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Circulation Policy

Intellectual Freedom

Individual patrons determine for themselves what library materials are appropriate for personal checkout or viewing.  Parents or guardians are responsible for determining what their children borrow, view, or use in the library.  Library staff will not monitor or restrict any patron’s borrowing or use of the library, its materials, or its resources based on a patron’s age, background or views.  The Marshall County Public Library System endorses and defends the concepts of intellectual freedom as protected by the United States Constitution and as described in the Library Bill of Rights and the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics.


The Marshall County Public Library System has the practice of not revealing any patron’s borrowed materials, reserved materials, or account charges to any person (including parents/guardians or spouse) other than the owner of the library card.

All records that identify names of users with specific materials and all library registration files that identify names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers are confidential. All circulation records are to be confidential. No records can be made available to any inquiries, government or otherwise, unless a warrant or subpoena has been served by a court of competent of jurisdiction.  Library staff will immediately contact the library director or the chair of the Board of Trustees concerning court requests.

This prohibition applies to the release of information to parents or guardians of minors who have their own library card. However, Marshall County Public Library recognizes that instances may arise when it may be necessary for a parent or guardian to be provided with information about his or her child’s library record (i.e. overdue fines or fines for lost materials).

Library Cards


Any person of any age is eligible for a Marshall County Public Library card if they are a resident, own property, or are employed in Marshall County. 

Any minor under the age of 18 that requests a library card requires a parent or guardian to sign the library card registration form stating they are responsible for the minor’s checked out materials or any fines that may incur.  In this instance the library would prefer the parent or guardian to have a library card in their name so the accounts may be associated or linked. However, there may be instances where the parent/guardian does not wish to have a library card. If this occurs, the parent will still sign the minor’s registration form and will ultimately be responsible for charges or lost material on the minor’s account.

All Marshall County Public Library staff will receive a library card for the duration of their employment.

Individuals living outside of Marshall County who hold a valid state issued driver’s license or state ID will be allowed to purchase a Marshall County Public Library card for a yearly fee of $10.00. This card would be valid at any Marshall County Public Library branch.

Issuing Library Cards

Individuals may apply for a library card by visiting one of the Marshall County Public Library branches and completing a library registration form.  The first library card for a patron is free of charge.  If a patron has a lost or damaged card, a replacement fee of $1.00 will be charged to the patron’s account.

Individuals who apply for a library card must show a proper form of picture identification (i.e. valid driver’s license or State ID). If the picture ID does not have the current address of the patron, a utility bill or rental lease agreement may be used for verification of the address.

Use of Library Card

Use of the library card implies recognition of and observance of all regulations of the Marshall County Public Library System.

Patrons are financially responsible for all materials checked out on their library card.  Patrons must inform the library of any changes in their address, telephone number, or any other information displayed on their library card registration form.  Patrons are required to report lost or stolen library cards to the library immediately. 

A patron must have a valid Marshall County Public Library card in order to check out any materials from the library.  A patron may not use another person’s library card to check out materials. This includes any card belonging to a family member.

The library may suspend borrowing privileges when any patron abuses circulation policies.

Inactive Library Cards

If a patron’s library card account has been inactive for three (3) years, it is purged from the library’s patron database. This is done to comply with the Mississippi Library Commission’s accreditation requirements.

A library card may be renewed at the request of a patron. At this time, the patron will be asked to verify their current address and telephone number.

Material Check-out Limits and Periods

Adult patrons over the age of 18 are allowed to check out a maximum number of ten (10) items for a maximum of fourteen (14) days.

Minors under the age of 18 are allowed to check out a maximum number of eight (8) items for a maximum of fourteen (14) days.

Fines will incur after the 14 day period if the item is not returned.

A patron may not check out more than five (5) fiction books by the same author or five (5) nonfiction books on the same subject. The library holds a limited collection and would like to ensure that every patron has access to as many materials as possible.

Any item belonging to the library may be returned to any branch in the Marshall County Library System.


A patron is allowed to renew any item they have checked out a maximum of two (2) times. They may do this by phone or in person. After the second renewal, the patron is required to return the book or start accruing overdue fines.

An item that is on hold or reserved for another patron may not be renewed.


A patron may place a hold or reserve on any item that is allowed to circulate.  They may do this in person or by phone. 

An item is generally held for three (3) days. If the patron does not pick up the item within that time, it is rolled over to the next patron with a hold on that item or it is placed back on the shelf.

If a patron is unable to pick up an item due to unforeseen circumstances, such as vacation or hospital stay, they can request to be kept on the reserve list in order to not lose their position in the queue.  This can be done by phone.

Interlibrary Loan Service (ILL)

If a patron requests a title that is not available at any of the branches of the Marshall County Public Library, it may be requested through Interlibrary Loan from another library in the state of Mississippi.

There is generally no charge for this service. However, if a patron requests a book through ILL and does not come to the library to check it out, the postage amount will be charged to their account.

Financial Penalties


Overdue fines are charged on most materials and are assessed on a per item/per day basis. Fines are charged at ten (10) cents per day per item.  Maximum overdue fine is $5.00 per item.  Due date information is provided at checkout and materials are expected to be returned on time. Patrons will be charged for replacement of an item if it is not returned or if it is returned damaged. 

A patron’s account will be blocked if library materials are not returned by the due date or if there are charges in excess of $5.00 and the patron will not be allowed to check out any materials or use public computers until the issue is resolved.      

All staff of Marshall County Public Library System does not get charged overdue fines.

Replacement Fees

Patrons are charged replacement charges for items that are lost, damaged, or unreturned.  An item is declared “Lost” and is the cost of the lost item charged to the patron’s account thirty (30) days after the due date.

The Marshall County Library System does not accept replacement copies for lost or damaged books.

Paying Fines

Library fines and fees may be paid in person by cash, check, or money order. Checks and money orders should be made payable to Marshall County Public Library or MCPL. 


Presented to the Board of Trustees on August 30, 2011.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on March 27, 2012