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In accordance with Article V of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Amherst Town Library does not restrict access to any materials on the basis of a person’s gender, color, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation or age. Free and open access to the total library is essential to the role of the public library.
The Amherst Town Library adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and makes every attempt to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities with regard to use of the library facility, participation in library activities, and attendance at library programs.
Responsibilities of Cardholder
Library cardholders are financially responsible for all items checked out on their card. Library users are expected to treat the library facility, equipment, and materials carefully and respectfully. Materials should be returned to the library in the condition in which they were borrowed.
It is also the responsibility of cardholders to keep their patron record accurate and up-to-date. Changes of name, phone number and address should be reported to library staff or updated through the “my account” feature of the online catalog. Institutional cardholders should provide an updated list of valid users each year.
Library Card Eligibility
All residents of Amherst are eligible for a free library card. Residents are those who, regardless of age, identify Amherst as their legal domicile, or own property within the town boundaries. Proof of residency is required to obtain a resident library card.
Nonresident library cards are available at no charge to people working in the Town of Amherst and students who are attending school in Amherst. Student cards are valid year-round until graduation. Proof of employment or enrollment is required.
Institutional library cards are available to educational organizations within the Town of Amherst at the discretion of the library director.
Additionally, nonresidents who do not work or go to school in Amherst may purchase a library card for an annual fee. (see appendix C)
All library cards receive the same benefits and levels of service regardless of resident or nonresident status.
Checking out Materials
Most library materials are available to be checked out for home use. Exceptions include: items in the reference collection, newspapers, the most recent edition of magazines, materials in the Archive Room, and projectors (see Equipment Loan procedure). Items circulate for a specified period based on their format, content and demand. (see appendix B)
A valid library card must be presented to check out materials. (see appendix A)
Materials may be renewed once or twice (depending on collection) as long as they have not been requested by another patron. Renewals may be placed in person, by phone, or electronically through the Online Catalog. Patrons with excessive fines may not renew items online.
Library cardholders will be held financially responsible for materials checked out on their card which are lost or damaged to the extent that they will not remain in the library’s collection. Cardholders will be required to refund the library for the cost of the item, as well as a processing fee (appendix C).
Items which are damaged but repairable may be assessed a materials fee at the discretion of the library staff. When the library is able to replace a part of a lost or damaged item (ex. One disc of an audiobook), the patron will be assessed a charge based on the replacement fee rather than the purchase price of the entire item.
At the discretion of the Library Director, the library will accept replacements in lieu of payment for lost or damaged materials. Lost charges for items which are later found and returned will only be refunded at the discretion of the Library Director/ Department Heads.
Patrons may place requests on library materials that are in use, in person, by phone or through the online catalog. Requests will be met in the order in which they were placed. Items that are checked in, may be requested by phone or email. When a patron fails to retrieve a requested item that is available within a reasonable period of time (Appendix B), the library reserves the right to pass the item on to the next patron on the request list or return the item to the shelf.
Library materials may be returned in the library (during open hours), in the bookdrop (during closed hours) or to another GMILCS library (Appendix D). Interlibrary loans must be returned to the Amherst Town Library.
Patrons will be assessed fines for failing to return library materials on or before their due date. (see appendix C)
Library User Records
In accordance with NH RSA 91-A:5 and RSA 201-D:11, library user records are confidential. The Amherst Town Library will not divulge titles that are currently checked out, items that are overdue, or materials that have been requested to anyone other than the library cardholder without the express permission of the cardholder.
Common Borrower Card
The Amherst Town Library has entered a reciprocal borrowing agreement with other libraries within the GMILCS consortium. The agreement enables Amherst Town Library cardholders to check items out from the other libraries in the consortium. Libraries may choose to limit access to certain collections. A valid library card must be presented to use the service. The policies of the lending library will prevail so patrons should be aware that loan periods, fine schedules, etc. may differ from those at the Amherst Town Library. Items may be returned and fines may be paid at any participating libraries. Reparations for lost or damaged items should be made with the owning library.
Valid card – an Amherst Town Library card which is not expired and does not have excessive fines
Excessive fines – overdue fines/ fees in excess of $3.00, any charges for lost/ damaged material
Overdue – the status of library materials that were not returned before the library opens on the day following the Due Date or renewed by midnight on the due date
Books – 14
fiction, fiction videos and DVDs – may
be renewed once
Requested items will be held at the circulation desk:
fiction, fiction videos, CDs – 2 days
maximums – overdue
fines accrue up to a maximum per item cap
Magazines – $5
All other items – retail purchase price of the item