General Operations

Circulation Services

1.        Eligibility for free service. Any resident of Maquoketa or of rural Jackson County who is 12 years of age or older is eligible for an adult library card at the Maquoketa Public Library. In addition, any Iowa resident who is eligible for a card from any Open Access Library in the state may receive service according to the statewide Open Access contract.

2.        Paid service. Residents of municipalities in Jackson County that have no library and no contract in effect with the Jackson County Library Association must purchase a card by paying the yearly fee set by the above association. Cities that normally reimburse their citizens for such cards may be billed directly by the Library.

3.        Registration. Patrons must verify the information on their registration cards one to three years to be considered current. New registrants will be required to present some form of identification that carries their name and current address.

4.        Temporary Card. As part of the application process, new registrants will be asked to make a self-addressed envelope and the library card will be mailed to that address.  Checkouts will be limited to 1 item until the item is returned and the library card received in the mail is presented by the registrant.

5.         Probationary Card.  Once the item is returned, registrant will be changed from "temporary" status to "probationary" status and checkouts will be limited to 10 items per card for the first six months from the date of application. Note that the probationary status will be extended a month at a time if at the end of six months there are overdue items or fines on the card.


Procedure. Staff will set up two new patron types with the limitations stated above.

Expiration times and checkout limits

Three Year expiration dates: Maquoketa, rural Jackson County.

One Year expiration date: Clinton County (all Clinton County cards expire on June 30 each year, in accordance with Clinton County practice), Paid cards, Open Access cards.

Checkout Limits: Checkout Limits: Temporary: one item, Probation: 10 items, Full Permissions: 40 items


6.         Reserves. Any item will be reserved upon request for any patron in good standing. Patrons will be notified of the availability of the item by telephone if possible, otherwise by mail or email. The item will be kept on reserve for at least three days after notification.

7.        Fines. Most materials are fined at the rate of 10 cents for each day the Library is open. If items are returned, staff may waive the fines for those items.  Interlibrary Loan materials are fined at 50 cents per day. A fine of $2.00 is charged against the card of any patron who does not pick up his/her Interlibrary Loan material within one week of notification.

8.        Suspension of service. An accumulation of $5.00 or more in fines results in suspension of service until the amount owed is brought below $5.00.

9.        Retrieval of overdue items. Once per week, the staff sends notices of materials which are 6- 13 days overdue. After 60 days, patrons are sent a letter via restricted, certified mail stating the replacement value of the item(s), quoting the Code of Iowa (CH 714,5) which allows libraries to consider materials stolen after 60 days, and noting that further Library service will not be extended until the material is returned and/or the fine is paid and that legal action may be initiated after another 30 days. At the end of that time, these long overdue accounts may be referred to the Jackson County Attorney for enforcement.

10.     Damaged and lost materials. Materials that are damaged but still usable will be fined at the discretion of the Library staff. Lost materials will be charged to the patron. The original retail cost of the item will be used as the replacement value of the item.

11.      Confidentiality. The Library Director and staff will comply fully with the Code of Iowa with regard to the confidentiality of any records which would indicate which materials or information have been requested or checked out of the Library by a particular person (Code of Iowa 22.2 and 22.7.13). A law enforcement officer who requests such information shall be referred to the Library Director, who according to the Code of Iowa is the lawful custodian of the Library's records. The Director may decide that s/he will release the requested information only upon receipt of a court order, which would overrule the normal confidentiality of the records.


Procedure: To protect the privacy rights of Library users, each patron is assigned a number to which materials are checked out. Patron numbers are not divulged to other persons or to law enforcement officials except by court order. However, information provided by patrons on their registration cards is not considered confidential.


12.     Equipment Use. Loan periods are negotiated with the patron for each specific use. Patrons may use VCR equipment and audio players within the building.

13.     Interlibrary Loan Service. The Library cooperates fully with the State Library in the operation of the SILO interlibrary loan system. Interlibrary loan service is offered to any patron with a current, fine-free card who expresses an interest in materials not currently available in the collection. This service is extended free of charge when requesting books from another public library. A fee of $3.00 per item will apply to materials requested from a college or university as they are sent via USPS. Service may be denied by the staff to patrons with a documented history of frivolous use of the system (e.g. not picking up material ordered, not returning borrowed material). Overdue fines are charged at the rate of 50 cents per day. A fine of $2.00 is placed on the patron's account if material requested through Interlibrary Loan is not picked up.

14.      Reference Service. The Library staff will try to provide assistance to patrons by pointing out or finding sources of relevant information. For students especially, the staff will try not to short circuit the educational experience by finding the information for them, but suggest methods to find the information. Patrons requesting information by telephone may be asked to wait for a call back if staff is busy with patrons in the building. Resources outside the Library will be used as needed.

Adopted June 2017
Revised November 2021, April 2023, July 2024