Freedom of Access
Confidential Information
Care of Library Materials
Bookdrop Returns
Fines and Fees Policy and Schedule
Lost Material Policy
When Library Materials Are Stolen
Refund Policy

Materials may be borrowed upon completion of the library card application. Bring your card each time you come to the library. You may use your library card at any library in Santa Clara County Library District and the Bookmobile.

Materials checked out on your card are your responsibility. Inform the Library immediately if your card is lost or stolen. There is no replacement fee. Library privileges may be revoked if abused.


Santa Clara County Library District does not restrict access to any materials based on age. Responsibility for minors' selection of material rests with their parents or guardians. The Library does not act in loco parentis.


The Santa Clara County Library District recognizes our responsibility to protect each individual's right to privacy. California Law assures confidentiality of registration and circulation records. Questions asked, materials read, and information supplied at registration are all confidential.

Library staff may not give information about a patron's registration and circulation records to anyone other than the patron. This means, for example, that library staff may not give information to a parent about materials that have been checked out on his child's card or to a spouse about materials that have been checked out on his partner's card.

The library recognizes that in many families library cards are shared among family members. However, in order to comply with library policy and state law, we may give information about materials that have been checked out on a card to the card owner only.

The Library is also obligated under California law to retrieve unreturned library materials. Unpaid library debts are financial records which are not confidential and may be disclosed.


All items which are taken out of the library must be checked out. It is illegal to remove an item from the library without first checking it out. (California Penal Code 490.5).

Any items checked out from our library system may be returned to any of the libraries listed on the front of your library card. Items checked out from other library systems should be returned directly to those libraries.

Books should be returned in the condition in which they were checked out. If they are returned with major damage (e.g. wet from water or drink damage, chewed by a dog, etc.), you will be asked to pay the original cost of the book plus a processing fee.

The library is not responsible for any equipment damage resulting from use of any material. Do not leave cassettes in a closed car on a warm day. Protect from direct sunlight, heat, cold, and magnetic fields. Please rewind audio and video cassettes. When returning cassettes, please alert staff to any problems. Return all parts such as booklets, instructions, etc. which were checked out with the item.

Missing Parts: If any part is missing upon return, (e.g. missing cassette, booklets, disks, etc.) we will try to replace the missing part(s) and charge a replacement fee only. If it is not possible to replace the missing part(s), you will be charged for the entire cost instead of only replacement of the missing part.


Items returned in the bookdrop before 8 a.m. will be checked in as if returned the previous day.


The Santa Clara County Library District Fines, Fees, and Loan Periods is a description of the policies governing the circulation of library materials. The Fines & Fees Policy (PDF) provides a complete list of all library fines and other charges.


An overdue item is declared lost 42 days after due date. The cost of the item and a non-refundable processing fee is charged to your account when item is declared lost. See the Fines & Fees Policy for specific fees.

You are responsible for reporting a billed item which you believe you have returned. The Library will search for the item. If the item is found, it will be immediately removed from the account, including all charges. If the item is not found, the cost of the item and the lost processing fee will remain on the account. If a lost and unpaid for item is recovered in good condition within 6 months of due date, the cost of the item is waived. The lost processing fee is still owed.

If a lost and paid item is recovered within 6 months of lost date, the cost of the item is refundable. See the Refund Policy for specifics.

A lost item recovered after 6 months is no longer eligible for a refund.

The library does not accept the replacement of lost items unless a librarian has agreed to the exchange in advance. A lost processing fee is charged for the replacement.


You are responsible for the cost of the item plus a processing fee when library materials are stolen while checked out on your library card.

The Library will provide you with a printout of the value of the items charged to your account.

  • Check with your insurance. You may be covered for the cost of the theft.
  • Report the theft to the police.

You will receive billing notices if your account is not cleared. If you find it difficult to pay the amount due in one payment, discuss a payment plan with the clerk to maintain your library privileges.


The cost of a lost and paid item is refundable, minus the lost processing fee, if it is returned in good condition within 6 months of the lost date date. Lost processing fees are not refundable.

The library does not accept the replacement of a lost item unless a librarian has agreed to the exchange in advance. If approved, a lost processing fee is charged for the replacement and the lost charge is not eligible for refund if the original lost item is later recovered.

The cost of lost books from book club kits and lost CDs/cassettes from unabridged talking books are non-refundable.

A refund will be less other fines and fees owed to the library.

Amounts $0.99 or less will be considered a donation to the library.

Refunds are issued in the form of a check payable to the library card owner and mailed to the address on file in the library card account.