Orange County Public Library Circulation Policy
The materials owned by the Orange County Public Library belong to the people of Orange County. We aim to make them as freely available and with as few barriers as possible.
To protect the privacy of the patrons of the Orange County Public Library, we are in accordance with the American Library Association's Code of Ethics: "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted."
All residents and property owners of Orange County and residents of the surrounding counties of Person, Caswell, Durham, Chatham, and Alamance counties are eligible to obtain a full-privilege library card. A government-issued photo ID card and proof of residency are required to obtain a library card. A matrícula consular ID or faith ID may also be used in lieu of a government issued photo ID. All Orange County employees can present their county ID to obtain a library card. All employees of UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Health Care can present their employee ID to obtain a library card. All employees of the towns of Hillsborough and Carrboro are eligible to obtain a full-privilege library card. If an Orange County resident is unable to provide proof of residency, alternate arrangements may be made at the discretion of the Circulation Supervisor or Branch Manager. Residents of counties other than those mentioned above may obtain a library card by paying an annual fee of $25.
In order to protect your privacy and account from misuse, a library card, and number with a unique number is assigned to you when you. We prefer that you bring your card, or a digital copy of the barcode, to the library each time you visit to use a computer or check out materials. If you forget your card, we will ask you to show us your photo ID in order to access your account. If a library card is lost or stolen the cardholder is responsible for notifying the library as soon as possible. Unless a card has been declared lost or stolen, the library assumes that any person presenting the card has the permission of the cardholder to access the account.
All accounts are set to expire every two years to ensure we have a patron’s correct contact information. All that is necessary to renew an account is a verbal confirmation of this information.
Replacement cards may be issued for $1.
- Book Club Kits: 5 weeks
- Books and other materials (including CDs, magazines, audiobooks, WiFi to Go, and Kindles): 21 days
- Downloadable Hoopla materials:
- eBooks, Comics, and eAudiobooks: 21 days
- Music: 7 days
- TV shows and Movies: 3 days
- Downloadable Overdrive eBooks and eAudiobooks: Patron’s choice of 7, 14, or 21 days
- DVDs: 7 days
- Interlibrary loans: vary based on lending institution
- Lucky Day Collection: 14 days
Maximum Loan Limits
40 items is the maximum number of items that can be checked out on a card at any given time. Downloadable items from Overdrive and Hoopla do not count toward your 40 item maximum.
Within that limit you can have:
- 1 Book Club Kit
- 1 WiFi to Go per family
- 2 Lucky Day items
- 3 Downloadable Hoopla items per month
- 3 Downloadable Overdrive eBooks and eAudioBooks
- 3 Items at Carrboro owned by the school system
- 5 DVDs
- 5 video games
Two renewals are allowed on all circulating materials, except items that are on hold, Lucky Day items and materials housed at the Library Station (Kiosk). Orange County Public Library does not set due dates or approve renewals for Interlibrary Loans. Due dates and renewals are at the discretion of the lending library.
Patrons are responsible for knowing when their items are due. As a courtesy, overdue notices will be sent automatically by telephone call, email, or U.S. mail. Three overdue notices will be sent per item: when an item is 3 days overdue, 1 week overdue, and 2 weeks overdue. When an item is not returned and is 30 days overdue, the item’s replacement cost plus a $5 processing fee will be charged to the patron’s account and a final notice or bill will be sent in the mail. To find out about the many ways we help you can decrease or get rid of a fine, click here.
Patrons can place hold requests if their account is in good standing (i.e. fines and fees $5 or less). Holds can be placed at the library, by phone, or online. Holds may be placed on items; however, library materials are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The library cannot guarantee that these holds will be immediately filled. Patrons will be notified by email or automated phone call when a hold is available and ready for pickup.
Holds are available for pickup for 7 days. After the 7 days, the items will be put back into circulation. Holds may not be placed on items housed in the Library Station Kiosk or items that belong to the Lucky Day Collection.
Holds for Items at Other Branches
Holds for items located at another branch will be treated the same as all other holds. Items will be pulled from the shelves and sent via courier to the patron’s preferred pickup location. The Library Station (Kiosk) may be used as a holds pickup location; however, some items are unable to fit inside the kiosk. These items will be set for pickup at the Main library.
Hold Request Limits
- Patrons can place a holds request on up to 40 items
- A limit of 3 holds requests can be placed on Overdrive items
- Hoopla items never require holds requests
Interlibrary Loan Requests
At Orange County Public Library, there is a charge of $3 for each Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request. The charge will be added to the customer’s account at the time the ILL item arrives at the library.
Whether we are able to provide the item requested is dependent upon the response of the libraries that own the item.
To try to promote the timely return of library materials, the following are the charges for items returned past due and the maximum fine to be charged per item. Fines are not charged on downloadable items. When the loan period is over, the item will no longer be available on your device. If you cannot afford to pay your fine, the Orange County Public Library offers a variety of ways to decrease or reduce them.
All items accrue a fine of $.20 per day, with a maximum of $5, except for the following:
|Item||Daily Fine||Maximum Fine per Item|
Literacy bags, Book Club Kits, Kindles, WiFi to Go
If accumulated fines and fees exceed $5, borrowing privileges will be suspended until charges are paid or arrangements for payment are made with the Circulation Supervisor or Branch Manager. If a patron has a balance of $50 or more for more than three months, the account will be submitted to the county attorney’s office, as per the county’s Delinquent Accounts Policy.
Replacement Fees for Lost or Damaged Materials:
Patrons must pay for any materials lost or damaged during their loan period. The replacement cost is the item’s list price plus a $5 service charge. We cannot accept a patron-purchased item as a replacement. If a book is out-of-print or a price is unavailable, a default replacement cost will be charged. Default replacement costs are based on the average costs of materials. If a lost item has been paid for and is found and returned within 7 business days, a refund will be issued by the Orange County Finance Department.
WiFi to Go Replacement
If a WiFi to Go is returned without any one of its parts (hotspot, cable, or plug) the patron’s account will be charged the full $65 replacement fee plus a $5 service charge.
Replacement Costs for Other Materials
- $2 for a damaged DVD or Jewel Case
- $3 for damaged barcode or cover
- $10 per disk for audiobooks returned with missing disks (the fine will be assessed if a replacement disk can be provided by the vendor). If a replacement disk cannot be provided, the full replacement cost will be charged.
Other Library Card Options
Computer Use Card
A computer use card is available to individuals who do not have the proper documentation to receive a full-use card. Computer use cards allow a patron to use the library’s public service computers and online resources.
SEA Card (Student Account)
SEA cards are available through the cooperative agreement between Orange County Public Library and schools in Orange County. If the SEA account is not yet an option at your school, please contact your school’s media center specialist.
SEA cards are limited to 10 items, have no overdue fines, and are limited to books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels, audiobooks, and internet hotspots.
Educator cards are available to teachers in Orange and surrounding counties. You are required to have a personal library account in good standing and proof of your status as an educator at a school located in Orange County. Educator cards have no overdue fines, are limited to 30 items, and are limited to books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels, and audiobooks.
Revised April 2018
The Library Director is the final authority with regards to enforcing this policy.