Charlotte County Library System
Frequently Asked Questions
- How Can I Get a Library Card?
- What is the Circulation Policy?
- How much are the Library Fines?
- How are Materials Recovered?
- What is Interlibrary Loan?
- How Do I Request Library Materials Online?
- How Do I Renew Library Materials Online?
- What are the Rules for Internet Access and Using a Computer at the Library?
- How Can I Contact a Local Branch?
- What happens if I return materials late?
- How Do I Ask the Reference Desk a Question?
- How Can I Support the Library?
- How Can I Volunteer at the Library?
- What are the Library Hours?
- What Events are at my Library?
Library cards are free of charge to any Charlotte County resident. Children under the age of 16 must have a parent or legal guardian present to apply for a library card. Acceptable proofs of residency forms include the following:
- Valid Florida Driver's License with Charlotte County address
- Charlotte County Voter's Registration
- Charlotte County Property Tax Receipt
- Florida I.D. Card (Issued by Driver's License Bureau)
- Certificate of Residency
- Business License issued in Charlotte County
- Employment I.D.
- Charlotte County School I.D.
- Charlotte County Utility Bills
Non-residents may have a card for:
- $10.00 for 3 months
- $20.00 for 6 months
- $35.00 for 12 months
To apply for a card online, click here.
Patrons are encouraged to return items to the library location where they are checked out. Please return materials inside the library when the library is open. Outside book returns are available for after-hour use. Library materials may be reserved and renewed online, in person, or by phone if there is no one else waiting for the item. There is no charge to reserve materials. The maximum number of reserves per card is eight.
When a book is overdue or missing, it is not available for other patrons. To discourage late returns of books, the library charges $.25 per day per item for all materials except movies which have a $1.00 per day late charge. There is no grace period for fines. There is no charge for days that the library is not open. To ensure that requests are picked up in a timely manner, a $1.00 fine is charged for movies not picked up, and a $.25 fine for all other items that are not picked up within 7 days of notification. You can avoid these restocking fines by calling or accessing your account online to cancel the request.
As a courtesy, we will attempt to notify you when a book is overdue, but it is your responsibility to return it and pay the fine. If a book is not returned within a reasonable amount of time, you will be billed for the price of the book plus a $5.00 processing fee. If items are not returned after 60 days, account balances greater than $25.00 are sent to a collection agency with an added $10.00 non-refundable fee.
Fines owed of more than $5.00 must be paid before any materials can be checked out, and overdue materials must be returned before more items can be borrowed.
What is materials recovery?
Materials recovery is the process of retrieving overdue library materials and collecting fines. On November 1, 2008 the Charlotte County Library System will begin using Unique Management Services to handle customer accounts with fines or lost materials charges of $25 or more.
Why is the library using an agency?
Unique Management Services works exclusively with libraries to recover overdue materials. They have an excellent record of treating patrons with courtesy and fairness. Unique has found that 60-70% of library patrons respond by clearing up their overdue accounts.
How is the agency paid?
In fairness to library patrons who return items and pay fines in a timely manner, the cost of the recovery service is passed on as a fee to each patron whose account is turned over to the agency.
What happens when I have an overdue item?
When an item is overdue 15 days we send you a first reminder notice. At 30 days we send a second reminder and at 45 days a bill for the replacement cost of the item. Beginning November 1, accounts with unreturned items over $25.00 in value not settled within 14 days of the date of the third notice (59 days from the due date) will be turned over to Unique Management Services for recovery. A $10.00 fee will be added to the account to cover the cost of collection.
What if I return my overdue items but don’t pay the late fees?
Accounts with late fees of $25.00 or more will also be turned over to Unique for collection and a $10.00 fee added to the account to cover the cost of collection.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a library service that allows library users to borrow materials not owned by the Charlotte County Library System. The library will attempt to obtain these materials for you by borrowing them from other libraries throughout Florida and the United States. The Charlotte County Library System does not provide Interlibrary Loan for videocassette, DVD’s or music cd’s. The loan of ILL material is determined by the lending library.
Ask any staff member for assistance with placing an ILL request. Please allow at least 3-6 weeks for processing and receipt of each request. There is a limit of 3 ILL requests per library card. You will be notified by telephone when the materials arrive. You will be notified if the request cannot be filled. There is no fee if the item can be borrowed from a library within Florida. If the book is found elsewhere in the country, a $5.00 charge would be asked to complete the transaction. In addition, if you request an ILL and do not pick it up, there will be a $5.00 charge placed on your library card.
The loan period varies as the due date for each item is determined by the lending library. The due date will be on the white sticker attached to the item when you pick it up. The white sticker must remain on the item until it is returned.
If at any time the lending library requests return of an ILL item, you will be notified and asked to return it immediately.
Lost Book Charges
The borrower of ILL material is responsible for returning the items. You will be charged for any lost or damaged materials as determined by the lending library.
Returning materials on time is very important. All materials borrowed through ILL should be returned by the due date to the Circulation Desk of the library where they were picked up. Call your local branch for more information.
1. Click "Library Catalog On-Line" in the yellow menu on the left.
2. Next to "Search our Catalog" type in your search terms for the item that you would like to request and click Classic Search.
3. Click Hold Request on the left next to the item.
If you would like a specific volume or copy of an item, click in the circle beside “I want a specific copy”and then in the box next to the item that you wish to place on hold.
4. Enter your library card and PIN number and specify the pickup branch from the pull down menu. Click Submit Request.
5. The library will notify you by phone or e-mail when the item(s) are available for pick-up.
6. To ensure that requests are picked up in a timely manner, a $1.00 fine is charged for movies not picked up, and a $.25 fine for all other items that are not picked up within 7 days of notification. You can avoid these restocking fines by calling or accessing your account online to cancel the request.
There is a limit of EIGHT hold requests on your library card.
Renewals, if necessary, can be requested at the Reference Desk and must be made at least 7 days in advance of the due date. The lending library determines if renewal is allowed. If the item is renewed, you will be notified of the new due date. Renewals are not allowed on items that are on request. Please contact your local library location with questions.
1. From the Library home page, click "My Account " in the yellow menu on the left.
2.Enter your library card and PIN number and then click the "Submit Request" button.
3. Click on "Current Loans" from the left-hand menu.
4. Check each box to the left of item(s) you want to renew and then click the "Renew" from the top menu (next to Print and below the blue bars).
5. Scroll down through your list to find out the new due dates. Some items may NOT be renewable.