Circulation of Library Materials Policy
Every resident of Canton who has a valid Canton Public Library borrower card in good standing may borrow items from this library’s collection.
In addition, under the borrowIT CT reciprocal borrowing system, any resident of Connecticut who presents a valid borrower card in good standing from his or her hometown public library may borrow items from this library’s collection.
ACCESS TO COLLECTIONS
The library staff and trustees are charged with the responsibility of providing free and equal access to library materials and services to all people. Moreover, it is impossible for them to know or predict the opinions of parents and guardians regarding the specific borrowing selections made by minor children. Therefore, it is the policy of the Canton 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 inform or accompany their children. The library staff and trustees cannot and do not act in loco parentis.
The library may impose age requirements on the eligibility to borrow particular items, but these restrictions will be based on a reasonable concern. For example, only those persons whose library cards are listed in the borrower records as Adult or Senior may borrow cultural site passes or video games due to the high cost of replacing a lost or damaged item.
Items in the library collection may be borrowed for the following loan periods:
- In-house use: Newspapers, latest issues of magazines, reference materials
- 3 day loan: Admission passes to museums and cultural sites
- 7 day loan: Quick Read books, videos, video games
- 14 day loan: New adult fiction books
- 21 day loan: All other items
In order to satisfy the occasional, non-recurring needs of borrowers, the Library Director or his/her designee may make exceptions to the above-cited loan periods for reasonable purposes. “Designees” include the Circulation Supervisor, the Head of Children’s Services, the Adult Services Librarian, the Head of Technical Services, or the ranking staff member on duty.
Borrowing privileges are unlimited except for Quick Read books (one per card) and admission passes to museums and cultural sites (one per site per family to a maximum of two passes borrowed at the same time). The Library Director may institute additional quantity limitations at his/her discretion during periods of high demand in order to maintain fair access to the collection for all patrons.
Most materials may be renewed twice. Renewals can be made in person, by telephone, or online through the library catalog. Items on hold for other patrons, admission passes to museums and cultural sites, and Quick Read books cannot be renewed. Items obtained through the interlibrary loan system may or may not be renewable, depending on the owning library’s policies.
With the exception of Quick Read books, any circulating item in the collection may be reserved/placed on hold. Admission passes to museums and cultural sites may be reserved up to three (3) months in advance of the date of borrowing.
Reserves/holds can be placed in person, by telephone, or online through the library catalog. The library staff will notify the requesting borrower when the item becomes available. Most reserved items will be held for four (4) business days following the day of notification. Admission passes to museums and cultural sites will be held for twenty-four (24) hours. Reserved items not picked up by the end of their hold periods will be given to the next requesting borrower or, if no more reserves exist, reshelved.
Items cannot be reserved for specific dates, except for admission passes to museums and cultural sites.
To ensure fairness of access to all borrowers, the library reserves the right to limit the number of times the same family may reserve the same admission pass during periods of high demand.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 11-25 protects the confidentiality of library borrowing records. Messages that connect a specific borrower with a specific title and that must be delivered through another person, an answering machine, an email message, or any other form of communication are forbidden. Specific titles reserved or borrowed by a minor may be identified to the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
Borrowers are responsible for returning borrowed items on or before the due dates noted on their printed check-out receipts. Returns may be made in person, through the book drops, or at any Connecticut public library participating in the deliverIT CT program.
The fine rate for most items is fifteen cents ($0.15) per business day. Quick Read books and video games are fined at a rate of one dollar ($1.00) per business day. Late admission passes to museums and cultural sites are fined at a rate of five dollars ($5.00) per business day. The maximum overdue fine on any individual item will be five dollars ($5.00) except for admission passes to museums and cultural sites, the maximum fine for which will be twenty-five dollars ($25.00). No maximum overdue fine is established per library card.
Overdue fines will not be charged to patrons receiving homebound delivery service. In addition, patrons sixty-five (65) years of age or older whose library cards are listed in the borrower records as Senior are exempt from paying overdue fines on any items except Quick Read books.
A borrower will have his/her borrowing privileges suspended whenever he/she owes ten dollars ($10.00) or more in overdue fines and/or replacement charges to the Canton Public Library or any other library in the Library Connection network.
Overdue fines will not accrue on days when the library is closed due to inclement weather.
If a collection item is lost or damaged beyond repair, the borrower will be charged to replace the item. The replacement charge for a lost or damaged item will be either the actual replacement cost of the item or the minimum replacement charge established by the library for that format of item, whichever is higher.
Extra time will be given to a borrower to locate and return a lost collection item. However, once payment for the lost item has been made, no refund will be issued.
Provided a lost or damaged item has not been replaced, a new copy or a reasonable substitute for a lost or damaged item may be donated by the borrower in lieu of paying replacement charges. The donated new copy or reasonable substitute must be in at least as sturdy a condition as was the original item (i.e., a hardcover book for a hardcover book, etc.). A “reasonable substitute” will be determined by the Library Director or his/her designee (the Adult Services Librarian, the Head of Children’s Services, the Circulation Supervisor, or the Head of Technical Services). Donations in lieu of payment for lost or damaged items must be approved in advance by the Library Director or his/her designee.
Overdue fines will not be added to the replacement charge when a lost or damaged item is paid for.
The library owns a collection of audiovisual equipment. Additional pieces are acquired from time to time. This equipment is intended for use in library programs.
Subject to library needs, pieces may be loaned to other Town of Canton departments for use in their programs or for their occasional needs. Library equipment may be loaned for the day, or for overnight when needed for evening events, and may only be used within the Library/Community Center building. In extenuating circumstances, longer loan periods or off-site use will be considered by the Library Director. The borrowing department assumes financial responsibility for any damage or loss while the equipment is in its care, and the department head or designee who borrows a piece of library equipment will be required to sign a form accepting such responsibility.
Except with the prior approval of the Library Director, the library’s audiovisual equipment may not be loaned to outside groups or to the public.
Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees October 14, 2009
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees April 14, 2010
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, March 16, 2011
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, February 8, 2012
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, March 14, 2012
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, June 13, 2012
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, February 10, 2016
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, September 12, 2018
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, January 8, 2020