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Borrowing Policies: Community and Alumni

A guide to show borrowing policies for the various user communities of Musselman Library

General Policy

Community patrons are alumni or area residents, not current students, faculty or staff or faculty emeriti.

All Community borrowers are responsible for returning items by the due date, and for paying any overdue fines and replacement charges.

To check out materials from the library, you need to have your Bluffton ID card with you when you come to the Circulation Desk.

For Bluffton materials

CHARGES. The maximum charge for lost Bluffton materials is $100.00 (accumulated fines, $15.00; replacement charge, $75.00 or cost of the item, whichever is less; and processing charge, $10.00). If the Bluffton item is returned after it is declared lost, but before a replacement has been purchased, the charges are forgiven, except for the accumulated fines.

PLACING HOLDS. To place a hold on a Bluffton item, use the Request button from the catalog record display. If not checked out to another patron, the request will be processed and the item can be picked up at the Circulation Desk. If the item is checked out to another patron, the Hold request will block any request to renew, and you will be notified as soon as available.

For OPAL and OhioLINK materials

The maximum charge for lost OPAL and OhioLINK materials is $125 (replacement charge, $75.00; billing fee, $50.00). If the item is returned after it is declared lost, the replacement charge is forgiven but the $50.00 billing fee must be paid.

Fines are assessed for OPAL and OhioLINK items according to the information on this page for the first 30 days before going into billing; the $50 billing fee replaces fines when the item is 31 days overdue.

For SearchOHIO materials

The maximum charge for lost SearchOHIO materials is $50.00 (replacement charge, $25; billing fee, $25). If the item is returned after it is declared lost, the replacement charge is forgiven but the $25 billing fee must be paid.

Fines are assessed for SearchOHIO items according to the information on this page for the first 30 days before going into billing.  The $25 billing fee replaces fines when the item is 31 days overdue.

Renewals

Renewals allow extension of the due date, provided no other patron is waiting for the item. You may renew materials online from the Check Your Account link at the library website or from the My Account tab in the library catalog. If you prefer, you can renew in person when you come to the library or by calling the Circulation Desk (419-358-3262). 

Loan, Renewal, Grace Period, and Fine information

Musselman Library books, Curriculum Resource Center books, Teaching and Learning Collection books, Lion and Lamb books and teaching aids:
LOAN: 21 days 
RENEW: additional 21 days 
RENEW LIMIT: 1
GRACE PERIOD: 3 days
FINES: $0.25 per day

Musselman Library videos, CDs, and maps; Lion and Lamb CDs and videos:
LOAN: 7 days or to end of term
RENEW: additional 7 days or to end of term
RENEW LIMIT: 1
GRACE PERIOD: 3 days
FINES: $0.25 per day

Musselman Library Reading Room books and atlases (except Library Use Only); Curriculum Resource Center reference:
LOAN: 7 days or to end of term
RENEW: cannot be renewed
RENEW LIMIT: none
GRACE PERIOD: 3 days
FINES: $0.25 per day

OPAL or OhioLINK books:
LOAN: 21 days or to end of term
RENEW: additional 21 days or to end of term
RENEW LIMIT: 6
GRACE PERIOD: 7 days
FINES: $0.50 per day

OPAL or OhioLINK non-book materials:
LOAN: 7 or 21 days or to end of term
RENEW: additional 7 or 21 days or to end of term
RENEW LIMIT: varies
GRACE PERIOD: varies
FINES: $0.50 per day

SearchOHIO books:
LOAN: 21 days or to end of term
RENEW: additional 21 days or to end of term
RENEW LIMIT: 3
GRACE PERIOD: none
FINES: $0.50 per day

SearchOHIO media, except DVD:
LOAN: 21 days or to end of term
RENEW: additional 21 days or to end of term
RENEW LIMIT: 3
GRACE PERIOD: none
FINES: $0.50 per day

SearchOHIO DVD:
LOAN: 7 days or to end of term
RENEW: additional 7 days or to end of term
RENEW LIMIT: 3
GRACE PERIOD: none
FINES: $0.50 per day

Items not loaned to alumni and community patrons: Curriculum Resource Center (CRC) textbooks and teaching aids, Course Reserves.

Please note:  All materials are subject to recall if needed for course reserve.

Check your Library Account

For convenience in keeping track of due dates or to renew items, use the Check your Library Account at the library's homepage or choose My Account from the top menu bar when searching the catalog.

Email notices

Whenever you check items out from the library, you'll receive an email confirmation with the due date (s). Also, when items are soon to be due, you'll receive a courtesy reminder email.  If an item is not returned or renewed, you'll receive 3 overdue notices, after which the system automatically declares the item lost, your borrowing privileges are suspended, and you'll receive a bill by email for replacement of the item.

Overdue notices are a courtesy reminder but should not be relied on as indicators to renew or return library materials (i.e., the library is not responsible if for some reason you do not receive an email notice). Each borrower is responsible for knowing due dates, either by checking his/her account online or consulting at the Circulation Desk.

Borrowing Limits

Community patrons are entitled to 5 outstanding holds/requests and a total of 10 items checked out. This means that you can have up to 5 OPAL/OhioLINK items requested but no more than 10 total Bluffton and OPAL/OhioLINK items checked out at any given time.

Suspension of Privileges

Borrowing privileges are suspended whenever fines total $5.00 OR when a bill of replacement has been sent.

Making Payments

When overdue items are returned or lost items charged, payment should be made at the Circulation Desk - cash or checks accepted (checks payable to Bluffton University). For any questions about fines or charges, please contact Audra Oglesbee, Access Services Coordinator, (419-358-3271).