Ohio UniversityWITHDRAWN Academic Policy and Procedure

14.100:  Circulation of Library Materials


Approved on June 11, 2004
Withdrawn on February 20, 2012
Signatures and dates
on archival copy


when approved 

Initiated by:

Nancy Rue
Associate Dean for Public Services

Reviewed by:

Herman ("Butch") Hill, Chair
Policy and Procedure Review Committee

Endorsed by:

Julia Zimmerman
Dean of University Libraries

Approved by:

Stephen Kopp

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To set forth the policy and procedures of Ohio University Libraries regarding the lending of materials within the Libraries' collections to users (borrowers), a process also known as circulation.


This policy pertains to the University Libraries' Athens campus facilities, including all units and collections in Alden Library, Music/Dance Library, Library Annex, and Instructional Media and Technology Services. Regional Campus libraries and departmental reading rooms are not covered.

  1. Every borrower is responsible for library material signed out to his or her name. Permitting another individual to use one's ID card for purposes of borrowing library materials does not exclude a borrower from this responsibility.

  2. Every borrower is responsible for providing current, up-to-date personal information to the Circulation Department (name, address, telephone and E-mail address).

  3. Every borrower is responsible for the return of borrowed library materials within the specified loan period and is responsible for fines assessed for late returns.

  4. Every borrower is responsible for safekeeping library items borrowed and returning them in a reasonable condition.

  5. Every borrower is responsible for the replacement of library items lost while signed out to his or her name, including the costs of acquiring and processing replacements.

  6. All library material is subject to immediate recall for Reserve Reading. It is also subject to recall for another user (after two weeks) if a copy cannot be requested from another OhioLINK library.

  7. The Libraries may revoke borrowing privileges of borrowers who fail to exercise the responsibilities listed in this Policy.


I.  User Groups: Required Identification and Loan Periods

Loan periods vary between categories of users and by type or status of materials. This section describes the loan periods for most circulating materials ("regular loans"). Borrowing transactions require identification, issued by the University or by the Libraries, as a currently registered borrower, as described below.

A.  Faculty, Visiting Faculty, Administrative and Classified Staff, Visiting and Affiliated Scholars

Required: Current University ID card
Loan period: A six-month period (or some part thereof), ending June 15 or December 15 each year

B.  Graduate Students and Honors Tutorial Students

Required: Current University ID card
Loan period: One academic quarter

C.  Undergraduate Students

Required: Current University ID card
Loan period: Three weeks

D.  Emeriti and other Retired University Employees

Required: University ID card or Courtesy Patron card
Loan period: A six-month period (or some part thereof), ending June 15 or December 15 each year

E.  Conference and Workshop Participants

Required: Courtesy Patron card, provided by the Circulation Department, authorized by a list of participants submitted by the Office of Continuing Education
Loan period: The duration of the conference or workshop, or two weeks, whichever is less

F.  Friends of the Libraries

Required: Current membership card for the Friends of the Libraries organization
Loan period: Three weeks

G.  Courtesy Patrons

Courtesy Patron status is available to residents of, and K-12 teachers in, Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton, and Washington counties, and to Ohio University alumni. Individuals must be at least 16 years of age to be Courtesy Patrons.

Required: Annual registration, including the presentation of a photo ID verifying an address within one of the regional counties. A Courtesy Patron Card, valid for one year, will be provided upon registration.
Loan period: Three weeks
Limitations: Five items per borrower

H.  Visiting School Groups (K - Grade 8)

A temporary Courtesy Patron Card, valid for 30 days, is available to members of elementary school and junior high school classes who visit the Library as a class, under the supervision of a teacher or other school personnel. A class roster (listing students' names, addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers) is required in advance of the visit.
Loan period: Three weeks
Limitations: Five items per borrower

I.  Visiting School Groups (Grades 9-12)

A Courtesy Patron Card is available to members of high school classes who visit the Library as a class, under the supervision of a teacher or other school personnel. A class roster (listing students' names, addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers) is required in advance of the visit.
Loan period: Three weeks
Limitations: Five items per borrower

J.  Minor Children under 16 years of age, not part of a visiting class

Minors less than 16 years of age are not eligible for Courtesy Patron status and may not borrow library materials.

Parents or guardians may borrow library materials for use by their children or wards under the age 16, according to the requirements, loan periods, and limitations in sections A through G above.

K.  Users affiliated with OhioLINK Institutions

OhioLINK onsite borrowing: Ohio University is a member of OhioLINK and adheres to a Memorandum of Agreement and policies providing reciprocal, direct-on-site borrowing among OhioLINK member libraries.

Required: Current ID card from an OhioLINK institution and one additional photo ID
Loan period: Three weeks

II.  Loan Renewals

University borrowers in good standing may renew materials for additional loan periods, either by presenting material for renewal at a circulation service desk or by using the self-renew feature of the ALICE system before the due date.

Conference and Workshop participants, Friends of the Library, and Courtesy patrons may renew materials one time using the self-renew feature of the ALICE system before the due date, or may renew more than one time by presenting the material at the circulation service desk.

III.  Requesting Materials Loaned to Another User

When a user requires library materials checked out to another user, the Libraries offer three options. The first and preferable alternative is to request a copy of the material from another OhioLINK member library. OhioLINK Request is a feature of the online catalog, ALICE.

A second alternative is to place a recall request through the Circulation Department; this option must be utilized if the item required is not available from another OhioLINK library. The Libraries may recall the item from the current borrower anytime after the first two weeks of a loan period. The current borrower receives notification of the recall and a new return date for the item, which is ten days beyond the date of the recall request.

The third option is to place a hold for the copy checked out. When a hold is placed the item cannot be further renewed and the person placing the hold is notified when the material is returned and available. This is the only option offered to users not affiliated with Ohio University.

IV.  Materials with Non-Standard Loan or Renewal Periods

A.  Non-Circulating

Materials with a status of non-circulating ("non-circ") in ALICE typically must be used within the library facility where they are housed.

B.  Reserve Reading Status

Materials designated for Reserve Reading may be borrowed upon presentation of a University ID or a current Courtesy Patron borrowing card. The materials may be borrowed for periods ranging from a one-half hour non-circulating basis to a one-week loan, as designated by the reserving faculty member. A three-day or one-week loan may be renewed if no hold has been placed on the item. All material must be returned to the desk where it was checked out, on or before the designated due date and time.

C.  Materials not listed in ALICE or Exceptions to Non-Circulating Status

Some library materials not listed on ALICE and items designated non-circulating may be borrowed, in some instances, as a Special Loan. Such loans require approval from a supervisor within a library department or collection. The length of the loan is at the supervisor's discretion, but generally will not exceed one week. Generally, a University ID is required for Special Loans; however, a department or collection supervisor may extend Special Loans to other user groups, at her or his discretion. The material must be returned to the desk from which it was borrowed, on or before the designated due date and time.

D.  Periodicals

Current (unbound) periodicals do not circulate.

Generally, bound periodicals may be borrowed at any time, and are due back by noon (12 pm) on the next day (or one hour after library opening if the time of opening is later than 11 am). Generally, bound periodicals may not be renewed. There are two exceptions to these general rules for bound periodicals, which are:

  1. Bound Periodicals checked out from Reserve Reading are due back one hour after library opening the following day.

  2. Bound Periodicals retrieved from the Library Annex are loaned for a one-week loan period and may be renewed.

Periodicals in microfilm or microfiche formats may be borrowed for a loan period of three weeks and may be renewed.

E.  Audio, Video, and Software Media (not located in Instructional Media & Technology Services)

DVDs, CDs, cassettes, diskettes, and other non-book media that are published in association with a book may be borrowed for the same period as the accompanying book. Other such media have a more limited borrowing period, typically one week. Cassettes housed in the Music/Dance Library may be borrowed for two weeks; LPs do not circulate.

F.  Picture File Plates (Fine Arts Library)

Picture file plates may be borrowed for two weeks as a Special Loan. The borrowing limit is five plates per borrower at any time.

G.  Southeast Asian Artifacts (Center for International Collections)

The Southeast Asia Collection owns a collection of shadow puppets, slides, selected artifacts, etc., which may be borrowed as a Special Loan for classroom use, lectures, and outreach programs. The loan period is usually two weeks and items may be renewed.

V.  OhioLINK Patron-Initiated Inter-Institutional Circulation

Ohio University users, with the exception of Courtesy Patrons, may borrow materials from the collections of OhioLINK member libraries. Borrowing transactions for these materials take place at Circulation service desks within Ohio University Libraries. However, OhioLINK has established its own circulation policies, which are agreed to and enforced by the member institutions. OhioLINK's loan periods, renewals, and fines differ from those of the Ohio University Libraries; these are stated in the "OhioLINK Policy Handbook," available at http://www.ohiolink.edu/ostaff/policyhbk/.

VI.  Media Resources Library (Instructional Media and Technology Services)

A.  Conditions for Use

Media materials in IMTS are for educational or private viewing. All titles are covered by provisions of the U. S. Copyright Law, which states that in order for educational fair use to apply, "Performance must be for a specific educational purpose, not for cultural or entertainment values, and must take place in a setting devoted to instruction." A course instructor may use any of the titles in a university academic credit course in a face-to-face teaching situation. No admission fee may be charged for viewing any titles.

Many of the media titles in IMTS are covered by a variety of licensing restrictions imposed by the producers and distributors of the media or, in some cases, by the organizations that have assisted in the acquisition of the titles.

B.  User Groups: Requirements for Borrowing and Loan Periods

  1. Ohio University Graduate Students, Faculty, and Administrative and Classified Staff

    Required: Current University ID
    Loan period: One week
    Limitations: Titles in high demand will generally be limited to shorter loan periods, typically 48 hours. Items on loan for longer than 48 hours may be recalled and must be returned within 48 hours. Media titles may be borrowed for more than one week on a case-by-case basis.

  2. Ohio University Undergraduate Students, Friends of the Libraries, and Regional Educators

    Required: Current University ID, Friends of the Libraries membership card, or identification as a teacher in a local school system or at a private school
    Loan period: 48 hours

VII.  Fine Schedule

Library materials are loaned for an established length of time. Fines are incentives for responsible borrowing and are charged when materials are returned late. A maximum fine is established for the various kinds of loans; materials are assumed lost when the maximum fine has accrued. A hold is place upon a student's record at the Registrar's Office when the student incurs more than $10 in fines or fees.

Borrowers who lose materials from the Libraries' collections are billed for the replacement of the material, fines assessed for late return, and a processing fee to reimburse costs associated with replacement. The replacement cost of an item is the current price of purchasing a replacement, not necessarily the original purchase price.

The amounts of the Libraries' fines and fees and the associated procedures are available at the Circulation Desk of Alden Library and on the Libraries' web site, at http://www.library.ohiou.edu/libinfo/depts/admin/intpol/1002.htm.

VIII.  Disputed Fines or Fees

Questions about or problems with fines or lost-material charges should be discussed with a full-time or permanent staff member in the Circulation Department. All disputed fines or fees are referred to the Circulation Department supervisor for resolution in a fair and just manner.

A borrower may complete a Circulation Inquiry Form presenting a description of the situation and the nature of the disagreement with the Libraries' policies and procedures. If the Circulation Supervisor is unable to achieve agreement with the borrower regarding the dispute, the matter is forwarded to the Dean of University Libraries for final resolution. The Dean may seek information from other library staff and consider counsel from faculty or student advisory groups at his or her discretion; the Dean's decision is final.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Policy and Procedure Review Committee

  2. Assistant Dean and IMTS Director

  3. All Library Department Heads

  4. Circulation Desk Supervisor

  5. IMTS Media Resource Manager

  6. Reserve Reading Supervisor

  7. Registrar


The following form is specific to this policy:

  1. The Circulation Inquiry Form is available from the Circulation Desk in the Alden Libraries.

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Dick Piccard revised this file (https://www.ohio.edu/policy/14-100.html) on March 18, 2016.

Please E-mail any comments or suggestions to "policy@ohio.edu".