Library Card Policy
CANTON PUBLIC LIBRARY LIBRARY CARD POLICY
Every resident of Canton is entitled to receive a free Canton Public Library borrower card by filling out an application and presenting proof of identity and residency.
LIBRARY CARD CATEGORIES
Adult library cards: Canton residents 18 years of age and over receive adult library cards.
Teen library cards: Canton residents between the ages of 13 and 17 inclusive receive teen library cards.
Children’s library cards: Canton residents aged 12 and under receive children’s library cards. A parent or legal guardian must complete and/or co-sign the child’s borrower application and present proof of parental/guardian identity and residency. By cosigning, the parent or legal guardian accepts financial responsibility for use of the library card by his/her child.
Senior library cards: Canton residents 65 years of age and over may request a senior library card. Senior library cards exempt the holder from paying overdue fines on all materials except Quick Reads. Senior library cards may or may not accrue fines on materials borrowed from other libraries, depending on that library’s own policy.
Guest library cards: A guest library card is issued to a person of any age who is not a resident of Canton but who is staying in Canton for less than 6 months. A guest library card is valid for use in the Canton Public Library only and the card itself must be so marked.
Institutional library cards: An institutional library card is issued free-of-charge to any school, daycare center, church, business, or other institution located in Canton. A request for an institutional card should be made in writing on the form provided by the library and must be signed by the officer who will assume financial responsibility for the use of the card. The resulting library card is issued in the name of the institution and kept on file in the library. The institution also should furnish a list of persons authorized to use its borrower card, and only those so designated would be permitted the use and privileges of that card upon presentation of suitable identification. An institutional card may be used only for the purposes of the organization itself and is valid for use in the Canton Public Library only. The card itself must be so marked.
Other library card categories may be established from time to time for internal use by the library staff in conducting library business.
SPECIAL BORROWING SITUATIONS
Borrower is a Homebound Canton Resident: The library offers a Home Delivery of Library Materials Program to Canton residents who meet the eligibility requirements. Those wishing to use this service should complete an application for home delivery service and a borrower application in order to receive a library card. Certain special considerations apply to homebound cardholders. Consult the library’s Homebound Delivery of Library Materials Policy and its related brochure and application for further information.
Borrower is an Out-of-Town Resident: A Connecticut resident who lives outside of Canton but who possesses a valid library card from his/her hometown library may borrow materials from the Canton Public Library by presenting that card. An out-of-town borrower has the same privileges and responsibilities as do Canton residents.
Borrower is a Canton Property Owner with Principal Residence in Another Connecticut Municipality: A person in this category is considered an out-of-town resident — see preceding paragraph. “Principal residence” is determined by the address printed on the individual’s driver’s license.
Borrower is a Canton Property Owner with Principal Residence in Another State: A person in this category may receive a library card free-of-charge by presenting a tax bill or a tax receipt from the Town of Canton’s Tax Collector’s Office or Assessor’s Office, showing some form of photo identification, and completing a borrower application provided by the library. The resulting borrower card is valid for use in the Canton Public Library only and the card itself must be so marked. Borrower cards may be issued to non-resident Town of Canton employees at the discretion of the Library Director.
LIBRARY CARD PRIVILEGES
A Canton Public Library borrower card entitles the holder to:
- borrow materials eligible for loan from the Canton Public Library collection, in compliance with the rules set forth in the library’s Circulation of Library Materials Policy.
- utilize the services, programs, and equipment of the library for which a borrower card is required, including certain online resources.
The library may impose age requirements on the eligibility to borrow particular items and to utilize particular services for which a borrower card is required. Age restrictions will be based on reasonable concerns.
LIBRARY CARD RESPONSIBILITIES
A Canton Public Library cardholder:
- must present to the library staff at the time of check-out his/her card (if the card is not present, then some other form of positive proof of identification, otherwise borrowing privileges at that time will be denied)
- assumes responsibility for the care and safety of library materials borrowed on his/her card
- assumes responsibility for paying fines and other charges levied against his/her card
- agrees to report changes in name, address, telephone number, and email address as soon as possible
- agrees to report a lost, stolen, or damaged card to the library as soon as possible.
A cardholder continues to be responsible for the use of his/her card until the library has been notified of theft or loss.
LIBRARY CARD EXPIRATION DATES AND RENEWALS
Most library cards are valid for three years from the date of issuance and, upon expiration, will be renewed for another three-year period. A guest card will be valid for the duration of the guest’s stay in Canton (less than 6 months) and may not be renewed. A Canton Public Library borrower card ceases to be valid when the cardholder moves out of Canton. The library may assess a charge to replace a borrower card that is lost or damaged beyond use before its expiration date.
PROOF OF IDENTITY AND RESIDENCY
Proof of identity and residency are required before a library card will be issued.
The following are acceptable forms of proof, although more than one item may be required to establish identity and residency both:
- a valid driver’s license or state-issued photo identification card
- a valid student identification card
- a valid passport
- a piece of stamp-canceled mail addressed to the current Canton address (such as, but not limited to, a utility bill
- a rent receipt
- a personal check
For children and teens aged 17 and younger, proof of the parent or legal guardian’s identity and residency are required.
For an institution, acceptable proof of identity and residency will be a piece of its letterhead stationery.
For a Canton property owner with principal residence in another state, a tax bill or tax receipt from the Town of Canton’s Tax Collector’s Office or Assessor’s Office, coupled with some form of photo identification, will be considered acceptable proof of identity and residency.
SUSPENSION OF LIBRARY CARD
A Canton Public Library borrower card can be suspended whenever the cardholder is guilty of breaking library rules, including but not limited to owing fines in excess of the established maximum limit, owing money for a lost or damaged collection item, damaging library property, behaving in a disorderly manner, or committing other infractions prohibited by library policy.
USE OF LIBRARY CARDS BY CHILDREN
Library trustees and staff are charged with the responsibility of providing free and equal access to library materials and services to everyone. Moreover, it is impossible for them to know the opinions of parents and guardians regarding the items borrowed 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 borrow certain materials must inform or accompany their children.
USE OF LIBRARY CARDS BY PERSONS OTHER THAN THE OWNERS
Borrowers are discouraged from lending their library cards for use by others. Cardholders who allow their library cards to be used by others continue to be responsible for the care and safety of all library materials charged to their cards, as well as for paying fines, replacement charges, and other financial assessments that result from the use of their cards.
Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees, December 11, 2013
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, September 12, 2018