Materials Lending

Meinders Community Library Board Policy 403
Policy: Materials Lending Originally Adopted Next Review
Current Version Adopted November 1, 2017 Combined  August 2021

Purpose: To establish lending rules and outline patron responsibility for items borrowed from or through Meinders Community Library, so that the Library may continue to provide free and equal access of materials to the community and ensure that the Library is being fiscally responsible for the collection purchased with public monies.

Section 1: Patron Responsibility

  • An issued card may be used exclusively by the patron unless permission has been granted and recorded on the account for another to use the card.
  • Patrons are expected to keep track of and return all borrowed materials on time and in good condition.
  • Lost or stolen cards should be reported to the Library immediately.
  • Only parents or custodians may apply for a child’s card, and are responsible for all materials checked out on those cards. Once a card is issued, children have complete access to all materials in the Library. The Library cannot act in loco parentis for children with cards, making parents or guardians solely responsible for the types of material children check out.

 Section 2: Lending Periods and Limits

If materials cannot be returned due to an emergency (weather, family, etc), please contact Library Staff immediately to see if an agreement can be worked out. In addition, materials can be renewed online using a patron’s account, in person, by phone, or via email. 

Material Type Limit Check Out Renewal Fines
Books (physical and audio) and music CDs No Limit 2 weeks 2 renewals if not on hold 5 cents per day with a 3 day grace period
DVD Boxsets 1 per household 2 weeks 1 renewal if not on hold $2.00 per day with a 1 day grace period
DVDs 3 per household 1 week 1 possible if not on hold $1.00 per day with a 1 day grace period
Magazines 5 per household 1 week 1 possible if not on hold 5 cents per day with a 3 day grace period
ILLN (out of system) No Limit Varies by item and lending library Item must be physically brought in—may not be renewable 5 cents per day with a 3 day grace period


*The Library may place temporary limits on materials or collections in response to demand.

Section 3: Placing Holds

Patrons may place a hold on an item, regardless of its availability. Holds are filled within the Plum Creek Library System in the order that they are placed. Once the hold is available, an email notification will be sent to the requesting patron. If an email address is not on file, Staff will make one attempt to call the patron regarding the hold.

Items will remain on the hold shelf for seven days. If the item is not picked up, it is either re-shelved or sent back to its home library, as per the policies of the Plum Creek Library System.

Requested items typically arrive within a week, though depending on demand, it may take longer. Delivery is scheduled for Tuesday and Friday mornings. Items from delivery should be processed by noon and available to patrons by then. The exception to scheduled delivery dates is holidays, weather or driver emergencies.

Section 4: Fines

Meinders Library has a three-day grace period for overdue materials with the exception of DVDs. A book, magazine, audio book or music CD may be returned up to three days past its due date without incurring any fines. Materials returned on or after the fourth day will be assessed fines accrued during the grace period. Fines on the listed materials are 5 cents per day.

The grace period is one day for movies. Fines on DVDs are $1.00 per day. Movies need to be returned to the front desk during normal business hours or dropped off in the DVD drop box after hours. Movies that become damaged when dropped off in the book drop will be the borrowing patron’s responsibility.

Accounts with overdue fines will be charged up to $5.00 for returned materials. The $5.00 cap applies only to material checked out from Meinders Library. Other PCLS libraries may have different overdue policies that apply to materials checked out from their libraries.

Staff may use their judgement to forgive part or all of a fine based on individual circumstances. No more than a total of $10 may be forgiven on an account without the Director’s approval.

Per Plum Creek Library policies, borrowers with $5.00 or more in fines/fees and/or five or more items a week or more overdue will have their borrowing privileges suspended until the materials are returned and the fines/fees are below $5.00.

Section 5: Lost Items

If an item is overdue long enough to move into the lost category (60 days from checkout), the patron will be charged the cost of the item plus an additional $2.00 processing fee to replace the item. Patrons may choose to purchase a replacement item for the library as long as it is approved by the staff and is the same edition of the lost material.

If the item is returned, the processing fee will be waived, and the charges will be assessed at 5 cents per day from the date the item was due. Fines will not exceed $5.00. If the item has been paid for by the patron and later returned, the money is not refundable. The patron may keep the old item once the library withdraws it from the system and blacks out the barcode.

If a patron has more than $50 in lost charges and still has items checked out to them from the Library, a letter will be sent to the address on record informing the patron of the fines, a list of the missing items, and an outline of the legal procedure for withholding government property. Patrons will then have 60 days to return the items, pay the charges or make arrangements with the director to replace lost materials. Accounts exceeding $50 in fees may be turned over to the Pipestone Sheriff’s Department. Once the account is turned over to the Sheriff, the patron must go through the court process and cannot return items or pay fines until after the court appearance.

Only the Director may waive the cost of lost materials.

Section 6: Damaged Materials

Meinders Community Library does not allow severely damaged materials to leave the library. If a book has a loose spine and a patron wishes to check it out anyway, library staff will make a note in the book that repairs need to be done when the book is returned and what kind of damage was noted.

Any other damage that occurs to an item in a patron’s home is the patron’s responsibility and includes, but is not limited to: water or other spills, rips or tears, items returned with parts missing, damage that is unrepairable, damage that makes an item unusable, or damage beyond normal wear and tear. Patrons will be charged the retail price of the item plus a $2.00 replacement fee for each majorly damaged item.

Items lost or damaged due to extraordinary events such as fire, tornado, or flooding will not be charged to the borrower’s account. It is, however, the responsibility of the card holder to contact the Library immediately following such events.