Patron Registration Policy

Any person who resides in Ohio or neighboring counties in West Virginia and who agrees to be responsible for materials loaned to them may obtain a card to use the collections and services of the library system. Cardholders will be responsible for library materials from the time items are checked out until the time they are checked in. Cardholders will also be responsible for any fees charged to their cards resulting from the use of library materials. Cardholders who exceed an administratively established fee threshold or have long overdue library materials may have their borrowing privileges suspended until the items are returned and/or such charges are paid down below the threshold.

Issuing Library Cards

Library cards may be issued only to residents of Ohio, residents of neighboring counties in West Virginia, or temporary residents who are expecting to live in Ohio for at least three months.

To receive a library card with borrowing privileges immediately, the patron must present photo ID and verification of current address. If the photo ID does not include the patron’s current address, they must present another officially verifiable document which includes
their current address.

If the patron is staying at a shelter or other care organization, a letter dated within two weeks stating that the patron may use the agency as a mailing address and signed by the agency’s representative, or direct confirmation from an agency representative, may be used as address verification.

In cases where a patron would like to obtain a library card but does not have address verification, the library will mail a postcard to the address provided by the patron. Managers and staff are expected to use appropriate judgment to support the library’s
mission by issuing library cards in exceptional situations.

Issuing Library Cards to Minors

Parents, guardians, or custodians are responsible for materials checked out to a minor child. There is no minimum age requirement to receive a library card. The minor child must be present for the card to be issued. A responsible adult is expected to sign the application and accept responsibility for the account. When it is not possible for the adult to come to the library, they may submit a completed and signed application to the library via the child. The full name of the responsible adult is added to the borrower’s record at the time the card is issued and the responsible adult’s address must be entered as the primary address in the borrower record.

Limted Access Cards

Patrons who are unable to provide verification of their address, and minor children who are in the library without a responsible adult present, may be issued a limited access card that allows them to check out any five items at a time. Patrons must still provide some form of identification to verify their identity. Minor children who are not known to library staff can have their identity confirmed with a student ID, report card, homework assignment, or other item with the child’s name. Adults and minor children must be able to provide contact information, and minor children must be able to give the name of a responsible adult for entry in the library’s system.

Electronic Access Cards (eCards)

Patrons may apply for and receive an eCard via the library’s website. eCards may be issued to any resident of Ohio or neighboring counties in West Virginia. eCards may be issued to minor children to allow access to library electronic resources needed for educational purposes. As with all library services, parents and guardians are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of library resources. eCards give patrons access to all of the library’s electronic resources and databases, streaming content, and e-books and e-audiobooks. Patrons who have an eCard may visit any branch of the library and present an ID with address verification as outlined above to receive a regular library card.

Special Card Types

  • Institutional cards are issued to companies, agencies, schools and organizations for use by any employee of the institution. The institution is responsible for any charges incurred on the account, and the administration of the institution must accept responsibility for the account.
  • Educator cards are issued to educators and homeschoolers of children grades K- 12 in addition to their personal accounts. Educator cards may receive extended loan periods and forgiveness for lost items according to procedures established by library administration.
  • The library may create cards for internal use only in administering special programs related to community outreach.

Adopted June 20, 2017
Updated October 20, 2020