Lending Policies

lending-policiesOur policy on lending materials: getting a library card, due dates and renewals, late fines, and damaged materials.

Reading Public Library – Circulation Policies and Rules:

Revised January 2019

How to obtain a library card

For Berks County residents, VALID Pennsylvania photo identification showing name and current address is required to obtain a library card. Children’s cards are issued to resident children (17 years and younger) with parental signature and identification.

How long your library card lasts

Library cards not presented at the library for more than seven years will be invalidated. Library cardholders are asked to update their address periodically while using their card at the library.

Using your library card

Library cardholders are limited to the maximum number of each type of material checked out at any given time. Fines are imposed for overdue materials. Lost materials are billed to the library cardholder at replacement cost and a $5.00 service fee is included for each lost item.

If you lose your library card

Library cardholders must inform us in person or call us by phone to invalidate a lost library card and prevent others from using it. A replacement fee of $2.00 will be charged to reissue a library card.

Library card security

Be careful not to let other people use your library card, use items checked out on your library card or return items that are checked out on your library card. You are financially responsible for everything that is checked out on your library card.

Changes of address

Let us know if you have changed information on your library card registration especially if your address and phone numbers have changed.

Checkout policy

You must have your library card with you to check out materials. If you forget your library card, you may use your photo ID to check out. You may use your ID 3 times consecutively beofre being required to get a replacement card. The normal checkout times for materials are as follows:

Books 3 weeks
Audiobooks 3 weeks
Music CDs 3 weeks
DVDs / Videos 1 week
Museum Pass 1 week


Renewing library items

Unless there is a waiting list and before the item is checked back in, regular items (not new items) are renewable twice. Library cardholders may renew library materials over the phone.

Overdue fines

The daily fines imposed on overdue materials (calculated daily whether or not the library is closed) are as follows with no grace period allowed:

Adult Books 25¢ per day
Audio Books 25¢ per day
DVDs 25¢ per day
Videos 25¢ per day
Music CDs 25¢ per day
CDROMs 25¢ per day
Magazines 25¢ per day
Museum Passes $1.00 per day
Interlibrary Loan $1.00 per day


Maximum fines per item

Books $5.00
Audio Books $5.00
CDs $5.00
Videos $5.00
Children’s Audi Visual Items $5.00
DVDs $5.00
Interlibrary Loan Items $25.00
Magazines $2.00
Museum Passes $10.00


Overdue notices and procedures:

Notices will be sent for overdue materials. After several overdue notices have been attempted, unreturned items will be pursued via either a collection agency or district magistrate’s court. In either case, all fees and costs will be charged against the borrower.

Placing a hold (or reserving an item):

Up to ten holds (or reserves) can be placed on your library card at one time. You may place holds with your library card using the PAC (Public Access Catalog) or in person at a reference desk or branch library.

Lost materials:

Lost materials will be billed at replacement cost when known to the system or at the following default replacement costs (calculated to approximate average replacement costs):

Books $25.00
Audio Books $20.00
Documents $40.00
Music CDs $15.00
Paperbacks $4.00
Magazines $5.00
DVDs / Videos $20.00
Interlibrary Loan Cost determined by lending library
Juvenile Books $15.00
Juvenile Cassettes $10.00
Juvenile Sets $20.00
Juvenile DVDs / Videos $20.00
DVD / Video Case $5.00
CD / Cassette Case $5.00
CD / DVD Booklets $1.50


A processing fee is added to the cost of lost items; $5.00 for all items except paperbacks to which a $1.00 fee is added.

Lost materials fees may berefunded if materials are returned within 60 days of payment. Processing fees are not refunded. Lost materials remain the property of the Reading Public Library. Payment of the lost materials fee does not transfer title of the lost material to the payee.

Damaged items:

Fees will be charged to repair or replace damaged materials, and may include the replacement cost and a $5.00 processing fee.