Circulation Policy


The purpose of this Circulation Policy is to make the services of the Library consistent for all users, to define categories of users and their privileges, and to establish responsibilities for both Library and user.  A user is a person who makes use of the materials in the Library, whether inside the building or elsewhere. 

Users and Identification Cards
Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 397.206 states that the library is for the “use of inhabitants where located.”  Further, MCL 397.214 states that a library “may enter into a contract with another township, city, or village to permit the residents of that other township, city, or village the full use of the library and reading room, upon terms and conditions to be agreed upon between the library board of directors and the legislative body of the other township, city, or village.”  In keeping with the intent of Michigan Complied Law regarding libraries, a person may apply for a library card with the Library as a resident user if the user lives in, owns residential property in, or owns a boat slip in the City or Township of St. Joseph.  Each user must apply for his/her own library card. 

A free library card is issued to a resident user upon the completion of a registration card and the establishment of residency with written documentation of the user’s current address.  The individual making the request must provide adequate proof of ownership of a residence or boat slip.  Acceptable forms of identification include a Michigan Drivers license, Michigan Registration card, or Social Security Card together with proof of residence.  The card is valid for 3 years and may be renewed for additional 3 year periods.

Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements
The Maud Preston Palenske Library has reciprocal borrowing agreements with most other libraries in Berrien County.  Residents from other townships, cities, or villages who have a valid library card from their home library may be eligible for reciprocal borrowing privileges if a reciprocal borrowing agreement is in place with their home library.  Individuals applying for reciprocal borrowing privileges must comply with Maud Preston Palenske Library’s policies and procedures, the terms of the reciprocal borrowing agreement, and must provide a photo id and proof of current address.  Borrowing privileges are valid for 2 years and may be renewed for additional 2 year periods.

Fee cards
Fee cards may be purchased by persons who do not live, own residential property, or own a boat slip in St. Joseph or St. Joseph Charter Township, by persons who are not served by a library that has a reciprocal borrowing agreement with Maud Preston Palenske Library, or by persons from another state or country.  Immediate family members living at the same address as the card holder are also eligible to receive cards at no additional cost. A fee card is good for one year, for a cost of $75.   Fee cards may also be purchased for three months ($18.75), six months ($37.50), or nine months ($56.25). Individuals applying for a fee card must comply with Maud Preston Palenske Library’s policies and procedures and must provide a photo id and proof of current address.

All Library card holders, including reciprocal borrowing card holders, are responsible for all loss of or damage to materials signed out on their library cards.

A parent or guardian must sign the registration card for a minor younger than age 16, accepting responsibility for the minor’s use of the library and any loss or damage to library materials, although the minor may sign the actual library card.

All outstanding fines and obligations to the Library must be paid before a library card may be renewed.

Additional Library Services

Inter Library Loan Service
Interlibrary loan is a service offered to users who want library resources not owned by this library.   Through a network of libraries, another library is found that owns the wanted material and will lend it for the use of our patron.  Resident users and fee card borrowers are encouraged to use this service, provided their registration is current and they do not owe fines or have long overdue materials.  Reciprocal borrowers are excluded from this service, though they may have access to this service through their home library.

Downloadable Media Service
Downloadable media is available to resident users and fee card borrowers, provided their registration is current and they do not owe fines or have long overdue physical materials on their account.  Due to contractual obligations reciprocal borrowers are excluded from this service, though they may have access to this service through their home library.

Circulation Periods

Upon presentation of a valid library card, users may borrow materials as follows:
• 1 week -- Entertainment DVDs @ $1.00/title
• 2 weeks – Children’s DVDs -- no rental fee
• 2 weeks -- all other books and materials
• Reference books and vertical file materials circulate only at the discretion of the Director
• The most recent 7 days of all newspapers and the most recent issues of magazines do not circulate.
• For items borrowed from other libraries, the length of loan is determined by the lending library.

Materials may be renewed up to three times, for the original circulation period, unless a reserve has been placed on an item.  Exception to this rule:  Entertainment/rental videos, children’s rental/entertainment videos, DVDs, TTDY equipment (materials in these categories may not be renewed).

The Library accepts reserves for all library materials including entertainment videos.  The reserve service is on a first come, first served basis.

Special Circulation Periods
No more than 5 DVDs or music CDs may be signed out at one time.

Users in good standing may request an extended circulation period for an extended absence from the area.

Shut-ins or other persons who are not able to visit the Library regularly due to illness or other special circumstances may borrow materials for six weeks (forty two days) and are eligible for the Library’s “Library 2 You” service.

Board members and volunteers may borrow materials for six weeks (forty two days).

The Director may make special arrangements as needed to accommodate unusual situations. For example,
the Director may limit the number of holiday books that can be checked out by one individual or may limit the number of renewals on such materials.

Fines and Fees
It is the user’s responsibility to return library materials in good condition and in a timely manner.

Fines are charged for all over due materials (including materials received through interlibrary loan) at the rate of $.10 per day per item, up to a maximum of $5.00 per item.   Exception: entertainment DVDs accrue at $1.00/day up to a $4.00 maximum per title.

When total fines accumulate to $5.00, services (including computer use) will be withheld until the balance is paid. 

Overdue notices are sent when materials are two weeks overdue and again when the materials are three weeks overdue (final notice).   If the materials are still not returned, the materials are then considered lost, and the borrower will be billed the replacement cost plus a $5.00 fee for processing and handling for each missing item.  If a lost book has been paid for and is then returned in good condition, the library will refund the cost of the book.  The processing fee will be retained by the library.

Damaged materials will be billed to the borrower at the Library’s replacement cost plus a $5.00 processing and handling fee per title.

If a library card is lost, a user may receive one free replacement card.  If the same individual requests a second replacement card, a fee of $2.00 will be assessed for the second and any succeeding replacements.


Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Maud Preston Palenske Memorial Library at the meeting held on September 26, 2017.