Circulation Policy

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Circulation Policy

Lincoln Library offers borrowing privileges and provides access to materials in a variety of formats. Lincoln Library cardholders apply for the privilege to borrow materials from the Library. All applicants must provide photo identification and proof of residence in the corporate limits of the City of Springfield, or as otherwise indicated, in order to be issued a library card. Examples of appropriate documents are available upon request. All visitors and cardholders must conform to the rules and regulations of Lincoln Library. All cards issued by Lincoln Library remain the property of the library and may be invalidated for the violation of any policy.


Resident Account - For individuals aged five and older who currently reside within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield.

  • Juvenile residents under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who provides written consent and guaranty.

Temporary Resident Account - For individuals aged five and older who currently reside at a temporary residence or location within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield.

  • Juvenile temporary residents under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who provides written consent and guaranty.

Non-Resident - Springfield Corporate Limits Property Taxpayer Account - For adults who do not live in but own property within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield.

  • Lincoln Library issues a free library card to a non-resident adult owning property within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield per the specifications of the Illinois Local Library Act – 75 ILCS 5/4-7(12) and the Illinois Administrative Code – 23 ILAC Sec. 3050.70: “The non-resident fee shall not apply to a non-resident who, as an individual or as a partner, principal stockholder, or other joint owner, owns or leases property that is taxed for library service or is a senior administrative officer of a firm, business, or other corporation owning taxable property within the district, upon presentation of the most recent tax bill on that taxable property.”

Non-Resident - Non-Springfield Corporate Limit Residents Account - For non-residents within the State of Illinois who do not reside or own property within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield or any other public library service area.

  • Lincoln Library issues a library card for an annual fee to non-residents per the specifications of the Illinois Administrative Code – 23 ILAC Sec 3050.25(a): “A non-resident shall apply for a non-resident library card at the closest public library. The factor for determining the closest public library shall be the residence of the non-resident.  Non-residents shall apply at the participating public library in the school district in which the non-resident has his or her principal residence unless, due to the commonality of community interests, library services at another library that is physically closer may better serve the needs of the non-resident.” Exceptions are set by Illinois Local Library Act – 75 ILCS 5/4-7(8) and the Illinois Administrative Code – 23 ILAC Sec. 3050.80.
  • The non-resident library card fee will be set by the Lincoln Library Board of Trustees each year with the cost to be determined according to the General Mathematical Formula established by the Illinois State Library per the Illinois Administrative Code – 23 ILAC 3050.60(a).
  • Non-Residents under age 18 – At the February 28, 2024 board meeting, the Lincoln Library Board of Trustees voted to adopt Public Act 102-0843, which allows library boards to provide non-resident cards at no cost to unserved residents under 18 years of age. This public act pertains to all individuals under age 18 that reside outside of the corporate limits of the City of Springfield and reside within School District 186, or where Lincoln Library is the nearest library to their residence.

Reciprocal Account - For individuals aged five and older who hold a valid borrower’s card from any Illinois public library.

  • Lincoln Library issues a library account to eligible borrowers connected to the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) or Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC). Agreements available upon request.
  • Reciprocal access does not include electronic resources. There are no additional restrictions on the type or amount of materials that may be directly borrowed, except for the same restrictions that apply to Lincoln Library cardholders.

eCard Account - For individuals aged 16 or older who are eligible for a Resident, Non-Resident Taxpayer card, or Non-Springfield Corporate Limit Non-Resident account but do not want to use physical library materials.

  • eCards may be used for all of Lincoln Library’s online resources, including databases and eBooks. eCards do not allow borrowing of physical materials. eCards may be upgraded to a standard card provided the necessary identification and documents are shown in person.

Student eCard Account - For eligible individuals connected with schools located within the geographical boundaries of Springfield School District 186. Agreement available upon request.


Anyone who believes that they have been unfairly denied an account or has their account revoked may appeal the decision within five days of the actual notice of the denial or revocation. Such appeal shall be made in writing to the Library Director and shall include the appellant’s mailing address and any supporting documents the appellant wishes the Library Director to consider.

The Library Director may, at their sole discretion and after reviewing the pertinent facts, deny the request, grant the request in full, or grant the request based on any terms or conditions. The Library Director will inform the appellant of the decision in writing within 30 days of the appeal by mailing the decision to the mailing address provided by the appellant.

If the appellant wishes to appeal the Library Director’s decision the appellant must deliver a written notice of such appeal to the Library Director within 30 days of the date the Library Director’s decision was mailed to the appellant. The Library Director will notify the appellant of the time and place of the meeting where the appeal will be heard by the Lincoln Library Board of Trustees.

All appeal rights are waived unless the appellant satisfies the timelines set forth in this section.


Current Lincoln Library cardholders who have no more than one lost or damaged Lincoln Library-owned item with a cost of less than $75 on their account are considered to be in good standing and may check out library material.

Cardholders may choose to opt-in to receive notifications about materials. Notifications are sent as a courtesy only. Cardholders are responsible for returning material and picking up material “On Hold” on time regardless of whether or not the notification is received.


Lincoln Library cardholders are given a PIN to access their account remotely and/or use the library’s public computers. Cardholders may change a PIN in person by providing photo identification. Juvenile cardholders must be present to change a PIN on their account. Cardholders may also change their PIN online, if the current PIN is provided. If a cardholder has forgotten their PIN, it may be given via telephone or email if the cardholder provides their name, address, library card number, and birth date.


Each cardholder is responsible for the possession and use of their library card. Library cards are not transferable. Each cardholder must present their own library card or photo identification in order to check out library material.

  • Items “On Hold” may be picked up by any individual with the requesting cardholder’s library card.

All material checked out on a library card is the responsibility of the registered cardholder and/or the parent or legal guardian as signed on the guarantee.


A cardholder may check out up to a total of 75 items. Limits for types of material within the 75 item maximum are available upon request. Once a cardholder reaches the maximum limit(s) they will not be allowed to check out more material until some of the items are returned.


The loan period for most Lincoln Library material is 14 days, with some exceptions.

  • Reference materials and Sangamon Valley Collection materials may not be checked out.
  • Extension Services cardholders may have items for an extended period based on delivery frequency.

Cardholders may ask for up to 2 extended loans per year.

  • Extended loans are for 56 days and are limited to certain material.
  • Additional extended loans for the same material will not be granted.

Interlibrary loan items are subject to the same loan periods as Lincoln Library-owned material.

Eligible items will be automatically renewed up to a total of three times. Cardholders may opt-out of automatic renewals. Items may also be renewed manually in a variety of ways as long as the individual requesting the renewal provides the cardholder’s library card number. Items that will not be renewed include:

  • Any item requested by another cardholder
  • Select non-traditional materials.

Items are always due back on a day that Lincoln Library is open, and may be returned inside or in any of the book drops (locations available upon request).


Overdue - Borrowed material that has not been returned by the due date and has not yet aged to “Lost” status.
Lost - Borrowed material that has been overdue for more than 60 days or that cannot be found and returned by the cardholder.
Damaged - Material that has been returned and is determined by the library to be unusable.


Lost - Charge for items that have been overdue at least 60 days or that cannot be returned. Cardholders will be charged the list price at the time of purchase. If no list price can be determined a cost will be assessed based on the default price list, available upon request. Credits will be issued only for Lincoln Library-owned material that was paid for and then returned within 120 days of the item’s due date and are determined by the library to be undamaged.
Damaged - Material that has been returned and determined by the library to be unusable. Cardholders will be charged at the sole discretion of Lincoln Library. Damage is considered accidental unless there is reason to suspect otherwise. A visitor or cardholder found destroying library material will be charged the full replacement cost and all library privileges may be suspended pending legal action.
Collections - An account will be sent to a collection agency if it has charges totaling $75 or more. A non-refundable $10 fee will be added to a cardholder’s account if it is sent to the collection agency. The collection agency does not submit to any credit reporting agency.


Pursuant to the Illinois Local Library Act – 75 ILCS 70/1 et seq.

  • For the purpose of this section:
    • “Library” means any Illinois public library, including Lincoln Library.
    • “Registration records” includes any information a library requires a person to provide in order for that person to become eligible to borrow books and other materials.
    • “Circulation records” includes all information identifying the individual borrowing particular books or materials.
  • The registration and circulation records of a library are confidential information. No person shall publish or make any information contained in such records available to the public unless:
    • required to do so under a court order; or
    • the information is requested by a sworn law enforcement officer who represents that it is impractical to secure a court order as a result of an emergency where the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of physical harm. The information requested must be limited to identifying a suspect, witness, or victim of a crime. The information requested without a court order may not include the disclosure of registration or circulation records that would indicate materials borrowed, resources reviewed, or services used at the library. If requested to do so by the library, the requesting law enforcement officer must sign a form acknowledging the receipt of the information. A library providing the information may seek subsequent judicial review to assess compliance with this Section.
      • This subsection shall not alter any right to challenge the use or dissemination of patron information that is otherwise permitted by law.
      • Nothing shall be construed as a privacy violation or a breach of confidentiality if a library provides information to a law enforcement officer under this section.
  • This section does not prevent a library from publishing or making available to the public reasonable statistical reports regarding library registration and book circulation where those reports are presented so that no individual is identified therein.

Disclosure of Confidential Information

  • Only the Library Director and the Access Services Manager are authorized to accept and respond to court orders or other requests for circulation or registration records.
  • Except as provided for in the previous sections, circulation information about specific materials will only be released to the library cardholder who presents their library card or proof of identification. Telephone inquiries will only be answered if the customer affirms their identity and provides name, address, birth date, and library card number matching the account data. Upon request, an item and title list may be emailed or mailed to the cardholder at the address listed in the customer account.
    • A parent/legal guardian may be told how many items are checked out on a juvenile card, the item barcodes, and when the items are due, but titles will not be revealed.
    • Patrons may only pay fees on another’s or a juvenile’s account if they have the cardholder’s library card and can provide the cardholder’s name. When fees are paid on another’s or juvenile’s account, patrons will receive a printout of payment type and amount only. Upon request, the detailed payment receipt will be mailed to the address of the cardholder.
  • Lincoln Library will report possible violations of child pornography laws or any other laws to the extent required by such laws. Lincoln Library expressly reserves its protection from liability for good faith disclosures made in accordance with applicable laws.

X. RESTRICTED ACCESS – Lincoln Library occasionally acquires materials that may be available to the public on a limited or restricted case-by-case basis as follows:

Public Records – Documents issued by governmental agencies with access covered by the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
Private Records – Private, non-governmental records (i.e. correspondence, club minutes, diaries, journals, etc.) with access treated on an individual basis or negotiated with the donor.
Electronic Resources – Electronic databases subscribed to by Lincoln Library with access covered by individual agreements with each company are restricted to certain cardholders.


Lincoln Library reserves the right to modify or amend this policy at any time, subject to the approval of the Lincoln Library Board of Trustees.

Approved by Lincoln Library Board February 2024

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