FAQs

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Library Cards:

Q: How do I get a library card?

A: If you don’t currently hold a card here or at another SEO member library, visit one of our three locations with  identification showing current name and address (e.g.  driver’s license, bank statement, utility bill) and fill out a registration card. Read full policy here.

Q: Can I start borrowing as soon as my card is issued?

A: Yes, new library card holders have full privileges right away.

Q: I live out of state, but I work in Guernsey County. Can I get a library card?

A: Out-of-state patrons may obtain a card with proof of employment within Guernsey County.

Q: I haven’t used my card in a long time. Will it still work? 

A: Maybe. If your borrower’s account has been inactive for more than 3 years, your records may not be in the system any longer. If that’s the case, you simply need to apply for a new card, at no cost to you.

Q: Is there a minimum age to get a library card?

A: There is no minimum age to get a library card (read full requirements here).

Q: How much does it cost to replace a library card?

A: A fee of $1.00 may be charged to replace a lost or stolen card. A worn, damaged or unreadable card can be surrendered for replacement at no charge to the patron.

Q: Can I call in and get a library card mailed to me?

A: Normally, no; registration in-person is necessary. If you require special accommodations or are not able to physically come to our location, please contact Library Administration for more options.


Checking Out Items

Q: How many items can I check out at a time? How long can I keep them?

A: Borrowing limits are determined by the type and age of item (read more here). These limits apply to the three Guernsey County branch collections. Materials checked out from other SEO Consortium member collections do not count against local limits. Be aware that due dates for items from outside Guernsey County may vary; please retain your checkout slip or check online to find out when your materials are due.


Returning Items

Q: Do I have to return items to the same location where I checked out?

A: No. Library materials from SEO Consortium libraries can be returned to any participating location. Because they may be from out of state, interlibrary loan items are best returned to the local branch where the item was checked out, but if necessary we will accept them at another branch.

Q: If I return an item in the book drop outside the library, is it the same as returning it at the circulation desk?

A: Pretty much, yes. During open hours, book drop items are checked in with the current date. After normal operating hours, items will be checked in with the previous business day’s return date. Please keep in mind, however, that items placed in the book drop while we are open might not be checked in immediately. If you are at your limit for a specific type of item and would like to check out more right away, it’s best to return at the circulation desk rather than using the book drop on your way in.

Q: I returned some items that were a couple of days late and paid my fine. A couple of days later I received a letter saying the materials were still out on my card. Does that mean the items weren’t checked back in?

A: Almost certainly not. Overdue reminders are sent out as a courtesy, but sometimes they arrive after patrons have already returned their materials. Feel free to check online to see what’s still on your card, or call the library and we’ll look it up for you.


Renewing Items

Q: How many times can I renew an item?

A: All items can be renewed 4 times provided they are not on hold/reserve for someone else.

Q: Do I have to renew in person? Can I renew over the phone or online?

A: Patrons may renew items in person, by telephone or at the library’s web address. A library card number may be required if library staff cannot verify patron’s identity.

Q: Can I renew items that are past due?

A: Yes, patrons may renew overdue items provided borrowing is not blocked for overdue/lost item fines. Previously accrued fines will be charged to borrower’s card at the time of renewal.


Holds, Reserves and Interlibrary Loans

Q: Can I get items from other libraries through Guernsey County?

A: Yes, definitely! Every day, the Guernsey County Library processes hundreds of items arriving for patrons, or going out to other local systems. Patrons can place hold requests through our website, in person or by phone.

Q: How many reserves can I place at one time?

A: Patrons are permitted to place up to 50 holds/reserves on any one library card. This can be done in person, by telephone or at the library’s web address.

Q: How long will it take for my reserved items to arrive?

A: It depends on your place in the hold queue and how many copies are in member libraries. Typically, there are many copies of bestseller print items so even if there are patron requests ahead of yours, you might not have to wait long. If there are fewer copies in the system it might take longer. Picking and transporting materials also factor into how long it takes from placing the request to pickup.

Q: How long do I have to pick up my items?

A: We can hold items for 7 calendar days from the time you are notified. After 7 days, the item will be considered in-transit to the next destination.

Q: A bunch of items came in all at once. Can I just check out a couple and leave the rest until later?

A: No, we ask that patrons please take all hold items on hand upon checkout.

Q: I’ve been waiting a long time for my hold items and it looks like I will be on vacation when they arrive. Can I still get my stuff?

A: Yes, patrons may suspend holds to avoid losing their place in the queue. Make sure to select a date to “unsuspend” and pick up where you left off.

Q: A book I need isn’t listed in any SEO member collection. Can the library still help me get a copy?

A: Yes, if there is an available copy in a library outside the system we might still be able to get it through an Inter-library Loan. Read more about the process here.


Fines

Q: How much do I owe for each day an item is late?
A: Fines of $0.10 per day per item will be charged for overdue books, books on cassette/CD, compact discs and periodicals. Overdue films, videos, DVD’s, CD-ROM’s, equipment and art prints will be $1.00 per day per item.

Q: I owe fines on my card. Can I still check out items?

A: It depends on the amount and type of fines. Loans will not be made to any patron who has overdue materials, fines in excess of the limit of $5.00 in any SEO network library and/or unpaid lost or damaged materials.

Q: Someone else used my card to check out items. Do I still have to pay the fines?

A: The owner of a lost or stolen library card is responsible for all materials checked out on that card up to the time it was reported lost or stolen. If someone is using your card without permission, contact the library as soon as possible so we can mark your missing card inactive and issue a new one.

Q: My child damaged a library book. Do I have to pay for it?

A: Unfortunately, yes. Juvenile and young adult cardholders are required to have a parent or guardian sign as responsible for items checked out, so if your child has late, lost or damaged library materials you will be held accountable for any associated fines.

Q: I can’t find all the items checked out to my card. Is there a limit to how high late fees will go? What if I don’t locate them?

A: The first step is to renew (if possible) so fines don’t accrue while you’re looking for lost items. If renewals are blocked or exhausted, late fines will not exceed the replacement cost of the item. If misplaced materials can’t be located, the item will be designated “lost” and the replacement cost will be charged to the borrower’s card as a fine.

Q: Can I pay part of my fines now and the rest later?
A: The Library is glad to accept partial payment of late fees. Replacement costs for lost and damaged items must be paid in a lump sum.

Q: I paid for a lost item which I later found at home. Can I get a refund?
A: A refund may be issued if the item is returned in acceptable condition with receipt for fine payment. Circulation staff cannot make the determination to refund fines; refunds are granted solely per approval of Library Administration.

Q: How long do fines stay in the system?
A: Library fines do not expire.

Q: Can I check out at Guernsey County if my card from another SEO Library is blocked with fines?
A: Loans will not be made to any patron who has overdue materials, fines in excess of the limit of $5.00 in any SEO network library and/or unpaid lost or damaged materials.

Q: I owe fines on my card at another SEO Member Library. Can I pay these at Guernsey County, or do I have to go all the way back to the other library?
A: Patrons are welcome to pay fines at any SEO Consortium Library regardless of where the late items were checked out.


Donations

Q: Does the library accept donated books?
A: Yes, the library will gladly accept donations, depending on type and condition. Recent bestseller fiction and current non-fiction titles in new condition from a non-smoking home are always welcome. We also consider vintage/antique items relevant to local history and genealogy regardless of condition. Please be aware that not all accepted items are added to the permanent collection.  Unfortunately we are not able to accept the following:

  • Encyclopedia sets of any age
  • Academic textbooks
  • Items that are worn, damaged, soiled or affected by mildew
  • Older paperbacks
  • Magazines

Q: Can I donate items other than books?

A: Yes, the Library welcomes donations of goods, equipment and materials other than books. If you are considering making a donation, please review our policy to learn how your gift can help support the Library.

 


Internet Access

Q: Is internet access available at the library?

A: Yes, free internet access is available at all three branches of the Guernsey County Public Library. Each location offers several internet terminals for patron use plus free wifi.

Q: Do I need a library card to go online?

A: No, a borrower’s card is not required for internet access, but all patrons using library computers and networks are required to follow the Internet Access Policy.


Print, Copy and Fax Services

Q: What does it cost to print?

A: Black and white copies and prints cost $0.25 per printed side; color costs $0.50 per side.

Q: Can I print from library computers? What media can I use (e.g. USB drives, etc.)?

A: Our equipment will print from USB drives, some portable media players and phones with USB cables (depending on required drivers). Patrons can also print most types of email file attachments. Library internet terminals don’t have CD/DVD drives.

Q: Can I print over wifi?

A: No, our network does not permit printing via wifi. For best results, move files to a library internet terminal by email, cloud storage or USB drive.


Reference

Q: Can the library look up information for me?

A: Yes, absolutely. The Library strives to provide a relevant and authoritative response to every patron question. Responses may be drawn from print volumes, subscribed databases or other online resources. In some cases, staff may refer a patron to other agencies that can more completely answer a question.

Q: Are there limitations on reference services?

A: Depending on the number of patrons waiting for assistance, it may be necessary to restrict the time available to help any one patron. Subject complexity or resource availability may make it necessary to provide a response at a later date. If for any reason a response can’t be given immediately, please submit submit your request in writing with contact information so staff can get back with you at the earliest opportunity.

If the information needed to answer a question is very lengthy or must be compiled from several sources, staff help the patron to locate appropriate materials, show him/her how to use them, and will check periodically to make sure the patron is progressing well. When a research request is phoned in, staff encourage the patron to come to the library in person if the appropriate materials are accessible in the library. Staff may recommend electronic resources and borrowing from other libraries, and make referrals to other libraries and organizations when those collections would better meet the patron’s needs.

Q: Can the Library answer medical or legal questions?

A: Yes, but there are some important boundaries:

  • Legal and Tax Information: Staff provide legal definitions and specific citations from the codes, but do not interpret passages. Staff do not recommend specific attorneys, but may suggest the patron contact an attorney or the local bar association for further assistance. Staff assist patrons in locating specific tax forms and publications. Staff do not interpret tax regulations or provide tax advice.
  • Medical Information: Staff will assist patrons in finding information about diseases, medical conditions, tests, and treatments in print and electronic resources. Staff are not permitted to interpret the information found in these medical resources, and cannot make diagnoses, give advice, or recommend specific health care professionals.