12. Circulation Policies

The Mercer County Library System collects, organizes and circulates books and other library materials to children, young adults and adult patrons. Selection of these materials is made to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of all residents of the library service area.

Any valid cardholder may borrow and return materials at any branch of the Mercer County Library System, with the exception of Museum Passes. The physical library card must be present for check-out. Electronic formats of library cards will not be accepted.

The cardholder is responsible for the materials borrowed and charges incurred against their library card. For a minor resident card, the authorizing parent or guardian is responsible for the materials borrowed and charges incurred against the minor's library account.

A. Check Out or Using a Public PC Without Presenting A Library Card

The Mercer County Library System issues a library card to eligible users, which entitles them to utilize all library services. This card is a positive form of identification and ensures the reliability, confidentiality, and integrity of a patron's record. All patrons are required to present their card when checking out materials, and when items on reserve, or using a public PC.

In the event that the patron does not have their card in their immediate possession, they will be asked for an alternative form of identification, such as a driver's license, work or school identification. A note will be placed on the patron's record indicating non-presentation of library card, and the patron will be expected to bring their card on the next visit or purchase a replacement card for a cost of $2.00. Staff will allow a patron to check out without presentation of a library card once in a three-month period. After that it will be assumed that the patron has lost or misplaced the original card and will be issued a new card for the replacement cost of $2.00.

B. Picking Up Items on Hold for Another Cardholder

Cardholders who wish to allow other persons or family members to pick up item(s) placed on hold are responsible for informing the library, in person, of the identity of any person or persons to whom such permission will be granted. A message will be placed on the patron's record, stating for whom permission has been granted. The person picking up the requested item(s) must present the patron's library card when retrieving the item(s), and may not use the card to check out items other than those on hold. The patron issued the card is fully responsible for materials borrowed and charges incurred on the card.