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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Library Policies

Applying for a library card, check out periods & limits, renewing items, placing holds/requests, etc.

Library cards are issued to those who live, work, go to school, or own property in either Rutherford or Polk County.  If you do not meet these criteria, please see our section on Non-Resident Cards.

You must be at least 5 years old to apply for a library card.  A parent or guardian signature is required for children under the age of 16.  The parent or guardian who signs as responsible party must have a CMC library card and be in good standing, or apply for a library card at the same time as the child.

New patrons must show identification with their current address when applying for a library card.  This could include a driver’s license, a checkbook, or a letter with a postmark on it.  A picture ID is also required for adult patrons.

Cards will be issued to individuals only.  No library cards will be issued to institutions, schools, churches, companies or other groups.  

If you do not meet the critieria to apply for a standard library card, you can obtain checkout privileges by paying a fee of $20.00 per year. Non-resident cards are limited to a total of five (5) items on their account at a time.

All library cards are valid for 3 years from the date of application. When a card has expired, library staff will verify and update contact information (address, telephone number, etc) and renew the card for another three years. There is no need to apply for or obtain a new physical card.

There is a limit of 50 total items per household (a household is defined as any two or more persons sharing the same address).

There is a limit of six (6) DVDs per patron.

Learning Tablets and Maker Kits are limited to one per family.

Reference and genealogy books may not be checked out.

At certain times, the library may limit books on specific subjects to only one or two per patron, such as when students in a class are assigned reports on that subject.

All items (books, CDs, DVDs, etc) are checked out for 14 days.  Some items, such as Learning Tablets and Maker Kits, cannot be renewed.

The library provides email and text alerts/notices.  To help you remember when items are due, you can sign up to receive a Courtesy Notice by email or text three (3) days before an item's due date.  Ask a library staff member to activate this notice on your account.

Most items may be renewed two (2) times for an additional 14 days each time, for a maximum checkout period of 42 days.  Learning Tablets and Maker Kits cannot be renewed.  Items that have had a hold placed on them by another patron may not be renewed. 

You may renew your items in 3 ways:

  1. in person at the library circulation desk
  2. over the telephone (828-287-6115)
  3. on the library website using the My Account link

Overdue fines are 10 cents per day for books and CDs.  DVDs are 50 cents per day.  Learning Tablets, Maker Kits, and Backpacks are $1.00 per day.

If an item is currently unavailable, you may request the item be placed “on hold” when it is returned.  Items can be requested in the library at the front desk or by phone.  Items from Polk County Public Library, Saluda Public Library, and Isothermal Community College can also be requested for check out.  These items will be transferred for you and you will be notified when they are ready for pick up.  Some items, such as reference and genealogy materials, cannot be requested.

You can sign up to receive Arrived Request notifications by email or text.  These notices are sent automatically when an item you have placed on hold is ready for pick up.

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