Circulation & Overdue Policy
Stowe Resident Library Card
Individuals of all ages are welcome to register for a Stowe Free Library card for free if they meet the following criteria:
- The individual is a resident of Stowe, as evidenced by living at a Stowe address (whether renting or owning); owning property in Stowe as a primary, secondary, or vacation residence; owning a time share property; or otherwise appearing on the Grand List.
- The individual can demonstrate an ability to receive mail from the Library by providing evidence of a valid mailing address (not just a P.O. Box number), such as a valid driver’s license, a utility bill, or a lease or timeshare agreement.
- A child must be of school age, kindergarten and above, in order to register for a library card. A parent or guardian with a valid Stowe Free Library card must accompany any child under 16 registering for his/her own card.
Non-resident Library Card
Non-residents with proof of identification may acquire a library card. A non-resident cardholder has the same privileges as a resident cardholder, including access to the library’s Inter-Library Loan service.
Individuals who live outside of Stowe or who are visiting on a temporary basis, less than 6 months, may register for a Stowe Free Library card for the price of $20 per year per adult. Children under the age of 16, of school age, and accompanied by a parent or guardian with a valid Stowe Free Library card, may register for a free library card.
A non-resident may be exempt from the $20 fee if he/she is:
- A Stowe High School student, 16 and over, who lives in Lamoille County or Waterbury.
- An employee of the Town of Stowe.
- An employee of the Stowe public school system.
The first replacement is free, but subsequent replacements are $1.00.
All borrowers must have a valid Stowe Free Library card in order to borrow library materials. Materials may not be checked out until a card has been issued. Individuals must use their own cards to borrow materials; materials may not be checked out to another individual’s card, unless prior permission is given and noted on patron’s record.
Use of the library card implies acceptance and adherence to all regulations of the Stowe Free Library. Patrons are responsible for all materials checked out on their library card.
Parents and guardians alone have the responsibility to monitor, guide, or restrict their child’s reading or library use. The Stowe Free Library strongly encourages parents and guardians to talk with their children about the materials they access at the library. Information about reserves and checkouts for patrons under age 16 will be given to parents without prior permission from the child.
In town cards require renewal every two years. All non-resident library cards expire on a yearly basis, and non-residents will be required to pay their $20 annual fee. Patrons are advised to help the library maintain valid patron records by providing current addresses and phone numbers and notifying the Library if a library card is lost or stolen. The Library will conduct periodic purges of patron records that have been inactive for 5 years or longer.
Parents/Guardians are legally responsible for debts incurred by children less than 16 years of age.
Loan periods for circulating materials are listed below. A patron may renew an item as long as another patron has not requested the item.
- Books, circulating magazines, and audio books: 2 weeks - can be renewed up to 2 times.
- New DVDs: 1 week - can be renewed up to 2 times
- Older DVDs : 2 weeks- can be renewed up to 2 times
- E-Readers: 2 weeks - can be renewed once
- Museum/Parks Pass: 2 days - cannot be renewed
Inter-Library Loans may be checked out for two weeks. Renewals in general are not permitted. If a patron feels an additional amount of time is needed, he/she must contact the Stowe Free Library as soon as possible so that the Library may contact the lending library and seek additional loan time for the item.
A patron has three days to pick up a reserved item or an item that has been ordered through Interlibrary Loan. If the item has not been picked up in three days, and the patron has made no special arrangements, the item will be placed back in regular circulation or returned to the lending library.
- Current issues of magazines do not circulate.
- Reference books, including those in our Vermont Collection, do not circulate. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Director or the librarian on duty to check a reference item out overnight. The item must be returned when the Library opens the next day.
- DVDs are limited to 5 per family.
- Museum/Parks Passes are limited to 1 at a time.
The Library Director reserves the right to impose circulation limits or to discontinue borrowing privileges for the misuse of library materials, negligence in returning materials, or failure to make proper restitution for missing or damaged materials.
The Stowe Free Library will attempt to contact patrons regarding overdue materials. Library staff will offer to renew items for patrons when checking out new materials, but it is the patron’s responsibility to make sure that items are renewed.
At any time, a patron may renew his/her overdue item as long as another patron is not waiting for the item and the item has not been renewed more than twice. Items that have gone into suspension will be considered to have reached the renewal limit.
The library has imposed overdue fines specifically for delinquent DVDs and e-readers.
- DVDs - $1.00 per day up to the cost of the DVD
- E-Readers - $1.00 per day
If a patron has incurred fines and is unaware of fines upon the first subsequent visit to the library, a verbal warning will be given, and the patron will be allowed to check out additional items during this first visit. A staff member will add a note to the patron’s record regarding the warning, and the patron is expected to pay the outstanding fine upon the next library visit. Borrowing privileges will be suspended until payment is made in full.
Replacement Costs for Lost or Damaged Items
Patrons are responsible for replacement costs of lost or damaged items. (VSA 22, section 111) If a reasonable replacement cost cannot be determined through the library’s catalog system, the library director will determine the cost. A patron may not borrow any further items until the bill for the lost or damaged material has been paid.
All circulation records of the Stowe Free Library will be kept confidential. This includes records identifying names of users with specific materials and all registration files identifying names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
Any information regarding patron use, including the identity of an individual who borrows or uses any materials, resources, or services of the Library, may not be disclosed, with the following exceptions (VSA 22, Section 172):
- To the individual who borrowed or used the materials, resources, or services in question;
- To persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the Library;
- In response to a court order or warrant;
- To the custodial parent or guardian of a child under 16.
Revised and approved November 2013; revised January 2015.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.Joseph Addison