Circulation Policy

A core service of the library is the loan of materials. The library does this by maintaining a database of registered borrowers and giving patrons in good standing access to the collections of the Boulder Junction Public Library and the libraries of Northern Waters Library Service and Wiscat (Wisconsin Resource Sharing). In providing borrowing privileges, the library promotes use of materials and ensures the rights of borrowers. The library will serve all patrons who request service. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; gender; or sexual orientation.

Residents, property owners, and visitors to the Boulder Junction area are eligible to apply for a library card. The Boulder Junction Public Library shall provide the same services to all residents and property owners of the Northern Waters Library Service area as to residents and property owners of Boulder Junction. All borrowers must have a valid Merlin library card to borrow library materials. Individuals are limited to one card in the Merlin system, regardless of the place of issue.

A. Issuing a Library Card
1. Patrons must fill out and sign a “Resident” or “Visitor” Patron Borrower Card Application form to register for a library card. Library cards are issued free of charge.
2. Patrons must provide proof of identity and residence. A drivers’ license, state identification card, or student ID may be used, or library staff may verify residence using the guidelines from the Wisconsin Proof of Residence for Voter Registration guide ( The person whose signature is on the card application is responsible for all materials borrowed from the library under that library card number according to the policies of the lending library.
3. Applicants under 18 years of age or adults with a legal guardian or caregiver must have a parent, guardian, or other adult serve as the responsible party for the card. The responsible party is ultimately responsible for any late fees or lost materials on the card and must provide contact information and sign the card application form.
4. Library cards expire after one year. To renew a library card, patrons must produce identification, update any changed contact information, and clear any outstanding fines and bills.
5. Patrons only need one library card for all Merlin libraries and duplicate cards will not be issued.
6. If a patron loses his/her library card, he/she should notify the library as soon as possible and request a replacement.
7. Patrons should bring their library cards with them if they intend to check out items or use the computers. If you forget your card, you may be asked to show a photo ID.
8. Patrons should safeguard their library cards if they are concerned about access or privacy. Unless a card has been reported lost or stolen, library staff will assume that possession of a library card by a spouse, parent, or even an unrelated individual implies that the cardholder authorizes that individual access to his/her library records and borrow materials on the card.
9. Borrowing privileges may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on library premises.

B. Loan Periods
1. The loan period for books, audio books and non-current periodicals is three weeks.
2. The loan period for DVDs is seven days. The loan period for DVD sets is 14 days.
3. The loan period for Board Games and Kits is seven days.
4. Reference books do not circulate. Special arrangements may be made at the discretion of the library director.
5. The most current issues of periodicals do not circulate.
6. Materials may be renewed if there are no holds on that title. Renewal requests can be made in person, by phone or online.
7. Interlibrary loans are due on the date set by the lending library.
8. Libraries outside NWLS requesting materials from our library will receive a 35-day loan period for books and audiobooks and a 21-day loan period for DVDs.
9. The director may establish a loan period for special collections, materials that are temporarily in great demand or materials added which are in a new format.
10. There is a 50-item limit on the number of items a Resident patron can borrow at one time. There is a limit of 20 DVDs, 20 audiobooks, and 20 music CDs. There is a limit of three board games/kits per person. There is a limit of six items a Visitor patron can borrow at one time.

C. Holds
1. Items may be placed on hold on a patron’s record. In order to be fair to other patrons, there is a 20-item limit on the number of holds that can be placed on each individual record.
2. Items on the holdshelf must be picked up within seven days or they will be returned to the lending library.

D. Fines/Fees
1. There are no fines for overdue Boulder Junction Public Library materials, except as noted in 2-4 below.
2. If a mobile hotspot is not returned on time, the hotspot will be deactivated, and the patron may be charged a $5 reactivation fee. If the hotspot or any of its accompanying accessories are lost or returned damaged, the replacement costs are $100 for the mobile hotspot, $10 for the USB wall charger, $15 for the USB-C charging cable, and $10 for the storage case.
3. Patrons may be charged a $5 fee for mobile hotspots that are returned to an indoor OR outdoor book drop or to another library.
4. Patrons will be charged for lost or damaged materials and overdue items from other libraries.

E. Overdue Notices and Penalties
1. A first notice will be made after material is overdue by at least seven days. Notices will be in the forms requested by the patron – either phone, text or email.
2. If the material is not returned within the following seven days, a second notice will be made.
3. Following an additional seven days, if the materials have not been returned to the library, a notice will be sent stating that this is the third and final notice. The notice will further state that all library privileges will be suspended until the materials are returned. Patrons who have been sent a final overdue notice and bill may be denied all borrowing privileges until the materials are returned or reimbursement is made for lost and/or damaged materials.
5. Libraries outside NWLS requesting materials from the Boulder Junction Public Library will receive a 35-day checkout. If materials are lost, the borrowing library will replace or pay for replacement of materials.

F. Lost or Damaged Materials
1. If materials are lost or damaged, so as to be judged by the Library Director as being unsuitable for the collection, the patron must pay the actual list price plus a $5 processing fee. A bill will be sent to the borrower.
2. If the list price is not readily available, a replacement fee is calculated using the default pricing in the catalog system. The library director may negotiate a replacement cost with the borrower.

Adopted July 2001
Revised December 2002
Revised May 2007
Revised December 2008
Revised May 2010
Revised June 2014
Revised December 2015
Revised August 2018
Revised March 2020
Revised September 2021