A copy of this policy can be downloaded by clicking here.
The circulation policy of the Pasadena Public Library System (PPLS) exists to facilitate community access to the materials and information contained in the Library’s Collection.
II. PASADENA PUBLIC LIBRARY CARDS & ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
In order to borrow library materials from PPLS, library users must register for a PPLS library card. Library cards are issued in order to maintain accurate records of materials that are checked out, and to gather library usage data so the library can evaluate and improve collections and services. Library cards are issued free of charge to Texas residents with acceptable picture identification and proof of Texas residency.
By applying for a library card, applicants agree to comply with all the borrowing rules of PPLS, pay all charges to the card, and notify the library immediately if their card is lost or stolen or their name or address or contact information changes. Customers may only have one PPLS library account. Library users may not have different PPLS library accounts under variant names. Children may not have multiple cards with different parents or guardians.
The Library may, at any time before the library card expiration date, require that current picture identification and/or current address verification be shown. Borrowers should bring appropriate identification in addition to their Pasadena Public Library card.
LIBRARY CARD APPLICATIONS
FULL ACCESS LIBRARY CARD FOR ADULT & CHILDREN
A photo ID must be presented at the time of application. Materials cannot be checked out until a signed application has been processed. The following are acceptable forms of picture ID:
• Texas Driver’s License
• Texas Department of Public Safety ID card
• Military ID with current Driver’s License from State of Residence
• Matricula Consular ID
Proof of Texas residency is also required. The following are acceptable verifications of current Texas residency. Matricula Consular ID requires two (2) proof of Texas residency.
• Utility bill postmarked within 30 days
• Current Texas vehicle insurance card with address
• Tax appraisal statement for current year
• Bank or other financial statement with address
• Check stub from current employer reflecting address issued within the past 30 days
TEMPORARY LIBRARY CARD FOR ADULT & CHILDREN
A Temporary library card may be issued to new Texas residents who cannot prove Texas residency. The following forms of ID are acceptable to obtain a temporary card:
• Current Passport
• Current Driver’s License issued from another U.S. state
• Current Foreign Driver’s License
Temporary cards are valid for ninety (90) days from the date of issuance. Temporary card status will allow a library user to use library computers only.
Identification with only a post office box number or with a motel or hotel address may be used as a mailing address, but it is not considered valid proof of Texas residency.
TYPES OF LIBRARY CARDS
• Adult’s Library Cards: Adult cards are issued to applicants eighteen (18) years or older who provide proper picture identification and proof of Texas residency. A customer cannot get a library card for another adult, even if that person has the applicant’s identification and proof of address. The signature of the card holder is required. The card is valid for one year.
• Minor’s Library Cards: Children and teens under the age of eighteen (18) who meet Texas residency requirements are eligible for a PPLS library card. The minor’s parent or legal guardian must have a valid Pasadena library card in good standing, and appear in person to sign the application taking financial responsibility for all fines and fees accrued on the minor’s card. Proper picture identification and proof of Texas residency are required from parents or guardians.
Only the parent or guardian who signs the minor’s card application may change the information on the minor’s record, or have access to information about the minor’s record including materials checked out. The card is valid for one year.
Note: Children are issued only one library card. PPLS understands there are circumstances such as divorce or separation where a parent or legal guardian may wish the Library to issue multiple cards for their child. However, in order to keep accurate records and statistics, PPLS cannot issue multiple cards for individuals. Instead, we suggest a parent or legal guardian check out a minor’s material on their own library card.
Pasadena Public Library System does not act in loco parentis. It is the parent or legal guardian, and only the parent or legal guardian, who may restrict their children, and only their children, from access to library materials and services. Parents and legal guardians who wish to restrict their children’s access to certain materials or services should advise their children of the restriction.
• Temporary Computer Pass: A temporary computer pass may be issued to any customer upon request after providing acceptable identification. Temporary computer passes are good for one (1) day and allow customers to use PPLS computers without possessing an official library card. Temporary passes are $1.00 per day.
A patron with fines over $10.00 can purchase a temporary computer pass for $3.00 and that amount will be deducted from their fine balance
• Senior Outreach Facility Cards: Outreach cards are issued to organizations and facilities approved through the PPLS senior outreach program. Organizations and facilities who wish to be part of PPLS’s outreach program must fill out an outreach library card application. Outreach applications are provided to requesting organizations by our Outreach Specialist. A representative for the organization must sign the card, accepting the organization’s responsibility for library items.
• Senior Facility Card – organizations receive an initial six (6) week checkout for all items. No renewals are allowed and late fines do not accrue. A limit of thirty (30) books, two (2) audiobooks and two (2) Hot Titles are allowed. DVD’s may not be checked out.
• Senior Customer Card: Nursing home and assisted living customers are eligible for a Senior Customer Card. To qualify for the Senior Customer Card the customer must be a resident of a facility that is a member of the Senior Outreach Program. Items checked out on a Senior Customer Card check out for six (6) weeks with no renewals allowed. Customers may place up to five (5) concurrent holds. All circulating items except for new books and equipment are eligible for check out. Audiovisual materials are limited to two (2) items. All items will be subject to standard fines and fees. The card is valid for one year.
LIBRARY CARD RENEWAL
Library cards must be renewed every year. Proof of identification and verification of address must be shown to renew a library card. Customers do not have to fill out an application to renew an expired card unless name or address changes need to be made. A new card may be issued for free if the patron has lost or damaged their expired card.
NAME OR ADDRESS CHANGE
Customers whose name and/or address have changed must update their account information. Acceptable picture ID and address verification must be presented to update an account.
LOST OR STOLEN CARDS
Your library card is just like a credit card. If someone steals your library card or finds your lost library card, they have access to information on your library account and can check out materials on your card. That is why it is essential for library customers to report lost or stolen library cards immediately. Unless reported as lost or stolen, PPLS assumes that if a person has possession of your library card they have your permission to use it. Fines and fees, or the replacement of unreturned material, on unreported lost or stolen cards are the responsibility of the person who signed the library card application.
Replacement cards may be purchased for $1.00. A new application must be completed, and picture ID and proof of Texas residency must be provided. Minors who wish to replace a lost card must have a parent or legal guardian present to obtain a replacement card.
Your checkout or Internet usage privileges may be suspended for the following reasons:
Additional information (such as address, phone number or email verification, application signature) is needed Library card has been reported lost or stolen Library card has expired Fines and/or fees exceed maximum of $10.00 for materials checkout and Internet usage Fines and/or fees exceed maximum of $10.00 on a linked minor’s account for materials checkout and Internet usage
Customers must resolve the identified issue before a card can be unblocked.
III. FAMILY RECORDS POLICY
No library check out privileges will be extended to any linked card once any single card exceeds the $10.00 fine and/or fee.
IV. CHECK OUT AND RETURN OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
PPLS establishes check out limits, loan periods and return policies in order to ensure equitable access to all library materials and provide faster access to high-demand materials.
• BOOKS (Print Material): Limit of twenty-five (25) books per library card.
• DVDs: Limit of four (4) DVDs per library card.
• AUDIO BOOKS ON CD and MUSIC CD: Limit of four (4) per library card.
• GAMES & EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE (CD-ROMS): Limit of one (1) per library card.
• KITS: Limit of four (4) per library card.
For library card holders, all materials except DVDs check out for a period of two (2) weeks or fourteen (14) days. DVDs check out on adult cards for a period of one (1) week or seven (7) days. No items are due on days when the library is closed.
RETURN OF MATERIALS
Items are due on the date indicated at the time of check out. Customers may view items checked out on their account online, or they can make inquiries by phone. All PPLS materials may be returned at the Central Library or the Fairmont Branch Library. Any PPLS materials may be returned in any book drop, except CDs which must be brought inside the library.
PPLS customers may renew their library material two (2) times for items checked out on an individual’s library card that are not on hold for others. Once an item has reached its renewal limit, it must be returned and checked in for at least twenty-four (24) hours before borrowing it again. Items may not be passed on to another family member. This gives other customers the opportunity to check out the item. If a book is overdue for more than fourteen (14) days it cannot be renewed.
Library customers can renew qualified materials by phone if they have their library account, driver’s license, or state identification card number.
Note: items can only be renewed on the original borrower’s library card. It cannot be transferred to a linked account.
VACATION CHECK OUTS
Customers who are going on vacation and who will be gone longer than the normal check-out period may ask for an extended vacation loan period of four (4) weeks on all materials except DVDs. DVDs may be renewed for a period of two (2) weeks. This is a once-a-year service. A note will be placed on the patron’s account when this extension is granted to avoid abuse.
Reference material, at the request of a customer and upon approval by the librarian in charge, may be checked out for a period of one (1) day. Late charges for non-circulating items are one dollar ($1.00) per day.
STUDY ROOM CHECKOUT
PPLS offers study rooms for customer use. The Central Library has four (4) study rooms available and the Fairmont Branch has two (2) study rooms. At the Central Library, each room will accommodate up to four (4) people and room keys must be checked out. At the Fairmont Branch, the rooms are on a first come basis and will accommodate up to two (2) people per room.
• Study rooms are checked out on a valid Pasadena library card with fines under $10.00.
• Study rooms are scheduled on the day of intended use at the Library. Requests for study rooms should be made in person at the Circulation Desk. Phone call reservations will not be accepted.
• Time slots for study room checkout are three (3) hours in length. If no one is waiting, extended usage times may be given if the room is available.
• Patrons younger than fourteen (14) may only occupy a study room along with a family member over the age of 14. The individual initiating the request must be present during the period of usage. Only patrons fourteen (14) and older may reserve a room.
• Users are responsible for leaving the study rooms in a neat and orderly condition.
• Study room activities must not interfere with or disturb Library staff or users. Music and other noise must be kept to a level acceptable to the Library’s Code of Conduct and may be restricted at any time at the sole discretion of the Library staff.
• Individuals who are disorderly, who fail to comply with the study room policy, or fail to comply with any of PPLS’s policies, will be asked to leave and may be suspended from using the study rooms or the Library in the future.
• Failure to return a room key results in a $1.00 per day fine. Lost or damaged keys have a $20.00 replacement cost and $7.00 processing.
V. FINES AND FEES
Library materials become overdue when they exceed their loan period by one day. A fine of $.25 per day per item late fee is assessed for all overdue library materials. Late fees may accumulate to a maximum of $10.00 per overdue item.
WAIVER OF FINES AND FEES
If the amount of fines and fees are over $25.00, the Director’s approval is required.
When an item is claimed to have been returned, staff will note “Claim Returned” status on the account. Staff will search for the item before the patron is billed. The library’s determination shall be final as to whether the item was returned.
In order to encourage customers to handle library materials responsibly, PPLS charges fees to cover the cost of repair or replacement to damaged materials, up to and including the total cost of the item, plus a $7.00 processing fee. Patrons may not replace a library item with one they have purchased.
Circulation staff will assess damage charges according to the severity of the damage.
Total damages will be assessed if the material is no longer suitable for circulation. If total damages are assessed, the customer must pay the replacement cost of the material plus a $7.00 processing fee. Total damages are charged if:
• The item is considered to be un-repairable
• The item shows evidence of water, mildew or infestation
• The item has been chewed or severely torn
• The binding is warped or missing
• One or more pages is missing
• The CD or DVD is cracked or broken
• Writing, scribbling or coloring obscures the text or illustrations
• Other damages render the material unusable
To encourage customers to handle library materials carefully, PPLS charges customers fees to cover the costs of replacing materials they lose. Customers who lose library materials that are checked out on their card must reimburse the library for the cost of the lost item(s) plus a processing fee of $7.00 per item.
If a lost item is overdue at the time a customer wishes to pay for it, the customer is not charged for the library fines.
An overdue reminder notice is sent as a courtesy to our borrowers. Patrons receive a notice within the first two (2) months before they are billed for an item. Patrons with email addresses receive an item overdue notification via email. Borrowers remain responsible for tracking return dates at all times. Failure to receive a notice of overdue materials does not excuse a borrower from returning the materials, nor from any fine that may result.
PAYMENT OF FINES
Payment must be made in person at the Library. Cash, checks, debit and credit cards are accepted.
The city imposes a 4% surcharge on credit and debit card payments. Funds on a patron’s printing account may not be used to pay fines.
If a check is reported NSF to the library, the patron must make direct payment to the City’s Finance Department. NSF payments will not be accepted at the library.
Patrons with accounts over $50.00 may go on a payment plan. They must initially pay $10.00 or 20% (whichever is greater) of the total amount they owe. The remainder of their balance must be paid off within one year. If a monthly payment is missed, the full amount becomes due immediately and the account is blocked.
FAILURE TO RETURN AND/OR PAY FOR LOST OR DAMAGED MATERIALS
The library may file Municipal Court complaints, as needed, to recover long overdue library materials. If library fines or the cost of unreturned items exceed $300 .00, the account may be referred to the City of Pasadena for collection.
VI. SPECIAL SERVICES
The library allows customers to place holds on materials that are checked out or on order. Customers may place holds on any circulating item, except items they have checked out. A limit of ten (10) holds is allowed on each library account.
LAPTOPS FOR IN-HOUSE USE
As a convenience to our customers, PPLS allows customers to check out laptops for in-house use. Laptops may not be removed from the library facility. The following rules apply:
• Users must be 18 years or over.
• Users must read and sign the PPLS Laptop Loan Agreement. This use policy must be signed each time a laptop computer is used.
• The laptop computers will be available, one per user per day, on a first-come, first-served basis to PPLS cardholders with a library account in good standing (NO OVERDUE MATERIALS OR FINES). Patrons with temporary cards cannot check out laptop computers.
• Staff will not take reservations or keep waiting lists. Laptop availability is subject to computer classes or other library programming.
• A current PPLS library card and a valid driver’s license or Texas State ID will be required to check out the laptop. The Circulation Staff will retain those items while the laptop is checked out.
• No person other than the user assigned to the library laptop may use that laptop.
• Laptops are for in-Library use only and may not be taken outside the Library. Removal of the laptop from the Library for any reason will constitute theft and may be prosecuted as such.
• Laptops should never be left unattended. Users are responsible for any damage, loss, theft, or accident that occurs to the laptop while it is assigned to them.
• All users’ files and documents must be saved to a flash drive, disk or CD provided by the user. All files saved on the hard drive will be automatically erased when the unit is powered down or the time limit is restarted.
• Printing will be available at a cost of 15¢ per page for black and white; 50¢ per page for color.
Check-In & Check-Out Procedures
• Laptops check out on a patron’s card for up to three (3) hours, after which time fines will be assessed; they must be returned and checked in at the Circulation Desk at least 30 minutes prior to closing.
• Laptops will not be checked out when there is less than one hour of time before the Library closes.
• Laptops must be returned to a Circulation Staff member and be checked in before the patron leaves the library. If a laptop is left on the counter and not checked in by staff, the patron responsible for the laptop will be subject to a $10.00 fine and future laptop privileges may be revoked.
• At the time of checkout, the laptop will be inspected by a staff member to make sure it is intact and functioning properly. Borrowers should allow at least five (5) minutes for a staff member to check the equipment.
• Laptops not returned by Library closing time will be considered stolen. The Pasadena Police Department will be notified and borrowers will be subject to prosecution.
Fines and Replacement
• The replacement cost for a laptop computer will be no less than $1,500.00, plus accrued overdue fines.
• Laptops not returned on time will be subject to a late fee of $5 per half hour. Payments of late charges will be added to your library account and must be paid before laptop lending privileges will be reinstated.
Software and Staff Assistance
• The laptops are equipped with software that restores to its initial state when restarted. Staff will assist with basic computer usage questions, but are not available for extensive training. Users are expected to have a working knowledge of computers and programs.
• No user may troubleshoot or attempt to fix a problem on the laptop. A unit that is malfunctioning or is not responding to keyboard input should be returned to the Circulation Desk. If available, another laptop will be assigned to the user.
• Borrowers may not install software on the laptop.
Abiding by Laptop and Internet Use Policies
• The Library reserves the right to restrict or terminate computer use privileges of any patron who misuses or abuses library equipment or does not act in accordance with Library policy. The Library reserves the right to update and change this policy at any time without notice. It is the responsibility of the user to read and accept the current version of the policy. Use of an assigned laptop constitutes full and complete acceptance of all current use policies for both PPLS equipment and Internet access through PPLS.
• A patron using a library laptop agrees to abide by the Library’s Internet Policy.
The Pasadena Public Library System will obtain through Interlibrary Loan materials not currently in the Library’s collection for customers according to the procedures established by Library administration.
INTERLIBRARY LOAN PROCEDURES
• To be eligible for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service the customer’s account must have been established for at least three (3) months and have no overdue items or outstanding fines. Patrons with temporary library cards are not eligible for ILL services. Only patrons with an Adult library card may request an ILL.
• The library will not process more than five (5) concurrent requests per patron.
• The patron will be responsible for any fees assessed by the lending library and all costs beyond normal postage fees.
• Patrons will be informed that requests for material that has been published within the previous six (6) months will most likely be denied by other lending libraries. In order to avoid ILL delays, patrons will be encouraged to use other local libraries (if possible) that may have the needed material.
• Requests to renew ILL items must be made at least five (5) business days prior to the item’s due date.
• The patron will be charged for lost or damaged items. Such fees and charges are set by the lending library. Customers will be charged a temporary fee of $50 until the lending library submits an invoice for the actual amount. Customers are also charged fines (per day) for overdue items. Such fines appear on the customer’s record and may result in suspension of ILL privileges.
• Patrons who do not pick-up ILL materials may result in suspension of ILL privileges.
• Questions concerning ILLs should be directed to the ILL Librarian at the Central Library 713-477-0276 ext. 4125, or by contacting the Reference Department at 713-477-0276, ext. 4120.
VII. PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF USER RECORDS
Confidentiality of library records is directly related to the ability of citizens to use library materials and pursue information without fear of intimidation.
Texas Government Code Title 5 Section 552.124, Public Information, prohibits the disclosure of library records that identify a person who requests, obtains, or uses library materials or services unless:
• The records are released to the person to whom the information relates, or to that person’s authorized representative, or to the parent of a minor who has signed for the minor’s card.
• Disclosure is reasonably necessary to the operation of the library, and the records are not confidential under other state or federal law, or
• A law enforcement agency or prosecutor obtains a court order or subpoena for the records by showing to a district court that the records are necessary to protect the public safety or that they are evidence of an offense or constitute evidence that a particular person committed an offense.
Examples of Information the Library Collects About Library Customers
• Your name and correct residence address. This information is required before a library card can be issued.
• Records of the items you currently have checked out and the items you have on hold.
• Records of items you have overdue and items you have returned late or damaged. Items returned on time in good condition are removed from your record when they are checked in.
• Records of any fines and fees you owe. Delinquent accounts may be shown to collection agencies or law enforcement.
• Contact information for people who have signed up for library classes or programs.
• Records of people and organizations that use the library meeting room facilities.
• Records of individuals who sign-up to schedule computer use.
• Library videotapes areas of the library patrons may use.
How the Library Protects Library Customer Confidentiality
• Retains only that personal information necessary to deliver library services and maintain control of library property.
• Eliminates confidential information from public access, and verifies your identity during telephone transactions.
• Purges electronically or manually shreds data in accordance with the City’s retention schedules.
• Releases account information only to the account holder or to that person’s authorized representative, including the adult responsible for a child’s card.
• Does not share, sell, or lease your personal information to any commercial or nonprofit entity not affiliated with the Library.
• Ensures that its third-party contractors and service providers adhere to its confidentiality policies.
• Regularly removes web history, cached files, and other computer and Internet use records.
• Does not share with third parties or private or public agencies any information about Library users, the materials they check out, the information they seek, or the services they use, unless required to do so under the provisions of the Texas Government Code or the U.S.A. Patriot Act.
• Denies all requests from third parties for records containing personal information, and refers such questions to the Director when necessary.
• The Director consults with the City Attorney before determining the proper response to any request for records.
What Library Users Can Do to Help Protect Their Privacy
• Protect your account number, library card, and PIN (Personal Identification Number).
• Use care when allowing others to use your library card. Use care in the use of your child’s card.
• Return materials on time.
• Notify us immediately if your library card is lost or stolen.
• Use care when accessing or inputting any kind of personal information on the Library’s computers.
• Be sure to log out of any secure sites you have visited.
• You are entitled to review your personal information and are responsible for keeping it up to date. Inform the Library if your name, address, or contact information changes.
• Questions or concerns about your privacy and confidentiality rights may be filed in writing with the Library Director.
The Pasadena Public Library System supports the principles of intellectual freedom described by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.
U. S. A. Patriot Act
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism
Congress passed the U.S.A. Patriot Act in October 2001 following the September 11 attacks. While law enforcement officials have always needed a court order or subpoena to obtain library customer records, the Act relaxed the requirements for obtaining court orders and search warrants in investigations concerning national security and terrorism. The Act also expanded the range of records that can be searched in these investigations to include business records such as those of libraries and bookstores. Furthermore, if such a search is conducted, Library staff cannot tell you that your records were given to law enforcement agencies or that you were the subject of an investigation. The United States Patriot Act was reauthorized in February 2010.
The Library posts the following notice about the US Patriot Act:
ATTENTION: Under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56), records of all books and materials you borrow from this library, and of Internet sites you visit on library computers, may be obtained by federal agents. This law prohibits librarians from informing you if federal agents have obtained your records.
For more information about the U.S.A. Patriot Act, go to:
U.S. Department of Justice (http://www.justice.gov/)
American Library Association (http://www.ala.org)
VIII. STAFF USE OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
Employees of the PPLS have special borrowing privileges. This personal benefit enhances their own enjoyment of library materials and encourages staff to become familiar with the collection so that they are better able to assist customers.
• Library staff members who wish to borrow Library materials must have a PPLS library card account. They must complete a library card application.
• Staff members must check out all materials they remove from the shelves for personal or professional use.
• A PPLS staff library card is changed from “library staff” status to general customer status if the staff member leaves the employment of the Library. Officially retired library staff retain
“library staff” status.
• Library staff may not issue cards to themselves or to members of their families. Another library staff member must perform this process.
• Library staff may not update their own or their family member’s accounts. Another library staff member must perform this process.
• Library staff may not clear fines or fees from their own account or from their family member’s accounts. Another library staff member must perform this process.
• Library staff may place requests on materials for themselves or for their family members. They may not alter their place in the requests queue.
• Library staff members are subject to the same borrowing limits as other library users.
• Library staff members may not set aside for themselves or check out NEW library materials before they are removed from “shipped” status,
• Staff may not set aside for themselves or check out new materials before all hold requests have been filled. Staff may put hold requests on new and on-order materials and check the materials out in their turn.
• Although exempt from library fines, fines do accrue on library staff cards. Only the circulation supervisor or designated staff member can waive staff fines and fees.
• Library staff members are charged the standard fee for damaged and lost materials.