Library Policies

Circulation Periods

Circulation of library materials will be as follows:

  • Videos, DVDs, high demand items, and best sellers circulate 1 week (best sellers of 400+ pages will circulate for 2 weeks.)
  • All other materials circulate 2 weeks.
  • Patrons are limited to checking out 10 DVDs per visit.

Renewal of Library Materials

Renewal can be done at a member library circulation desk, by telephone or online.

  • Renewal at a member library circulation desk requires the library card on which the items were checked out.
  • 24-Hour Telephone renewal can be done by calling (717) 394-1721.
  • Items that are reserved for use by another patron cannot be renewed.
  • Internet Renewal is available from the Library System of Lancaster County Online Catalog. Just click on the My Account tab on any page of the Catalog and input your name, barcode and PIN.

Note: Not all items can be renewed with the online renewal system. Some reasons an item may not be renewed are: another borrower has requested the item; that type of material is not eligible for renewal; you already renewed the item the maximum number of times; or, because of overdue fines on your record. If you are unable to renew your items, please call your local library.

Fines and Fees

Fees for overdue library materials will be as follows:

  • Adult and Young Adult materials: $0.30 for everyday late maximum fine -$5.00 per item.
  • Children’s materials $0.20 for everyday late maximum fine -$3.00 per item.
  • All Videos and DVDs $1.00 for everyday late maximum fine – $5.00 per item.

Overdue Notices

Courtesy Email Notice

Patrons with an email address listed in their library account will receive an email two days before an item is due back to the library. The courtesy email reminders will allow patrons the chance to renew materials or to return them, so fines can be avoided. Please note: failure to receive a courtesy email reminder of the due date does not waive the library’s right to apply fines.

First Notice at 2 Weeks

The first overdue notice will be sent to the email address listed in the library records for the patron account when the item is 2 weeks overdue. If an email address is not listed in the patron’s library account, the first overdue notice will be sent to the most recent address listed in the library records for the patron account when the item is 2 weeks overdue. The notice will include a list of overdue materials.

Failure to return the items listed in this notice within seven (7) working days of the date of this notice will result in a suspension of a cardholder’s borrowing privileges in each library in Lancaster County until the account is cleared.

Failure to return these items within 4 weeks after the original due date will result in a charge to the cardholder’s account for the replacement cost of the materials.

Second Notice: Bill for replacement at 4 weeks

The second notice is sent when the item is 4 weeks overdue. This is a bill for the replacement of the books. If the billed items are found, you need only pay the overdue fines.

Lost and Damaged Items

Charges for items that are lost or damaged will equal the list/retail price of the item.

Member libraries can arrange an installment payment plan. It is the responsibility of the library patron to contact the library to arrange for the payment of fines and fees.

Fine/fee Collection

Library patrons or the parents of juvenile library patrons are expected to return library materials promptly and to pay any fines incurred.

  1. Status of borrowing privileges if the patron has outstanding account balance.
    • If an item is more than 14 days overdue, borrowing privileges are suspended until the materials are returned and the fine is paid.
    • If a patron’s account totals more than $6.00, borrowing privileges are suspended unless:
      • the patron is paying through an approved installment plan. Information on this plan will be entered into the patron record. It will be removed upon final payment.
      • there are exceptions noted on the patron’s record.

      Notations to a patron record will be eliminated when his/her account is settled.

  2. Claims returned On occasion a library patron reports to the library that an overdue notice has been sent in error, and the items have already been returned. This is referred to as a “claims returned” response.The library will accept a patron’s claimed returned response five times. Each instance will be noted in the patron’s account.After five (5) instances, the library will assume that there is a possibility of false reports of “claims returned.” The most recent “claims returned” items will be considered overdue on the patron’s account. The patron will be expected to return the items or reimburse the library for the lost materials according to the fee schedule listed. Failure to pay for lost books will result in suspended library privileges until the account is settled.


Pennsylvania State Law states that:
“Records related to the circulation of the library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the state Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of a university, college or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by a court order in a criminal proceeding.” (24 P.S. Section 4428.)

The Library System of Lancaster County and member libraries will resist the issuance or enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction. Upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, library officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance. If the process, order, or subpoena is not in the proper form or if good cause has not been shown, they will insist that such defects be cured.

This confidentiality policy applies equally to adults and minors. When an adult requests the records of a child, the library will respond only if the child consents to the request.

Staff may respond to telephone requests for information about materials checked out to patron accounts (adult or child) if the caller has the barcode number on the library card.

Internet and Computer Use Policy and Guidelines

The Adamstown Area Library will be a community leader in providing equal and meaningful access to knowledge and information using current computer technology.

As part of the library’s mission to meet the cultural, informational and educational needs of the community, and in response to the advances in technology in this Information Age, the Adamstown Area Library is pleased to offer public access to the Internet.

The purpose of providing public Internet access is to expose the public to the world of information available on the Internet, and to provide equal access to that information for all individuals in the community.


The Internet is a global electronic network which enables the library to provide information to patrons beyond the library’s collection. It includes useful ideas, information, and opinions from around the world. Some Internet sites contain inaccurate, incomplete, outdated, indecent, controversial or offensive material.

The Adamstown Area Library does not monitor and has no control over information accessed through the Internet and cannot be responsible for its content. As with all other library materials, children’s access to the Internet is the sole responsibility of the child’s parent or guardian.


Rules for Internet Usage

Patrons must have a valid library card from the Lancaster County Library System, and must have no overdue materials or fines owed. An “Internet Usage Agreement” must be signed. If under age 18, a “Parental Permission Form” must be signed in the presence of library staff. Sign up at the front desk prior to using the computer. Staff will scan your library card.

  • Internet use is limited to thirty minutes. If no one is waiting to use it, you may stay on for another thirty minutes.
  • Internet use is “first come, first served.” No reservations.
  • No more than two people may use a workstation at one time.
  • Users may not download materials onto the computer’s hard drive.
  • Users may download only that information which is legal to copy and only by using a new disk purchased from the library check-out desk for $1.00. Disks removed from the library building may not be re-used during future visits. The purpose of using only newly purchased disks is to insure the integrity of the system and to protect it from viruses. Because this is so important, the use of unauthorized disks will result in loss of your computer privileges.
  • Please refrain from using sounds or visuals which might be disruptive to others.
  • Patrons must not engage in any activity that is libelous, slanderous, illegal, or involves pornography.
  • Printing currently costs ten cents per page.
  • The library does not offer email accounts.
  • Patrons must not use personal software, or alter or attach equipment to the library’s hardware. This prevents computer viruses.
  • Do not use Internet computers for recreational games or chat rooms.
  • When finished using, please leave the computer and Internet “on” for the next patron. Do not shut down the computer.
  • Patrons are responsible for any damages they do to the machines or software.
  • Misuse of the computer or Internet access will result in the loss of your computer privileges.
  • A letter will be sent to parents or guardians of minors regarding any revocation of privileges, and a signed permission form will be included.
  • This policy is subject to change.


U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials except when permitted by “fair use” principles. Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including text, images, programs, e-mail or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Responsibility for the consequences of copyright infringement lies solely with the user, as the Adamstown Area Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

Patron Code of Conduct

The Adamstown Area Library Board of Trustees endorses the following code of conduct as it will be presented to patrons, staff and volunteers:

It is the purpose of the Adamstown Area Library to provide free, open and equal access to ideas and information to all members of the community. To accomplish this purpose, a code of conduct is provided to assist staff, volunteers and patrons in promoting safe, healthy and barrier-free access to all the resources and facilities the Adamstown Area Library has to offer. The code is designed to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and courtesy and applies to all patrons, volunteers and staff while on library property.


  • Ask the staff for help. Let the staff know when you are unable to find what you need so they can try to get the information for you. This also helps the library know what needs to be added to the collection.
  • Inform the staff if you need accommodation or if assistance is needed for your full use of library services.
  • Explore new ideas and interests by attending library programs.
  • Be responsible for the safety, well-being and conduct of children in your care.
  • Cooperate with the requests of library staff.


  • Behavior which is unsafe or disturbing to other patrons, volunteers or staff such as loud talking, shouting, screaming, or making other loud noises, pushing, running, shoving or throwing things.
  • Verbally or physically harassing or threatening other patrons, volunteers or staff. Harassment may include, but is not limited to: initiating unwanted conversation; impeding access to or within the building; or other actions that an individual reasonably perceives to be hostile, threatening, intrusive or offensive.
  • Entering the Library before the Library is open.
  • Refusing to vacate the Library at closing time.
  • Children or other persons in need of supervision may not be abandoned or left unattended in the library. Children under the age of 8 should never be left without adult supervision at the Library.
  • Actions that damage library property or the property of others.
  • Any behavior that is prohibited by law.
  • Sexual misconduct, such as exposure, offensive touching, verbal comments or unwanted sexual advances to patrons, volunteers or staff.
  • Smoking or use of tobacco or tobacco products.
  • Bringing animals, other than guide animals, into the library unless authorized by the Library staff.
  • Access to staff or Library Friends’ areas, unless accompanied by a library employee or member of the Friends’ Board.
  • Using the library for extended periods of sleeping.
  • Inappropriate dress including no shirt or shoes.
  • Tampering with the arrangement of library materials which makes finding or using them difficult.
  • Use of radios, tape or CD players, cellular phones, or other personal listening or communication devices at a level that can be heard by others.
  • Loitering
  • Solicitation of funds, distribution of literature or promotional materials, or sale of goods by any person or agency other than the library.
  • Use of library computers for anything other than their intended purpose. (See library’s Internet policy.)
  • Blocking aisles or passageways so as to make it dangerous, difficult or impossible to walk through. This includes placement of cords for electricity to electronic equipment, such as lap top computers.


The Library Director will apply these rules in a fair and equitable manner for the benefit of all. If any of the information is unclear please ask a member of the library staff for clarification. The consequences of misconduct may be any of the following: verbal warning, eviction, loss or abridgement of library privileges, or prosecution to the full extent of the law. If the police are called the offender may be cited. Parents will be called or notified in writing in the case of a minor (under 18 years of age).

The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, personal listening devices, computers and coats brought into the Library’s premises.

Approved by Board of Trustees
September 17, 2003

Unattended Child Policy

The Adamstown Area Library welcomes children of all ages to participate in library activities. To ensure the safety of every child in the library, the following guidelines have been established:

Any child under 8 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult while in the library.

Any parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult who leaves a child under the age of 8 alone in the library will be notified of this policy by the Library Director. If the child is repeatedly left unattended in the library, the parent, legal guardian or responsible adult will be informed that the child may no longer use the library alone.

Any child under the age of 8 attending programs at the library must be accompanied by an parent, legal guardian or responsible adult throughout the program. Children may not be dropped off for a program and then picked up later.

If a child under 8 years of age is left alone at the library fifteen minutes before the regular closing time, the supervising staff member will attempt to telephone the parent, legal guardian or a responsible adult to arrange for the child to be collected. If no arrangements can be made, the staff member will call the police and arrange for the child to be collected. Children left at the library after the regular closing time are not the responsibility of the library.

Under no circumstances will any staff member offer to transport a child home, or place a child in their car.

Damage to Library Materials and Patron Equipment

A patron is responsible for the replacement or repair costs for any library material that is damaged while the item is in that patron’s possession. The determination of the exact cost for replacement or repair will be made by the staff of the Adamstown Area Library based upon the current Library System of Lancaster County Circulation Policy, the extent of the damage, and the value of the item in question.

Library patrons should not attempt to repair or replace the item themselves. Any attempt to do so may still result in the patron being held responsible for repair or replacement costs.

A damaged item should immediately be brought to the attention of the library staff upon its return. Damaged items left in the book drop or returned to the desk but not brought to the attention of a staff member will not be removed from a patron’s record until the damage is discussed with a library staff member.

A patron will not be held responsible for the replacement of a videocassette that has circulated in excess of 100 times.

If an audiovisual item becomes lodged within a machine, the patron should notify the library. The library will suspend the charging of overdue fines for the associated item from the date of notification. The patron should make every effort to have the item removed from the machine and return it to the library. If the item is damaged during removal, or cannot be removed, the patron will be held responsible for the replacement costs of that item.

The use of audiovisual materials belonging to the Adamstown Area Library in personal machines is done at the patron’s own risk. The Adamstown Area Library will not be held responsible for any damage that occurs to a patron’s personal audiovisual equipment or computer while a library item is in the machine.

Any use of materials belonging to the Adamstown Area Library constitutes acceptance of this policy.

Approved by the Adamstown Area Library Board of Trustees
July 25, 2007

Mask Policy

Mask Policy Updated 10.1.21

Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy Approved 11.10.21