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Circulation Policy



Beaufort County Library card categories are:

a) Adult
b) Juvenile (Ages 4-11)

c) Teen (Ages 12-17)
d) Adult Non-Resident

e) Juvenile Non-Resident

f) Teen Non-Resident

g) Temporary/Internet Only

h) BC-NonRes-BDC

Library cards must be presented for checking out materials, including the internet. As a courtesy, a customer may check out without their library card, upon showing some form of photo ID. Library cards scanned into a smart device may be used in lieu of library card. Library cards that are in bad condition or defective and won’t scan will be replaced free of charge.

Adult is anyone who lives or owns real property in Beaufort County or is a current student, faculty, or county government employee in Beaufort County.

Non-Resident is anyone who is not eligible for a free card and wants year-long access to library resources.

SCLENDS is a consortium of libraries around the state that has agreed to share resources and circulating materials.


Cards are issued immediately upon completion of an application and:

1. Residents must show proof of current residency in Beaufort County and a photo ID.

2. For Juveniles and Teens between the ages of 4 and 17, both child and parent or legal guardian must be present.

3. Residents with no physical address must show a letter of sponsorship from a Beaufort County recognized non-profit organization on official letterhead in lieu of photo ID.

4. Persons who own property, including time shares, within Beaufort County, but who are not a full-time resident, must show proof of payment of property tax in Beaufort County, a photo ID, plus proof of a home mailing address.

5. United States Military ID plus proof of Beaufort County residency or military orders.

6. Non-residents who are current students in any Beaufort County school or college must show a current student ID plus proof of mailing address.

7. Non-resident faculty of any school or college in Beaufort County must present a current school ID badge and proof of mailing address.

8. Non-resident county government employees must show a current ID badge and proof of mailing address.

9. Non-residents, who are not eligible for a free card, can purchase a card annually by paying a $40 fee (effective July 1, 2018) and giving proof of a mailing address and showing a photo ID.

10. Accounts need to be updated every 24 months to verify that contact information is current. The automated system indicates when this should be done. Bills on the customer’s account may not exceed the maximum fine limit at the time of card renewal. Accounts not updated after three years will be purged from the system.

11. Customers may renew library cards over the phone provided that fines and fees on their account do not exceed the maximum fine limit. Customer must verify their name, address and phone number. If address has changed customer will need to verify the address that was previously on account.


Loan periods and loan limits help ensure the circulation of materials to as many customers as possible. Customers with accounts in good standing may renew most items twice, provided that the items have not been placed on hold by another customer.


Loan period is the amount of time materials may be checked out.
Loan limit is the number of items of a certain type that may be checked out at one.

renewal is the extension of the date due on an item checked out to a customer.


Maximum Number of Items:

A customer may have up to twenty-five items, including holds and checkouts, charged to his/her account at any given time. Such items are subject to any other limitations to their type (i.e. DVDs).

Loan period by material type:

1) 1 week: DVDs and LaunchPads.

2) 2 weeks: New Books, Science Fair Books, Holiday Books, and Music CDs.
3) 3 weeks: Audiobooks and other circulating material not previously mentioned .

4) Interlibrary loan periods are determined by the lending library.

Loan limits by material type:

Due to high demand, New Books, Audiobooks, and Music CDs are limited to 5 check outs per category on a card at one time (total of 25 combined). DVDs are limited to 10 checkouts per card.


Customers receive overdue notices via email to alert them that material they have checked out has not been returned by the due date.

Overdue is an item that is not returned to the library by the date given in the library database as the due date.



  1. It is the responsibility of the borrower to return materials by the due date.

  2. Customers receive via email notices when items are: due in 3 days, 3 days overdue, 7 days

    overdue and 30 days overdue.

  3. The overdue bill is removed from a customer’s record if the item is returned to the library. The

    customer is then charged the overdue fine with a set maximum of $7.00.


Customers with accounts in good standing may place holds on materials.


A hold is a customer’s request to reserve materials.


  1. Most items that are in the SCLENDS Consortium online catalog can be requested for holds. Some exceptions are Reference and items newer than 6 months that are owned by libraries outside of the BCL system.

  2. A customer may have up to 10 holds at any given time.

  3. Only 5 holds of DVDs, new titles, music CDs, audio books of each type may be picked up at a


  4. A person may pick up a hold for another customer provided that they present the customer’s

    library card at the time of check out.


Whenever our library system or the consortium does not own a book, periodical, microfilm or audiovisual item, our registered borrowers may request these items through a nationwide network of libraries, known as the interlibrary loan service.


An interlibrary loan (ILL) request is a transaction where one library system borrows material from another library system. This differs from a hold request which occurs between locations of the SCLENDS Consortium.


  1. There is no age restriction for this service.

  2. University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Technical College of the Lowcountry students

    must request materials for class assignments from their campus libraries, as directed by those


  3. Students at colleges and universities without local campus libraries may request class-related

    materials through our interlibrary loan service. Students may not request textbooks.

  4. Loan periods are determined by the lending library. It is the customer’s responsibility to return

    the material on time, or call the branch interlibrary loan representative at least one week before the due date on the item, if more time is needed. Renewals are not guaranteed. Items must be returned to the service desk of the branch from which they were checked out.

  5. Overdue fines are charged on interlibrary loan materials.

  6. If a customer has any fines or fees due they may not request an ILL until fines/fees are paid.

  7. Customers may not request the same item via ILL within a 6-month period.

  8. Customers are responsible for the replacement cost of lost or damaged interlibrary loan

    materials. Cost is determined by the lending library.

  9. Interlibrary loan privileges will be subject to review by the branch library Information Services



Claims Returned, lost, and damaged items are common problems that do occur from time to time so these issues should be handled as smoothly and consistently as possible.


Claims Returned is the status of an item that a customer states has been returned but cannot be located by library staff. Once an item goes into Claims Returned status no overdue fines will accrue and the customer will not be charged for the replacement.

Damaged material is any library material determined by library staff to be damaged through abuse or neglect to the extent that it is no longer in a suitable condition to circulate.

Lost material is an item that has not been returned to the library.


  1. Circulation staff will do a search of library shelves for item. Customer will be asked to search for item at home, etc.

  2. Staff will search for item over a period of 30 days. Due date will be extended or item renewed so no fines accrue over the 30-day period.

  3. A search for the Claims Returned is made over a period of 30 days. If the item is not found within 30-days, it will then be marked Claims Returned on the card holder’s account.

  4. A customer may have four Claims Returned on his or her record before the library card use is permanently blocked.



  1. A customer who loses or damages any item beyond further use is billed the price found in the item record. If no price is in the item record, the price is based on the type of item, as found in the appendix. The full replacement cost plus processing fee (see appendix) will be charged to the customer’s account.

  2. Should the customer return the item within 4 months or provide a suitable replacement (pending approval of the manager on duty) they will be charged a fixed processing fee.

  3. Overdue fines are not charged on lost or damaged items.

  4. A customer will receive a receipt once the lost or damaged fees have been paid and the item

    will be discharged from the customer’s record.

  5. Damaged items will be given back to the customer, unless the condition of the item requires

    its immediate removal.

  6. A customer may receive a refund for returning a lost item that was paid for if:

a. It is within 4 months of the date it was paid for.

b. The item is still considered to be in good condition by the manager on duty.

c. The payment for the lost item can be located in the user's billing / transaction history

in Evergreen.

Note: The processing fee will be deducted from the refund.

7. Items with a missing or damaged part will be billed per the appendix.

Fines & Fees Notes

  1. Fines are not charged for days the libraries are scheduled to be closed or for unexpected closings.

  2. The maximum fine for Interlibrary Loan items is determined by the lending library.

  3. Per the Beaufort County Administrator, County Council members shall not be exempt from

    library fines and fees.

  4. Library cards are blocked when 5 or more items are overdue, or one item is 30 days or more

    overdue, or the total bills on the account are $10.00 or above.

  5. Checks will not be accepted for amounts less than $10.00 and should be made to Beaufort

    County Library.


Beaufort County Library System Fines and Fees

Fines & Fees
Processing Fee
Replacement Board Book
Overdue materials
20 cents per day
Maximum fine
Non-Resident card
$40 (effective July 1, 2018)
Replacement library card
Damaged or Missing Parts (Replacement DVD/CD/audio cases)
Copies and computer printouts Note: Customers may not bring their own paper to use in Library printers.
10 cents per page
Microfilm Printing
25 cents per page
Internet use without SCLENDS card
$2 per day
Beaufort Prints
$10 ($5 shipping)
Obituary Packet
$5 for indexed / $10 for non-indexed $5 per question
BDC off-site reference fee for card-holders
$10 per question
BDC off-site reference fee for non-SCLENDS cardholders BDC off-site reference fee for internationals
$15 per question
BDC photocopies
50 cents each
Returned Check fee
Replacement Audio Book – full set
Replacement CD
Replacement DVD – full set
Replacement Music CD
Replacement Hard Cover Book
Replacement Trade Paperback Book
Replacement Paperback Book
Replacement Non-Fiction
Replacement Local History
Per BDC Manager
Replacement Children’s Book
Replacement Children’s Non-fiction
Overdue Interlibrary Loan materials
50 cents per day
Policies Revised and Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, March 2020
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