Borrowing/Circulation Policy

Circulation policies govern all activities related to obtaining a library card and borrowing materials.

Our library is a participating member library of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative (PPLC). Member libraries operate as independent libraries while sharing a single countywide catalog and checkout system; as a result of this shared system, the cardholder agreement extends to all PPLC member libraries and their materials. So that you enjoy a consistent level of service when borrowing materials owned by PPLC member libraries, the same circulation rules are followed to the greatest extent possible.


Library Card Guidelines

A valid library card is required to check out materials from the library or to use the library's computers.  Cardholders are welcome to enjoy services at any location, and most materials may be requested from or returned to any member location as well.

No library card is needed to use materials in the library or to attend programs and activities.

Library cards will be issued to applicants according to the following categories and terms listed below. Regardless of the type of card issued:

  • All cardholders are responsible for any fines or fees accumulated on their account. For this reason, we caution you about sharing your card with others.
  • Lost or damaged cards may be replaced for a charge of $1.00.  Be sure to report lost or stolen cards promptly to avoid unauthorized use.
  • Library cards expire periodically, and may be renewed upon presentation of valid identification. All account balances must be cleared in order to renew an expired account.

Residents of Pinellas Public Library Cooperative Jurisdictions:

  • Residents of member cities (Clearwater, Dunedin, Gulfport, Largo, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Seminole, Tarpon Springs, Tierra Verde, and Treasure Island), taxing districts (Palm Harbor, East Lake), and the unincorporated areas of Pinellas County are entitled to a free library card.  
  • Adult cards will be issued to persons age 16 years and older.  Juvenile library cards will be issued to children age 15 and under if requested and signed for by a parent or legal guardian, with presentation of valid identification.  All categories must meet the residency requirements and valid identification must be presented.
  • Valid identification required for library card registration or renewal is aphoto identification with current address (e.g., Florida driver’s license, Florida state identification, Florida student identification, or passport).  If the address on the photo identification is not current or included, other proof of current address may include:

    • current TRIM notice or tax bill
    • current utility bill (electric, gas, water, cable television)
    • lease on property in the Cooperative area
    • deed to property in the Cooperative area
    • vehicle registration or title (current year)
    • voter’s registration
    • homestead exemption form
    • domicile papers
  • A current PPLC library card is valid at all member libraries of the Cooperative: Clearwater, Dunedin, East Lake, Gulf Beaches, Gulfport, Largo, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Seminole, and Tarpon Springs.

Residents of Non-member Jurisdictions:

Residents in non-member cities not living within an area participating in the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative may purchase a one-year membership for $100.00 per household.  The same identification process as for a resident is necessary.  The following communities are not members of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative:  Belleair, Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Indian Shores, Kenneth City, and South Pasadena.

  • Some of the above-mentioned cities reimburse all or part of the registration fee. Patrons are encouraged to contact their City Hall FIRST for details before they visit the library.

Seasonal Visitors:

Visitors to Pinellas County who are not property owners or year-round residents may apply for a seasonal visitors library card by producing current photo identification and providing a temporary local address.  

  • Seasonal visitors pay a $25.00 QUARTERLY fee for a card that gives them borrowing privileges in all PPLC member libraries. Seasonal visitors are responsible for any fines or fees accumulated on their account. For this reason, we caution you about sharing your card with others.


Reciprocal Borrowers
:

Reciprocal borrowing agreements allow valid library cardholders from neighboring Florida counties to borrow materials from PPLC member libraries. Please check if your home library is a participating library. Access to online resources, including eBooks, may be limited. Cardholders who would like to gain reciprocal privileges must present the library card issued from their home-area library; a separate PPLC card will not be issued. (PPLC cardholders can also follow these steps to gain borrowing privileges at these libraries.)

Circulation Rules of Common Library Materials     
Material
Type

Checkout
Limit*

Loan
Period

Renewals**
Overdue Rate
(per item, per day)

Maximum Fine
(per item)

Request Limit***
Most Books

50
28 days
3
.20
$5.00
25
NEW Books
(<6 months)

50
14 days
3
.20
$5.00
25
Audiobooks
MP3 formatted

25
28 days
3
.20
$5.00
25
Audiobooks
standard CD

25
28 days
3
.20
$5.00
25
DVDs

25
7 days
3
.50
$5.00
25
Blu-rays

25
7 days
3
.50
$5.00
25
Music CDs

25
14 days
3
.20
$5.00
25
Magazines

50
14 days
3
.20
$5.00
non-holdable
Inter-Library
Loans (ILL) ^

5
varies
case-by-case
.25
$5.00
5
*      Grand total of Items checked out cannot exceed 50.
**    An item cannot be renewed if there is a Request List for it.
***  Grand total of Requests cannot exceed 25. ^ Inter-Library loans are not owned by PPLC libraries and are subject to higher replacement and processing charges, as dictated by the owning institution.

 

 

 

Please observe all due dates carefully to avoid overdue fines.  Sending an overdue notice is a courtesy provided by the library.  Failure to receive an overdue notice does not absolve the patron of overdue fines.

  • Renewals can be done online by accessing your account through the My Account link on our home page or by calling 727-369-0669. 24-hour automated assistance is available by calling 727-286-7786. You will need your library card barcode number and password.
  • Reserves may be placed on most circulating items. We offer courtesy pick-up alert notices via telephone or email. You are also encouraged to check your account online to monitor the status of your reserve requests. Requested materials are held for 7 calendar days; items not picked up within that time frame will be removed from held status.
  • If you have concerns about the condition of our materials, please notify us as soon as possible.
  • The library is not responsible for any damages incurred during or resulting from the use of our AV items.
  • Please report any issue with AV materials to staff as soon as possible. Please also keep them out of intense heat and handle CDs and DVDs carefully to prevent scratching. Unfortunately, a single ruined or lost disc may require replacement of an entire set.

Replacement Fees

  • Full value plus a $5.00 processing fee will be assessed for items that are not returned or that are returned with irreparable damage that results in the removal of the items from the collection. You may discuss concerns about lost or damaged items with the owning library, and billing disputes should be addressed to the owning location.
  • In the case where an item can be reasonably repaired, an adjusted fine may be assessed. The owning library reserves the right to make this determination. Replacement barcodes, AV cases or book jackets range from $2-$5 per piece.
  • Lost or damaged inter-library loans are subject to a minimum $50 fine per item; replacements are not accepted. Items made available to you via inter-library loan are not owned by PPLC libraries and may be subject to additional charges.


Confidentiality of Library Registration and Circulation Records
Library patron records are confidential.  The Barbara S. Ponce Public Library recognizes the need to protect patrons right to privacy concerning the questions asked and the materials borrowed.  In order to insure privacy for each library patron, Florida law mandates confidentiality of library registration and circulation records (Florida Statutes, Chapter 257.261).  Our policies and procedures carry out that intent.

Information about items currently checked out, on reserve, overdue, or other circulation-related information, will be furnished to the named account holder with acceptable identification, which may include a valid library card.  The Florida Statutes explicitly protect the confidentiality of children's accounts; parents or legal guardians of children under the age of 16 can only be furnished information about their child's account when it assists in the return of overdue items or the resolution of fines. In such cases, the library will furnish such information about a child’s library record to another when presented with acceptable identification and documentation of the parental or guardian relationship.  

Requests for information about patron records from law enforcement officials or any other person or agency must be referred to the library director or designee.  In the event of patron accounts with long-overdue materials or other serious delinquencies, the library reserves the right to share otherwise confidential information with appropriate law enforcement officials or collection agencies in an effort to recover library books and other materials.  Currently, the majority of PPLC member libraries utilize collection agency services to assist in the retrieval and/or financial recovery of long-overdue materials.

You should protect your library card in the same manner that you protect credit cards and keys to your personal information.    Consequently, patrons are urged to exercise caution in sharing their library card or barcode number with others.   Information about your records will be released only in conformity to Florida law.

If your library card is lost or stolen, please notify the library immediately.  Your account will be invalidated to prevent misuse.  If the library is not notified, an unauthorized party may check out materials on your lost or stolen library card for which you will be held responsible.   Your account can be re-validated only by appearing, in person, at a PPLC library location and presenting acceptable identification.


Additional circulation policies are outlined on PPLC's Policy Page.


(Occasionally, some libraries offer unique collections that require borrowers to visit that specific location to use them; materials with different rules than the PPLC standard will either be marked physically or have their differences noted in their catalog listing.)