their valid, government-issued identification is required on the application. Photo identification is required for applicants aged 14 through 17 years old. Acceptable forms of photo identification for applicants in this age group include school ID, a report card, or a class schedule with the applicant’s name on it.
Youth aged 17 and under who wish to borrow DVDs must be accompanied by a parent or other adult accepting financial responsibility at the time of application. The parent or other adult accepting financial responsibility must present valid, government-issued photo identification and current proof of address. The parent or guardian may choose to allow DVDs borrowing privileges at that time.
Additionally, youth aged 17 and under may apply for one 3 for Me card with borrowing privileges restricted to three print titles only. The 3 for Me card can be used as a primary library card or as a secondary library card. Youth may apply for this card without the signature of a parent or guardian.
Library card privileges must be renewed every two years. Valid photo identification and current proof of address must be presented when renewing library privileges.
Borrowers must present a valid library card when charging out materials. If the patron does not have the library card but still wishes to charge out materials, valid photo identification will be accepted. Borrowers are responsible for paying any fines or other charges imposed for the late return of materials, loss, or the mutilation of library materials. Parents or guardians who sign a library card application on behalf of an applicant aged 17 or under are financially responsible for all materials borrowed on the card. Borrowers are responsible for reporting any changes in the account information in a timely fashion.
It is the borrower’s responsibility and choice as to who has access to the library card for the account. A patron may allow a family member or friend to use his or her library card to check out materials, pick up materials on hold, and pay fines that are outstanding on that card. However, a valid library card must be presented and the Library reserves the right to ask a borrower for photo identification to verify identity before charging out materials.
LOST OR STOLEN LIBRARY CARD
If the borrower’s card is lost or stolen, it is the borrower’s responsibility to report the loss or theft to Cleveland Public Library or to another CLEVNET-member library immediately. A police report is required when a patron claims materials were checked out without permission. A new library card must be issued for lost, damaged or stolen cards; the cost for a replacement card is $1.00. All charges or loans attached to the lost card will be transferred to the new card.
A total of fifty circulating items may be on a borrower’s record at any given time; of these, a total of eight (8) CPL-owned DVDs may be on a borrower’s record. Loan periods depend upon the type of material being loaned; borrowers should note the due dates on the receipt provided at checkout. The Library upholds the circulation policy and loan periods for items owned by CLEVNET member libraries although they may differ from the loan periods of Cleveland Public Library.
Most CPL materials are renewable, and, depending on the item, may be renewed up to five times, provided there are no reservation requests pending and the patron has not accumulated more than $24.99 in fines and/or fees on the account.
FINES & FEES
Once library materials are overdue, the cardholder will be charged overdue fines according to the Fines & Fees Schedule, approved by the Cleveland Public Library Board of Trustees. The Library will accept payment for lost or damaged materials, overdue fines and fees associated with materials owned by other CLEVNET member libraries at any CPL location. The Library will not wave any fines or fees associated with materials owned by other CLEVNET member libraries. If an item owned by another CLEVNET member library is found at a later date, the patron must return the item to the owning library to request a refund. CPL will not issue refunds for materials owned by another library system.
The Library does not charge overdue fines for circulating materials borrowed by patrons aged 60 and over, or those who are totally and permanently disabled. To qualify for a disabled card, the patron must present a permanent Golden Buckeye card issued by the Ohio Department of Aging at the time of application. Patrons aged 60 and over or those who are totally and permanently disabled are still responsible for lost item charges.
Once an item is twenty-eight (28) or more days overdue, the Library will mail the borrower a bill for the cost of the item. When an item does not have a cost associated with it in the online catalog, the borrower is responsible for the replacement cost listed in the Fines & Fees Schedule. If the lost CPL item is found within 90 days of payment, the patron may contact the Library for a refund, less the maximum overdue fine for the item. In the event that a borrower believes that an item was returned on time, the borrower should contact the owning library to ask staff to check the shelf for the item. If the item is owned by CPL and not found after a shelf check, it is the sole discretion of the library manager to grant or deny status for the item.
LOSS OF BORROWING PRIVILEGES
A patron is unable to borrow materials when fines and/or fees are in excess of
$24.99, 10 or more items are overdue, more than 50 items are already charged out, the patron’s library card has expired, or the account has been referred for material recovery services. Youth aged 17 and under whose borrowing privileges have been suspended are eligible to apply for the 3 for Me card.
Accounts of borrowers aged 18 or older with fines and/or fees in excess of $24.99 on their account are referred to material recovery services for processing and may be subject to credit reporting. Youth aged 17 or younger with fines and/or fees in excess of $24.99 are referred to material recovery services for processing; however, their name will not be reported to a credit bureau. A collection fee will be assessed to the patron when the account is referred for material recovery services. A patron’s borrowing privileges will be restored once the balance on the user’s account is zero.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY RECORDS
In keeping with the Library’s Policy on Confidentiality and the Privacy of Library Records, family members or friends are not given information about the accounts of the borrowers whose cards they are using, except in situations specified by Section 149.432 of Ohio Revised Code, e.g., a parent can get the account information of a minor child.
A parent or guardian may request overdue information and information about current items charged out on a minor child’s library card, if the parent or guardian has the minor child’s card, or the parent or guardian has photo identification with same address as that listed in the minor child’s registration and proof of parentage or guardianship satisfactory to the Library.
Approved by the Board of Library Trustees, October 15, 2015