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Patron Services Policy

Borrowing Privileges

Patrons assume full responsibility for all use made of their library card. By registering for a library card, the patron (and signatory parent or guardian) agrees to adhere to all rules and regulations governing the use of the library, library equipment, and library holdings. In addition, the patron (and signatory parent or guardian) acknowledges responsibility for any loss and/or damage to materials borrowed, and agrees to pay all applicable fees and fines assessed for late and/or lost or damaged materials. For this reason, a registration card should never be given to another person for use. Should a registration card be lost, it is the responsibility of the patron to inform the library and replace their library card with a new number.  

Patrons who fail to comply with library rules and regulations will have borrowing privileges suspended and/or reinstated or revoked in accordance with library policies outlined in this document.  


Library records that are deemed confidential are covered by New York State Law signed on June 13, 1988 (I CPLR 4509).

These records are related to the circulation of library materials that contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems, of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records.  These records shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed upon the request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.  The Hepburn Library of Lisbon adheres strictly to all sections of this Statute regarding the protection of the confidentiality of its users.     

Electronic Fees

  • Black and “occasional” color photocopies and computer printouts: $0.25 per side.
  • Color copies where color exceeds 25% of the page: $1.00 per side.
  • Fax transmissions: $1.00 per fax, sent or received, to/from the United States or Canada.
  • Fax transmissions to/from other countries: $5.00 for the first page and $1.00 per subsequent pages.

Holds (Reservations)

Patrons may request a hold to be placed on an item that is on loan. Reserves may be placed in-person, over the telephone, by email, or online.  The circulation system software maintains a list of patrons and holds are honored on a first-listed, first-served basis.

When an item is available, the patron will receive an email notice, and/or telephone call from the library. Patrons will have five days to check-out the item.  If the item is not collected in five days, the next patron on the list will be allowed to borrow the item. Items borrowed from other libraries will be returned through the delivery system. 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

The Interlibrary loan (ILL) service supports the mission of the library by providing expanded access to library materials and information. The purpose of interlibrary loan is to obtain materials not available in the library. The library affirms that interlibrary loan is an adjunct to, not a substitute for, the library’s collection. In meeting patron needs, the library will exhaust local resources first, before requesting items on interlibrary loan. 

  • Patrons must have a library card in good standing to use the Interlibrary Loan service. 
  • Ten active requests are permitted at any one time per patron.
  • Materials will be available for pickup for five days after they are received at the library. If an item is not picked up within five days, the hold will be removed and the item returned to the library where it originated.
  • Interlibrary Loan materials are checked out for the same period as items owned by Lisbon, based on the item type as defined in the catalog. 
  • Interlibrary Loans may be renewed once if the lending library permits renewals.
  • ILL requests generally take one week to fill, but may take longer depending on the number of items available in the North Country Library System and the number of patrons on the wait list. Some requested materials will not be available.
  • Interlibrary loan within the North Country Library System is provided at no cost to the patron. Requests outside of the system, when available, are generally assessed the postage fee from shipping to/from the library. Patrons are responsible for any postage charges, and must be paid at the time the request is made. In general, the shipping fee is $5.00 to and $5.00 from the library. Heavy items may cost more to ship.
  • The patron is responsible for overdue fees and repair/replacement costs for any interlibrary loan items that are damaged or lost.

Library Cards

Adults and persons fourteen years and older may apply to become a registered patron of the Hepburn Library of Lisbon providing their full legal name, date of birth, physical/mailing address, telephone, email address, and photo identification.  

Children between the ages of five and fourteen may become registered patrons if their parent or legal guardian applies for a library card on their behalf. The child and parent must both be present for the application process. The parent or legal guardian assumes all responsibility for materials borrowed or used by a minor card holder. 

Once a minor child turns fourteen years old, they assume full responsibility of their borrowing privileges and information will no longer be disclosed to their parent or guardian.

A patron’s first library card is provided at no charge. Subsequent cards replaced due to loss, theft, or damage will be provided at the cost of $1.00 per card. Patron must show photo identification to replace a library card.

Library cards must be renewed per the schedule adopted by the North County Library Systems and patrons are responsible for updating the library immediately with changes in name, physical address, telephone number and email address. 

An individual must possess a library card and account in good standing in order to borrow materials; the library card must be presented with every request to borrow. 

Inactive library cards with no charges will be removed from the system per the schedule adopted by the North Country Library System. 

Inactive library cards will not be removed from the system if overdue fines, lost item replacement costs, or other charges exist on the account. Library cards and borrowing privileges are shared among all libraries belonging to the North Country Library System. 

A patron with a library card from a participating library may use their card at the Hepburn Library of Lisbon; no patrons are permitted to have more than one library card within the system. 

Loans (Circulation)

Newly registered patrons will be restricted for the first two months to the following: two items checked out at the same time, two items on hold at the same time, two overdue items, and a maximum fine of $2.00 for overdue/lost items. At the end of the two-month trial period, patrons who have remained in good standing for two months will be granted full borrowing privileges.

For full patrons in good standing, there is an overall borrowing limit of 60 items at one time per person/household.

No item will be loaned to any patron (or household) with overdue materials and/or outstanding fines and fees equal to, or greater than, $5.00 per person/household.  

Patrons who have been “blocked” by the computerized borrowing system due to unpaid overdue fees or lost items, may have their status restricted to the same level as a newly registered patron, at the discretion of the Library Director. Full borrowing privileges will be granted, by the Library Director, after the patron demonstrates responsible borrowing behavior.

Through an agreement with the North Country Library System, borrowing privileges will be suspended or revoked if the patron owes more than $5.00 at other libraries.

Loan Periods and Renewal

  • Items loaned for a period of one week (7 days): Magazines, DVDs/Blu-Rays, board games, jigsaw puzzles, and items from the audiovisual, tool, and craft collections.
  • Items loaned for a period of two weeks (14 days): New books.
  • Items loaned for a period of four weeks (28 days): Older books, audio books on CD.
  • Items may be renewed once, if there are no patrons on the waiting list. Additional renewals are at the discretion of the Library Director.
  • Renewals may be done in person, by telephone, by email, online, or through the library’s Facebook page. 

Overdue, Lost and/or Damaged Materials

No fees are charged for overdue books, movies, magazines, audiobooks, games, or puzzles. Overdue fees are charged for museum passes at the rate of $5.00 per day. 

Patrons will be notified of overdue items in accordance with the schedule outlined by the North Country Library System. Notices are provided by email, telephone, and/or surface mail at various intervals when reports are generated by the circulation system software.

For each lost or damaged item, the patron will be charged a default $25.00 replacement fee. Items are marked as lost according to the schedule outlined by the North Country Library System. 

The library discourages patrons from purchasing replacement items without discussing it with the Director first. The decision to replace an item rests with the Director after consideration of the Collection Development Policy. 

In the event the fair market replacement cost of an item is less than the default price of $25.00, the Director will consult one or more approved vendors to establish a fair market replacement cost, plus $1.00 to cover processing (book jacket and barcode replacement). The remainder owed will be waived. 

Patron Code of Behavior

Under the provision of Chapter 2.26 of the New York State Education Law, The Hepburn Library of Lisbon Board of Trustees may enact regulations that serve to insure the safety of all library staff and patrons, protect the usefulness of the materials collection, and maintain order in the library. The Board of Trustees is committed to providing an atmosphere where people of all ages may come to read, browse, do research, or study. This policy does not prohibit quiet conversations between patrons and/or staff members or conversations required to carry on library programs or business. It is designed to preserve a reasonable quiet atmosphere where library patrons may use library services and materials without disturbance. This policy has been established for all patrons. It is a charge of the library staff to see that the rights of individuals to use the library are upheld. The staff is obligated to enforce these guidelines so that the facility can be used to the fullest by all persons.   

  • If a patron is not responsive to the needs of other library users or disregards the policies protecting patrons, staff, and library property, the patron will be asked to leave the library.
  • The Library Director, acting on behalf of the Board of Trustees, may also suspend the library privileges of any individual who willfully violates library regulations when severity or continued reoccurrence warrants such action. The Library Director will inform the Library Board of any such action taken.

Questions regarding the interpretation of guidelines will be referred to the Library Director. Patrons are expected to observe and follow all aspects of the policies outlined in this handbook, including those outlined below:

  • Food and beverage is allowed in the building. Patrons shall take caution in the vicinity of library materials and technology devices. Patrons are fully expected to clean up after themselves (crumbs, spills, sticky residue, etc) and dispose of all garbage. 
  • Interference with other library patrons’ use of the facilities through extremely poor personal hygiene is prohibited.
  • Pets and animals are allowed in the building. All animals shall be on leashes or caged unless otherwise approved by the Director. Pet owners shall keep animals by their sides, and away from other patrons for the duration of their visit. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up and disposing of any messes. Pet owners assume any and all liability regarding their animals. 
  • Patrons are welcome to use various electronic devices in the library, as long as such devices are not distracting to other patrons. This includes, but is not limited to, cell phones, tablets, e-readers, and laptops. All electronic ringers and notifications shall be put on silent/vibrate. The library sells earbuds for $1.00 for patrons wishing to listen to media on their devices, or library devices. Patrons wishing to photograph, record, broadcast, or stream images of the premises, patrons, or employees shall following the library’s Recording in the Library Policy.
  • Quiet and decorum are to be maintained at all times.  Obscene, offensive, loud, boisterous, and/or distracting or annoying behaviors are prohibited unless part of a library-sponsored program. 
  • A patron who damages, defaces, or steals library property or services will be required to make restitution and will also be subject to arrest and prosecution. This includes, but is not limited to, damage to computers, headphones, books, DVDs, magazines, and other library property.
  • Loitering on the premises under the circumstances that warrant alarm for the safety or health of any person or property in the vicinity is prohibited.  Sleeping on the premises by persons over the age of five for more than fifteen minutes is prohibited.  
  • Patrons may not enter the library before opening or remain in the library after closing time, unless participating in a library-sponsored program or volunteer activity.
  • Only persons on library business will be allowed to solicit for the sale of goods and services in the library; such persons will meet only with authorized library personnel.   Exceptions may be made for library-sponsored activities, community groups, or organizations affiliated with the library.  
  • Unattended and/or unsupervised children under seven years of age are not allowed in the library.  If a child under seven is attending a library program, it is required that the parent/guardian or responsible person remain in the library throughout the program. Children under seven years of age shall not remove books from the shelves without the direct supervision of their parent/guardian or responsible person.
  • There shall be no running, rough-housing, standing on furniture, throwing of toys or other items, or playing on or about the stairs or lift. Children’s toys shall be kept in the children’s room, and put away in the toy bins after each use.
  • Parents/guardians or designated persons are responsible for the behavior of children while in the library.  Library staff will not assume responsibility for the care of unattended or unsupervised children (of any age) in the library. 
  • The library’s telephone is not for public use except in case of emergency.
  • No patron shall endanger the safety and security of the building or patrons by tampering with any lock, any entry/exit door or doorway, accessibility lift, stairwell gate, furniture, facilities, or other items.


Patrons are responsible for returning all library materials borrowed from the library on or before the due date.

Items may be returned to the circulation desk during normal library hours, in the drop box/slot in the front door of the library, or to another library in the North Country Library System. 

Overdue items, or items thought to be lost, must be returned to the circulation desk.

Items shall not be returned to any “Little Free Libraries”, School Libraries, BOCES Libraries, or any other libraries outside of the North Country Library System. The Hepburn Library of Lisbon is not responsible for items returned in these, or other, non-approved locations.

User Agreement

By signing the Registration Application form, the signer acknowledges that he/she has read, understands, and agrees to comply with all policies of the Hepburn Library of Lisbon. Should the application be completed for a minor child, the adult signer accepts responsibility for compliance by said minor. The signer further acknowledges and agrees that the library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to personal data or for any damage or injury arising from the invasion of privacy through computer and/or internet use.

By signing the Registration Application form, the signer acknowledges that he/she has read, understands, and agrees to comply with all policies of the Hepburn Library of Lisbon. Should the application be completed for a minor child, the adult signer accepts responsibility for compliance by said minor. The signer further acknowledges and agrees that the library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to personal data or for any damage or injury arising from the invasion of privacy through computer and/or internet use.