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Circulation Policy

Purpose

Most materials circulate to provide patron use of the materials out of the library.

Procedure

Borrower Responsibility

Due to the specialized nature of legal materials, specifically the need for timely access to materials, it is expected that library patrons understand and respect the circulation loan periods. Borrowers are responsible for all items checked out in their name.

Borrower Registration

To borrow materials from the Mass. Trial Court Law Libraries, a library patron needs to register as a borrower in person at one of the law libraries and obtain a borrower's card. One form of identification with a current home address is necessary as well as a home telephone number to obtain a borrower's card. The borrower's card will be mailed to the home address and new borrowers will be limited to borrowing 1 item on the day of registration. After the borrower receives their card by mail, the card will need to be presented to borrow all other library materials. There will be a $2 fee for the replacement of a lost borrower card.

Patrons may choose to have a preferred contact address (different from their home address) for circulation activities such as reserves and overdue notices. Circulation notices will be e-mailed, or, if the patron has requested, mailed to the preferred address.

Library records are not public documents.

Loan Periods

14 days

Treatises, periodicals and audiovisual materials.

24 hours

Second copies of primary source materials such as statutes and reporters or heavily used titles such as Massachusetts Practice.

Non-circulating

Reference & reserve materials, finding aids (digests, citators, indexes), rare books, primary source materials, and materials in high demand if there is no second copy.

Maximum number of items which may be borrowed

A borrower may have a maximum of 10 items from all the Trial Court Law Libraries checked out at any time. Libraries may limit the number of books borrowed on a single topic.

Renewal of library materials

Materials with a 24 hour circulation period may not be renewed.

Materials with a 14 day loan period may only be renewed one time for an additional 14 day period unless a hold has been placed on the item. A renewal may be requested by telephone, in person, or by computer and will be due 28 days after the original check-out date.

For more information, see How to Renew Your Own Books.

Return of library materials

Library materials may be returned to any of the 17 Trial Court Law Libraries.

Library staff reserves the right to recall any borrowed library materials at any time for any reason. A recalled item should be returned directly to the library from which it was borrowed.

Overdue materials

24 hour materials:

As these materials may not be renewed, they are considered overdue if not returned within 24 hours.

14 day materials:

These items are considered overdue if they are not returned within 14 days, or if they have been renewed, within 28 days.

While there are any overdue library items on a borrower's record, a borrower will be unable to borrow additional items from any Trial Court Law Library.

If an item becomes more than 1 week overdue, the borrower's circulation privileges at all Trial Court Law Libraries will be suspended for a period of time equal to the time elapsed between the final due date and the date the item was actually returned, or the replacement cost was paid, or the item was replaced. If various items are overdue for different periods of time, the length of suspension will be equal to the longest overdue period.

An item will be considered lost if it has not been returned within 30 days after the original due date, or if the item has been renewed, 30 days after the renewal due date.

Lost or damaged materials

As borrowers are responsible for all items checked out in their name, borrowers need to arrange for the replacement of any lost or damaged item (or for a comparable substitute if the material is out of print or otherwise unavailable). In addition, there will be a $25 processing fee charged for each item lost or damaged.

It is a criminal offense to deface or detain library property (Mass. General Laws, c.266, s.99A & 100). A library may bring criminal charges against any borrower who does not return or pay the replacement cost of lost or damaged library materials.

Revised 12/9/04