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Eligibility for a Library Card

Individual borrowers card

A library card for the Library System of Lancaster County will be issued without charge to any resident of Lancaster County who is five years old or more.

A child under the age of 14 years must have the library card application form signed by a parent or legal guardian who agrees to assume responsibility for monitoring the materials borrowed by the child, as well as the child’s fines and the cost of any lost or damaged materials. (See Confidentiality below)

Applicants will need to produce proof of address from one of the following sources:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • A current identification card
  • A bill from a utility company or retailer addressed to the person and dated in the last three months
  • A tax bill for a Lancaster County property
  • Working papers issued to a teenager
  • A copy of a current lease or deed for a Lancaster County property
  • Checks with a pre-printed Lancaster County address
  • Valid Lancaster County college / university ID

Non-residents of Lancaster County should see the librarian to obtain a card.

Institutional Card

An institutional library card is issued to a Lancaster County organization that assumes responsibility for all borrowed materials. The application must be accompanied by a letter on the letterhead of the organization applying for the card, accepting responsibility for all borrowed materials and signed by the director of the organization. Overdue fines will be incurred for any materials not returned by the due date. Special loan periods can be arranged upon request.

Use of the Library Card

A library card for the Library System of Lancaster County may be used at any public library that is a member of the Library System of Lancaster County.

Borrowing privileges may be suspended for the failure to return overdue books, failure to pay overdue fines, or failure to pay for lost or damaged materials.

Library patrons are responsible for notifying any member library about a change of address within 30 days.

Lost or stolen library cards can be replaced for $1.00.

Patron Registration

The following information will be taken as part of patron registration:

  • Name, Address, Telephone Number
  • Municipality of residence
  • Library of registration
  • School District

The following will be requested at the time of registration, but will be optional on the part of the patron:

  • Birthdate (required by minors)
  • Gender
  • E-mail Address
  • Electronic photo ID for patron record

Circulation Periods

  • Videos, DVDs, High demand / Best Sellers circulate for 1 week
  • All other materials circulate for 2 weeks

Renewal of Library Materials

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

  • Renewal at a member library circulation desk requires the items or the library card on which the items were checked out
  • 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

  • 30 cents per day for Adult and YA (Young Adult) materials with a maximum fine of $5.10 per item
  • 20 cents per day for Children’s material’s with a maximum fine of $3 per item
  • $1 per day for all Videos and DVDs with a maximum of $5 per item

Overdue Notices

First Notice at 2 Weeks

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 fourteen (14) 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

Lost item charges equal the price of the item. It is the responsibility of the library patron to contact the library to arrange for the payment of overdue fines. Any questions about an account may be directed to the cardholder’s local library.

Enforcement of Overdue Fines

Library patrons are expected to return library materials promptly and to pay any overdue fines incurred.

  • If an item is more than 28 days overdue, borrowing privileges are suspended until the materials are returned and the overdue fine is paid.
  • Fines must be paid and overdue materials returned before suspended borrowing privileges are restored.


Pennsylvania State Law states that:

“Records related 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.†(PA State Law 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.

Library Notices in your Email

If you have an e-mail address in your patron record, you can receive your library notices on your home or office PC. To start receiving e-Notices, click on the link to MY ACCOUNT. There you will find a button named Modify Personal Info. Enter your e-mail address there. You will then start receiving the following library notices by e-mail.

Hold Pickup Notices

Now Available! Hold Pickup Notices are now sent out by e-mail to let you know your E-Reserve requests are ready to be picked up. If you do not have an e-mail address in your account, the Pickup Location will notify you by phone. Make sure your e-mail address is up-to-date, or add your e-mail address to your record, by going to MY ACCOUNT. Click on the Modify Personal Info button and sign up today!

Courtesy Notices

Notice at 2 days before due date

This library notice informs you that something that you have checked out is about to become due. You will receive your courtesy notice 2 days before the due date of any checked out item. Please note that Courtesy Notices are only sent out to patron’s with e-mail addresses in their record. Printed courtesy notices are not sent out. Please note: Failure to receive an e-mail reminder of the due date does not waive the Libraries’ right to apply fines.

Overdue Notices

First Notice at 2 Weeks

The first overdue notice will be sent to your e-mail address when the item is 2 weeks overdue. The notice will include a list of overdue materials. If overdue materials are renewed by telephone or online through MY ACCOUNT, you will be charged overdue fees for the time the item was overdue.

Second Notice: Bill for replacement at 4 weeks

A second PRINTED notice will be sent when the item is 4 weeks overdue. Please note: The second notice is not sent by e-mail. This is a bill for the replacement of the books. If the billed items are found, you need only pay the overdue fines.

NOTE: Your e-mail service may regard your library notifications as “spam”. If you feel that you should have received notices and have not, the settings in your Mail Options may need adjustment. Please note: Failure to receive an e-mail reminder of the due date does not waive the Libraries’ right to apply fines.


  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a method of resource sharing between library systems/districts within the U.S. In the Lancaster Library District, the ILL Department will only lend or borrow print materials, microfilm, or copies of materials abiding by copyright restrictions.
  • Resource sharing among libraries in Pennsylvania is in the public’s interest and should be encouraged. Interlibrary loan is a privilege and should serve as an adjunct to, not as a substitute for, collection development.
  • Member libraries should take reasonable steps to provide access with their own resources and submit ILL requests in good faith, according to state ILL guidelines.

 Patron eligibility for ILL

  • Must have an active Library System of Lancaster County (LSLC) library card in good

standing (no fines, no blocks, unexpired)

  • Welcome Cards, Internet Use Only Cards, Non-Resident Cards, etc. are not eligible.
  • Must reside in Lancaster County. Patrons from outside the county are ineligible for ILL service.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have an active telephone number in their patron record
    • If voice communication is not possible, the patron must provide an active email address

 Items eligible for ILL

  • Print books, except as noted below
  • Journal articles
  • Microfilm

 Items ineligible for ILL or unlikely to be fulfilled

  • eBooks and digital audiobooks
  • AV materials – DVDs, CDs, Audiobooks, etc.
  • Newly published titles (less than a year from date of publication)
  • Items in any format, cataloged in LSLC’s Integrated Library System
    • Exceptions: Items that are missing, withdrawn, or billed and overdue for 60+ days
  • If a requested ILL item is available for free online, the ILL Librarian will inform the patron of this prior to submitting the request and encourage them to access it via this option.
  • Textbooks (unlikely to be fulfilled)
  • Rare items or items in special collections (unlikely to be fulfilled)
  • Specific editions of titles may not be available


  • Every effort will be made to obtain requested items at no cost. If the lending library charges fees, those will be passed on to the patron but the ILL Librarian will confirm this with the patron prior to finalizing the request.
  • Patrons may receive 20 free ILL borrowing transactions in a calendar year.
    • After 20 transactions, the patron will be responsible for paying a $5 fee per request
    • There will be an absolute limit of 40 submissions per calendar year
    • Patrons will be notified before they hit the 20/40 limits.
  • If a patron does not pick up a requested ILL title before the due date, they will be charged a fee of $25.
  • Overdue fees are $1 per day
    • 3 days past the due date, the patron will receive a $25 fine plus the cost to replace the item, potentially refundable upon its return within a reasonable amount of time, determined by the ILL Librarian.
  • Lost or damaged ILL materials will result in a nonrefundable fee of $25 plus the cost to replace the item and any other fees incurred by the lending library.

 Loss of ILL privilege

  • The loss or destruction of an ILL item may result in permanent suspension of ILL borrowing privileges.
  • Any ILL item returned late without prior communication with the ILL department may result in a 3 month suspension of ILL privileges, determined by the ILL Librarian.

 Process for submitting an ILL request

  • ILL requests must be made in person at any public library in Lancaster County.
  • The patron must have a signed ILL Borrowing Agreement on file noted in their account. If there is no agreement on file, or the agreement has changed, the patron must sign the ILL Borrowing Agreement, the staff member should then add/update the ILL Agreement field in the patron’s record, and afterwards the staff member must send it to the ILL Department for retention.
  • The patron must provide their name, library barcode number, a valid telephone number where they can be reached (unless voice communication is not possible in which case an email address is required), pickup library, and relevant item information. It is the staff member’s responsibility to confirm that the patron’s account information is up to date.
  • ILL requests must be submitted through Sierra by a library staff member.
  • ILL requests usually take between 2 and 8 weeks to arrive from the date of submission, but may take longer. The ILL Librarian is unable to estimate when an item will arrive and is never able to guarantee when an item will arrive.
  • The lending library determines the conditions of their approval of the ILL request and may deny the request for any reason. The lending library sets the due date for their item and the ILL Librarian is unable to alter it. ILL items are not renewable.
  • Any ILL request may be denied due to resource constraints. The patron will be notified of any request cancellation.
  • Patrons and library staff must abide by all copyright laws as they relate to ILL requests.

My Reading History creates a list of the material you’ve previously checked out from the Library for your personal reference. This can be turned on or off by you.

Once you have activated My Reading History, you will maintain and have access to all of the titles which you check out. This feature is not retroactive. Only items checked out after you turn it on will be listed. Titles can only be deleted by you. You can select individual items and delete them from your history, or you can delete all of the records. If your account becomes inactive or you move out of our service area, your reading history remains in our system unless you delete it.

It is not the intent of the Library to monitor your reading history.

Certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act could require the Library to provide information about your library activities to law enforcement officials if and when they present proper legal documentation.


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