Your Library Card

Who can get a library card, how to apply, and how to use your library card.


How to Get a Library Card

          If you are a resident of Jefferson or rural Greene County, you may become a registered borrower after presenting photo identification with a current address.   For the first month, new borrowers are limited to checking out two items at a time. Registration is for three years.  It is renewable upon presentation of your card and if there are no outstanding fines or fees.  There is a fine to replace your library card if it is lost.

          A child is eligible to apply for a library card from the children’s library at the age of three years.  Youth entering the seventh grade will be issued a card from the adult library.


Checking Out Materials

          You must present your library card and use your own card when checking out materials.  Most items may be checked out for a two-week period.  Some books and media materials have different loan periods.

          As a service when you check out, we will remind you of any outstanding fines.

Renewing Materials

          You may renew most materials one time unless another borrower has reserved that item.  Renewals may be made at the circulation desk, online or by phone.

Returning Materials

All items are due by closing time on the due date.  You may return materials at the outside bookdrop along the west side of the building or at the circulation desk.  We ask that you do not return puzzles, games, puppets, or cakepans in the bookdrop, as they may be damaged and this may result in a fine.  All media equipment must be returned to the circulation desk.

When We Don’t Have the Book You Need

          Although we own over 38,000 books, we may not have the specific title you need or our copy may be on loan. 
Here’s what we can do:


If we own an item but it’s checked out, you may place a reserve so it will be held for you when it is returned.  We will call or send a notice to let you know the item is ready for you to pick up.  It will be held for you at the circulation desk for three days.  Videotapes and cakepans may not be put on reserve.

Interlibrary Loan


Overdue, Lost, and Damaged Materials

          Sharing is the basis for any community’s lending library.  Sharing means that when you borrow an item you promise to bring it back by a certain date so that someone else in your community has an opportunity to borrow it.  There are a limited number of materials in the library and we want everyone to have a fair chance of finding what they want.  To encourage equal sharing, the library charges overdue fines when materials are kept longer than the date due.  People sometimes have compelling reasons or circumstances for not returning materials on time.  Even so, if a book or other item is overdue, it is not on the shelf ready for use by others and an overdue fine is charged. Library materials have different fine rates. Please refer to the list of fines and fees in this brochure.

          When a library item is lost or damaged beyond repair, you will be asked to pay the library’s cost of replacing it.  The borrower also pays a fee to defray processing expenses involved in replacing or withdrawing the item.  When an item is damaged, you will be charged a fee to cover the cost of repair.


Overdue Notices

         An overdue notice is sent after items are 7 days overdue.  A second overdue notice is sent when items are at least 14 days overdue.  These notices list the items not yet returned and the dates they were due.  We do not assess the fine owed until the items are returned.

          A letter demanding the return of library materials is sent at 21 days.  Iowa law HF438 states that the failure to return library materials overdue two months or more is evidence of theft.  Violation of this law will result in appropriate legal action taken to compel the return of the items or the equivalent monetary fee.

          Returning the items and paying the fine is always less expensive than the collection process.

Suspension of Borrowing Privileges

          If you accumulate $1.00 or more in fines, your borrowing privileges are suspended until the obligation is paid in full.

Open Borrowing Privileges

           The library maintains collections of materials for children, young adults, and adults.  Anyone, regardless of age, may select from any part of the library collection.  To serve varied interests and points of view, we select materials from a broad range of political, economic, religious, artistic, and philosophic viewpoints.  The library may own materials on subjects that you, as a parent, may consider unsuitable for your own children.  The Jefferson Public Library has a strong commitment to a policy of equal access by which all materials are available to library users regardless of age.  It must be the responsibility of those parents who wish to do so to monitor their own children’s use of library materials.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.