Home Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Policies Loan Periods and Use Limits

Hillsborough County
Department of Library Services
Policies and Procedures Manual

Subject: Loan Periods and Use Limits

Effective: May 1, 2017

Supercedes: March 2013

Review: 2 Years

  1. Purpose:
    1. Loan periods and use limits are established in order to allow individual customers a reasonable amount of time to utilize library materials while making those items available to other users in a timely manner. Tampa-Hillsborough Public Libraries (THPL) sets controls on the use of library materials in order to maintain an effective and efficient inventory control.
  2. Policy:
    1. Customers with a valid Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (HCPLC) library card may check out material from any HCPLC library provided their accounts are in good standing without overdue, lost, or damaged materials charges in excess of five dollars.
      1. Loan periods, use limits, fines, grace periods, and return locations for circulating materials owned by THPL are approved by the Library Board and reviewed periodically. Current information is available in the Checkout Guide found in the Using Your Library Card brochure available on hcplc.org or by on-demand printing.
    2. Reference materials are not usually placed in circulation, but the Branch or Department Supervisor or authorized designee may authorize their loan and set the period of loan.
    3. The loan period for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) material is set by the lending library and generally is not more than 45 days. Renewals are not allowed.
      1. Authorized staff reserves the right to impose any other limitations on material loans which it deems appropriate.
  3. Procedure:
    1. Checkout Limits
      1. THPL materials are subject to one regular checkout and two renewals if there are no Requests. Materials may be checked in and another checkout cycle begun if there are no Requests and the materials are presented in person.
      2. The Polaris circulation system blocks checkout when a customer has 50 items checked out. This includes a maximum of 25 DVDs of any kind and 25 CDs that can be checked out per library card and are counted as part of the 50 items. This limit of 25 does not apply to Books on CD or Books on Cassette.
      3. Checkout limits vary on electronic materials provided by third party vendors who set the limits. These checkouts are not included in the HCPLC limit of 50.
      4. Customers must resolve any outstanding delinquency and renew expired library cards before checking out items.
      5. Extension of Checkout Periods
        1. Upon request, staff may authorize an extended vacation loan period of an additional three weeks.
        2. Extensions are not permitted on items with Requests or ILL loans.
    2. Exceptions to the loan periods of materials are as follows:
      1. Books by Mail circulate for 60 days.
      2. Books loaned on a corporate card circulate for up to 90 days.
      3. Materials loaned on the Bookmobile or Cybermobile circulate for six weeks.
  4. Authority:

    Pursuant to Section 5(1) of Chapter 84-443, Laws of Florida, the Public Library Board has the duty and the responsibility, among others, to serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the public library.