Fines, Fees & Borrowing

Borrowing Privileges

  • Most materials check out for three weeks: books, audiobooks, nontraditionals and DVD sets of 200 minutes or more.
  • Magazines and DVDs under 200 minutes check out for one week.
  • Customers are limited to three Your Lucky Day (recent popular releases) DVDs per library account.
  • Book Club Express kits check out for six weeks. Customers are limited to one adult kit or two juvenile kits at a time.

Parental Controls: Children’s Library Card

  • For children under the age of 15, Douglas County Libraries offers parents or guardians the option of limiting their children’s borrowing to our children’s collection alone. This option is called The Children’s Library Card. This card option limits borrowing of physical materials and digital content in OverDrive. It does not limit children’s use of or access to library computers, WiFi, homework help or research databases. Accounts will automatically revert to full access when each child turns 15.
  • Parents or legal guardians may change an account to or from the Children’s Library Card at any time. This must be done in person and requires the child’s library card number.
  • Please note that should a child need to borrow items from our teen or adult collections, the parent or guardian must use an unrestricted account to borrow those items.

Borrowing Limits

  • Each customer may have up to 200 physical items checked out at any one time.
  • Prospector books and audiobooks automatically renew one time only.
  • Prospector audiovisual materials check out for one week only. Due dates cannot be extended.
  • The checkout period for OverDrive e-books/audiobooks is set by the customer at the time of checkout, for seven, 14 or 21 days.
  • Twenty OverDrive e-books/audiobooks may be checked out at any one time.
  • Customers may stream 10 items per month from Hoopla. Streaming and downloading are also subject to daily budget limits based on the library's Hoopla subscription. Budget limits reset at midnight daily.
  • The checkout period for Hoopla audiobooks, e-books and comics is 21 days. Hoopla movies and television check out for three days, and music checks out for seven days.
  • Customers may stream four videos per month from Kanopy. Streaming from Kanopy Kids and Kanopy's Great Courses collection is unlimited.
  • Customers may download unlimited issues of magazines from Flipster.


Customers are allowed 200 requests at any one time. OverDrive allows customers 20 holds at a time.


Library items may be renewed up to eight times. Automatic first-time renewal will take place the same day an item is due, and customers will receive an email notification of the automatic renewal with the updated due date. Items with a holds list will not be automatically renewed. Your Lucky Day materials, magazines, Book Club Express kits and Interlibrary Loan items may not be renewed.

Circulation Policy for Our Louviers Branch

Items from our Louviers location do not fill holds for customers at other locations. Our smallest library has very limited collections intended primarily for browsing. Customers may place an item from this library on hold only for pickup at that same location.

Your Lucky Day (YLD) Items

YLD items are copies of very popular titles that do not fill holds, but are placed in the libraries for customers to browse. These items are labeled with a green shamrock; are available first come, first served; and are not renewable. DCL staff will not hold these items and are unable to verify an item is on the shelf.

YLD Movies

DCL offers many YLD copies of DVDs and Blu-rays of popular films for the first two months after release. Customers may place holds on titles as soon as they are in the catalog, but typically requests are not filled during this time as all copies are in the YLD collection. These requests will be fulfilled after the two-month period.

Overdue and Fines

Customers will be assessed a 20 cent daily fine for each overdue item, including Prospector items, with the following exceptions:
  • The library offers a grace period for most material. Items returned or renewed within three days of the due date will not be subject to a fine. Any item going past the grace period date will be assessed a fine from the due date.
  • Lost or damaged Prospector items will incur a $40 fine unless the Prospector coordinator can work with the lending library to reduce the fine.
  • There is a $1 daily fine for reference materials.
  • Overdue Interlibrary Loan items cost $1 per day with no grace period.
  • Book Club Express kits:
    • Due dates for kits cannot be extended. There is no grace period.
    • Missing or damaged books cost $10 each for replacement, if the BCE coordinator decides a replacement copy is necessary.
    • Lost or damaged kits will incur a $140 charge.
If a customer accumulates a total of $20 or more in fines and fees, the customer may not check out any library materials until the fine is paid down. If the total exceeds $50, the account may be referred to a collection agency.

Maximum Fines

The following are the maximum fines for material types in the library:
  • All DCL Items - $5
  • Interlibrary Loan Items - $10

Customer Overdue Notification and Debt Collection Timeline

Number of days past due date:


12 DCL sends first overdue notice to customer via email or phone.
24 DCL sends second overdue notice to customer via email or phone.
36 Final notice sent by email or U.S. mail, saying customer will be charged for item(s) not returned.
  • On day 48, DCL puts replacement charge(s) on customer’s account.

If account goes over $50*:

  • “Billing Notice” is placed on customer account.
  • Customer will receive an email or letter indicating that the balance must be paid or the account will be sent to Unique Management Services Inc. for collection. Customer has 21 days to respond once communication is sent out.
  • “Billing Notice” is posted on the account each time an email or letter is sent.
  • DCL sends account to Unique Management and adds a $10 collection agency fee to customer account.
  • “Message to Borrower” note is placed on customer account, noting “Zero balance required to stop collection activity.”
  • Unique Management sends customer a letter as soon as it receives customer account, usually the same day. Customer has three weeks to respond.
Three weeks later
  • If no response, Unique Management sends customer a second letter. 
  • If customer returns only some materials or makes a partial payment, Unique Management sends another letter encouraging customer to resolve the remaining balance.
Three weeks later and forward If customer still owes the library money, Unique Management begins calling the customer. It will continue sending mail and making calls until the amount due is paid.
* If customer reports an item as lost and the replacement value of the item is over $50, or if total account fees/fines go over $50, the collection process starts.

Items Returned to Other Library Systems

The customer is responsible for the item until it reaches a DCL library.

Library Material Replacement

The replacement fee for library materials shall be the full retail value of the materials, as recorded in the library database. DCL does not accept replacement copies or donations in lieu of payment.