Circulation Policy

Adopted: Nov 2009
Revised: February 2013


One of the primary purposes of the public library is to bring people together with the information they need. In keeping with this purpose, the Ohio County Public Library provides equitable access to services and materials regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, or disability. The library patron is the most important person in the library. Service to patrons is not an interruption of work, but rather the purpose of it.

Registration Requirements

All Ohio County residents are eligible for a free library card. Proof of residency is required. Acceptable items of proof are: valid state-issued ID; Ohio County paid property tax receipt, or; rental and/or lease agreement within Ohio County.

Children who are through the first grade may get a library card. Parents must first provide proof of their own residency as parents are ultimately responsible for children's circulating items. Visiting relations (i.e. grandchildren) will not receive individual cards; we recommend that they circulate under their host's card, with the host's consent.

Individuals not residing in Ohio County, or a reciprocal library district, but who hold a valid library card from another public library district, may get a Public Library Access Card (PLAC) from the State Library of Indiana for a fee of $50. This amount is set by Indiana State Library. This card may be used at any public library in the state. Individual's originating library must be contacted and recorded to verify "good standing" before PLAC will be issued. PLAC cards are valid for 1 year from date of purchase. OCPL does offer PLAC cards to person desiring that purchase.

If a person does not pay property tax to an Indiana public library district, a non-resident card must be purchased for a fee of $50. If desired, a PLAC card may be purchased for the additional fee.

Non-resident teachers in Ohio County's school districts are eligible to receive library cards. They need to show current state-issued identification and proof of employment within the schools' system. These cards will be issued as temporary patrons during the school year. Special due dates for class circulations can be issued if requested.

Reciprocal Borrowing

Currently, OCPL participates in a state-wide Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement through the Indiana State Library. This list is available on their web site. Residents of these areas may obtain an Ohio County card when they provide their home library card, current identification and provided they are in “good standing” at their home libraries. Reciprocal borrowers are subject to the same guidelines as regular Ohio County card holders.

Reciprocal borrowers will be issued a family card. A family card carries all the same privileges and guidelines as regular patron cards, i.e. 25 item limit, 6 DVD/VHS limit, fines and fees remain the same. Family members may be listed on account as authorized users.

Change of Address

It is the patron's responsibility to notify the library of phone and address changes.

Card Usage

All circulating materials in the library's collection are available for checkout to any individual with a valid library card.

Materials checked out on a library card are the responsibility of the individual to whom the card is issued.

If library users allow others to check out materials on their card, those materials are still the responsibility of the patron to whom the card is issued. Patron may list spouse or under-age children as authorized users.

If a card is lost or stolen, the library should be notified immediately. Items checked out on a card not reported lost are the responsibility of the patron to whom the card is issued.

Materials may be checked out without a library card if the patron already has a valid Ohio County Public Library card on file and identification is presented.

Patrons may not use another patron's card or number for public access computers.

Checkout Limits

A limit of two items may be checked out to new cardholders. New card holders are limited to two items for their first 90 days. This limit is removed once they have shown good standing.

A limit of 25 items may be checked out per person.

A limit of 6 videos may be checked out per person.

Non-circulating Items

Newspapers and new magazines may not be checked out from the library.

Books that have been designated for reference use do not circulate. However, the library staff may grant exceptions to this rule.

Vintage, genealogy and Indiana History materials do not circulate.

Loan Period

All circulating materials except videos may be checked out for fourteen days.

Videos may be checked out for seven days.


Two renewals are allowed on books and audiocassettes.

One renewal is allowed on videos.

Renewals extend the loan period of the item for the same amount of time as the original checkout.

Renewals are from the date renewed, not the original due date.

Telephone renewals are accepted.

An item that is on hold for another patron cannot be renewed.

Return of Library Materials

All items checked out must be returned to the Ohio County Public Library.

Materials returned to other libraries, such as a school or academic libraries, remain the responsibility of the patron.

Receipts for returned items will not be given.


All circulating items may be put on hold.

Requests for materials may be made in person, by phone or through OCPL's web site.

Items will be held for seven days.

Items cannot be reserved for a specific date.

Interlibrary Loan

Items not available at the Ohio County Public Library may be ordered through interlibrary loan.

Per Indiana State Library program, no renewals are allowed on interlibrary loans.

Lost Library Cards

There is a $5.00 charge to replace a lost library card.

Overdue Materials

Materials are considered overdue if not received by the due date. Materials returned in the book drop when the library is not open are considered to have been returned on the next open day of the library.


Overdue fines are $0.10 (ten cents) per day for a book or audiocassette up to the price of the item, or a maximum fine of $20.00 per item.

Overdue fines are $1.00 (one dollar) per day for videos up to the price of the video, or a maximum fine of $20.00 per video.

The overdue fine will stop when the maximum fine has been reached, or if the item is paid for or returned.

The patron's library card usage will be stopped when fines have reached $10.00. No additional materials may be checked out until a payment has been made and fines are again under $10.00. A balance due of less than $10.00 will not prohibit a patron from checking out additional materials.

The library will accept the following forms of payment for fines accrued:

  • Cash
  • Personal check made out to the "Ohio County Public Library."

  • Notices

    Patrons may be notified by phone or mail when items are overdue.

    Waiver of Fines and Fees

    The library staff has the option of waiving or reducing charges if they determine that extenuating circumstances so warrant.

    Lost or Damaged Materials

    A patron is required to pay for materials that are irretrievably lost or damaged while checked out.

    Items which are overdue more than 120 days are considered 'lost' by the library's computer system. The patron's account will be charged for the replacement price of the item and their account will become 'restricted'. If a lost item is later returned and is in circulatory condition, the computer will drop the late fees and the cost of replacement from the patron's account.

    Book Drop

    All items may be returned in the book drop when the library is closed.

    Restricted Circulation

    Patron accounts with fines of $10 or more will not be permitted to circulate. These accounts may be placed on 'restricted' status.

    Patron accounts with repeated over-dues, losses or damages will be placed on 'restricted' status. These accounts will be limited to two circulating items once the account has been brought current.

    Restricted accounts may be restored to 'active' status if fines are satisfied and if staff determines that patron's situation and history warrant increased item circulation.

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