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Patron Policies

The “Rules governing the Library” were adopted by the Ohio County Public Library Board of Trustees on March 11, 1997. These rules apply to the use of the Library by patrons and are therefore entitled:


1.The library will be open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Operating hours are set and approved by the Library Board of Trustees.

2.Any person of good manners and habits may use the library. Persons who are intoxicated or who are verbally abusive will be asked to leave the library. No loitering will be allowed in the library. Use of tobacco products of any kind or refreshments (except at specific library functions) will not be allowed in the library.

3.Begging, offering items for sale, soliciting, circulating petitions, or other activities that may annoy patrons or staff members will not be allowed in the library or on library premises.

4.Anyone is welcome to use materials in the library but materials may not be taken from the library without being checked out. All persons living in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia which includes the following counties: Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler, are entitled to check out materials from the library by presenting proof of current address and upon signing an application for a library card that obligates them to observe all rules and regulations of the library.

College students not living with their parents must present a student identification, proof of local address, and proof of home address.

Residents in nearby counties of Ohio and Pennsylvania (Jefferson, Belmont, and Monroe in Ohio, and Washington, Greene, and Allegheny in Pennsylvania) may receive a library card upon payment of an annual $5.00 fee. Out of state holders of a Bellaire Public Library card will not be charged an out of state fee. The membership year will begin the day the application is completed and the fee received. Nonresidents must also present proof of current address.

Temporary and transient residents, including those living in shelters, will receive a library card upon receipt of a letter from the administration of the shelter or other proof of residence but will be limited to borrowing one item at a time.

5.Upon completion of a library card application each person will receive a library card with a barcoded patron identification number that will be signed by the patron. The card must be presented each time materials are checked out. If a card
is not presented at the time of check-out, the patron must present some form of identification with the current address listed. Patrons are strongly encouraged to present their library cards at the time of check-out.

No person should lend his or her library card or library materials checked out on his or her card to another person. Materials checked out on a person’s card are his or her responsibility.

6.The check-out period for library books and audio books is two weeks. The check-out period for dvds, videos, and “Closed Stack” materials is one week. Library staff will set a maximum number of items of any type that may be checked out.

Certain library materials may be loaned for a shorter period than usual due to seasonal popularity, special demand, or other reasons as deemed necessary by the Library Director. The number of items in certain formats or subject areas that may be checked out may be limited for reasons deemed necessary by the Library Director. Special school assignment demands is just one example of those reasons.

All materials may be renewed twice if not reserved by another patron. Materials may be renewed by telephone.

Materials obtained through interlibrary loan are checked out for a period determined by the lending library. These items may be renewed only with the permission of the lending library.

A reserve may be placed on materials that are currently checked out or “in circulation” and the patron will be called when the materials are returned and available. Reserves for popular items such as bestsellers will be accepted in the order received and a list will be maintained so that each patron may be contacted as his or name comes to the top of the reserve list. Patrons without telephones will be mailed a notice when a reserve item becomes available for them.

7.Businesses, day care centers, adult care centers, group homes and/or educational institutions may apply for an institutional card (i.e. “group card”). This card allows for the checking out of materials under the institution or group rather than an individual.

The institution assumes responsibility for all materials checked out. There is no limit on the number of items that may be checked out with an institutional card within reasonable limits. The library staff reserves the option of placing this reasonable limit on the number of items checked out if this is deemed necessary.

The application for an institutional card will be mailed to the institution so that proof of identification may be established, and so that those authorized by the institution to use the card may be listed on the application. The application must be returned to the library before the institutional card will be issued. Only those individuals listed on the application will be authorized to use the card. It is the responsibility of the institution to inform the library of any changes (deletions or additions) to its authorized list. The institution assumes responsibility of all items checked out with its card and for ensuring that only those authorized to use the library card may do so. Notice of any changes in the list must be given to the library in writing from the institution.

8.A fine will be charged to patrons for materials kept longer than their loan period. When items are two weeks, four weeks, and six weeks overdue library staff will call to notify patrons of the delinquency. When library materials are over six weeks delinquent, the borrowing patrons will be turned over to a collection agency and their borrowing privileges will be suspended until the overdue items are returned and the fines have been paid. If the overdue items cannot be found, the patron must pay for the lost materials before borrowing privileges will be reinstated and family blocks removed. A family block means that all family members residing at the same address as the delinquent patron will also have their borrowing privileges suspended until the overdue items are returned. If the overdue items are lost or destroyed, the items must be paid for before borrowing privileges will be reinstated.

If library materials are reported lost during the loan period, the patron must pay for lost materials before borrowing privileges will continue. Payment will be in the amount of the replacement cost of the item lost and payable in the form of cash or check. Replacement items donated to the library by the patron will not be accepted in lieu of payment for lost items.

Damage to library materials beyond reasonable wear or beyond repair will be charged to the patron. The price of rebinding, repairing, or replacing the materials does not entitle the patron to keep the materials. Fees paid are for damage to the library’s property and do not constitute purchase of the damaged item.

Replacement cost for items lost or damaged will be assessed at current retail price. If items are out-of-print and a current retail price cannot be determined, then the items will be priced according to the standard average value of current market prices. Current standard average values are as follows:

Adult Items: Fiction $25.00
Nonfiction $30.00
Trade Paperback $16.00
Mass Market Pbk $ 6.50

Youth Items: Picture book $ 17.00
Juv. Hardback $ 17.00
Mass Market Pbk $ 6.00
Board Book $ 6.00

Videos, audio books oversized books and magazines will be charged according to current retail price.

9.The reading and examination of any book once it is placed in the library collection is a private matter with each patron and is not subject to review by any other individual or organization. The library will protect the rights of all library patrons to use library materials regardless of subject matter.

Circulation records, patron registration records, and any other patron information are confidential and open only to library staff and then only for the purposes of retrieving overdue library materials, assessing fines, or updating registration information.

Information about questions patrons ask, items consulted or checked out by patrons, comments expressed or attitudes revealed by patrons will be held in confidence by staff members.

10.Any person who abuses the privileges extended to library patrons or who violates the regulations for the use of library may have his or her library card canceled.

11.No animals will be allowed in the library except for guide dogs for the blind and those used in conjunction with any special programs in the library.

12.Exhibits of approximately one month’s duration may be accepted for display in the library. Although every precaution will be taken to ensure the security of materials, the library assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of any items.

13.Donations of books and materials to the library will be accepted on the condition that the library have full control of the use to which the materials will be put. Any materials not acceptable for the library collection will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library Director. No dollar value amount will be assigned to donated items. If requested by the contributor, a list of the number and type of materials donated will be provided to the contributor by the library.

14.The public meeting rooms of the library may be used by any group for any purpose not inconsistent with the principal use of the library building and in accordance with the rules established for the use of the rooms. The rooms may be used only when a member of the library staff is in the building.

 - Adopted by the Ohio County Board of Trustees, March 11, 1997.
 - Revised and Adopted February 12, 2002.
 - Revised and Adopted May 13, 2009.

Ohio County Public Library

The Ohio County Public Library serves all persons who live in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, which includes Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties. Residents in Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties of Ohio and Washington, Greene and Allegheny counties of Pennsylvania may also receive library services. 

Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.