Reciprocal Borrowing

General Guidelines

Participation by libraries in the reciprocal borrowing program is voluntary.

  1. The reciprocal borrowing agreement is automatically renewed each October l, unless a participating library notifies the other participants 60 days prior.
  2. Materials available for reciprocal borrowing will be at the discretion of the individual lending library. It is hoped that most circulating items will be included.
  3. Borrowers will be subject to the rules of the lending library.
  4. Registered borrowers from any participating library are registered borrowers of all libraries in that system.
    1. In Pinellas County, several library systems make up the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative. Reciprocal borrowers need to register separately in each library management/automation system (LMS), i.e. Clearwater, St. Petersburg, etc.
  5. Borrowers will need to register separately at each library management system. When the borrower uses another library for the first time, the same barcode can be entered into the host database. If your system cannot accept the standard barcode, then affix one of your barcodes to the back of the card. The reciprocal borrowing sticker should be placed on the library card.
  6. Overdue fines may be collected at the library where materials are returned, based on their fine rate. All fines are kept by the library collecting them.
  7. Fees for lost and damaged materials will be collected and kept by the owning library. Damaged material will be returned to the owning library, which will assess any fines or fees.
  8. Individual libraries are responsible for insuring that their staffs are aware of, and adhere to, statutory requirements concerning confidentiality of public library users’ registration and circulation records as required by Florida Statute 257.261.

TBLC Responsibilities

  1. Coordinate the administration and evaluation of the program and the collection of statistics.
  2. Convene an ongoing advisory committee for the program.
  3. Solicit and consider suggestions for improvement of the program. The reciprocal borrowing advisory committee will review policies and procedures on an annual basis to maintain the best possible service.
  4. Maintain a file of letters of agreement to participate in the program.
  5. Promote the program throughout the service area.
  6. Provide encouragement, support and training to libraries new to reciprocal borrowing.

Library Responsibilities

  1. Identify the library as a participant in the program.
  2. Distribute stickers provided by TBLC to requesting borrowers.
  3. Honor cards from participating libraries.
  4. Inform borrowers about local rules of service.
  5. Keep and provide monthly statistics about card registration and use and forward to TBLC for compilation.
  6. Verify the current address of the card holder
  7. Return materials to owning library. Attach routing slip, noting date & location returned and whether a fine was paid.
  8. Publicize and promote program at local level.
  9. Participating libraries will adopt policies and procedures that insure confidentiality and privacy of patrons are maintained.

Borrower Responsibilities

  1. Present your library card to a reciprocal borrowing library to register for library privileges in that library system.
  2. Be in good standing at your local library.
  3. Be informed and abide by the rules and polices of the participating libraries you use.
  4. Assume responsibility for all materials borrowed on your cards, including payment for lost/damaged materials, overdue fines or other fees.
  5. Return materials to any participating library in a timely manner according to the rules of the lending library.

Members of the Program

Libraries who are members of TBLC’s reciprocal borrowing agreement have agreed to allow walk-in patrons to check out materials free of charge from any participating library. Patrons may use their own library card with a reciprocal borrowing sticker attached to check out materials. This program is available for patrons of participating libraries only.

Note: Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library no longer participates in Reciprocal Borrowing. Bruton Memorial Library is fully participating.

Check here for a list of libraries that are still extending borrowing privileges to Tampa-Hillsborough’s customers.

Statistics

Submit your Reciprocal Borrowing Statistics online.

Other Agreements

  • These Florida public libraries have reciprocal borrowing agreements with other libraries within the state. Contact the libraries individually for information about borrower registration, policies, and privileges.
  • The Florida Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements spreadsheet was compiled from data supplied to the State Library of Florida on the 2010 Annual Statistical Report Form for Public Libraries.
  • If you are a Library Director or MLC staff member and wish to submit additions or corrections for your library, please submit the online form or fax corrections to TBLC at (813) 628-4425.