Borrower Policy


The Burlington Public Library is a tax-supported service for the residents of the City of Burlington, Iowa. The purpose of this policy is to outline eligibility for a borrower card and responsibilities of its use.


Borrower cards are issued without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, genetic information, national origin, age, disability, military or veteran status, non-resident alien but otherwise legal status (if others meeting the criteria above regarding service area), or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law.


Those registering for a borrower card must present current photo identification and proof of residence, which proof must be reliable but not necessarily a traditional form of identification. Some card types have additional requirements.



Borrower cards will be issued to registrants who reside in the stated service area of the City of Burlington or contracting entities. Non-residents who wish to obtain a borrower card and who own real estate in Burlington or a contracting governmental entity must present a current property tax receipt in addition at the time of registration.



Minors must be present to be issued a card. A signature of parent/guardian is required. An adult whose library account is in debt collection is not eligible to sign.


Open Access

Iowa residents who reside in communities that are part of the State Open Access Program may obtain borrowing privileges at the Burlington Public Library. Open Access borrowers must access the state consortium e-resources using their home libraries. Open Access borrowers are encouraged to make interlibrary loan/purchase requests through their home library.


Students enrolled in any college or university in Iowa that participates in Open Access may obtain borrowing privileges for the duration of the school term. A verification of fees paid for the current term is required at the time of registration.


In accordance with the standards of the State Library of Iowa, Iowa residents not otherwise within qualified by the terms of this policy cannot obtain a borrower card from the Burlington Public Library for a fee.


Out of State residents

Illinois residents who do not own real estate in Burlington or a contracting governmental entity may pay an annual fee set by action of the Library Board of Trustees to obtain a borrower card. Payment of the non-resident fee must be made at registration. Cards are issued in person only.


Temporary status

A person residing in Burlington or a contracting entity for a short term basis, such as working for more than a month or living at a shelter or treatment facility, may be issued a library card with temporary status that allows checkout of up to two items at a time. An alternative address must be given at registration.


Minors ages 14-17 may register for a library card with temporary status without needing the signature of a parent/guardian.


Staff may assign this status to users on a short-term basis to assist a user who does not meet the requirements for full borrowing privileges.



Businesses and organizations within Burlington or contracting entities may register for a library card for business use. A responsible party must be named and additional people may be authorized to use the card. A business card or other proof of affiliation to the business/institution must be shown at registration.


Home Library Users

Users physically unable to visit the library may open a Home Library account by working with the staff person assigned to this service.


Digital Users

Schools within Burlington or contracting entities may register for digital user library cards to be used solely in the classroom to access online resources. Grayhound Cards issued directly to students in the schools are digital user cards.


Individual card holders can have their cards set to digital user if they don’t want the card to be used to borrow physical collections.


New Borrower

New card holders can borrow a limited number of items on their account for the first month. If there are no fines or overdue items on the account after one month, the account will be renewed at full borrowing privileges.


Borrower Responsibilities

Borrowers are responsible for bringing their card to check out materials. As a special service to customers, material may be checked out without a card if the borrower has a current account and provides identification and pin number or other account information.


Borrowers are responsible for returning items borrowed from the Burlington Public Library within the loan period and in the same condition in which they were borrowed. A table of loan periods, renewal limits and late charges and fees can be obtained upon request and is posted in the library and on the library’s website.


Borrowers are responsible for all fees on the account in their name. Under Iowa law (Iowa Code 613.16), parents are responsible for the costs of items damaged or lost by minor children.


Iowa Code 714.5 states that concealing library materials or keeping materials past the due date by two months or more is material evidence of intent to deprive. Iowa Code 808.12 allows library staff to detain and search a person believed to be concealing library materials.


Borrowers are responsible for reporting lost or stolen cards promptly. Borrowers are responsible for materials checked out on lost or stolen cards prior to notification to the library of the card’s loss.


Card holders are encouraged to obtain and use their cards individually and not to loan their cards to others in order to maintain patron privacy and to protect the card holder from fines and fees incurred by others using the card. The library interprets possession of a card as consent to use it unless it is reported lost or stolen.



The Burlington Public Library will maintain the privacy of patron records in compliance with Iowa Code 22.7. See Use of Library Records policy.



Revised and re-adopted: March 20, 2019

January 20, 2016, May 20, 2015, February 18, 2015, January 15, 2014, October 19, 2011, February 18, 2009, October 18, 2006, September 15, 2004, August 19, 1998, April 17, 1996