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HomeAbout EPLPoliciesCirculation Policy

Circulation Policy

Circulation Policy Topics

How to obtain a library card

Lost or stolen cards

New patrons

Checkout policies

Checking out and renewing library materials

Fines and fees

Returning library materials

Holds (requests for materials checked out)


With your library card and PIN number

How do I get a PIN number?

If I need help using the website, who can I call?

About overdue fines

Materials recovery at the Emporia Public Library


How to Obtain a Library Card:

All patrons are required to fill out an application for a new card that is
compatible to the Library’s automation system. 

Library cards are free to all Kansas residents with proof of current residency.

  • Fill out a card application form (available in English or Spanish)
  • Show proof of current address (driver’s license, postmarked mail, checks)
  • Patrons, age 17 and under, will be required to obtain the signature of a parent or legal guardian to obtain a card.  Parents/legal guardians are responsible for materials checked out on their child’s card and information access on computer workstations.
  • College students will be asked to provide a permanent address other than their school address.
  • Sign the card

A new card will be issued to each patron that consists of a library card and a key tag.  Patrons are encouraged to always bring the card or the key tag with them when they visit the library. 

Patrons may access their personal records on a library computer or on their home computer by using a pin number. Information on the importance of a pin number and how it can access your personal records is included in the attached brochure.  A patron may also speak to a library employee on how to use their pin number on a library computer or their home computer.

It is the responsibility of the patron to notify the library when their registration information has changed.  (address, phone, e-mail, etc.) Otherwise, a patron’s library card information will be reviewed and renewed on a regular basis by library staff.


Lost or Stolen Cards:

If a patron’s library card is lost or stolen, the library should be notified immediately. A patron is responsible for any materials checked out on their library card if the card is lost or stolen and not reported. A patron will be charged $1.00 for card replacement.


New Patrons:

Patrons applying for a new library card may check out 5 items the same day they apply for their card.  New patrons will be limited to 5 items at one time on their new card for three months. After verification of their current address and phone number, and if there are no outstanding issues on their account, the 5 item limit may be lifted, and the following checkout policies will apply.


Checkout Policies:

Items Loan Periods Renewable Item Limits Fines
All books, adult or juvenile, paperback books and magazines 21 days One time* No Limit .10 per day per item
Nonprint items-music cds and audio books 21 days One time* 5 items per card per checkout .25 per day per item
CD-Roms 21 days No renewals 2 items per card at one time .25 per day per item
DVDs and Graphic Novels 7 days No renewals 5 items per card per checkout $1.00 per day per item
Kits for Kids 21 days One time* 2 items per card per checkout $1.00 per day per item

*Items may be renewed by phone or in person once if there are no holds placed on the item.


Checking Out and Renewing Library Materials:

Each patron must present their own library card at the circulation desk to check out materials. After checking out library materials, each patron will receive a receipt. The receipt will indicate the titles of the materials checked out as well as the date they are due back to the library. There is no limit on how many items a patron checks out; however, there are limitations on how many items may be checked out in some of the library’s special collections, including graphic novels and nonprint items.  (See table above)  The library encourages patrons to check out only the number of items they feel they can financially afford, in case of loss or damage to the materials.

If 21 days is not an adequate period for a patron’s personal needs, a special period of up to six weeks may be requested at the circulation desk.  Materials checked out for six weeks may not be renewed. Patrons may renew most library items one time for an additional three weeks by phone, by computer, or in person if no holds have been placed on the item. Videos and Dvds cannot be renewed.  To renew an item by phone, call the Circulation Desk during business hours, 340-6462. Items cannot be renewed after an overdue notice has been mailed to the patron.


Fines and Fees:

If materials are not returned by the date they are due, patrons may return their items in the next two days without fines. If materials are returned after the two-day grace period, fines will be charged to the patron from the date they were due. Patrons will be sent an overdue  notice by phone or mail approximately one week after the materials are due. Additional reminders will be mailed to the patron weekly. If the materials are not returned within a reasonable amount of time, the matter will be turned over to the City Prosecutor for legal action.

Fines and fees will be assessed for late, lost, or damaged materials and payment is the responsibility of the borrower. Overdue fines are .10 per item per day for most materials. Nonprint materials, including audio  books and cds, will be assessed at .25 per day. DVDs, graphic novels and Kits for Kids accumulate fines at the rate of $1.00 per item per day. The maximum fine per item is the value of the overdue material. If an item is lost or damaged, the replacement cost and processing fee will be charged to a patron’s card as well as any fines that have accrued. Patrons with less than $5 in fines may continue to check out items. When fines total $5 or more, all fines for late, lost or damaged materials must be paid before a patron may use their card to check out additional materials.


Returning Library Materials:

All library materials must be returned by the due date to the library or to one of the two outside book drops located near the library. All materials, adult or children’s, may be returned to the slots in the Circulation Desk. Two outside book drops are located in the east parking lot (metal structures).


Holds (requests for materials checked out):

Patrons may have their name put on a waiting list for an item that is checked out. When the item becomes available, a notification will be mailed to the patron and the item will be held at the Circulation Desk for one week.



The library has installed a security system to insure the safekeeping and proper checkout procedures for all library materials. Security gates are located at each entry. If the alarm sounds, patrons will be asked to return to the circulation desk. Circulation employees will scan the materials again to make sure they are checked out properly.


With Your Library Card and PIN Number:

  • You can access your account and the library’s online catalog at
  • Check your library account to review:
    • what you have checked out
    • place holds
    • what items you have requested to be held
    • what unpaid fines you have
    • renew items (provided you have no unpaid fines and the items are eligible for renewal)
    • request items from interlibrary loan
    • suggest items for purchase
    • change your PIN number
    • change your personal information — address and phone


How Do I Get a PIN Number?:

Your personal identification number (PIN) is a confidential number that was provided to you when you applied for a library card. It is a four-digit number and it was written in for you on the circulation policy brochure. If you cannot locate this number, call or come in and ask for your PIN number at the circulation desk. You will be asked to provide identification.

Don’t forget you can also select your own PIN number. Use the library’s new web site to change your PIN number.  (


If I Need Help Using the Website, Who Can I Call?:

You can speak to a staff member at (620) 340-6462.


About Overdue Fines:

  • Overdue fines range from .10 to $1.00 per day, depending on the type of material.
  • Each type of material has a maximum fine which is less than or equal to the value of the item.
  • Card holders are responsible for replacement cost of lost materials. The Library will not accept materials purchased by the patron instead of paying the Library for the lost item and appropriate fees.


Materials Recovery at the Emporia Public Library:

The library will send out notices for overdue materials according to the following schedule:

  • A 1st notice will be sent to the patron by phone or mail one week after the materials are due.
  • A 2nd notice will be mailed two weeks after the materials are due.
  • Your account will be blocked and you cannot check out any more materials if the fines and the value of the materials total more than $5.00.
  • A 3rd notice will be mailed three weeks after the materials are due.
  • If you do not respond or return the materials within six weeks, your account will be turned over to the City Prosecutor for legal action. Your account is blocked.
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