Circulation Policy






The library is a member of the South Central Library System (SCLS) and adheres to the agreements made with this consortium.

This policy applies to the general public, staff, board members, Friends of the Black Earth Public Library, and volunteers.  It is designed to ensure that all users have equitable access to the services and materials regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.



All patrons must be registered and have a Library card to borrow materials. Library cards are free and are issued to residents of the Village of Black Earth and surrounding Dane County.  A parent or guardian’s permission and signature is required for all patrons under the age of 16.

Cards are accepted at all SCLS member libraries and at libraries with reciprocal borrowing agreements with SCLS.

Adult residents can apply for a card by completing the following steps:

1. Complete application.

2. Present acceptable photo and address identification that lists their name and current address.

The following are acceptable proof of name/identification: driver’s license, passport, state ID, Wisconsin Heights student ID, credit card with photo, military ID.  The following are acceptable for proof of address; driver’s license, state ID, hunting/fishing license, checkbook, utility bills, lease, current mail postmarked with date delivered within 30 days.  If the patron does not have proof of address, a picture ID is required and the library will mail the card to be used as proof of address.

Library cards are renewable every 4 years.  Cards not used in a two year time period will be purged.


A child that resides in two households may only have one library card. The parent or guardian of the household of primary residence provides address verification per above guidelines.



A patron who has forgotten their card may present photo identification as outlined above. If no photo identification is available, the patron may check out materials at the staff’s discretion. Lost cards can be replaced free of charge. Photo identification must be presented in order to replace a lost card.




  1. Most books and audio books circulate for 28 days and may be renewed if there is not a reserve list. The following are exceptions:
    1. Browsing “Lucky Day” copies circulate for 7 days. Other loan periods may be used on browsing materials at library director’s discretion.
    2. New adult fiction and nonfiction may circulate for 14 days or 28 days, at library director’s discretion.
    3. Children’s holiday books circulate for 14 days.
  2. DVDs
    1. Adult feature and children’s DVDs circulate for 7 days. Adult non-feature DVDs (i.e. nonfiction DVDs) may circulation for up to 28 days, at library director’s discretion.
    2. There is no limit on the number of DVDs a person may check out at one time, however, the library’s online circulation system may place limits on the number of items checked out to a single library card.

3.    Reference materials

Upon request, some non-circulating reference items may be checked out overnight, or another loan period, as authorized by library staff.

4.   Renewals may be made by phone, through LINKcat, or in person.

5. Materials are overdue if not received by closing on the date due. Items returned to the library book drop after hours will be backdated the following morning to the previous date.  The library does not charge daily fines on items checked out at the Black Earth Public Library, with exceptions made for some items, which will be outlined in library policies related to those items.  Any items checked out at other libraries may incur overdue fines if that library issues daily overdue fines.

6. Library users will receive an overdue notice when items are 7 days and 14 days late. An advanced notice email may be sent two days prior to items being due with a valid email address. Library users may opt out of email notification.

7. Materials that are 29 days overdue will automatically be converted to “lost”. Fees in excess of $20.00 suspend borrowing privileges of the library user. Materials must be returned or lost fees paid to resume card privileges.

8. Library users who believe the overdue material was returned can request a Claims Returned Form (See attached Claims Returned Form) be submitted. South Central Library System allows three Claims Returned submissions per library user in a twelve-month period.

9. When checks are returned due to insufficient funds, library charges will be placed back on the patron’s account along with any bank fees that are charged to the library. Payments may be made in cash at the library or by credit card through the online catalog.



Materials not available locally may be requested and delivered via the South Central Library System delivery network. Library patrons have direct access to holdings of other SCLS libraries through LINKcat, which can be accessed either remotely or at the Library, with delivery of materials Monday-Friday.  Materials will be held for one week from the time they arrive at the Library.



  1. An additional outerlibrary loan (OLL) system is available for items not found in the South Central Library System catalog. Only Library staff may place requests for materials outside the SCLS catalog, and there is no guarantee how long it will take for an item to arrive. The Library will only place requests for items available in Wisconsin. This service is available free of charge.
  2. Due dates for materials are set by the owning library and are non-negotiable. Patrons borrowing materials must abide by the due date and any other restrictions placed on the item by the owning library.



  1. Patron will be held responsible to owning library for missing or damaged items.
  2. Library materials ordered through LINKcat may be returned at the Black Earth Public Library, or at any other public library within the South Central Library System. For convenience, an outside book drop is provided near the front of the building.
  3. Library materials ordered through Interlibrary Loan, from the Black Earth Public Library, must be returned to the Black Earth Public Library. Patrons borrowing ILL materials from outside the Library system will be provided with a bookmark which explains ILL etiquette:
  4. Return this Interlibrary Loan item on or before the due date to the library that you borrowed it from.
  5. Do not remove any paper work from the item.



All employees of LINKcat libraries who have an Adult Staff patron type are expected to abide by the parameters set for it. If an employee uses their staff privileges and ability to override blocks, waive fines or otherwise provide special treatment (for themself, family, or friends) that wouldn't be allowed for other patrons, it will be regarded as an abuse of the privilege. Special treatment includes overriding blocks that would normally prevent a patron from checking out more items; changing due dates to allow unreasonably long loan periods; overriding the hold limit; overriding the renewal limit; renewing items with holds; shuffling the hold queue.

If there is an apparent abuse of staff privileges, the staff member will be notified; the problem must be resolved within one week of the notification date. Failure to comply and resolve the issue will result in the revocation of staff card privileges.


                       Adopted by the Black Earth Public Library Board of Trustees

At an open public meeting in the Library

     August 28, 2001


Revised 12-13-04

Revised 12-20-05

Revised 2-20-06

Revised 7-20-09

Revised 7-17-2019

                                          Revised 01-17-2023