Circulation Policy


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. It is recommended children be 5 years old to receive a Library card. A parent or guardian’s permission and signature is required for all patrons under the age of 16. The following are acceptable proof of name/identification: driver’s license, passport, state ID, 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.  There is no longer a list of unacceptable forms of ID.  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. Before renewal, patrons must clear all outstanding fines. The lending of Library cards is not recommended.

Responsibility for the reading, listening, viewing and borrowing of materials by children and young adults, as well as for their use of the Library, rests with the parents or legal guardian.  It is recommended that children of divorced parents use the library card of the parent which they visit the library with, or the parents must decide who is legally responsible for the child’s card.

Parents and legal guardians have the right to request that their child, under the age of 18, not be allowed to borrow R-rated materials or “Parental advisory: explicit content” labels on music CDs. A Parental Request Form must be completed. A special note is then assigned on the block page of a patron’s record. All staff will be notified of restriction.


A patron who has forgotten his/her card may check out materials at the staff’s discretion. If a patron loses a Library card twice in one year, there may be a replacement fee of $2.00.


  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. Elsie Seibert (green label) copies circulate for 7 days.  A 14 day loan period copy is also available for each Elsie Seibert title.  The Elsie Seibert loan period may be changed at library staff’s discretion.
    2. New adult fiction and nonfiction may circulate for 14 days or 28 days.
    3. Children’s holiday books circulate for 14 days.
  2. Videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs
    1. Adult feature and children’s videos and DVDs circulate for 7 days.  Elsie Seibert (green label) copies also circulate for 7 days, but may not be renewed.
    2. Non feature DVDs circulate for 7 or 28 days, for longer DVDs.
    3. Computer software cartridges or CD-ROMs circulate for 14 days.
      1. The Black Earth Library accepts no responsibility for damage to personal computer equipment, audio equipment or software caused by the use of library materials. Some CD-ROM products, during installation or use, may automatically load software or alter existing software. Library patrons should consider backing up system or other files before using any CD-ROM software.
      2. The Library does not provide technical assistance for hardware or software use.
  3. Reference books do not circulate. Upon request, some reference items may be checked out overnight, or for a period at the discretion of library staff.
  4. Renewals may be made by phone, via the individual's library account in LinkCat, or in person.


  1. There is an overall card limit of 100 items (under special circumstances, staff may override).
  2. Four DVDs may be checked out per visit, which can be exceeded at the library staff's discretion.
  3. Occasionally materials may be limited at the discretion of the staff.


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.

An additional extensive interlibrary loan (ILL) 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 place requests for items available in Wisconsin. If, however, the item is not available in Wisconsin, but is available out of state, Library staff may contact the requester and see if they are willing to pay the postage to return the item.

Due dates for materials are set by the Lending Library and are rarely negotiable. Patrons borrowing materials must abide by the due date and any other restrictions placed on the item by the Lending Library.


Patron will be held responsible to owning library for missing or damaged items.

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.

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:

  1. Return this Interlibrary Loan item on or before the due date to the library that you borrowed it from.
  2. Do not remove any paper work from the item.


All employees of LINK libraries who have a STF PTYPE (Staff) are expected to abide by the parameters set for it. If an employee uses his staff privileges and ability to override blocks, waive fines or otherwise provide special treatment (for himself, 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.

Staff Card Parameters:

This PTYPE has certain parameters assigned to it: the fine rate is $0.00, a maximum of 100 items can be checked out at any one time, and there may be a maximum of 25 items overdue at any one time. In addition, there is a limit of 4 claims Returned or Lost Items, a maximum of $2.00 of unpaid fines, and a maximum of 75 unfilled holds at any time.


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