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Circulation Policy

Approved by the York County Library Board of Trustees on Sept. 17, 2009

Revised by the Library Board of Trustees on March 14, 2024

Checking out materials:

Library cards must be presented to check out library materials. A valid picture ID may be accepted in lieu of a patron's library card.

Only others pre-authorized to use a cardholder’s account or those presenting the cardholder's card can access another person’s account due to the prevalence of identity fraud and state confidentiality laws (see Library Card Policy).

The type of library card and type of material determine the length of checkout time, whether renewals are allowed, and how many renewals are allowed per the following list:

* Maximum Renewals are subject to availability based on holds.

** Excludes interlibrary loan materials, rentals, and bestsellers

*** $25 annual loan fee

Borrowing periods:

1-Week Checkout: DVDs (Limit 10)

2-Week Checkout: Hotspots, New Items, Video Games (Limit 2)

3-Week Checkout: All other items

Renewing items:

Items may or may not be renewable, based on the type of card. Items on hold for another patron cannot be renewed.


Items can be renewed by phone, online via the library website, or in person at any York County Library outlet.


When renewing items online or by telephone, you must have your library card number available. Renewals may be made by calling your local York County Library branch.


Reserving materials (placing a hold):

Placing a "Hold" on an item puts your name on the waiting list for items that are currently checked out, or at another York County Library location, or at a member library of the SCLENDS Consortium.


You can place a hold online or call the Library and have staff place the hold.


You must have a valid York County Library card in good standing (defined as having no blocks or charges) and have your barcode number from your card to place an item on hold.


You will be notified a reserved book is available by telephone, e-mail, or printed and mailed paper notices. You have the option of specifying your preferred method of notification at the time you register for your library card. Only one method may be chosen.


There are limits on what items can be placed on hold. Local library reference, professional, and South Carolina Reference items do not circulate and cannot be placed on hold. SCLENDS consortium titles less than 6 months old are not eligible for loan to other member libraries and cannot be placed on hold by York County Library users. SCLENDS consortium member libraries may also place limits on the type of materials that are available for circulation to other library cardholders.


York County Library reserves the right to monitor holds requests to other SCLENDS member libraries and fill holds with York County Library materials in an effort to reduce staffing and delivery costs.


Users who abuse the holds privilege by placing holds and not picking them up may have holds privileges suspended.


You may have 10 outstanding holds on York County Library or SCLENDS consortium materials at one time on your record.

Returning materials:

Materials may be returned to any York County Library outlet or to the Bookmobile.


Book return boxes are provided as a courtesy to library users. Books may be returned to the outside book return boxes.


Book return boxes may be locked during inclement weather or if out of order. If unavailable, items should be returned inside the Library or when the book return is available.


Library materials left outside of book return boxes and unsecured will result in charges to the cardholder if lost or damaged.


If the box is full, do not stuff books into the box. Cardholders will be held responsible for items stolen or damaged because they were left unsecured in a book return box.


NO audiovisual materials or Interlibrary Loan materials should be placed in an outside book return box as weight of other materials and extreme heat or cold may damage these materials. Cardholders will be charged for damages to audiovisual materials or Interlibrary Loan materials from being placed in a book return box.


Overdue materials:

The Library does not charge overdue fines on materials that are late, with the exception of special collection items (Interlibrary Loans, Mobile Hotspots, etc.). Fees will be assessed for items that are lost or damaged. 


Lost materials:

If materials have not been returned after 45 days, they may go into “lost” status and the cardholder is charged the replacement cost of the item, or a default cost for the type of item if the actual replacement cost cannot be determined.


Patrons must pay for the lost items and may not bring in a copy to replace the lost copy (see the current Collection Development Policy), as the charges may include the cost of the item plus the cost of re-cataloging.


If the item is found, the patron must present their library card and picture ID for a refund. Only the cardholder can receive a refund: pre-authorized additional users or others presenting the cardholder's library card cannot receive a refund. 


Refunds will be processed as checks only and cardholders will not be paid for refunds in cash. As a result, it may take several weeks to receive a refund.


Refunds will only be given up to ONE YEAR from the date the status of the item changed to "lost." Items found after one year become the property of the cardholder and are not eligible for refund.

Damaged materials:

Cardholders will be charged for materials returned with damage. Staff members will assess each item on a case-by-case basis and determine if they are still usable, are usable with repairs and/or cleaning, or will have to be withdrawn and replaced by the same title or one of similar coverage.


If still usable with repairs and/or cleaning, costs may be charged to the user and will depend on severity and use of resources.


If parts of the item are missing or damaged, the user will be charged for replacing those parts (see current Fines and Fees Policy). This includes but is not limited to: accompanying materials to books, such as CDs in pockets; audiovisual cases; spine labels; book jackets; missing barcodes.


Materials returned dirty beyond normal wear and tear will be treated as damaged and charges may be assessed for cleaning. Examples would be extreme stickiness or obvious food or liquids on the item that can be cleaned off.


Materials damaged beyond compare will be held for the cardholder to view for a maximum of two weeks and then discarded. However, in all cases, items found to be exhibiting contact with human or pet feces or urine will be considered damaged beyond repair and immediately discarded due to health and safety concerns. The cardholder will be charged the full replacement cost of the item.


Charges for use and abuse of library privileges:

Rates for fines and fees levied by the York County Library are approved by the York County Library Board of Trustees as the legal governing body for public libraries in South Carolina.


They will apply to use of York County Library materials as well as to use of SCLENDS consortium materials loaned by member libraries. Fines and fees collected on SCLENDS consortium materials are retained by the York County Library. However, charges collected for SCLENDS consortium materials lost by York County Library patrons will be transferred to the owning library.


Suspension of circulation privileges:

Circulation privileges will be suspended when a user owes $10.00 or more in charges or has charges on their account 90 days old or older. All charges must be paid before privileges will be regained.


Excessive or repeated charges for lost or damaged items may result in suspension of checkout privileges.


Suspension of circulation privileges at the York County Library will also result in suspension of circulation privileges for SCLENDS consortium materials and inter-library loan materials from other libraries.

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