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borrowIT CT: Clarification Statements

borrowIT CT is a cooperative borrowing program among the state's public libraries.

Statement on the Issuance of Multiple Library Cards to Children

The current regulatory language for Connecticard includes the following definitions:

Resident: For purpose of the Connecticard program, a person is a resident of a town if that person is principally domiciled in that town. A borrower who holds dual residency or who owns property in more than one town is considered a resident only in the town in which he is principally domiciled. In all other towns, that the borrower is considered a non-resident.

Home Library: The public library in the town where a borrower is a resident is that borrower's home library…

Connecticard borrower card: The borrower card issued by the home library is the Connecticard borrower card. It is the only card that may be used to borrow through the Connecticard program.

This language seems to preclude the issuance of multiple library cards for use in the Connecticard program. Each resident of Connecticut should receive just one library card which they can use at any library participating in the Connecticard program. But this regulatory language was written without consideration of circumstances where children live in two places and the parents (or guardians) refuse to accept responsibility for materials borrowed while the child is in the care of the other parent (or guardian).

In 2002, Sharon Brettschneider, Director of the Division of Library Development at the State Library, notified libraries that issuing a second library card in cases like this would not be in violation of Connecticard regulations. The regulations were not written deliberatively to penalize children in these circumstances. Until such time as the regulatory language can be clarified, the State Library will not regard the issuance of a second library card to children living in two places as being in violation of Connecticard regulations.


Statement on Use of Alternative Library Cards during Ccard Transactions

The current regulatory language for Connecticard includes this requirement:

“A valid adult or juvenile Connecticut public library borrower card must be presented by the borrower each time materials are borrowed….To be valid, a card must include the following information: 1) name and town, if not part of name, of the issuing library, 2) name of the person to whom the card was issued, 3) a specific future expiration date.”

For Connecticard, this requirement would seem to preclude the use of key chain cards and other identifiers that don’t have complete library card information. But this regulatory language was written when alterative library cards were never used and there is no mention anywhere in the regulations about what to do when library users present these alternative cards.

The intent of the Connecticard regulations mentioned above is to make sure libraries confirm the identity, residence, and card expiration date of non-resident borrowers before counting a circulation transaction as a Connecticard transaction. This information would be recorded at the non-resident’s initial visit, so at subsequent visits the only important information the library needs to confirm is the identity of the non-resident. If the library can confirm the non-resident’s identity with a key chain barcode, a barcode scanned into an electronic device, or other alternative library card, then this complies with the basic intent of the Connecticard regulations. Until such time as the regulatory language can be made clearer on the use of alternative library cards, the State Library will allow their use in Connecticard transactions as long as all the required “valid” library card information is on file and the card has not expired.


Statement on E-Books (and other E-Content) and Connecticard

The current regulatory language for Connecticard includes the following:

  • Borrower Cards - A valid adult or juvenile Connecticut public library borrower card must be presented by the borrower each time materials are borrowed.
  • Circulation Rules - Participating libraries shall lend to nonresidents all materials loaned to resident card holders.

Under Connecticard regulations, any non-resident with a valid library card who visits a library participating in Connecticard must be allowed to borrow any library materials that are normally available to residents of the town in which the library is located. There is currently no distinction made in these rules between lending physical versus electronic library materials (i.e. e-books, downloadable audio or video).

Most libraries that currently offer e-book, downloadable audio, and downloadable video collections to their patrons for borrowing limit these collections to resident card-holders. It is clear that libraries limiting this e-content to residents who borrow off-site via the internet are not violating Connecticard regulations. It is less clear if it is a violation of Connecticard regulations for libraries to deny the borrowing of their e-content when a non-resident visits the library itself.

The Connecticut State Library's Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development (ACLPD) created an e-book task force in August 2011 partly to address the issue of lending e-content to non-residents.
The White Paper submitted by the task force in 2012 and accepted by the State Library Board says the following:

Connecticard: The task force was convened with C-card as a central concern. State-wide reciprocity has long been an equalizing force in Connecticut, but ebook license agreements do not allow for non-residents to access a library's ebook collection. Unlike subscription databases, physically visiting a library does not allow nonresidents access to an ebook collection. Current licensing models do not provide a C-card compatible solution for ebooks and libraries cannot be required to loan them to non-residents. Ebook reading devices should be lent to non-residents as any other physical library material.

Therefore, until such time as Connecticard regulations can be clarified on this issue, the State Library will not consider e-content as being part of the library collections that must be loaned to non-residents.

Please note that e-content made available on physical devices, such as e-book readers, must be made available to non-residents. Limiting borrowing of these devices to residents-only would be in violation of Connecticard regulations. Also note that there is currently no Connecticard regulation that requires libraries to place holds for non-residents.


"Registering" Non-Residents

Contact Information

State Data Coordinator

Maria Bernier
Division of Library Development, Connecticut State Library
786 South Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457

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