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Saturday, June 14, 2008

From Hillsborough County Library Services Regarding Recent Circulation Policy Changes

June 14, 2008

Dear Library Customer

As the Manager of Materials and Circulation Services for Library Services Department, I am responding on behalf of Library Administration to any concerns related to recent changes in the library circulation policies. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or misunderstandings. These revised policies were approved by the Library Board as part of the library’s response to an audit performed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Several of the audit findings related to how the library manages the risks to materials purchased with tax dollars. To ensure that amounts due for fines and lost materials do not become excessive, the limits were lowered in order to reduce risk. We understand that this does affect the borrowing habits of our customers like you who use the library heavily for purposes such as homeschooling. Please feel free to obtain a library card for each of your family members. A family of four could have 200 items checked out at one time and have 60 items on reserve. Our on-line catalog offers a feature called My Booklist. It saves titles into a customized list that is accessible through your library card record. If you look up a title, but have reached the request limit, you can press the Add to Booklist button (right next to the Place a Hold button) and it will automatically save the title for future reference or to place a request. A similar on-line tool can be found at LibraryElf.com.

Another factor taken into consideration by the Library Advisory Board was a comparison to other comparable or area libraries. The comparison showed that our previously very generous limits (99 books per card and 50 holds) were not similar to that allowed by most libraries. The attached chart illustrates how the revised limits bring us more in line with our peers around the state and locally.

Staff will continue to monitor individual needs and suggest ways to improve the borrowing program. I trust that you will continue to find many books of interest to you and your family in Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries. Please do let me know if you have any questions or other concerns and thank you for using your public library.


Marcee Challener
Manager, Materials & Circulation Services
Hillsborough County Library Services Department
900 Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602

CC: Joe Stines, Director, Library Services Department