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Borrowing Policies

Circulation Policies



Rhode Island State Law
on Return of Library Materials

"An Act Relating to Library Property"
Approved by the Rhode Island General Assembly May 13, 1983
Section 11-41-14 of the general laws in chapter 11-41 entitled "Theft, Embezzlement, False Pretenses and Misappropriation" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
11-41-14. Failure to return book or other library property. -- (a) Any person who shall take or borrow any book or other library property from any of the libraries or collection as defined in section 11-44-15(b), and who, upon neglect to return the same within the time required and specified in the by-laws, rules, or regulations of the library owning the property, after receiving notice in writing by the librarian or other proper custodian of the property that the same is overdue, shall upon further neglect to return the same within sixty (60) days from the date of such notice, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00), the same to be for the use of the library.
In addition, if such book should be lost, destroyed or not returned, such person shall within sixty (60) days after being so notified, pay to the custodian the replacement value of such book, including all reasonable processing costs, as determined by the governing board having jurisdiction.

 Borrowing & Circulation Policies


The following policies and regulations are specific to the Jesse Smith Library. Regulations and policies at other OSL libraries may differ.

These regulations and policies are in effect as of July 2014.


General Borrowing Policy

The Jesse M. Smith Library is a member of the OSL Statewide Library System. To borrow materials you must have a valid OSL library card. OSL cards may be used at any OSL affiliated library in the State of Rhode Island. You must present your OSL card each time you borrow materials.

Please note: OSL cards are not transferable. Only the person whose name appears on the card may use the card for borrowing.

Obtaining an OSL Library Card:    [Menu]

Residents of the State of Rhode Island over 18 years of age can apply for a card in person at any OSL library, or they may apply for a card online. Applicants who apply online will still have to go to an OSL Library to provide proof of identity and address.

Each person applying for a card will need to provide valid personal identification (such as a driver's license) and proof of current address.

Cards for Children

Children of any age may have their own OSL library cards; and children who will be visiting the library without their parents must have their own cards in order to borrow materials. Parents must apply in person for OSL library cards for their children who are under the age of 16, and for children under the age of 18 who do not have their own driver's license. The parent must fill out an application for each child, and present valid personal identification and proof of current address.

Children aged 16 to 18 who have a valid driver's license and ID may apply for a card without assistance of a parent or guardian.

Parents: please be aware that Jesse Smith Library does not restrict any Patron's selections with regard to title or rating. The Parent or Legal Guardian of any minor Patron is solely responsible for monitoring and overseeing the borrowing of any minor child.

Cards for Non-RI-Residents
& Residents of Non-OSL-Member Communities

Non-RI-Residents and Patrons residing in communities whose local Libraries are not OSL affiliated may qualify to purchase a full-service OSL card for an annual fee of $150.00. (Fee set by OSL as of February 2018.) Please check with your nearest OSL affiliated Library to find out if you qualify.

Non-RI-Residents and Patrons from non-OSL affiliated RI communities may qualify to apply for a limited use Jesse Smith Library card. The card costs $25 annually and may only be used to borrow materials owned by the Jesse Smith Library

About Using Your OSL Card:    [Menu]

Residents of OSL library communities may use their OSL card at any OSL member library in the State of Rhode Island.

Card Use Authorization:    [Menu]

Your OSL card is non-transferable. This means you may not present a card belonging to another person nor send your card with another party for them to borrow books for you. The owner of the card must be in the library when the card is presented. This is for your protection.

The only exception to the non-transfer of card use rule is that you may send a second party with your card to pick up materials which have been previously reserved (put on "hold") for you, and which you have been notified to pick up.

You must have your OSL card with you in order to check out materials. Staff is not allowed to "look up" your card number. Now that the database contains all card holders in the state, there is too much room for error in selecting the exact "John Q. Smith" from a long list of possibilities. Rather than risk checking books out to the wrong patron, we have chosen "No card, no books" as our local policy. It will save time and error; and, again, this is for your protection. You wouldn't head to the bank without your ID or ATM card. Consider your OSL card as your access to the "Book Bank."

Suspension of Borrowing Privileges:    [Menu]

Any card-holder with $5.00 (five dollars) or more in overdue fines from OSL libraries or patrons with overdue library materials at any OSL library may not borrow further materials until overdue materials are either returned, or, if allowable, renewed, and fines paid to date.

Also be aware that some libraries may retain the right to suspend the borrowing privileges of Patrons who violate the local library's policies or the terms of agreements Patron's have signed with them.

Lost or Stolen Cards:    [Menu]

Lost cards must be reported immediately to any OSL library so that a note can be placed in the Patron record. Since OSL cards are accepted state-wide, your card might be used by anyone who finds it until it is replaced.

Replacement Library Cards:    [Menu]

Replacement card fee for a lost or stolen card is $1.00 (one dollar). You must present identification.

Circulation Policies    [Menu]

Loan Periods

Most Jesse Smith Library materials, including hardcover and paperback books, audio books, non-fiction VHS and DVDs, and puzzles, have a 3-week loan period.

Magazines, entertainment VHS, and entertainment DVDs are loaned for 1 week only, and are renewable for 1 week.

DVDs with 4 or more discs circulate for 3 weeks with no renewal.

Please Note: Policies at other libraries vary, therefore, material borrowed via interlibrary loan will follow the loan period regulations and overdue fine structure established by the owning library.

Borrowing Limitations:    [Menu]

The number of items which may be borrowed at one time varies with each library's local policy. Jesse Smith Library may at times limit non-fiction materials borrowing within a subject (books per subject, per OSL card) in order to better provide for the needs of our Patrons, especially students when school-wide projects on certain topics warrant.

Circulating Pass Borrowing    [Menu]

Passes to various museums, regional attractions, and places of interest are available for borrowing. The passes provide discounted admissions for varying numbers of people.

Passes may be borrowed by adult patrons who have no overdue fines or blocks on their cards. Burrillville residents may reserve the passes in advance.

In most instances, the pass is due back the next day, or, at most, in two days. Passes must be returned to the Jesse Smith Library only, and they may be returned in our bookdrop. Overdue fine for a pass is $5.00 per day. Please refer to our Circulating Pass Borrowing Policy for further details.

Return of Materials:    [Menu]

Most books and other materials borrowed at one OSL library may be returned and checked in at any other OSL library.

Use of the Bookdrop or Return Box:    [Menu]

When the Library is closed, all library materials may be returned in the JMS Library's Bookdrop.

When returning materials to other libraries, please be aware that tapes, CDs, and DVDs should never be returned in exterior, or unsecured book return boxes as they may be damamged, and damage charges may be incurred.

Renewal of Materials:    [Menu]

OSL policy allows for one renewal, either by phone, online, or in person, on most materials, provided there are no Holds (Reserves) for that item.

Online Renewal: Materials that are not overdue may be eligible for renewal online. To renew online, go to OSL's Main Page and select the link "View Patron Record/Log In to Your Account." When you have logged in, select the "Help with Renewals" link for complete instructions on how to renew materials online.

Renewal of Overdue Materials:    [Menu]

Jesse Smith Library will renew material that is two weeks or less overdue and the fine will automatically be placed on your record.

Items more than two weeks overdue must be presented at the Library and the fine paid before renewal will be allowed.

Under certain circumstance, materials owned by Jesse Smith Library may be renewed a second time, either by phone or in person, provided there are no Holds for any of the titles being renewed.

Overdue materials can not be renewed online.

Fines for Overdue Materials:    [Menu]

Fines are automatically calculated by the computer and appear on your state-wide OSL record until they are paid.

Overdue fines at Jesse Smith follow OSL general policy:

The fine for books, magazines, non-fiction VHS, and audio books is $0.10 (ten cents) per day per item, to a maximum of $6.00 (six dollars) per item, except in the case of non-fiction videos for which the maximum fine is the retail price of the item. There is NO grace period before fines will be assessed.

In the case of entertainment VHS and DVDs, fine is $1.00 (one dollar) per day, per VHS or DVD, to a maximum of $10.00 per item. NO grace days are allowed on entertainment VHS & DVD returns.

Only days the library is open count towards fines. If the library is forced to close because of weather or other conditions, all items then become due when the library reopens.

Remember: accumulating fines in excess of $5.00 (five dollars) "blocks" you from further use of your OSL library card until payment is made.

Payment of Fines:    [Menu]

You may pay outstanding overdue fees at any OSL library, no matter where the fine was incurred. You may also pay fines online through the OSL Online Catalog site.

Please Note: Jesse Smith Library accepts cash only, and can take no bills larger than a twenty-dollar bill. NO checks can be accepted unless special arrangements are made.

However, if the materials are owned by another library, checks made out to the owning library can be accepted in payment.

Fees for Lost & Damaged Items:    [Menu]

Any OSL library can accept and will forward payment to the owning library for any lost or damaged items.

In the case of payment for materials owned by Jesse Smith Library, the Library accepts cash only, and can take no bills larger than a twenty-dollar bill. NO checks can be accepted unless special arrangements are made.

VHS & DVD Circulation & Borrowing Policies:    [Menu]

Parents should be aware that the Library does not monitor or restrict VHS or DVD materials borrowed by minors who have a valid OSL library card. The Parent or Legal Guardian of a minor patron is solely responsible for monitoring and overseeing the VHS and DVD borrowing of said minors.

Entertainment VHS and DVD    [Menu]

Entertainment VHS and DVDs include feature films, children's films and cartoons, and performances.

Entertainment VHS and DVDs are shelved in their own separate sections.

Entertainment VHS and DVDs may be borrowed by any adult patron with a valid OSL card with less than $5.00 in fines owing.

Non-Fiction VHS and DVDs

Non-Fiction DVDs and VHS include "How-to," instructional, documentary, informational, and travelogue types.

Non-Fiction DVDs and VHS are shelved with the adult book collection according to Dewey Decimal Classification. Loan period is the same as for books.

Loan Period, Limits, Renewals, Returns, Fines:    [Menu]

Entertainment VHS and DVD

Entertainment DVDs and VHS are loaned for a 7-day period, and are renewable for 1 week. Overdue fine is $1.00 (one dollar) per day, per title, with NO grace days before fines begin. Maximum fine for items owned by Jesse Smith Library is $10.00 per item. Maximum fines at other OSL libraries may vary.

Non-Fiction VHS and DVD

Non-Fiction VHS and DVDs are loaned for three (3) weeks, limit of 2 titles per subject, per OSL card. One renewal is allowed. Overdue fine is $0.10 (ten cents) per day, per title, NO grace days. Maximum fine is up to the retail value of the DVD, plus processing fees.

VHS and DVD Returns    [Menu]

Jesse Smith Entertainment & Non-Fiction VHS and DVDs may be returned to any OSL library.

When returning materials to other libraries, please be aware that tapes, CDs, and DVDs should never be returned in exterior, or unsecured book return boxes as they may be damamged, and damage charges may be incurred.





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