Circulation Policy

Library material becomes overdue at closing time on the date due. The fine shall be increased at the beginning of each 24-hour period thereafter until the material is returned or declared lost. Material returned during the first 72 hours after it becomes overdue will not be assessed a fine. Material returned after the first 72 hours will be charged from the time the material became overdue. 

Equal Access to Library Materials and Services

The Watertown Regional Library shall align its Circulation Policy with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights (1996) and its Freedom to Read Statement (2004).  These documents endorse equal access to the library material and services for all people, regardless of the legally defined factors of race, color, sex, age, political affiliation, marital status, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.  The Watertown Regional Library will not forbid the circulation of items from the Library collection to any of its cardholders in good standing.  It is the policy of Watertown Regional Library that parents or guardians, not Library Staff or Trustees, are responsible for monitoring and approving the selection of materials for children.  It is the parents or guardians, and only these, who may restrict their children, and only their children, from access to Library materials. 

Registration and Eligibility for Library Services

Any person eighteen years of age or older, or the parent/guardian of any person under eighteen years of age, with a Watertown Regional Library card is responsible for all charged materials, associated fees, and notification of card loss or change of address.  There is a $1.00 fee assessed for any lost cards.  All patrons must present photo ID and proof of address to register for a library card.  Parents/guardians must present photo ID and proof of address to register any person under eighteen years of age.

Loaning privileges shall be available to the following persons without paying a fee:

  • Residents of Codington County
  • Legal owners of real property in Codington County
  • Students attending a school within Codington County
  • Faculty or staff working at a school in Codington County 


Patrons with overdue materials will be sent a bill for the cost of replacing those materials plus an administrative fee.  People living at the same physical address as the person to whom the bill is mailed may have their borrowing privileges suspended until the bill has been paid.  Patrons with an outstanding bill may be referred to a collection agency, issued a citation, or both. 

Suspension of Library Borrowing Privileges

A patron’s borrowing privileges will be suspended if:
  • Item(s) is more than 21 days overdue
  • A patron’s library card has expired
  • A patron’s account owes $10.00 or more in fines/fees
  • A patron at the same address has a blocked account

Delinquent accounts may be forwarded to another agency for collections.  Borrowing privileges will be reinstated when the overdue item(s) are either returned in good condition or paid for.  However, in cases of continued misuse of borrowing privileges, the City Librarian may suspend that borrower’s privileges for an indefinite period.  Patrons may appeal this decision to the Library Board by notifying the City Librarian that they wish the issue to be placed on the agenda for the next Board meeting.  Such notice shall be given at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.  If appealed, the suspension shall be on hold until the appeal is exhausted. 

Lost or Damaged Materials

The fee for replacing an item which is lost or damaged beyond repair includes the replacement cost of the item and an administrative fee.  Refunds for found items are not possible.  The Library is not responsible for any damage to patrons’ electronic equipment incurred while using Library materials.

Holds, Interlibrary Loans, and Requests for Purchase

All library materials that are “on order” or in circulation may be reserved with the exception of reference materials and current magazine issues.

Items will be held for seven days. If the material is not picked up within that time, the reserved material will be loaned to the next patron on the list or returned to the shelf.

Patrons may request items from other libraries through interlibrary loan.
  Patrons may request a total of ten (10) items including both requested and checked out interlibrary loans.  Patrons will be limited to ten (10) total holds including interlibrary loans.

Patrons may request an item for purchase for the collection.  All requests will be reviewed according to the Watertown Regional Library Materials Selection Policy.

Adopted:  March 2, 2021
Revised: October 14, 2021