Adams Memorial Library Borrowing FAQ

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Borrowing FAQ

How can I get a library card?
You may use materials inside the library at any time with or without a library card. However, to check any materials out or to use the internet, you must have a valid library card. A valid library card is a non-expired card with no outstanding fines of more than $5.00 attached to the record.

You must appear in person at one of the library's three branches to receive a library card. If you are under the age of 14, a parent or legal guardian (sorry, we can't allow non-legal guardians such as babysitters, Grandma or Uncle Steve!) You must present a form of identification that has your current address on it (such as a valid driver's license, a piece of mail with the current address printed on it, a valid passport).

I had a library card several years ago. Is it still valid?
My card expired, can I still use it

You card does not technically "expire." However, once a year we verify the information in our files for accuracy. If you are still listed in our computer's database, we should be able to renew your record and permit you to continue to borrow items. Some older cards were issued before the library installed its current circulation software. If we cannot locate an existing record for you, we will be glad to issue you a new card instead. If you are still listed in our database, but have mislaid your library card itself, you can still check books out by showing a valid form of alternative identification such as a driver's license, or by purchasing a replacement card for $3.00.

May I register online?
Not at this time. We are currently working on this option.

If I do not reside in Westmoreland County, can I get a library card?
Of course. If you have a library card from your "home library" bearing the small blue ACCESS PA sticker on it, we will be pleased to issue you a card from our library free of charge. If you do not have a card from your home library, or if your home library does not participate in the ACCESS PA reciprocal borrowing program, you may obtain a card at a cost of $5.00 per year.

I am in town for a short time but reside in another state. Can I get a card to use while I am visiting?
You may obtain an out-of-resident card for $5.00 per year. We do extend two-week temporary internet privileges to our out-of-town guests, without requiring that they get library cards. You must sign our internet agreement, and each time you use the internet during the two-week period you will be asked to present a form of identification.

If you need to use the internet or the library for longer than two weeks you would need to go through the process of getting a library card.

I want to obtain a library card for my children. Is there an age requirement? What kind of identification is needed?
Children ages 5 and up may get their own library card. Parents or legal guardians must be present along with the child at the time of sign-up, for all children under the age of 14. Parents should bring identification with proof of current address as with all new card sign-ups. Children may not sign up with anyone other than their legal guardians and parents may not sign up children without the children being present. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for all materials checked out by their children.

My teen needs a card. Do I need to be present?
A child aged 14 or older may sign up for a card without a parent being present. However, all applicants including teens must present identification showing their name and a current legal residence to apply for a library card.

How many items may I borrow?
As many as you are willing to be responsible for. However, as a courtesy to our other patrons we ask that you do not check out more items than you can realistically use within the loan period. We would especially request that you not check out all materials on topics for which an entire school's class has the same assignment. We reserve the right to hold such materials at the library until the assignment is over.

How long may I keep an item?
Our loan period is two weeks for all items. This includes books, movies, music, toys and software. After two weeks, you may renew the items as long as no one is waiting for them (this is called a reserve. Items "on reserve" may not be renewed.) We permit a total of five renewals past the original check-out period, for a maximum total of 12 weeks. After this, the materials must be checked in and returned to the shelves for the use of other patrons.

If I forget to bring my library card, may I still check items out?
You may present an alternative form of identification, such as valid driver's license. We reserve the right to accept or decline forms of ID as valid.

Can I access my library account through the Internet?
Yes! Simply Log into the catalog here and click on Patron Account.

How can I renew items?
You can renew in person at any branch, regardless of which branch you checked the item out at originally, unless it has been reserved by another patron. You may also call any branch during the hours they are open and request renewal over the phone. POLARIS also gives you the opportunity to renew books in your account on the catalog. Simply log in and click on the title, then renew!

Where may I return items borrowed from AML?
You may return any item from any of our three branches to any other of the three branches, with the exception of the items in the Resource Center. (Because of the nature of these items, they cannot be placed in any bookdrop or returned to any other branch except the main branch in Latrobe.)

If you wish to return a book when the library is closed, you may take advantage of any of our three bookdrops. These are located outside the main branch on Chestnut Street, outside the entrance at Caldwell Memorial Library, and at Sarnelli's Market in Donegal.

You may also return books checked out at other state-wide libraries as long as they are members of the ACCESS PA reciprocal borrowing program (most are.)

I have a very overdue item. How high will my late fee be?
We charge 25¢ per day for all items. We charge a maximum of $5.00 per item. After $5.00, fines no longer accumulate. We would always want the item returned, no matter how overdue.

Do I have to pay all my late fees at once?
No. Our computer tracks all charges and all payments made against those charges. They will continue to appear on your record until they are paid down to a zero balance, no matter how long that may take. Please note that unpaid fines must be under $5.00 or borrowing and internet privileges are suspended.

My child has several very overdue items. How much will I be charged?
The fine for overdue children's materials is 10¢ per day. There is a maximum fine for a single item of $5.00. After $5.00, fines no longer accumulate. When a child checks out multiple items, the $5.00 maximum applies to each item, for example, the maximum fine on two books is $10.00 and on three books is $15.00. Please see the librarian on duty if you need to make payment arrangements.

I lost a book. How much will it cost?
We would always much rather have the book than the money. If there is any chance of finding the book, we will work with you to extend enough time for you to locate the item. If the book is truly lost then we charge the replacement cost as determined by the librarian on duty from our records and/or online bookstore prices. In addition, we charge a $2.00 processing fee that covers the cost of laminate, barcodes, labels, etc. for the replacement item.

I recently paid for a lost book that I just found. Can I get my money back?
We clear the records of books that have been marked "lost and paid for" after about three months. If the book is returned while we still have a record for the item in our system, we will be able to determine the cost you would have been charged and can refund your money. Once the record is purged from the system, we have no way to determine how much money was paid on the item, and you will not be able to get a refund.
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