Statement of Purpose
Circulation policies are necessary to enable the maximum use of available materials for the public at large. The Thomas Memorial Library staff recognizes that part of their role as stewards is to ensure the most responsible use of materials for everyone. As such, no special privileges will be granted to any individual or class of patron.
Residents Library services are free to all Cape Elizabeth residents, property owners, students enrolled in the Cape Elizabeth school system, and all Town employees, including school faculty and staff. Borrowing privileges will be granted to residents five (5) years old and older.
Non-residents Non-residents will pay a nonrefundable annual membership fee equal to the current per capita cost per resident as set by the Town Council. They will enjoy all the privileges and services provided by the library except for reserving library facilities. Non-resident proprietors of local businesses will be given a waiver of the annual membership fee upon request. Adult children of Cape Elizabeth residents who live in a neighboring town must adhere to the regular non-resident policy stated above. The Library Director reserves the right to waive a non-resident fee.
Registration at the Thomas Memorial library allows patrons in good standing to borrow, renew and reserve books, periodicals, and audio visual materials. Reference materials do not circulate, but photocopies of reference items may be made at the going copying rate as set by the Town. Copying costs for the first ten (10) pages are waived, and charged at a reduced rate per copy after that.
Registration and Library Cards
Adult patrons are defined as any patron thirteen (13) years of age or older. Parents or legal guardians may supply the necessary proof of identity and residency for their minor children.
Applicants will be expected to produce proof of identity and residency. Identity may be established using any of the following documents containing photographs and physical information: U.S. Passport, valid state driver’s license, state or federal ID card, school ID card, U.S Military IDs. For those between the ages of 13 and 18 who cannot present a document listed above, the following will be accepted: School record or report card, clinic or doctor record, or presence of a parent or guardian with a photo ID or valid TML card. Residency may be established using any of the above documents plus: deeds, rental agreements or utility bills addressed to the applicant at a local street address. Children between the ages of five (5) and twelve (12) must have a parent’s or guardian’s acknowledgement noted on their library card application. Parents should understand that while their acknowledgement does not compromise the library’s Confidentiality Policy they remain financially responsible for all damages or losses incurred by the minor. Patrons are given a plastic library card that serves as their key to all library services:
Adult patrons must present a library card or photo ID to proceed with all circulation transactions. Child patrons must present a library card or one of the ID documents specified above.
A valid library card is defined as either: 1) the physical card as issued by the Thomas Memorial Library upon patron registration or 2) the digital card as displayed on a mobile device in a format approved by the Thomas Memorial Library. For a list of approved digital formats, please speak to a library staff person at the main circulation desk.
The library will assume that any person presenting a library card is authorized to use it, unless that card has been reported lost or stolen. Proper ID will be required in order to replace a card that has been reported lost or stolen.
Upon applying for a library card, all cardholders must sign the following statement:
- To observe all rules and policies of the library, to be responsible for all materials borrowed with my card, and to pay all fines and fees associated with its use.
- To report the loss, theft, or abuse of my card immediately. I understand that I am responsible for any items checked out on my card prior to it being reported lost.
- To report changes in my account information in a timely manner.
- That the library shall assume that any person presenting my library card is authorized to use it, unless I have reported the card lost or stolen.
- That I waive my rights of confidentiality whenever I allow another person to use my card.
A book drop is available for most returns when the library is not open.
Thomas Memorial Library Materials Borrowing Limits
No limits will be placed on the number of items that may be borrowed at one time.
Most circulating materials circulate for established loan periods which are to be based on, but may differ from, the loan periods established by the Minerva Library Consortium. Exceptions include park and museum passes, Citizen Science Kits, and special collections, among other items at the discretion of library staff. Library items borrowed via interlibrary loan are subject to applicable Minerva Library Consortium loan rules.
Renewals may be made by phone, or in person during regular Library hours, or online twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The renewal periods are based on, but may differ from, the renewal period established by the Minerva Library Consortium and in the case of interlibrary loans, set by the lending institution. Renewals are subject to demand; if another patron has placed a reserve on an item, and there are no other available copies in the Minerva catalog, or the item has reached a billed status (20 days overdue) it cannot be renewed. A patron may renew another family member’s materials, subject to the library’s policy governing confidentiality of patron records.
Lost and Damaged Materials
When a patron damages material beyond repair, loses material, or does not return material, he or she must pay to replace the item(s). The library reserves the right to purchase items in editions specific for library use. The charge will be the retail price of the material.The patron may keep the damaged material once it is paid for. As funds for lost items are immediately allocated for replacements to the collection, the library cannot refund monies paid for items found at a later date. If no price is recorded for an item, staff will consult a reliable internet source for the most current price. If an item is out of print, the patron will be charged the amount it would cost to replace the item with a similar item, to be determined by library staff based on current industry prices.
Suspension of Library Privileges
Borrowing privileges are suspended have reached the billing status as determined by the Minerva Library Consortium. For the purpose of this policy, all items not returned at the time a bill is issued shall be construed as “lost” and subject to replacement charges. Failure to pay for lost or damaged materials will result in the suspension of library privileges. Delinquent borrowers may not borrow, renew, or reserve items or request interlibrary loans until materials are either returned and fines are paid or compensation for the materials is made.
In good faith, the library allows patrons to claim up to three (3) disputed items as returned before borrowing privileges are suspended.
Patrons in good standing may reserve materials that are not immediately available. As soon as an item is available, the patron will be notified. Reserved materials will be held no more than one (1) week during which the library will contact the patron via email and/or by phone one (1) time. Failure to pick up an item or to respond to the notification will result in the patron being removed from the reserve list for that item. Patrons may initiate a request for the item again. There is a limit of fifteen (15) items that may be reserved at one time. Patrons who are away from Cape Elizabeth for an extended period will be removed from reserve lists.
For items outside the scope of the library’s collection, interlibrary loan is available through the Minerva Library Consortium or from other libraries outside of the consortium (OCLC). The library will make every reasonable effort to obtain these materials for all registered patrons in good standing. Patrons can place interlibrary loan requests in person, through the library’s online catalog, or by phone.
A patron can only pick up another family member’s materials, including interlibrary loans, by presenting the library card associated with the hold in hand. The library will assume that any person presenting a library card is authorized to use it.
Interlibrary Loan: Lost and Damaged Materials
When a patron damages material beyond repair, loses material, or does not return material, they must pay to replace the item(s). For items in print, replacement costs are confirmed with the lending institution. For out of print items, replacement costs either follow a set schedule if they are loaned through Maine InfoNet or by the lending library, if loaned by a library outside of the consortium. Failure to pay for lost or damaged materials will result in the suspension of library privileges. Delinquent borrowers may not borrow, renew, or reserve items or request interlibrary loans until materials are either returned or compensation for the materials is made. If the library is directly billed by another library for an item and pays the fine to the lending institution, the patron is responsible for all replacement costs to the library and their account is suspended until all fines are paid, return of the item will no longer clear any fees that have been assessed.
Revised: March 2022
Voted for recommendation of approval by the TML Committee on: March 3, 2022
Amended by the Town Council Effective Date: November 14, 2022
Adopted by the Town Council Effective Date: November 15, 2022
Policy Review: This policy shall be reviewed at least every 5 years