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66 Mountain Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
(973) 376 4930

 
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The Springfield Free Public Library will open from 1-4 on Sundays, beginning on March 5 and extending through May 28. Sunday hours will resume again on October 1 and continue through December 17.

Circulation Policy

Circulation Policy effective January 1, 2015

I.  Loan Periods, Fees, Borrowing Limits

Library cardholders may borrow materials from the Library as set forth in pdfSchedule 1 below:

Renewals:

  • Cardholders may renew materials as set forth in pdfSchedule 1.
  • Cardholders may renew materials at any time on the Library website, www.sfplnj.org, by telephone to the Circulation Department during library hours at 973-376-4930, or in the library at a library catalog terminal or with staff assistance at the Circulation Desk.
  • Cardholders may not renew any item that another patron has requested.  Hold requests placed by MURAL patrons will not be satisfied until after the requests by Springfield cardholders have been satisfied regardless of the order in which the requests were placed.


II.  Overdue Materials

  • The Library sends the cardholder up to three (3) notifications of overdue materials.  However, the responsibility for returning borrowed materials and paying accrued fines and fees is not conditional upon the cardholder receiving overdue notification.
  • The Library will send overdue notifications by US Postal Service or via email, according to the patron’s preference.  Library patrons can sign up for email notification during library hours by telephone, or in person at the Circulation Desk.
  • The Library will revoke borrowing privileges when $5.00 or more in overdue fines, fees, and/or lost materials accrues on the cardholder’s account.  Borrowing privileges of MURAL patrons will also be suspended if the Library receives notification from a patron’s home library that the patron owes fines either at the home library or another MURAL library.  Borrowing privileges for cardholders and MURAL patrons will also be suspended when the patron has had two instances in a 12-month period during which the patron claims to have returned library materials that cannot be located by library staff.
  • The Library Director may revoke borrowing privileges at any time before issuing notices when abuse of borrowing privileges so warrants.
  • The Library will use any legal means to effect return of materials, including the services of a commercial collection agency and/or prosecution in municipal court under pertinent ordinances and laws.  In addition to the charges, a service fee of $35.00 is charged to the cardholder when a collection agency is utilized.

III.  Fines and Fees

Fines are charged on overdue materials for each day the Library is open, according to the fine schedule in Schedule 1, with the following exceptions:

  1. Fines are not charged for any day on which the Library has a delayed opening or early closing  due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstance;
  2. Fines are not charged on other days of inclement weather or other special circumstances at the discretion of the Library Director.

Only current paid library employees and current members of the Library Board of Trustees are exempt from paying fines on overdue materials.

DVD Rental Fees
The following categories of patron are exempt from paying fees for DVD rentals:

    1.   Current paid employees of the library
    2.   Current members of the Board of Trustees
    3.   Current officers of the Friends of the Springfield Public Library

Materials Claimed to Be Returned
When a patron notifies the Library that an item was previously returned, the Library staff will set the item to a status of “claimed returned,” and a note placed on the patron’s record. The item will continue to accrue fines, and fines will be posted on the cardholder’s account, while Library staff conduct a thorough search for the item.  Library staff will notify the cardholder of the search results within 14 days after notification either by telephone or email, depending on the patron’s previously stated preference. If the item has not been found, instead of being responsible for the overdue fine, the patron then becomes responsible for paying the replacement cost of the lost item plus a $5.00 service charge.  If the patron finds the item after having paid for it, the patron is then permitted to keep that item.  Only the Library Director is authorized to waive replacement and processing fees in circumstances in which the cardholder claims the materials have been returned but cannot be located within the Library.

Lost Materials
Once a patron has received three (3) overdue notices and has failed to respond, that item is considered to be lost and the patron will be held responsible for the price of the item plus a $5.00 processing fee.

IV.    Borrowing Records
The Library does not maintain records of what materials individuals have borrowed in the past, except when overdue fines and/or charges for lost/damaged materials have accrued or have been paid for or unless a patron has requested that this feature be activated on his or her user account.  All information on the individual cardholder is confidential, in compliance with N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2 and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:

  1. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
  2. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
  3. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order. L.1985, c. 172, 2.

See Library Policy 301 (Library Membership) section 2 regarding the confidentiality of minors’ records.

Charges for Lost, Damaged or Unreturned Materials

The Library charges the cardholder as indicated below for items damaged beyond normal use.  Patrons may keep damaged materials for which they have paid at the time the damaged item is returned.

1.  Books and ESL materials

The Library charges the cardholder the full price listed in the Library catalog or as  listed on a current Internet retail site for a new and comparably bound edition of the title plus a $5.00 processing fee for lost, damaged or unreturned books. The Library considers a book to be damaged if any part of the original book, cover or accompanying material is lost or damaged beyond normal use.  Books will  be considered damaged if they show signs of having been immersed in water, chewed by an animal, stained by food or other substances, or defaced by indelible ink, crayon, marker or paint or have missing or torn pages.  Repairs made by patrons will also render a book to be damaged beyond normal use.

2.  Magazines

The Library charges the cardholder the price listed in the Library catalog or the current retail price plus a $5.00 processing fee for lost, damaged or unreturned magazines. 

3.  Audiovisual materials in DVD, CD, CD-ROM or Playaway formats

The Library charges the cardholder the full price listed in the Library catalog or listed on a current Internet retail site plus a $5.00 processing fee for lost, damaged or unreturned items in these categories.  The Library considers any of these items to be damaged if any part of the original cover, disc, player or accompanying material is lost or damaged beyond normal use.   In the event that one or more discs has been lost or damaged in a multidisc set, the patron will be responsible for the full replacement price of the entire set.

4.    Book and CD Sets

The Library charges the cardholder the full price listed in the Library catalog or listed on a current Internet retail site plus a $5.00 processing fee for lost, damaged or unreturned book and CD sets.  The Library considers a book and CD set to be damaged if any part of the book, disc, case, original cover or original accompanying material is lost or damaged beyond normal use as spelled out in paragraph 1.

5.    Video Games and Software

The Library charges the cardholder the full price listed in the Library catalog or listed on a current Internet retail site plus a $5.00 processing fee for lost, damaged or unreturned video games and software.  The Library considers a video game or software to be damaged if any part of the disc, case, original cover or original accompanying manual or material is lost or damaged beyond normal use.

6.    Playaway Views

This category of library material may be borrowed only by cardholders who are residents of Springfield.  The library charges a replacement cost of $99.00 plus a $5.00 processing fee for lost or unreturned Playaway Views.  The fee for a lost adapter or lost orange case is $6.00.   Damage to the unit that has been caused by the patron is subject to a fee of $25.00 plus a $5.00 service charge.   Patrons will not be charged for product malfunctions of manufacturer’s origin. 

7.   No Price Available

When an item is no longer in print or available for purchase through regular retail venues, the Library Director will determine the fee by identifying the fee of a similar item as agreed to by both the Library Director and the patron.

VI.  Holds
Cardholders are encouraged to place requests for materials at any time through the library’s online catalog which can be found on the Library website, www.springfieldpubliclibrary.com.  Holds may also be placed by phoning the Circulation Department during library hours at 973-376-4930, or in person with staff assistance at the circulation desk.  Cardholders may authorize a specific person or persons to pick up requested materials by requesting that a staff member add this information to the cardholder’s account.  The authorized person(s) must present identification when picking up the cardholder’s requests.  The patron picking up the item(s) may use either his/her card or the card of the patron who placed the hold to check out the item(s) in question.  Holds can be cancelled by the cardholder by using the Library’s online catalog, by telephone or with staff assistance at the Circulation Desk.  Patrons are encouraged to cancel holds on items they no longer want or are unable to pick up.

VII.  Renewals

  • Cardholders may renew materials as set forth in Schedule 1: Loan Periods, Fees, Borrowing Limits.
  • Cardholders may renew materials at any time on the Library website, www.springfieldpubliclibrary.com, by telephone to the Circulation Department during library hours at 973-376-4930, or in the Library at a library catalog terminal or with staff assistance at the Circulation Desk.
  • The circulation system will not accept renewals on any item that already has a hold placed on it by another library patron.


This policy is issued by the Library’s Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Schedule 1 - Loan Periods, Fees, Borrowing Limits   
 Materials  Loan Period  Renewals  Rental Fee Number of Items Fine Per Day Maximum Fine Per Item
 Print   

 Adult & Children's Fiction & Nonfiction books

 28 Days  2  None No Limit 10 cents $10.00

Springfield Public Schools Summer Reading List Books

14 Days None None 2 25 cents $10.00

Adult Dept. New Books

14 Days 1 for New books; 0 for "Lucky Day None no limit for New; 1 for "Lucky Day" 25 cents $10.00

"Lucky Day" Books

14 Days 0 None 1 50 cents $10.00

Paperback Books

28 Days 2 None no limit 10 cents $10.00

Magazines

14 Days 0 None no limit 25 cents $5.00

Interlibrary Loans

Depends on Individual Item Depends on Policy of Lending Library None At discretion of Reference Staff 25 cents $25.00

ESL Materials

28 Days 2 None no limit 10 cents $10.00

Non-Print

Audiobooks (CDs & Playaways) 14 Days 2 None no limit 25 cents $20.00
Music CDs 14 Days 1 None no limit 25 cents $10.00
DVDs with total playing time of up to 3 hours 7 Days 0 $1.00 no limit $1.00 $20.00
DVDs with total playing time of 3+ hours 14 Days 0 $1.00 no limit $1.00 $20.00
Book and CD Sets 14 Days 1 None no limit 25 cents $20.00
Video Games & Software 14 Days 0 None 4 $1.00 $25.00
Playaway Views 14 Days, Springfield Residents only 0 None 1 $2.00 $25.00

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