GRRL Patron Services Policies

Chapter 1. Circulation Services
Chapter 2. Information Services
Chapter 3. Programming and Outreach
Chapter 4. Equipment and Facility Use
Chapter 5. Patron Records and Private Data


In accordance with GRRL mission and values, library staff strive to provide accurate, efficient, cordial and impartial service to all library users at all times in all locations. Service is provided without regard to origin, age, background or views. All information requests are valid and will be regarded with equal attention and professionalism.

Generally, the public is served on a first come, first served basis. People calling the library are helped in sequence. During busy times, library staff may ask library users with time-consuming requests to wait while other patrons are being assisted. At any time, staff may direct patrons to other resources or to the St. Cloud Public Library patron services staff for further assistance.

Approved Date: 03/20/12
Effective Date: 03/20/12
Revised Date: 03/19/19

Chapter 1. Circulation Services

1A. Eligible Borrowers

Residents of Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties are eligible to receive a GRRL library card free of charge. Under the Minnesota Library Reciprocal Borrowing Compact, anyone with a library card issued from a library participating in a Minnesota regional library system is also eligible to borrow library materials.

A parental signature is not required for minor children to acquire a GRRL library card.

The library may charge a fee to replace lost library cards.

Any business, nursing home, school, hospital, Head Start or similar organization within the six county area is eligible to receive a GRRL Institutional library card free of charge upon the receipt of an application which includes a signature of that organization's Chief Operating Officer recognizing the institutional borrower's responsibilities.

1B. Registration Requirements

All persons who wish to register for a library card must be present to do so unless they are unable to appear by reason of disability, with the following exceptions:

  • Adults applying for an e-card with digital-only access need only verify that their address is within the GRRL service area, and
  • Adults and children may register for an account through library-sponsored outreach events or collaborations with educational and/or other partners who assist in verification of identity.

A library card will be issued to new library patrons. The card requires a signature before it can be used. The signature indicates that the patron has agreed to be responsible for the materials borrowed and to give immediate notice of a lost or stolen library card. The patron also agrees to inform the library of any change of address immediately. Registration applications will be discarded after the data is checked for accuracy.

A library card may be renewed every three years. Renewals require updating contact information. In order to help patrons keep library accounts in good standing, GRRL requires all charges on adult library cards above $1 to be paid at renewal.

1B.1 Adult Accounts

Adults applying for full access to digital and physical resources must provide proof of identification (picture identification is mandatory) and current street address. Because of residency requirements GRRL must have a street address on file for all borrowers. PO Box and general delivery are not sufficient for residency verification. GRRL will not register any person who cannot supply a street address.

  • Adults who do not possess an identification with current name and address information may register by showing an identification with non-current address and another valid current address verification (a utility bill delivered to that address or check book with current address information, for example).
  • If the person possesses an identification with inaccurate address information, we may mail their library card to them to verify address. GRRL limits the number of items that can be checked out to residents with no current address information.
  • Adults without valid identification may not register for a library card.
  • Individuals who choose not to provide address information may not check out any library materials, but may use library materials in the library.

1B.2 Minor Accounts

Children may register for their own library cards. Identification is not required for patrons under the age of 17. Children under 17 may check out any materials except R-rated videos. Parents may choose to restrict their minor child's ability to borrow library materials by requesting that their library card be expired (or not issued).

1B.3 Reciprocal Borrowers

GRRL subscribes to the Minnesota Reciprocal Borrowing Compact. As such, staff will register any person who has a library card from any other regional library system in the state. Adults must verify identity and provide address information as indicated above. These borrowers will not be issued a GRRL library card. Their own library card will be entered into the GRRL patron database. The same circulation rules apply to reciprocal borrowers as to any GRRL resident. GRRL cards may be used in other regional libraries across the state as part of the Minnesota Library Reciprocal Borrowing Compact.

1B.4 Temporary Borrowers

Residents of shelters or temporary housing are eligible for Temporary Library Cards. GRRL limits the number of library materials that these borrowers may check out.

1B.5 Non-resident Borrowers

Non-residents are defined as individuals whose permanent address is outside GRRL's six-county service area. A non-resident fee of $7.50 per 3 months is required if a non-resident wishes to borrow GRRL materials. However, if an individual will be living in a GRRL county for more than three months from the date the application is made, that person is eligible to receive a GRRL library card, with required proof of residency. Non-residents may use GRRL materials and services within the library at no charge.

1C. Lending

Patrons must have a valid library account to borrow materials.

R-rated videos and DVDs are available for check out only to individuals 17 or older.

GRRL staff will attempt to notify patrons when their requested items are available. Items are held for a pre-set period of time depending on the item type.

Patrons are responsible for materials checked out on their account and will be charged for damaged or lost items based on the indicated price of the item.

1C.1 Loan Periods and Associated Charges

Items are checked out for pre-set time periods, depending on the type of material (see chart below). Patrons may renew their items up to three times so long as the items are not on hold for another patron.

GRRL does not charge overdue fines. All checked out items still have a due date and must be returned once the checkout period has ended.

Borrowing privileges will be temporarily blocked if a patron has library charges over $1 or has materials ten or more days overdue.

  • GRRL will send notification to patrons when library materials are overdue.
  • Items overdue for 45 days or more will be considered lost, and patrons will be charged for the cost of the item.
    • Item costs will be removed if the item is returned in good condition within one year.
    • If a patron pays for a lost item, the payment is not refundable if the item is later found and returned.
  • The library does not accept patron-purchased replacement copies.
  • Charges may result if items are returned damaged or missing parts.
  • Unpaid charges may result in the patron's account being sent to collections and may be subject to Revenue Recapture.
Material Type Loan period
Lucky Day Items 7 days (1 week)
Books, audiobooks, CDs, magazines, DVDs & VHS video 21 days (3 weeks)
Interlibrary loan Varies
Book Club kits 42 days (6 weeks)
Equipment and Try It Yourself Kits
Note: Failure to return equipment in high demand, such as hotspots, may result in temporary loss of privilege for future checkouts

Varies by type



Approved Date: 11/20/12
Revision Effective Date: 03/17/15, 06/01/19, 01/01/2022, 01/01/24
Revised Date: 03/17/15, 03/19/2019, 09/21/2021, 09/19/23

1D. Interlibrary Loan

Great River Regional Library will attempt to obtain needed books and other library materials for its patrons. Interlibrary loan (ILL) is one mechanism to ensure that library patrons have access to library materials available in other Minnesota libraries as well as other libraries throughout the United States. GRRL will also make its library materials available to non-GRRL patrons in the spirit of cooperation and effective resource sharing.

GRRL subscribes to the Interlibrary Loan Code of the United States. GRRL also is a participant in both MINITEX and MNLINK (Minnesota Library Information Network), which exist, in part, to provide a statewide resource sharing mechanism.

1D.1 Interlibrary Loan Borrowing

GRRL patrons may request materials from other libraries through ILL if an item is not locally available. Some libraries have lending restrictions that may prevent requests from being filled. Not all libraries offer free lending; GRRL will notify patrons if free lending is not available.

  • The loan period for materials borrowed from other libraries is set by the Lender. ILL items generally may not be renewed. Some materials may only be available for use inside the library per the lending institution.
  • GRRL will quickly respond to recall notices from lending libraries.
  • Requests for articles that arrive in printed form will require the patron to sign a copyright agreement.
  • The library passes all costs charged by the lending library to the GRRL borrower.
    • GRRL will pay the lending library all charges associated with the loss of an ILL item. The borrower is then billed for those charges. Collection agency fees may also be assessed.
    • If a patron claims to have returned an item, charges will still be assessed as GRRL is required to pay the lending library.
  • GRRL patrons may have up to 25 active ILL requests, including titles being ordered, checked out, or returned.

1D.2 Interlibrary Loan Lending

Non-GRRL patrons may request physical materials through ILL.

  • The loan period for most GRRL material is three weeks. However, GRRL items may be unavailable for up to six weeks to allow time for transportation to and from the borrowing library.
  • Loan periods and other conditions of loan will be stated clearly.
  • GRRL will consider granting requests for renewing loaned ILL materials if local demand allows.
  • GRRL will notify the borrowing library when unable to fill requests.
  • All material on loan may be subject to immediate recall.

Under the terms of this policy, the library may choose not to loan the following materials:

  1. Reference,
  2. Non-circulating, or
  3. Those in high local demand.

Approved Date: 05/11/10
Effective Date: 05/12/10, 01/01/2022
Revised Date: 03/16/10, 03/19/19, 09/21/2021

Chapter 2. Information Services

2A. Reference and Reader's Advisory

Staff at all locations provide reference and reader's advisory services. GRRL staff observe guidelines for service in accordance with those adopted by the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association.

2A.1 Information Requests

GRRL public services staff will respond to information requests presented in person, by phone, postal mail or digital means. Information sources can include physical and digital resources. Services may also include communication with, or referral to, other libraries or agencies, for example with multiple-name genealogy searches. All patron transactions are conducted in a manner that ensures confidentiality and privacy.

GRRL staff will be knowledgeable about a wide range of library materials in order to provide guidance to customers through a variety of formats and methods.

2A.2 Charges for Service

Reference service shall be provided free to all users within or out of the library's service area. A handling fee and minimal charge per page for photocopies will be assessed on requests for information originating outside the library's service area.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 05/11/10

2B. Adult Services

GRRL service to adults encompasses free provision of materials in a wide variety of formats and reading levels; availability of knowledgeable staff to help patrons locate and use information and materials; programming to inform patrons of materials and services; and instruction in the use of the library catalog, physical and digital resources. Library staff find ways to meet customer needs with library resources, through interlibrary loan, or by referral to other agencies or resources.

Staff are able to articulate GRRL policies in a positive manner and explain the rationale behind them. All patrons are treated with courtesy, equality and respect.

Staff maintain awareness of current events and trends with a goal of anticipating patron needs and keep up to date on library resources, trends, materials formats and information delivery methods.

2C. Proctoring Exams

To support the library's mission of lifelong learning opportunities, GRRL staff may proctor tests for secondary and post-secondary education students who are enrolled in distance learning programs or classes. GRRL does not proctor licensing exams. Additional limitations apply as outlined in the GRRL proctoring guidelines.


It is the responsibility of the student and the institution requesting the proctoring of a test to verify that the GRRL proctoring guidelines are acceptable to the institution giving the test, before having the exam sent to any Great River Regional Library.


Library staff will not sign any statement required by the educational institution inconsistent with our policy or with how the test was administered. Exceptions to the proctoring guidelines may be made for specific exams proctored as part of collaborative activity with our community partners.


GRRL does not set eligibility requirements for proctoring services.


There is no charge for proctoring services; however, availability may be limited due to local resources. The student is responsible for any incidental costs, including postage to return the exam. 


Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Revision Effective Date: 01/01/11, 01/01/24
Revised Date: 05/11/10, 09/14/10, 03/20/12, 03/15/16, 03/19/19, 09/19/23

2D. Children's Services

GRRL provides learning readiness opportunities, entertainment options and educational support for children throughout the region.

Children’s Services at GRRL adhere to the same policies as Adult Services with the addition of the following:

  • GRRL Children’s Services offers a collection of materials to reinforce and support a wide range of reading interests from educational to recreational for children from birth to the time they find adult services materials useful.
  • GRRL Children’s Services offer a wide variety of programs for infant to 6th grade children. GRRL also provides reference services for students who need to complete reports for school or pursue research on a particular topic. GRRL children's services include school tours, class visits, Internet use and computer use.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 05/11/10, 03/19/19

Chapter 3. Programming and Outreach

3A. Programming

Great River Regional Library is committed to serving residents of the region in meeting their educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs. Staff develop a variety of programs of interest to patrons of all ages and wide interests, to introduce them to the resources of the library and its services, to encourage the use of the library as a community meeting place and to expand or enhance local cultural offerings.

All programs must be approved by the Patron Services Specialist. Review and evaluation of programs shall be done on a regular basis.

To accomplish this goal, GRRL provides programs that serve all residents of the region on an equitable basis. GRRL endorses Library-Initiated Programs as a Resource as adopted by the American Library Association and incorporates it by reference to this policy.

Program content will reflect an awareness of the broad diversity within the GRRL service area and the State of Minnesota. Program format will be appropriate for the topic with content covering subjects generally not available through other community agencies. Fees will not be charged to attend any library program. However, this does not preclude admission being charged for preapproved special events or holding pre-approved fundraising events that benefit GRRL. In addition:

  1. In most circumstances, programs will be of a non-competitive nature.
  2. GRRL may co-sponsor activities or programs with other organizations. Determinations on whether to co-sponsor a program will be made based on:
    • Relevance of the topic to meeting the library's or the community's goals
    • Availability of a similar program from a not-for-profit source
    • Possibility of conflict with other commercial enterprises offering the same services
    • No solicitation or promotion of products or services will be allowed except at (1) book signings (sale of an author's book), (2) disc signings (sale of a musician's recordings) (3) artist workshops (sale of artwork).
    • Co-sponsored activities must meet all other GRRL program criteria.
  3. In most cases, local staff determine which programs will be offered at their libraries, within the guidelines set forth by GRRL administration and policy. Outreach programs are defined as programming held outside library buildings. Outreach programming development is encouraged for communities within the GRRL system.
  4. All publicity and promotional materials for GRRL programs are provided by the Communications and Development Department.
  5. Volunteers may provide and/or assist with programs of all types. These volunteers must be 12 years of age or older and undergo normal screening by GRRL. Refer to GRRL Administration policy on volunteers for more details.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 05/11/10, 04/19/16, 03/19/19

3B. Outreach

GRRL strives to broaden public access to its collection and services beyond physical libraries. This is often accomplished through collaborative activities with our local and regional partners.

GRRL strives to provide outreach to a number of community services, including daycares, nursing homes, jails and workforce centers. All outreach programming must meet the Program Policy guidelines above.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 05/11/10, 03/19/19

Chapter 4: Equipment and Facility Use

GRRL welcomes all library users. The Library signs a Branch Agreement with each of its City partners for the physical library space and each City partner approves local Rules of Behavior. See also GRRL Security Policy.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 05/11/10, 03/19/19

4A. Equipment Use

GRRL provides copiers for library and public use at each library. The public and GRRL staff must pay a per-copy charge for use of GRRL copiers.

Patrons using library equipment are expected to comply with US copyright law as described in Title 17, United States Code.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 03/20/07, 05/11/10, 03/20/12, 03/19/19

4B. Meeting Room Policies

Each City that provides a GRRL facility with meeting space sets its own meeting room policies. The local library board or city council shall approve it. GRRL supports the American Library Association’s Meeting Rooms: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights guidelines on meeting rooms.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 05/11/10, 03/19/19

4C. Exhibits and Bulletin Boards

Great River Regional Libraries may provide exhibit space and bulletin boards consistent with the Library's mission, programs and services. GRRL affirms the American Library Association's interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights titled Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards.

4C.1 Exhibits and Displays

  • GRRL libraries may provide exhibit space to organizations involved in educational, cultural, community, intellectual and charitable activities.
  • Exhibits and displays are presented on an equitable basis, regardless of beliefs or affiliations of the groups that request space. Exhibits or portions of exhibits should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  • Exhibits and displays may not involve the sale, advertisement, solicitation or promotion of commercial products. This provision does not exclude sponsored exhibits, approved art exhibits, exhibits primarily informational in content, or exhibits containing advertising involving a variety of beneficiaries.
  • The library is not responsible for any items that are lost, damaged, or stolen while on exhibit or display. The library does not insure displayed items.
  • The presentation of any display or exhibit does not imply an endorsement of the content by GRRL, its Trustees, or staff.
  • The library will have priority in the use of all display areas.
  • Set up and take down of any exhibit is the responsibility of the exhibitor.
  • Each GRRL Library or Patron Services Coordinator is responsible for the approval of each exhibit request, determination of the location of any exhibit and the duration of each exhibit.
  • GRRL does not provide storage of property of organizations that wish to display exhibits in the library.
  • Exhibits must not interfere with the general operation of or regular activities of the library.
  • Any sales of exhibited materials must take place after the exhibit has ended. GRRL staff will not act as sales agents for any exhibited materials.

4C.2 Bulletin Boards

Public Bulletin Board space at all GRRL locations may be made available to the public for promotion and publicity related to educational, cultural, community, intellectual and charitable activities.

  • Postings will be allowed for events in the library's immediate service area.
  • The size of any public posting should not be so excessive as to cause other postings to be removed or covered.
  • Materials may be posted one month prior to the event and will be removed after the event has concluded.
  • The staff may limit regular postings by one group if such postings have the effect of limiting others' fair use of the bulletin board.
  • The library may choose to limit some or all bulletin board space to library purposes only. GRRL staff may designate bulletin boards to be used for library purposes only and others that may be used for display or exhibit purposes.
  • The staff must approve all bulletin board postings in advance. In the event of any dispute over any posting, the Executive Director will be the final authority.
  • The library will have priority in the use of all bulletin boards.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 06/09/06, 05/11/10, 03/19/19

Chapter 5. Patron Records and Private Data

In accordance with Minnesota Statute 13.40 Subd. 2. all Great River Regional Library circulation and other records which indicate the identity of library users, especially as they connect library users with materials or services used, are private data on individuals. This extends to information sought or borrowed, database search records, Internet sites, reference interviews, circulation records, registration records (except name) and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities or services.

Such information may not be disclosed, except to:

  1. Persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration and management of the library or library system.
  2. An agency or individual or any local, state or federal government, pursuant to a process, subpoena or court order authorized pursuant to a federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, administrative, or legislative investigative power.
  3. Persons authorized by the individual to inspect the individual's record.
  4. Parents/guardians of minor children with proper identification.

All requests for private data must be forwarded to the Executive Director or the board president in the absence of the Executive Director. The Executive Director will seek legal advice from library legal counsel in the event of such request for the release of library records and will respond to the request according to advice of counsel.

"Subd. 2 Private data; library borrowers. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), the following data maintained by a library are private data on individuals and may not be disclosed for other than library purposes except pursuant to a court order: (1) data that link a library patron's name with materials requested or borrowed by the patron or that link a patron's name with a specific subject about which the patron has requested information or materials; or (2) data in applications for borrower's cards, other than the name of the borrower. (b) A library may release reserved materials to a family member or other person who resides with a library patron and who is picking up the material on behalf of the patron. A patron may request that reserved materials be released only to the patron."

Library operations will be organized to insure patron privacy and confidentiality. GRRL affirms the tenets outlined in the American Library Association’s Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights as part of this policy.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 03/17/15, 03/19/19