Borrower's Policy Print

Revisions: August 20, 2013, September, 18, 2012, May 18, 2010, March 17, 2009, Dec. 16, 2008, May 20, 2008, September 9, 2007, May 24, 2005, July 22, 2004, September 16, 2003, November 21, 2000, March 18, 1997

adopted: August 16, 1994

Policy number:  4.01

scope: This policy defines who is eligible for a WCLS library card and limitations to borrowing privileges.

I. The Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) is a system of libraries serving the diverse needs of area residents of all ages.  All WCLS branches and bookmobile are open to the public.  Anyone may browse or use reference materials, attend WCLS programs, and otherwise use services in WCLS facilities.

II.  Eligibility for a Library Card

The following categories of individuals are eligible to register for library cards with provision of current address and proof of identity:

  1. All residents of Whatcom County
  1. Non-residents of the Library District who pay taxes to support the Library District, such as individuals who work in or own businesses or property located in Whatcom County.
  1. Card holders who reside in communities with which WCLS has a reciprocal borrowing agreement, including but not limited to:
    1. Fraser Valley Regional Library (Canada)
    2. Sno-Isle Regional Library System
    3. Timberland Regional Library System
  1. Bellingham Public Library card holders may use their BPL cards to borrow materials at WCLS libraries and bookmobile through a reciprocal agreement.
  1. Nonresidents must purchase a library card for an annual fee to borrow materials.
  1. Visitors to Whatcom County may purchase temporary library cards to borrow materials for a monthly fee. Non-residents and visitors must provide identification showing permanent address.
  1. Whatcom County business firms and institutions may be issued agency library cards upon the written approval of the owner and/or official authorized to enter contracts on behalf of the business or institution.
  1. Minors under 18 years of age may receive a library card with a parent’s or guardian’s signature.  Parent/guardian signatures will not be required for minors who are demonstrably free of parental control, such as through marriage.

III.  Limitations on borrowing privileges

  1. Borrowing privileges may be denied for:

        a.  Failure to return overdue WCLS materials or failure to pay for damaged or overdue materials. Money received for lost material will be refunded or credited if the materials are returned within one year of the last transaction.

        b.  Due cause including failure to comply with WCLS rules, destruction of WCLS property, and disturbance of other WCLS patrons. See WCLS Disruptive Behavior Policy.

  1. Lost or stolen cards: Lost or stolen library cards should be reported to the WCLS immediately.  A replacement card will be issued at no cost.
  1. It is not recommended that library cards be loaned as the Borrower is still responsible for all materials borrowed on the card.
  1. Borrowers are normally expected to present their library cards each time they wish to borrow materials from the WCLS. If the computer is down borrowers are required to present their cards to borrow materials.
  1. The overdue fees shall be levied according to Attachment A, Schedule of Fines and Fees.

6.  Other charges:

  1. If WCLS materials are not returned after the maximum fine has been reached, the borrower will be charged for the list price of the item at the time of purchase.
  2. If an item is returned damaged or with missing parts, the borrower will be charged according to guidelines maintained by WCLS.
  3. Past due financial accounts may be submitted to a private collection agency for collection.  An additional fee(s) may be charged to any account submitted to a collection agency.
  4. If an adult borrower fails to pick up a requested item prior to the pickup deadline, a fee will be charged.

7.  Exceptions:

  1. Fines and lost charges may be waived in cases of WCLS error or exceptional circumstances, according to guidelines established by WCLS.
  2. If a payment plan is developed and followed, collection agency accounts may be temporarily suspended and limited checkout privileges may be restored.

IV.  Privacy:  It is the policy of Whatcom County Library System to protect the privacy of library borrowers.  See the WCLS Policy on Confidentiality of Patron Records.

Adopted by the Whatcom County Library System Board of Trustees.