Circulation Policy

Approved by the Board of Trustees 10-25-17

The Circulation Policy of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System addresses the circulation of library materials throughout the Library System. The Library Director and the Library Director’s designees are responsible for implementing the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library’s Circulation Policy


Section 1: Confidentiality of Library Records

Section 2: Library Cards

Information for Parents and Guardians

Section 3: Borrowing Policies

Section 4: Fines and Fees

Section 5: Theft and Misuse of Library Material and Property

Section 6: Reasonable Modifications

Section 1. Confidentiality of library records:

1.1. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library’s privacy and confidentiality policies are in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

1.2. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System maintains the confidentiality of borrowing and library usage records according to Georgia Law. (Georgia Code 24-9-46)

1.3. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System keeps only the information needed to conduct library business. . We do maintain a record of overdue material, overdue fines, and damaged and lost material for an indefinite period. Patrons may now opt in to the Library System keeping a “charge history” for them so that they have a history of materials checked out; this information can also be viewed by library staff.

1.4. Library staff access borrower information only for the purpose of managing library material, such as keeping account information current, checking out books or filling requests.

1.5. Staff will discuss accounts only with the account holder or, in the case of minors, with the child’s parent or legal guardian; at times information may also be shared with the vendor of record in order to collect overdue fines that have gone into collection status.

Section 2. Library cards:

Library cards give the account holder free borrowing privileges at all of the Library System’s circulating branches and, in the case of the Auburn Avenue Research Library, free access to research materials. Library cards are required to reserve meeting rooms at library locations.

2.1. Items checked out on cards and library fines and fees are the responsibility of the cardholder until the card is reported lost or stolen.

2.2. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System issues free library cards to:

2.2.1. Residents of Fulton County and Atlanta in DeKalb.

2.2.2. Property and business owners in Fulton County and Atlanta in DeKalb

2.2.3. All school students enrolled in Fulton County and Atlanta in DeKalb.

2.2.4. All teachers employed within Fulton County and Atlanta in DeKalb and registered home-schooling parents in Fulton County and in Atlanta in DeKalb. These patrons receive a card which entitles them to borrow up to 75 items at one time.

2.2.5. Organizations or businesses in Fulton County and Atlanta in DeKalb, as long as a letter of authorization is provided and an authorized individual signs the application.

2.2.6. Current employees and retirees of Fulton County Government, municipalities situated within Fulton County, the Fulton County School System, the Atlanta Public Schools and immediate family members of those individuals.

2.2.7. Military - Active Duty

2.3. Courtesy cards are issued to visitors and temporary residents within Fulton County and Atlanta in Dekalb.

2.4. Non-resident fee: Non-residents may purchase individual borrowing privileges for $40.00 per person per year.

2.5. Responsibilities of parents and guardians:

2.5.1. Library cards for children under 13 are issued with the signature of a parent or legal guardian.

2.5.2. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for their child’s use of the library.

2.5.3. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System collections embrace a variety of viewpoints in all formats, including the Internet, and may contain material that is found controversial. We encourage parents and guardians to be involved in the decisions their child makes when using the Library System and the Internet.

Section 3. Privileges:

3.1. Cardholders in good standing may borrow up to the following:

3.1.1. 50 items total per card with most card types

3.1.2. 10 items total per card with Courtesy cards

3.1.3. 75 items total per card with Educator cards

3.1.4. 10 CD’s

3.1.5. 10 Audiocassettes

3.1.6. 5 DVD’s

3.1.7. 5 VHS tapes

3.2. Other limits: The library may set temporary limits on certain material when local needs require it.

3.3. Loan periods:

3.3.1. 28 days – Most books, CD’s, and audiocassettes

3.3.2. 14 days – Bestsellers and new releases

3.3.3. 7 days – VHS tapes and DVD’s

3.4. Renewals

3.4.1. Patrons may renew items two times unless another borrower is waiting for them.

3.4.2. 14 day bestsellers and new releases may not be renewed.

3.5. Holds: Patrons in good standing may reserve ten items on their card at one time. This service is free.

Section 4. Fines and fees:

4.1. The Library System encourages prompt return of borrowed material. Overdue fines are charged according to the following schedule:

Children’s books, CD’s, audiocassettes .05 per day 3.00
Children’s VHS tapes, DVD’s 1.00 per day 3.00
Adult and Young Adult books, CD’s, audiocassettes .10 per day 5.00
Adult and Young Adult VHS tapes, DVD’s 1.00 per day 5.00

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System uses standard prices to bill cardholders for lost library material.

4.2. Blocked Accounts: When an account is blocked, the cardholder may not check out additional library material until overdue library material is returned or paid for. Library accounts are blocked when the cardholder owes the following:

4.2.1 $10.00 or more in unpaid fines or other charges

4.3. Payment: The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System accepts:

4.3.1 Cash

4.3.2. Money Order

4.3.3. Personal checks, with local identification

4.3.4. Credit/debit cards

4.4. Library cards: The first library card is free. Replacements for lost cards will cost $1.00 each.

Section 5. Theft and misuse of library privileges and facilities:

5.1. Library material belongs to Fulton County and the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. The Library will take measures to protect library material, and will prosecute intentional damage and theft.

5.2.The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System may revoke library privileges for cause.

Section 6. Reasonable Modifications

6.1 Individuals with a disability may request reasonable modifications for applying for a library card; this Circulation Policy is available in an alternate format upon request.


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