Borrowing Materials

TCPL offers generous lending limits and borrowing periods on items in the collection. A maximum of 50 items may be checked out to any library card at one time. A date-due slip is provided each time an item is checked out of the library. Borrowers are responsible for returning all items on or before their due date to avoid fines and fees.

General Guidelines

  • A total of 50 items may be charged to a card at any one time.
  • All movies are available to all borrowers without regard to age. However, at a parent's or guardian's request, children 16 and under may be restricted from borrowing R-rated movies.
  • Books loaned by libraries from outside the Finger Lakes Library System (out-of-system Interlibrary Loans) may have different loan periods and late fees. See Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Service policy at tcpl.org/services/inter-library-loan.php.
  • Please return items on time. If you are not finished with an item, you may renew it if no one else has placed a hold on the item. If the item is overdue before it is renewed, the overdue charge for the first loan period will automatically be added to the account. An item can be renewed only once.
  • Borrowing privileges are suspended if fines and/or fees exceed $10.00, or if you have more than 10 overdue items on your card.
  • The book drop is offered as a courtesy service to our library users, and is located on the Green Street-side of the building.
  • You may check out your own books using the library's self-check out stations. However, you must have your library card with you, and your account must be free of holds, overdue items, and have fewer than $10.00 in fines and charges.
  • Different types of books and media may have different loan periods.

Borrowing Guidelines

Item

Hold Limit

Borrowing Limit

Loan Period

Renewals*

Fine

Total Items per Card

20 50

See Below

*if no holds

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

Books 20 50 21 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

New Books 10 10 21 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

Board Books 20 20 21 days 1 Fine-free (will be billed for replacement cost when 30 days overdue)
Magazines 10 10 21 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

CDs 10 titles 10 titles 21 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

DVDs 5 titles 5 titles 7 days 1 (2 times on titles with 3+ discs)

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

Audiobooks 5 titles 5 titles 21 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

Foreign Language Audio and Literacy Multimedia

5 titles 5 titles 21 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

Video Games 5 titles 2 titles 7 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

eReader 1 1 21 days 1

25¢/item/day
$5 max per item

Interlibrary Loan items 5 20 Variable 0

$1/item/day
$30 max per item

eBook No limit 3 downloadable items total on card (does not count toward overall limit of 20) 7-21 days (you choose) 1 Fine-free
eAudiobooks No limit 3 downloadable items total on card (does not count toward overall limit of 20) 7-21 days (you choose) 1 Fine-free

Renewals

If you want to keep an item for longer than the original borrowing period, TCPL offers renewals for up to one additional loan period on most items. Items not eligible for renewing are: any item on hold for another patron, or interlibrary loans. Items borrowed from other libraries are subject to the rules and policies of the original lending library.

We offer automatic renewals, but you may also renew items:

  • Online
  • Through our TCPL to Go app
  • In person at the Circulation desk
  • Over the phone at 607-275-1LIB (1542).

Items renew from the date you renew them, not from the date they are due.

If you need help renewing items, please call Access and Circulation Services at 607-272-4557 ext. 269.

Returning Items

Borrowers are responsible for returning all items on or before their due date. The library will send email reminders to cardholders who have provided a valid email address. Reminders are sent one day in advance of the due date. Late notices are sent ten days after an item is due.

You may return your items inside the library, at our outside book returns, or at any Finger Lakes Library System member library. Member libraries are any public library within our five-county service area consisting of Tompkins, Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga.

Notices

You can choose to have the library contact you via email, phone, text, or mail. Just ask the staff at the Access and Circulation Services desk to update your information and select the best contact method.

We try to contact you several times before and after an item is due. Below is a timeline of what we send:

  • Reminder Notice - 2 days before your items are due, the library sends a courtesy notice.
  • Overdue Notice - TCPL sends out an overdue notice when items are 10 days overdue (includes Claim Returned items).
  • Bill Notice - When an item is 30 days overdue, we assume the item is lost and will send you a bill for the replacement and processing costs.
  • Collection/Material Recovery Notice - 30 days after a Fine Notice or bill is printed, if the account balance is at or above $25, the account is turned over to our Collection/Material Recovery service. At this point a $10 fee is added to the account.
Collection/Material Recovery Notices
  • Collection/Material Recovery Letter - account balance of $25 or more is 30 days overdue
  • Collection/Material Recovery Phone Call - account balance of $25 or more is 51-58 days overdue
  • Collection/Material Recovery Letter 2 - account balance of $25 or more is 72 days overdue
  • Collection/Material Recovery Phone Call (Final) - account balance of $25 or more is 95-109 days overdue
  • Collection/Material Recovery Letter 3 (Final) - account balance of $25 or more is 120 days overdue

Payment

Tompkins County Public Library accepts cash, check, debit card, credit card, and Ithaca Hours as payment.

  • Checks can be made payable to "Tompkins County Public Library."
  • Ithaca Hours will be accepted as payment for fines (but not for lost or damaged materials that must be replaced). Change can only be given back in Ithaca Hours.
  • We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover for fines and fees over $5. If you pay online, we also accept PayPal. We do not accept American Express and Diners' Club.
To Pay Online
  1. Log into your account online.
  2. Go to "Fines & Fees."
  3. Check one or more items from the account that you wish to pay and then select "Pay online...".
  4. Pay Online
  5. Continue through the process to complete the online payment form.
  6. Please contact Access and Circulation Services at 607-272-4557 ext. 269 or circulation@tcpl.org if you have any questions.

Fee Descriptions

Description

Fee

Resident card (Tompkins, Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, Schuyler, Tioga counties)

FREE

Card replacement

$2.00

Daily overdue (per item)

$0.25

Daily overdue for Interlibrary Loan (per item)

$1.00

Maximum overdue (per item)

$5.00

Maximum overdue for Interlibrary Loan (per item)

$30.00

Hold (per item)

FREE

Reshelving fee for held items not picked up before "unclaimed" date (per item)

$1.00

Processing (lost/damaged) (per item)

$5.00

Replacement (per item)

Variable

Returned check

$10.00

Collection agency fee for account balances 60 days overdue

$10.00

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Page last modified Oct 12, 2016