GRRL Patron Services Policies

Chapter I. Policy

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 reference or children’s desks for further assistance.

Approved Date: 3/20/2012
Effective Date: 3/20/2012

Chapter II. Circulation and Distribution

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.

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

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. Adults must provide proof of identification (picture identification is mandatory) and current street address. Exceptions to this requirement may be made for library-sponsored outreach events or collaborations with educational partners who assist in verification of identity.

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 adult does not have current address information and an identification, they may not register for a library card. However, if they possess 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. Because of residency requirements GRRL must have a street address on file for all borrowers. A PO Box is not acceptable address information. General Delivery is not acceptable address information. GRRL will not register any person who cannot supply a street address. Individuals who choose not to provide address information may not check out any library materials, but may choose to use library materials in the library.

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).

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 address verification. In order to help patrons keep library accounts in good standing, GRRL requires all charges on adult library cards to be paid in full at renewal.

Reciprocal Borrowers: GRRL will register any person who has a regional library card from any other regional library system in the state. 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.

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.


Patrons may not borrow materials if they owe the library charges of any kind or have materials 10 or more days overdue.

Items not on hold for other patrons may be renewed twice. Items on hold may not be renewed. Items may be renewed if patrons have unpaid charges.

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

Loan Periods

There are no grace periods on any GRRL materials.

DVDs (excluding children's materials) - 7 day loan (including the day checked out). A limited collection of DVD material has a designated 3 week loan period, although fines remain as follows: $1.00 per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per each checkout or renewal.

VHS video material (excluding children's materials) - 7 day loan (including the day checked out). A limited collection of VHS material has a designated 3 week loan period. 25 cent per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per each checkout or renewal.

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

Children's Materials – 3 week loan, 10 cent per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per each checkout or renewal.

Children's VHS - 7 day loan (including the day checked out). A limited collection of VHS material has a designated 3 week loan period. 10 cent per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per checkout or renewal.

Children's DVDs - 7 day loan (including the day checked out). A limited collection of DVD material has a designated 3 week loan period. 10 cent per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per each checkout or renewal.

Inter-Library Loan – loan period set by lending library. 25 cent per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per each checkout or renewal.

Magazines - 3 week loan. 25 cent per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per each checkout or renewal. Magazine issue item costs are set by system default.

All other materials - 3 week loan. 25 cent per day overdue charge to a maximum of $6.00 per each checkout or renewal.

Approved Date: 11/20/2012
Effective Date: 3/17/2015
Revised Date: 3/17/2015

Chapter III. Rules of Behavior

Each library within GRRL shall set its own Rules of Behavior Policy. It shall be approved by local library board or city council. It shall be enforced through local law enforcement options (See also GRRL Security Policy).

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date
Revised Date: 5/11/2010

Chapter IV. Meeting Room Policies

Each GRRL library shall set its own Meeting Room Policies. Local library board or city council shall approve it. Generally no fees are charged for meeting room use associated with non-profit organizations. GRRL policy includes the American Library Association guidelines on meeting rooms.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 5/11/2010

Chapter V. Intellectual Freedom

Great River Regional Library is committed to developing, organizing and making available to the public a useful collection of books and information resources. Public libraries play an essential part in the preservation of a free and democratic society by providing the public with access to the broadest possible range of information and ideas. Access to GRRL materials will be provided without prejudicial labeling or sequestering by content. Access to materials not owned by GRRL may be limited by lack of availability to purchase or Interlibrary Loan.

GRRL recognizes that affirming intellectual freedom principles will mean that the library provides access to materials containing information and ideas that may be controversial, unconventional, unpopular and offensive to some.

GRRL recognizes the right of each individual to make their own judgments regarding the content of the information they wish to read, listen to or view and that standards of privacy and confidentiality outlined in the GRRL Privacy and Confidentiality of Library Records Policy will be applied. GRRL affirms the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to View, and the Freedom to Read policy statements.

Parents and legal guardians are responsible for their minor children's use of library materials. GRRL does not limit the use of any materials by age with the exception of Video & DVD material with an MPA "R" rating. "R" rated video material will not be checked out to anyone under 17 years of age.

GRRL provides free access to the Internet in each of the libraries. Library Internet stations have filtering software installed in accordance with the Child Internet Protection Act. GRRL also has an Internet Acceptable Use Policy which details the rights of library users.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 5/11/2010

Chapter VI. Inter-Library Loan


Great River Regional Library will make every effort possible to obtain needed books and other library materials for its customers. Inter-library loan is one mechanism to ensure that library customers 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 customers in the spirit of cooperation and effective resource sharing.

GRRL subscribes to the Inter-Library 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.

Staffing limitations may preclude GRRL's ability to participate fully in the ILL process. The library may limit ILL services if the appropriate levels of staffing are not available to provide for these services. For example, GRRL will usually not process requests for renewal of ILL materials.

GRRL customers may request materials from other libraries through ILL if an item is not locally available. ILL may be utilized even if an item is locally owned but is currently unavailable because it is in use, lost, non-circulating, or otherwise unavailable.

Non-GRRL customers may request materials through ILL in all formats, and GRRL will consider requests to inter-library loan materials in all formats.

GRRL will usually not request renewals from the lending library for its ILL customers. GRRL will consider granting requests for renewing ILL materials that it has loaned if it will not negatively impact GRRL customers.

GRRL may recall ILL materials and will quickly respond to recall notices from lending libraries.

GRRL may provide photocopies of pages from periodicals or reference books rather than sending the entire item through ILL. GRRL will request photocopies of portions of library materials for its customers as well.


The library will process requests promptly.

A statement of the library's current ILL policies will be available online via the OCLC Name-Address Directory as well as on the library's Internet Home Page and as a handout.

Loan periods and other conditions of loan will be stated clearly and material[s] packaged carefully.

The library will notify the borrowing library when unable to fill requests.

Under the terms of this policy, the library will not loan the following:

  1. reference or
  2. non-circulating materials

Duration of Loans

Loan period for most GRRL material is four weeks including time for transportation. Videos may be loaned for two weeks. The loan period for materials borrowed from other libraries is set by the Lender.

All material on loan may be subject to immediate recall.


The library passes all costs charged by the lending library to the GRRL customer.

GRRL will pay the lending library all charges associated with the loss of an ILL item. The customer is then billed for those charges. Collection agency fees may also be assessed.

The library charges customers 25 cents a day for overdue fines for ILL materials. There are no grace periods on ILL materials.

Approved Date: 5/11/2010
Effective Date: 5/12/2010
Revised Date: 3/16/2010

Chapter VII. 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. Great River Regional Library affirms the tenets outlined in "Privacy: an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights" as part of this policy.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 03/17/2015

Chapter VIII. Reference and Reader's Advisory

Great River Regional Library staff observe guidelines for service in accordance with those adopted by the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association.

Reference/Information Transactions:

A reference transaction is an information contact that involves the knowledge, use, recommendations, or instruction in the use of one or more information sources by a member of the library staff. People of any age may request information in person or by other means. Information sources include print and non-print materials, Internet, machine-readable databases, catalogs and other holdings records. Services may also include communication with, or referral to, other libraries or agencies.

Reader's Advisory Services (reading, listening and viewing):

Great River Regional Library staff will be knowledgeable about all library materials in order to provide guidance to customers through a variety of formats and methods.
Reference Materials Loan:
Great River Regional Library will loan reference materials for in-library use only.
All reference materials may be loaned except:

  • Loose-leaf format materials
  • Ready Reference collection

Loaned reference materials will be available for customer use in-library for three (3) branch open days.

Genealogy Searches:

As with other types of reference/information transactions, staff will assist customers to locate and use genealogy resources. For multiple name searches, a customer may be referred to a private researcher or other institutions.

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: 5/11/2010

Chapter IX. 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 customers locate and use information and materials; programming to inform customers of materials and services; and instruction in the use of the library catalog, print resources, and electronic resources. Staff at all locations provide reference and reader's advisory services (see policy VIII).

Library staff finds ways to meet customer needs with library resources, through Inter-library loan, or by referral to other agencies or resources.

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

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

Customers may contact GRRL staff by telephone, e-mail, instant messaging or by visiting in person. All customer transactions are conducted in a manner that insures confidentiality and privacy.

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.

Long-distance learning programs and some professions provide opportunities for independent study on the condition that exams are proctored. In response to this need, the Library may administer examinations in our role of supporting life-long learning. It is the responsibility of the student and the institution requesting the proctoring of a test to verify that the guidelines and conditions presented here 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. If a proctoring exam has been scheduled, but no staff is available to administer it, the appointment will be cancelled or re-scheduled.


Great River Regional Library does not set eligibility requirements for proctoring services.

Charges and Costs

GRRL charges $10 per test for proctoring services. The student is also responsible for any incidental costs, including postage to return the exam (at US Postal Service rates). Payment is due when the exam is scheduled.


In accordance with the GRRL programming policy, the Programming team develops a variety of programs of interest to adults 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.

Review and evaluation of adult services programs shall be done on a regular basis.

GRRL staff providing adult services observe guidelines for service in accordance with those adopted by the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association: "Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Professionals."

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date: 1/1/2011
Revised Date: 5/11/2010, 9/14/2010, 3/20/2012, 3/15/2016

Chapter X. Children's Services

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

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

Children services of the GRRL 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 Services offer many varieties 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: 5/11/2010

Chapter XI. Equipment Use

GRRL does not generally loan equipment for public use outside the library.

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.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 3/20/2007, 5/11/2010, 3/20/2012

Chapter XII. Outreach

GRRL will attempt to provide library materials to residents who are unable to visit the library because of issues related to disability.

GRRL strives to provide outreach services to Senior Citizen Residences and Nursing Homes.

GRRL will work with Friends of the Library organizations that may choose to provide Home Services to library customers unable to visit the library.

GRRL will provide outreach services to jails.

GRRL will attempt to provide service where branch development is not possible because of financial issues.

Refer to Library Development Policy for more details on Outreach Services.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 5/11/2010

Chapter XIII. Exhibit and Bulletin Board Policy

Great River Regional Libraries may provide exhibit space and bulletin boards consistent with the Library's mission, programs, and services.

Exhibit Space Policy

  1. GRRL libraries may provide exhibit space to organizations involved in educational, cultural, community, intellectual, and charitable activities.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The presentation of any display or exhibit does not imply an endorsement of the content by Great River Regional Library, its Trustees, or staff.
  6. The library will have priority in the use of all display areas.
  7. Set up and take down of any exhibit is the responsibility of the exhibitor.
  8. 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.
  9. GRRL does not provide storage of property of organizations that wish to display exhibits in the library.
  10. Exhibits must not interfere with the general operation of or regular activities of the library.
  11. 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.

GRRL subscribes to the American Library Association's interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights entitled Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards adopted by the ALA Council on July 2, 1991.

Bulletin Board Policy

GRRL Public Library Bulletin Board Policy

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 only 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 library 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: 6/9/2006, 5/11/2010

Chapter XIV. Program Policy

The Great River Regional Library is committed to serving residents of the region in meeting their educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs. To accomplish this goal, Great River Regional Library provides programs that serve all residents of the region on an equitable basis. Great River Regional Library endorses Library-Initiated Programs as A Resource as adopted by the American Library Association and incorporates it by reference to this policy.

  1. Program content will be broad-based and reflect an awareness of the cultural diversity in the GRRL service area. Program format will be appropriate for the topic with content covering subjects generally not available through other community agencies. All programs developed must be adaptable for all GRRL libraries.
  2. 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.
  3. In most circumstances, programs will be of a non-competitive nature and participation certificates should be given to all participants of an activity. When important to the substance of the program, and with pre-approval of the Patron Services Specialist, awards may be of a competitive nature. In addition, drawings from among the names of participants in a particular program may be held in cases where the winner is determined by "the luck of the draw" with pre-approval of the Patron Services Specialist.
  4. GRRL may co-sponsor activities or programs with other organizations. These co-sponsored activities must meet all other GRRL program criteria.
  5. Programs may cover a variety of interests or subjects. GRRL desires that the content of programs be welcoming to all members of the community.
  6. Presentations by commercial enterprises must be pre-approved in writing by the Patron Services Specialist. In addition to the above guidelines, the following criteria will be used in determining approval of the program:
    • 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).
  7. At the time a program is submitted for approval, cost estimates and proposed funding sources must be included on the approval form. Cost of a program in relationship to the number of anticipated participants may be a factor in approving or denying the request. The number of participants in a program may be limited by:
    • Type of program
    • Size of facility
    • Age of audience
    • Equipment available
  8. Outreach Programs are defined as programming held outside library buildings. Outreach programming development is encouraged for communities within the Great River Regional Library system. Outreach programming needs pre-approval by the Patron Services Department. Refer to Public Relations Policy for more details.
  9. Attendance at community fairs, exhibits or similar events must be evaluated in terms of the event's importance to the community and the ability of that event to successfully market library services to the community. The Executive Director's prior approval is required for any extra time request. Un-staffed displays may be sent to a community fair when appropriate. Refer to Public Relations Policy for more details.
  10. Planning for library programming is generally to be done within the regularly scheduled hours of the staff involved. Program pool hours may be used for any additional time needed to plan and implement programs.
  11. Programs scheduled outside library open hours must be pre-approved by the Patron Services Specialist and Patron Services Supervisor.
  12. Grants for programming may be submitted for programs that will benefit GRRL. Consideration will be weighted in favor of grant proposals involving more than one GRRL library. The Executive Director must approve submission of all grants applications involving GRRL staff.
  13. Publicity and promotional materials for GRRL programs will be approved by the Public Relations Department. Refer to Public Relations Policy for more details.
  14. Library staff will provide an evaluation of all programs using the appropriate evaluation form.
  15. Volunteers may be used to provide programs of all types. GRRL staff must evaluate and verify the credentials and/or references of all program volunteers prior to program being offered to the public. All volunteers who assist with programs must be 12 years of age or older. Refer to the Services and Administration Policy for more details.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 5/11/2010
, 04/19/16