Library Cards

Circulation of Library Materials

In order to provide for the efficient and equitable circulation of materials, the Library sets the following policies regarding borrowing eligibility; length of loan for various materials; limits on the number of items that can be borrowed; renewals, reserves, interlibrary loan; overdue materials charges; and damage and replacement assessments.

Further, the Library utilizes an automated circulation system to maintain, monitor, and report circulation statistics, overdue notices, billings and balances, user registration records, and inventory control.

Intellectual Freedom Statement (American Library Association)

Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.

Library Card Eligibility & Registration

Anyone who is at least 4 years of age who is living, working (must show proof of employment), or attending school (must show school ID) in Ohio, and anyone who owns property in Gallia County, Ohio (must show proof of property ownership) may apply for a FREE Library card by registering at the circulation desk or with the mobile service department of the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library. In addition, residents of the bordering county of Mason, West Virginia are eligible to apply for a free Library card.

When applying for a card, the applicant must provide two acceptable forms of identification. One must be a photo ID or valid state-issued ID; one must contain applicant’s current mailing address, as the Library will MAIL the card to the patron.

Acceptable examples of identification

Driver's License or State-issued ID card * Valid Passport * School or Work ID with photo * Utility bill * Vehicle registration * Postmarked mailing * Printed personal check with address

Minors may obtain a Library card with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Guidelines for Minors (Under the Age of 18) to Receive a Library Card:

A.  The parent/guardian must present valid ID and verification of address as listed above.

B.  The parent/guardian must have “proof of child”. 

C.  The parent/guardian's signature must be on the application.

Acceptable verification of existence of the child includes:

Presence of child  *  Birth Certificate of child  *  Current school report card of child  * Current immunization record of child * Social Security card of child  * Medical card of child

Minors Obtaining Library Cards Through Classroom Visit

If the Library partners with the area school systems to register minors for Library cards, the following steps will be taken:

A. Library applications will be sent to the classroom teacher at the school.

B. This classroom teacher sends the application home with the minor child to be signed by the parent/guardian and returned to the school.  The teacher then verifies the information and the signature and returns the application to the Library.  

C. The Library card is mailed to the household to the attention of the parent/guardian.  Also including in this mailing will be a copy of the Library’s circulation policy as well as other Library-related information.

If a child borrows something from the Library which that child’s parent/guardian believes is inappropriate, the parents are encouraged to return the item and make use of the expertise of a librarian to locate materials they prefer.

Teacher Collection Card

Teachers and school librarians who reside or are employed within Gallia County at public or private schools, as defined by the Ohio Department of Education, are eligible for a Teacher / School Librarian Collection Card, provided they meet all the requirements to obtain a regular Library card account.  Books, Audiobooks, and magazines for educational use may be checked out on this card.  Up to 35 items may be checked out for six weeks with no renewals (applicable fines accrue thereafter).  Library collections are limited in some areas of interest.  In these areas, the Library reserves the right to limit the number of books borrowed on a subject to assure that information about that subject is available for other borrowers

Use of Library Card

A borrower’s card must be presented each time a user wishes to borrow Library materials.   In the event a patron forgets his or her Library card, they will be permitted to check out items after providing a valid state-issued ID containing their name and address, which matches the personal information in the Library's patron database, or if the staff person checking out the patron can personally verify who they are. Library cards that are presented in worn condition will be replaced for free; lost Library cards can be replaced for $1.00.  An adult patron must present his or her library card, valid state-issued ID, or be personally known by the Library Staff before a replacement card will be issued.   The parent or guardian of a juvenile Library patron must be present and show his or her Library card, or valid state-issued ID, or be personally known by the Library staff member before a juvenile replacement card will be issued. 

Patrons may not use another patron’s Library card to check out Library materials.

The registered borrower is solely responsible for fines/charges for the late return, loss, and/or damage to material borrowed on his/her library card account.

The parent/guardian of a minor (age 17 and under) is solely responsible for fines/charges for the late return, loss, and/or damage to material borrowed with the Library card of the minor.

First-time patrons can check out a maximum of three (3) items on their first visit.  The new Library card will be mailed to the address of residence provided. 

Once patrons have received their Library card in the mail, they are limited to 50 items on their Library card at any one time.

Lost library cards should be reported at once by phoning the Library.  The patron is responsible for materials checked out up to the time the card is reported to the Library as lost or stolen.

A Bossard Library card account that has had no activity for three (3) or more years will automatically be purged from the system, provided the account holder has returned all Library items and does not owe funds to the Library.

Loan Periods and Renewals

All materials have a loan period of fourteen (14) days* with the exceptions of DVDs, which have a seven (7) day loan period, and bicycles, which have a three-hour loan period.  

*In order to provide library patrons with more equitable service in terms of the mobile hotspot lending program, the loan period for the patron’s hotspot will be designated as 14 days or 90 days and will be assigned randomly based on the specific hotspot available at the time the patron’s hold request is filled.

There will be a grace period of seven (7) days on overdue Library materials EXCEPT for those in the following categories, which have no grace period: 

Bikes, Mobile Hotspots, Launchpads, and Board Games.

Overdue fines on all materials, with the exception of bikes, begin accruing once the checkout period and/or seven-day grace period have expired.

Items may be renewed two (2) times, unless on reserve for another borrower, with the following exceptions which have NO RENEWALS:

DVDs, Bikes, Mobile Hotspots, Launchpads, and Board Games.

Materials presented for renewal that have patron reserves on them must be returned immediately.  

Patrons are responsible to return items on time or renew their items.  Renewal requests can be made by telephone, in person, or through the Library website via the patron’s account.   A receipt of items borrowed from the Library with their corresponding due dates will be provided to the patron.

Reserves & InterLibrary Loans

All Library materials, with the exception of Reference, Genealogical/Rare Book collections, and special collections, such as bicycles and board games may be placed on reserve.  The borrower is notified by mail, e-mail, or phone as soon as the reserved material is available for borrowing.  Note that patrons will be notified by PHONE ONLY when their mobile hotspot hold is ready for retrieval at which time they will have 48 hours from the time of this notification call to check out the hotspot, after such time it will be released to another patron. This hold period may be extended, at the discretion of the Library, due to Library hours of operation.

For all other Library materials, the borrower has ten (10) days to pick up the reserved item for checkout.

A patron is limited to ten (10) reserves (combination of held/active) on their card at any one time.  These ten (10) reserves include both Bossard Library and interlibrary loan reserves.  Reserves may be placed on materials by visiting the Library/Bookmobile in person, by phone, or via online patron account.  When feasible, interlibrary loan reserves will be tracked in the patron note field in the Polaris automation system.

At the time a patron’s reserve becomes available, if he/she is unable to visit the Library to checkout this item(s), he/she may designate on his/her account one individual (who must be a registered borrower in good standing) who is permitted to “pick-up” the reserved item(s), unless item is a mobile hotspot or Launchpad.  The authorized registered borrower who is physically checking the item(s) out  must use his/her card and assume liability for any and all items borrowed on his/her card.

Any type of item or particular subject area may be limited or placed on in-house reserve at the discretion of the Library.

Interlibrary loans, defined as requests by patrons of Bossard Memorial Library for materials from other library systems, shall be limited to no more than eight (8) requests per patron per month.  Patrons are responsible for returning these items on time, or if allowable, for renewing these items. 


Patrons are welcome to request Library materials for Library purchase.  Patrons are limited to one new request per week.  The request will be reviewed based on a number of criteria including scope, currency, price, and value to the collection.  Selection is an inclusive process, where the Library affirmatively seeks out materials which will serve its mission of providing a broad diversity of points of view and subject matter.  Backordered requests will be kept for a period of up to three (3) months (record of request to be kept on patron’s Polaris account note field).  The Library staff will attempt to contact the patron as to the availability of the requested item.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

In order to use the online services provided by the Library and to manage an online patron account, patrons will need to establish a PIN.  Library staff at either the Circulation Desk or Reference Desk can assist the patron in establishing a PIN in the Library’s automation system(s).  Changes to PINs must be made in person at the Library after the patron has provided his or her library card, valid state-issued ID, or is personally known by the Library staff member.  Patrons can also change their PIN by logging onto their online Library account.

Patron Reading List

The Library does not automatically keep a history of returned items that were once borrowed on a patron’s account.  If a patron wants to activate their personal “reading history list” in the Library’s database, he or she must log in to his or her personal account through the Library's online catalog to activate this setting on the account.


The Library will send a first overdue notice by either U.S. Mail, email and/or text message, depending on patron preference.   The second and third overdue notices, as well as the billing notice will only be sent via email and/or text message.  Patrons will be asked to provide their email address and/or cell phone number and carrier information in order to receive notices by email and/or text.  The patron is responsible for applicable text messaging charges from their respective cell phone carrier.  Reserve notices can be mailed via U. S. Mail, email, or text message.  Notices for Library reserves will be mailed daily with the exception of Sundays and holidays.  Three notices will be sent to delinquent borrowers.   The first overdue notice will be sent at one (1) day.  The second notice will be sent at eight (8) days overdue.  At the 22nd day overdue, a third notice will be sent that states that the patron is blocked due to having “long overdue” items.  At 180 days overdue, a billing notice for the item(s) will be generated and emailed to the patron.  In turn, the item(s) will turn to “lost” status in the system after both overdue notices and the bill have been sent.    Due to the Patron Confidentiality Law, the notice may not list titles of overdue items.  If a patron requires title information regarding the overdue, he/she may call the circulation desk.  The patron will be required to provide his/her Library barcode number and contact information before title listing will be released.  Patrons are encouraged to retain the receipt provided at time of checkout (see "Wi-Fi To Go: Mobile Hotspot Lending Policy" for notification procedure of hotspot holds). 

Fines on Overdues

Overdue fines accrue on overdue items at the rate of $0.10 per day per item* (for DVDs $.25 per day per item) up to the lesser of: the replacement cost of the item or the amount due at the time the item turns to lost status in the automation system. The replacement cost of the item is determined by the Library's inventory database. An item is not officially "checked-in" until all parts of the item have been returned (i.e. DVD with case, CD with jewel case, CDs, DVDs included). The patron is responsible for returning the item with all related content

If the patron returns the item(s) and pays the associated overdue fines of the item, the Library will waive the replacement charge on the item. At the point the patrons pays the "replacement" cost of the item, he/she has purchased the item and is entitled to keep the item and the overdue fines are waived.

If an item goes to overdue status following the grace period prior to the patron's renewal of the item, the patron is responsible for any fines that may have accrued up until the time of renewal.

*See overdue rates for special collections under specific policies for Book-a-Bike, Launchpads, Board Games, and Mobile Hotspots.

 Patron Account Suspension

Patron privileges (including both borrowing and Internet privileges) will be suspended when:

  1. A calculated charge of any amount is owed on the account.
  2. A patron has overdue items on his/her account that have gone to either “long overdue” (defined as 22 days overdue) or “lost” status.
  3. The Library receives “returned mail” due to an “address correction needed” status on a mailing from the Library.  Patron must notify Library of current address upon return to Library before account will be unsuspended.
  4. There are special issues regarding the patron’s account that needs to be addressed or clarified by Library management.
  5. The patron has an overdue mobile hotspot. The patron will be blocked from checking out additional items until the mobile hotspot is returned and any resulting overdue fines have been paid.

​​Chronic failure to pay fines, losing Library materials without replacement, or continual abuse of borrowing privileges may result in the suspension of  a patron's borrowing privileges, pursuant to the discretion of the Director.   When Staff becomes aware of such situations, they should advise their supervisor, who, along with the Director will determine a course of action based upon their discretion.             

A patron with suspended privileges may NOT use the Library card of another individual or family member to evade the effect of the suspended privileges.

A library patron may access the Library's digital content regardless of whether the patron has "blocks" on his or her library card account.

 Claimed Returned and Claimed Never Had Items

Patrons are allowed only three current ‘claimed returned items’ or ‘claim never had items’ on their account at any time.  If a patron claims that an item has been returned or that they never had the item, the Library Staff will check the shelf for the item.  If the item claimed to be returned or never had is not located within six months of the claim date, the material will turn to a lost status and the patron is responsible for paying to replace it.  As a reminder, patrons can obtain a receipt of items on his/her record at the time of return and/or checkout.  If the patron does return an item that was previously set to “Claim Returned” or “Claim Never Had”, he/she will be responsible for any fines that would have accrued had the item never been set to claim returned or claim never had.