Deerfield Public Library

Circulation Policies
Updated May 18, 2022


The Deerfield Public Library’s mission is to provide its community with open access to the world of information and ideas, encouraging lifelong learning and personal growth in a welcoming environment. Our circulation policies aim to facilitate the mission by outlining guidelines for patron registration and use of library collections.


Patrons assume full responsibility for the return, damage, or fees for materials loaned under this policy and hold the Deerfield Public Library harmless of any materials.


RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS OF INCORPORATED DEERFIELD are taxed for library service on their real estate tax bills.  A Deerfield Library card can be obtained upon display of a valid government-issued photo identification card and proof of current address within incorporated Deerfield.  Adult Deerfield resident and property owner library cards will not expire once the address is annually verified through a third-party address verification service.  Acceptable proof of current address includes:

  • Driver’s license
  • Current utility bill (i.e. gas, electric, insurance)
  • Current tax bill
  • Rental or lease agreement
  • Bank statement

Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian fill out the application form. The parent/legal guardian will be responsible for any material checked out on the child’s card and assume full responsibility for the return, damage, or fees for materials loaned under this policy.

Nannies and Au Pairs who live with a family in incorporated Deerfield may receive a Deerfield Library card with a picture ID and a caregiving contract that includes proof of the living arrangements in Deerfield.

Temporary cards can be issued to extended-stay residents residing in hotels/motels that are in incorporated Deerfield (currently Residence Inn or Red Roof Inn).  Residents must provide written proof from the hotel/motel of an extended stay of at least three months and a valid picture ID.

Teacher cards are issued to teachers who work in Deerfield School District 109 through an approved intergovernmental agreement. Teachers must show a valid picture ID and have prior approval from the school district. The Library reserves the right to limit services.

RESIDENTS OF RIVERWOODS, BANNOCKBURN OR UNINCORPORATED DEERFIELD are not taxed for this service and may choose to purchase it.  State law uses the high school district (District 113 for these areas) to determine the public library from which to obtain a library card.  (Deerfield Public Library for most residents of these areas).  Purchased card-holders are entitled to the same services as taxed card-holders.

The cost of library service for residents outside the boundaries of incorporated Deerfield is determined by the EAV (the equalized assessed value) multiplied by the current tax rate for library service for Deerfield taxpayers.  The EAV of the resident’s home and property is approximately 1/3 the real estate value.  The cost of library services will be calculated on all taxable parcels included in the non-resident property owner’s principal residence.  Residents of Riverwoods, Bannockburn, or unincorporated Deerfield should present a current tax bill.  A chart is available in the Patron Services Department to determine the cost of library service.

Renewal of purchased library service:  By law, purchased cards expire each year and may be reissued in subsequent years.  Purchased library cards show the expiration date on the back.  Full privileges are given to all members in the household.  Parents and legal guardians assume full responsibility for the return, damage, or fees for materials loaned under this policy for children under the age of 18. Cards may be used at almost any area library.

Illinois State law provides that the annual fee for a non-resident renter is 15% of the renter’s monthly rent.  For verification purposes, the renter shall provide the Library a state photo ID along with a copy of the lease proving current residency in the Deerfield Public Library Non-Resident Service Area.

Payment for purchased library service may be made in cash, by check, or by credit card.  Cards must be paid in full at the time of purchase.  Additional cards for family members in the same residence may be obtained at no additional charge.

The Cards for Kids program is for students in Pre-K through Grade 12 who live in Bannockburn, Riverwoods, and unincorporated Deerfield, that qualify for free or reduced-priced meals  (District 113 for these areas). Eligibility for the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program is determined by Income Eligibility Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Eligible students can register for a library card at no cost for one (1) Year.  The library card is for the student only.

BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS OF INCORPORATED DEERFIELD are taxed for library service on their real estate tax bills and are therefore eligible for a library card.  Additionally, business or commercial renters of incorporated Deerfield are eligible for a library card under the assumption that a portion of any rental payment is utilized by the landlord for the payment of property taxes.  A Deerfield Public Library card can be obtained by a business upon proof of business ownership or commercial rental (i.e. the most current tax bill, a rental or lease agreement, professional license, etc.).  Only one card will be issued per business.  The business is responsible for any fees associated with, or damage done to Library materials checked out with its card.  A business card will be issued for three years.

RECIPROCAL BORROWERS  The Library extends reciprocal services to persons with a valid current library card from another town in Illinois.  A current library card in good standing and valid identification with the person’s current address must be presented to obtain reciprocal borrowing privileges.  The Library reserves the right to limit services.  Reciprocal Borrower registration expires after one year and must be renewed with presentation of a current library card in good standing and valid identification with the person’s current address.


See Circulation Loan Chart

Effective December 1, 2020, Deerfield Public Library will no longer collect overdue fines.


Since the Library is no longer charging overdue fines, how will I be notified when my materials are due?

2 days before due: Courtesy notice will be received (email and text only).

2 days overdue: Notice sent.

7 days overdue: Notice sent.

14 days overdue: Notice sent.

21 days overdue: Notice sent and card is blocked. Until items are returned, patrons will be unable to place holds, check out any materials, including the digital collection, or use the MakerSpace.

28 days overdue: Billing Notice sent for full replacement cost of item(s).

Why is there a charge on my account?

While the Library no longer charges overdue fines, borrowers are still responsible for any damaged or lost items. Patron cards are blocked at 21 days after an item is overdue. A bill is issued for the item at 28 days. Once the item is returned, the bill is removed from the account. A patron has 3 months to return a billed item.  Returning an item after 3 months will not remove the charge from your account. 

Can I get a refund if I find the items?

If items are found within 3 months of the billing date, we will waive replacement charges on those items. However, items are not refundable after replacement charges have already been paid.

Can I still be charged if I check out an item from a library that hasn’t gone fine free?

The lending library will determine charges for any lost or damaged item. Anything charged to the Deerfield Public Library by the lending library is passed on to the requesting patron. Overdue fines will not be assessed on materials from the lending library.

Why can’t I place holds?

There are a number of reasons why you may be unable to place a hold on an item. Those reasons include:

  • Your card has expired
  • There is a charge on your account of $10 or higher
  • One (or more) items are 21 days overdue
  • Item may not be holdable
  • You are a Reciprocal Borrower
  • You have reached the maximum number of holds

Why is my card blocked?

Your card may be blocked for a number of reasons. Those reasons include:

  • Your card has expired
  • There is a charge on your account of $10 or higher
  • One (or more) items 21 days overdue

How long do I have to return something?

A patron has 3 months from the billing date to return an item to the Library. 

Why didn’t my items automatically renew?

Your item may not renew automatically for a number of reasons. Those reasons include:

  • Your card has expired
  • The item has a hold
  • There is a charge on your account of $10 or higher
  • One or more items are 21 days overdue 
  • The item has already been renewed the maximum number of times
  • The type of item is ineligible for renewal (see below under ‘renewals’)


All eligible items will automatically renew up to two times. Items that are not eligible include any item on hold for another patron, Lucky Duck books, new videos, and items acquired through interlibrary loan. Digital items (e-books, e-audiobooks, streaming movies, and music) are not affected. If you choose to renew manually, the two-time limit still stands.


  • Deerfield cardholders: Reserves/holds may be placed in person at any service desk, by telephone, or by accessing the Library Catalog with a valid library card. Reserves/holds may be placed on any item except new videos, new 7-day books, and magazines. Items will be held for three days from the time the items become available. With the exception of Sundays, holds placed by 2:00 p.m. will be filled that day if the material is available. All other holds will be filled within 24 hours of availability. Patrons will receive confirmation when their hold has been retrieved from the shelf. Holds can only be checked out to the account of the person who has requested the item.
  • Reciprocal borrowers:  Requests for on-shelf items may be placed in person at any service desk or by telephone. Reciprocal borrowers can request that an available item except new videos, new 7-day books, Library of Things (electronic devices, board games, Discovery kits, etc.), and magazines be held for no longer than three days. Reciprocal borrowers may not request LINKin or interlibrary loan items. (Reciprocal borrowers are required to register their library cards according to the registration policy in order to borrow materials.) 


A borrower has up to 3 months from the billing date to search for misplaced items before being required to pay replacement fees.  Replacement charges may be paid before the end of the 3 month period; however, no refunds will be granted for found items. The Library does not accept donations of like items as replacements for damaged or lost materials. Patrons may be charged for lost pieces of an item. In addition, a processing fee will be charged for library staff time spent ordering and processing the replaced item.  If a Library of Things item is not returned when it is due the Library reserves the right to disable it.


The Deerfield Public Library understands that books and media experience normal wear and tear as they are used. The Library balances normal wear and tear against damages that might make the public reluctant to use the material. Usability is one consideration; appearance is another.

These guidelines cover any material that the library checks out to the public.

Replacement fees for damaged materials will be charged when the condition of an item makes it unsuitable to be returned to the collection.

EXAMPLES OF NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR OR MINOR DAMAGE is to be expected as items circulate. This includes:

  • Book falling from spine, loose spine, or loose pages
  • Frayed edges
  • Tears on spine
  • Magazine back cover or insert missing
  • Torn plastic covers
  • Paper dust jacket torn/marked/missing
  • Plastic jackets torn/marked/missing

EXAMPLES OF MAJOR DAMAGE that requires withdrawal of materials:

  • Animal teeth or claw marks
  • Liquid damage/stains
  • Pages stuck together
  • Extensive marking /comments
  • Pages marked/burned/missing/torn
  • Swollen/odoriferous
  • Mold/mildew 
  • Damage rendering the item unusable 


  • Materials that are missing the accompanying component when those items cannot be replaced.  In this case, a new item must be purchased, even though the remaining parts are not damaged.
  • Items that are missing accompanying instruction or informational booklets when those items cannot be replaced and the booklets are needed to maintain the value of the item.
  • Cords or components that render the item unusable.
  • The Library does not accept donations of like items as replacements for damaged items.


Patrons assume full responsibility for the return, damage, or fees for materials loaned under this policy and hold the Deerfield Public Library harmless of any materials.

See Other Circulation Fees chart


Items might have technical limitations or needs, such as wifi or cellular connection. Deerfield Public Library is not responsible for any costs incurred while borrowers use library materials. Borrowers may not alter items or content on the items that they borrow.

The Library is not responsible for any loss of data that may occur due to malfunctioning hardware or software. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damage to Library users’ personal devices or equipment. Tampering with Library equipment or attempting to modify the equipment or its settings is prohibited.


The Deerfield Public Library circulates select materials through the LINKin consortium of libraries.  This includes sending materials to other libraries, as well as receiving materials from other libraries.  The Library determines what materials are available to be sent via the LINKin system. The Library will only send materials that are at least six months old.


  • A patron must have a current, valid Deerfield Public Library card with accumulated charges of no more than $10.00 on the card.
  • The LINKin consortium limits patrons to 25 items total at any time.  This includes materials checked out, on hold, and in transit back to the owning library.
  • The Deerfield Public Library lends print books, audiobooks, DVDs, Blu-rays, music CDs, and Playaways through the LINKin system.


See LINKin/Interlibrary Loan Circulation Chart


The Library provides Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service to Deerfield Public Library cardholders when materials cannot be obtained from the Library collection or the LINKin consortium.


Materials requested through ILL may take 1-3 weeks from the time the request was submitted to the date it arrives at the Library.  Items in high demand and those requested from outside of Illinois may take longer.

Many university libraries and libraries outside of Illinois charge a lending fee.  Every effort will be made to obtain requested items at no cost.  In the event an item cannot be obtained for free, the patron will be notified of the option to pay the lending fee.

All ILL items borrowed through the Deerfield Public Library must be returned to the Deerfield Public Library.

  • The library will only request materials that are at least six months old.
  • The Library will only request materials within the 48 contiguous states.
  • The Library will not request video games, periodicals, reference materials, or computer software.
  • The Library will not request multiple copies of the same title for the same person.
  • DVDs and CDs will be requested from Illinois public libraries only.
  • A limit of 10 items can be in-process and checked out per patron at any given time.


See LINKin/Interlibrary Loan Circulation Chart


The Library provides ILL service as a lender to other libraries within the 48 contiguous states.

  • Time will be added to the checkout period to account for delivery.
  • DVDs, CDs, and Playaways are loaned only to Illinois Public Libraries.
  • The Library will not lend video games, board games, periodicals, reference materials, Library of Things, or discovery kits.
  • The Library will only lend materials that are at least six months old and not designated as new materials.

21-day Loan:

  • Books
  • Audio Books and Playaways
  • Music CDs
  • DVDs and Blu-rays
  • Binge Boxes


  • The borrowing library may request a renewal through WorldShare or by contacting ILL staff.  Renewals will not be granted if a Deerfield Public Library patron has placed a hold on the item.  The Library has the right to recall items at any time.


  • The library does not charge a fee to lend materials.
  • There is no charge for photocopy requests of 25 pages or less.
  • A fee of 10 cents will be charged for each page over 25.
  • A fee of 25 cents per page will be charged for color copies.
  • The Library will determine fees for lost or damaged items.

Approved July 21, 2021
Updated May 18, 2022