Library Cards & Materials

Library Cards & Materials

Circulation Services

The Lake Geneva Public Library Board of Trustees seeks to provide community access to library materials and ensuring their use for all library patrons. The Library is a member of the Lakeshores Library System and the SHARE consortium which offers access to multiple public library collections (Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha County libraries: Rock County libraries beginning in 2018).

The Library provides free access to all of its materials to all SHARE library card holders. The Library believes that individuals have the freedom to choose their own materials; it is the right and obligation of parents or caregivers to develop, interpret, and maintain their own values in their family.

Materials Selection

The Lake Geneva Public Library Board of Trustees believes that the Library is a vital resource for meeting educational, informational, cultural, and recreational reading, viewing, and listening needs within the community. Therefore, the Library:

  1. Acquires and organizes an unbiased and diverse collection, in various formats, representing a variety of viewpoints and cultural backgrounds.
  2. Provides useful and current information sources for individuals, businesses, and organizations.
  3. Makes the collection available to patrons of all ages, needs, and backgrounds.
  4. Encourages comments, suggestions, and opinions regarding the collection from library patrons.
  5. Endorses the American Library Association’s statements on intellectual freedom.

Responsibilities for Selection

Ultimately, the Library Director is responsible for collection development and maintenance, acting in accordance with the general policies established by the Library Board of Trustees. In practice, the Director delegates most collection responsibilities to members of the staff who are qualified by education or training.

The Director may elect to bring to the attention of the Library Board any acquisitions that may be of concern to the Board.

The presence of any item in the collection does not indicate endorsement of its contents by Library staff or the Board.

Responsibilities of the Patron

The Library realizes that some items may not reflect every patron’s interests, values, or beliefs. While staff are available to offer recommendations, responsibility for personal selection of materials lies with the patron.

The Library provides access to all of its materials to all patrons. Collection development decisions are not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials that their parents or caregivers consider inappropriate. The Library believes that individuals have the freedom to choose their own materials; it is the right and obligation of parents or care givers to develop, interpret, and maintain their own values in their family.

Patrons questioning library resources are encouraged to discuss these issues with appropriate library staff as outlined in the Board of Trustees policy “Concern about Library Resources”.

Public Library / School Library Roles

The Library provides materials that complement and enhance reference, research, and leisure needs of students of all ages. The Library does not duplicate school collections. Lake Geneva Public Library collections should be considered a supplement to, and not a replacement of, school materials.

Selection Tools and Criteria

Library staff rely upon several sources for selecting library materials, including book reviews in professional journals, publishers’ advertisements, standard bibliographies, recommendations of other professionals and library patrons, and personal and professional expertise based upon experience.

Factors that influence the selection of materials include:

  • present and potential relevance to community needs or interests
  • authority and comprehensiveness of treatment
  • suitability of the physical format for library use
  • insight into human and social conditions
  • relation to the existing collection
  • reputation or significance of the author or illustrator
  • attention of critics, reviewers, and the public
  • value in terms of artistic merit, expression, and creativity
  • diversity of opinion in achieving a balanced viewpoint in the collection
  • language(s)
  • cost

Used or new materials donated to the Library must meet the same criteria applied to materials purchased through the Library’s operating budget. New purchases funded by individual donations are selected by the library staff. Gift plating is done at the Library’s discretion.


It is necessary to systematically withdraw materials from the collection to maintain currency and relevancy. Materials are withdrawn because they may be outdated, no longer of interest or in demand, worn, or damaged. This process involves the same thought, criteria, and judgment as selection.

The Library has adapted the CREWS (condition, review, evaluate and weeding) method of weeding to its collections.

External Resources

Interlibrary loan is used to supplement the collections of the Lake Geneva Public Library. Through this service, the Library attempts to make available materials not owned by any member of the SHARE consortium or that fall outside the scope of materials the Lake Geneva Public Library typically collects. In exchange, our Library loans materials from our collection to other libraries for use by their patrons. The Library attempts to borrow any item not owned by our library system that is requested by a patron. At times, outside constraints or item unavailability may prevent us from successfully completing a request.

Online resources may be used to enhance or broaden the Library’s reference collection. Such services will be used with a patron if they are determined by reference staff to be the best or most readily available source of information.

Loan Periods

A twenty-one (21) day loan period applies to most Lake Geneva Public Library owned materials. New books and audio books are circulated for fourteen (14) days. Videos, compact discs, DVDs, and past issues of magazines circulate for seven (7) days. Other special items (Launchpads, iPad, STEM kits, dolls, Kindles, etc.) may have shorter loan periods – please check your receipt or with library staff. These items may also be required to be checked out and returned at the Lake Geneva Public Library front desk.

Reference materials and current issues of magazines and newspapers do not circulate.

New items, videos, compact discs, DVDs and past issues of magazines owned by the Lake Geneva Public Library may be renewed once for the same length of time as the original loan period unless the item has been reserved by another patron. All other materials may be renewed up to three times unless the item has been reserved by another patron.

Patrons wishing to check out an item that is checked out by another patron may place a hold on the item if they have a SHARE library card.

Patrons wishing to borrow items not owned by a SHARE consortium member may place requests through the Interlibrary Loan Reference Department if they have a SHARE library card. Interlibrary loan requests placed at the Lake Geneva Public Library will be delivered to the Lake Geneva Public Library. (Patrons wishing to have interlibrary loan materials delivered to a different library need to place their requests at that library.)

Interlibrary loan items must be picked up and returned to the Lake Geneva Public Library. The lending library determines the loan period for interlibrary loan items. There are no renewals.

Confidential Records

Lake Geneva Public Library staff members recognize that records and transactions in which the name of a library patron is identifiable are confidential in nature. Wisconsin State Statute 43.30 protects this privacy. Our policy extends to information sought or received; materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired; database search records; reference interviews; interlibrary loan records; and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

Such records shall not be made available to any individual, group, or law enforcement agency except pursuant to due legal process. Any requests for such information shall be referred to the Library Director. Library patrons may be confident that registration and usage information is confidential.

Names of individuals may be disclosed to another library for the purpose of borrowing materials for that individual.

Lost & Damaged Materials

Lost or severely damaged items incur a replacement cost which covers the retail list price. Patrons may bring a brand new, identical-format item to replace a lost library item. The library assesses a $4.00 processing fee for labor and materials if the patron chooses to replace a lost item on their own. Overdue charges continue to accrue until an item is declared lost or nonreturnable or the $10 block has been reached.

Charges for interlibrary loan items are determined by the lending Library. If the charges are not known at the time a patron wishes to settle their account, a minimum $50 item replacement and overdue fee is levied.

Overdue Material

Lake Geneva Public Library-owned materials checked out at the Lake Geneva Public Library do not accrue overdue fines or fees, with the exception of WiFi Hotspots (overdue fees of $1/day still apply), special items (iPads and other mobile devices), and interlibrary loan items (overdue fees of $0.25/day apply). The Lake Geneva Public Library youth collections are also fine free. Materials owned by other libraries may have various overdue fees applied for late returns. Items will be declared lost when they are two (2) months overdue and the patron’s account will be billed for the replacement cost of the items.

A patron cannot check out anything at Lake Geneva Public Library until their outstanding charges are below ten (10) dollars.

Patrons may return Lake Geneva Public Library books, DVDs, audiobooks, and music CDs at other SHARE consortium libraries (Kenosha, Racine, Rock, and Walworth County public libraries). If items are returned to a Library outside of the SHARE consortium, lost fees may be applied until/unless the items are checked in at the Lake Geneva Public Library.

Patrons are responsible for keeping accounts current for home and email address, phone number, and any other contact information. Patrons may check the status of their account of checkouts, holds, and bills by logging into their account status in the SHARE catalog. Patrons may also call the Circulation Services desk for account information and renewals during the hours the Library is open.

Patrons who provide a current email address are sent a courtesy notice via email prior to item due dates.

Patrons who provide a current mobile phone number can receive text notifications (SMS) from the library. The patron is responsible for any SMS charges billed by their mobile carrier. Patrons subscribing to SMS messages from the Library will receive a text message two days before their items are due.

An email address is required for patrons to receive library notices. Patrons are notified once by the Lake Geneva Public Library about overdues at 7, 21, and 36 days. Patron accounts with long outstanding charges may be sent to a collection agency. Patrons whose accounts have been turned over to a collection agency must resolve their accounts directly with the Lake Geneva Public Library to ensure that their payments are credited properly to the Lake Geneva Public Library. Juvenile accounts are not sent to collections. The collection agency does not provide any information to credit reporting companies.