Library Policies: Circulation Services

CIR 1 – Library Cards for Fergus County Residents
CIR 2 – Library Cards for Non-Fergus County Residents
CIR 3 – Loan Periods and Loan Limits
CIR 4 – Renewals
CIR 5 – Claims Returned / Never Returned
CIR 6 – Lost or Damaged Materials
CIR 7 – Fines and Fees
CIR 8 – Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending

CIR 1 – Library Card for Fergus County Residents
Any resident of Fergus County is eligible for a free Lewistown Public Library card by completing an application card at the Library. Two types of identification are required to open a Library account: a photo ID and proof of current address. An unexpired Montana Driver’s License or ID with a current street address will satisfy both requirements. Other acceptable forms of photo identification and proof of current address when applying for a Library card include the following:

Examples of Photo ID:

  • Valid US passport or Real ID
  • Valid Tribal ID
  • Valid US military identification card
  • Out-of-State driver’s license
  • Current School ID
  • Employee or contractor photo ID card issued by a local, state, tribal or US government agency

Examples of Proof of Address:

  • Vehicle insurance or registration card
  • Voter registration card
  • Current utility or telephone bill
  • Checking or savings account statement
  • Current tax statement
  • Rental receipt, lease, or deed
  • Checkbook with printed name and address
  • Recently postmarked item of mail
  • Valid fishing license with current address
  • Valid hunting license with current address

A physical address is required along with a mailing address, if a P.O. Box is used.

The parent or legal guardian of a minor may provide his or her own photo identification and proof of current address to obtain a Library card for a child. A Library card cannot be issued without the child present.

Lost Library Cards
Cardholders will be charged a $3.00 fee for replacement of a lost library card. Every library patron is responsible for immediately reporting to the Library when his or her library card is lost or stolen, and also, responsible for changes on it until the Library is notified that it has been lost or stolen.

Computer and Internet Access Library Card
A Library Card is not required to use the Library’s public computers.

CIR 2 – Library Cards for Out of County Residents
Non-residents of Fergus County may obtain a Lewistown Public Library card with photo identification, proof of address, and payment of an annual fee of $30.00. Or the individual may choose to apply for a temporary non-county library card for a fee of $10.00 which allows for three months of library usage.

Non-resident cards will be valid for the period issued and will entitle cardholders to all of the services provided to Fergus County cardholders.

CIR 3 – Loan Periods and Loan Limits
New borrowers are limited to two in-house items of an format during a 60-day probation period. Short term (Out of County patrons with a three-month card) are also limited to two in-house items for the entire three months they have a card. If the patron’s account is under $2.00 in fines, at the end of the 60-day probation period, that patron will become an established borrower. Established borrowers have a 25 item limit on all Library materials with the exception of DVDs, which have a 5 item limit. The 5 DVDx count as part of the 25 item limit. Out of County patrons who pay the $30.00 fee are considered established borrowers.

Current cardholders may check out books, selected magazines, compact discs, and audiobooks for a period of 28 days. DVDs will be checked out for 14 days. Loan periods for Outreach services and school visits are set in relation to monthly visits.

Downloaded electronic materials may be returned to the Circulation desk, book drop, or Senior/School Outreach staff.

Selected newspapers, current magazine issues, reference books, telephone books, Genealogy Room materials, and Local History materials do not circulate but may be used in-house.

CIR 4 – Renewals
Circulating materials may be renewed for up to two additional periods equal to the original loan period as long as no holds are waiting for those items.

CIR 5 – Claims Returned / Never Had
In the event, that a patron asserts that a lost item was returned, but it still appears on the patron’s account, Library staff will search for the item, during which time the patron should also look for it. If the item is not found, the item will be checked out to Trace by the Librarians in-charge of the collection to which the item belongs.

*Trace is an administrative tool used by Library staff to manage collections.

CIR 6 – Lost or Damaged Materials
The Library charges for lost or damaged library materials. For lost materials or those damaged beyond repair, the total charge will consist of the replacement cost of the material. By accepting a library card the patron agrees to pay all fines and for lost or damaged library materials.

The Library will accept a replacement copy for a lost or damaged item. The replacement copy must be identical to the original copy and have the same ISBN number or other standard identifying number as determined by a Library staff member (in the case of non-book materials). The replacement copy must be new or “like new” condition.

Patrons will be charged for lost/damaged interlibrary loan materials based on the charge assessed by the lending library.

CIR 7 – Fines and Fees
The Library charges a fine of $0.10 per day the Library is open for overdue library materials. The fines for interlibrary-loaned materials will be $0.50 per day the Library is open.

Borrowers with fines totaling $5.00 or less may check out materials. Borrowers whose accounts show that they have accrued fines of $5.00 or greater will not be permitted to check out library materials.

CIR 8 – Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending


The Lewistown Public Library has established a Wi-Fi hotspot lending program to provide patrons in our community with high-speed internet access. With this program, students can use the Internet for help with homework and projects, job seekers can search for jobs, and patrons can have home access to the Library’s digital resources such as our eBooks and eAudiobooks, as well as general access to the internet. Patrons will be able to take advantage of our Wi-Fi hotspot lending program with a Lewistown Public Library card that is in good standing (i.e. library card is not blocked due to unpaid fines or lost material).

The Library is not responsible for any liability, damages or expense resulting from use or misuse of the device, connection of the device to other electronic devices, or data loss resulting from use of device. Any use of the device for illegal purpose, unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material in any format, or transmission of threatening, harassing, defamatory or obscene materials is strictly prohibited.

This program is made possible through the Montana State Library. Funding is limited and set to expire in June of 2023. At that time, hotspot service through the Lewistown Public Library may be discontinued.


To checkout a Wi-Fi Hotspot, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old. Parents/guardians are responsible for hotspots used by underage patrons.
  2. You must have a valid mailing address and working phone number.
  3. Your library account must be established (not new), in good standing, with no outstanding library fines.

The LPL reserves the right to refuse service to patrons who abuse equipment or who are repeatedly late in returning electronic devices.


  1. Wi-Fi Hotspots are available at the circulation desk.
  2. This policy must be read and signed before a hotspot is checked out.
  3. Once a hotspot is checked out to a patron, it becomes the responsibility of that patron per this policy.
  4. Hotspots may be borrowed for 2 weeks. No renewals are allowed.
  5. You can only check out one hotspot at a time. Please do not check out more than one hotspot per household.
  6. The overdue cost for the device is $1 per day the item is overdue. Devices are automatically deactivated on the due date and will not work until the item is returned to the library.
  7. Any attempt to alter data or the configuration of the hotspot is strictly prohibited and may be considered an act of vandalism, in which case you will be charged the cost of a full replacement.
  8. After returning a hotspot, you must wait until the next day to borrow another one.


  1. Holds can be placed in person or by contacting the front desk. You must meet the criteria for checkout listed above to place a hold.
  2. You cannot place a hold while you have a hotspot checked out.
  3. Holds will be held at the front desk for three business days. If you do not pick up your hotspot on hold during this time, you will lose your place in the queue and the hotspot will be given to someone else.


  1. Hotspots must be returned in person to the circulation desk. Do not return hotspots to another library or in the library book drop. Please note that if someone other than the borrower returns a hotspot, that person will have to wait until the next day to check out a hotspot under their own name.
  2. All components of the hotspot kit must be returned at the same time. The hotspot will be considered late until all parts of the kit are returned.
  3. If damage to the device is discovered by library staff, these costs will be added to the patron’s account. This includes tampering with a hotspot’s configuration or data.
  4. If the hotspot is not returned, the borrower will be charged a $120 replacement cost for a lost device.
  5. Hotspots must be charged at the Library for 24 hours following a return and are unavailable for checkout during that time.

What’s in the kit?

  1. 1 Hotspot device
  2. 1 Charging cable
  3. 1 Wall adapter

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