Circulation Policy

Lending policies in effect at the State Library of Ohio have been adopted and are subject to review by the State Library Board.  These policies are intended to make the largest possible number of materials available to the largest possible number of customers.

I. Purpose

The ongoing role of the State Library of Ohio is to serve the citizens of Ohio by fulfilling the information needs of state government agencies, supporting services of other libraries in the state and providing direct public services as appropriate.

II.  Mission & Vision

The vision of the State Library of Ohio is a Smarter Ohio where every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests.

The State Library of Ohio ensures a smarter Ohio by managing the delivery of services through three channels:

  1. Directly, by building and managing quality collections and providing hands-on service to state government.
  2. Cooperatively, through collaborative efforts and information sharing networks within the library community.
  3. Virtually, through online and on-the-go access to expert assistance, digitized resources, and a vast selection of electronic materials.

III.  Who can use the library and How to Get a Library Card

If you are a State Employee, you can register online [] or in person. State Employees must provide their complete work contact information.

Ohio Residents, who are eighteen years of age or older, may borrow materials directly from the State Library.  If you are an Ohio Resident, you can register online [] or in person. A physical library card will be sent to Ohio Residents registering online to verify that the address and information provided on the web form is correct.

Ohio Residents wanting to use their library card immediately must register in person at the State Library of Ohio and show proof of address, i.e. driver’s license, state ID, recently postmarked bill, etc.  Customers listing a post office box as a mailing address must also provide their resident address.

Once a person registers, they will receive a Unique Patron ID number. This nine-digit number, which is the last nine digits of the barcode listed on the back of the library card, can be used to log in to your online account.

IV.  Customers’ Right to Privacy & Confidentiality of Library Records

Customers are to be accorded privacy in the selection and use of library books, materials and information resources and services.  Inquiries are made of a customer as to the purpose of his/her request only to assist in identifying suitable materials.

It is the policy of the State Library of Ohio that personally identifiable information contained in its circulation records shall be confidential.  No information concerning an individual customer’s library records, or the contents of customers’ records or the frequency or nature of questions asked by the customers, will be divulged by the library to any individual, corporation, institution, government or agency without a search warrant, subpoena, or court order.

Upon receipt of such search warrant, subpoena, or court order, the State Librarian will consult with the Attorney General to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and whether there is a showing of good cause for its issuance.

For more detailed information, please refer to the State Library of Ohio Privacy Policy Statement.

All Library Services staff and all Circulation and/or Interlibrary loan staff are responsible for maintaining the strict confidentiality of customers’ library records.

Any staff member asked for personally identifiable information contained in the Library’s records will politely refuse to divulge the information and refer to the Privacy Policy Statement. Any problems should be referred to the Associate State Librarian for Library Services in the State Librarian’s Office.

V.  Borrowing, Renewing and Returning Information

The State Library of Ohio collection contains government documents and materials on business, management, education, health, criminal justice, and other areas of interest to state government, which circulate to the public on a walk-in basis.

Non-circulating Library Materials

The following materials are non-circulating. Materials may be used at the library.

  • Reference materials
  • Materials in poor or fragile condition.
  • Print newspapers and periodicals
  • Microforms
  • Special Collections materials

The State Library of Ohio also participates in Interlibrary loan with Ohio libraries and out-of-state libraries for State Employees only.

Borrowing& Renewing

State Library items circulate for twenty-one (21) days. The circulation period is the same for all library customers.

The renewal period for all customers is twenty-one (21) days and can be renewed as long as no holds have been placed by other customers.    All library customers will be able to have unlimited renewals (providing there are no holds on the material) and the library customer account is in good standing.

To renew your books online, access your account at; enter your name and your Unique Patron ID number (the last nine digits of the barcode on the back of your library card) and click submit.

Once you have logged into your account:

  1. View Checked Out Items
  2. Select the books you want to renew
  3. Click Renew

If you are able to renew your item, a new due date will appear in the status column; if you cannot renew your item, a flag will appear indicating that the item could not be renewed.

You may also renew books by calling the State Library Circulation & Special Services Department at 614-644-6950.


State Employees: Please note that library materials may be returned through Inter-Office mail AT YOUR OWN RISK. The State Library is not responsible for library materials lost in Inter-Office mail.

Address for returning books:

State Library of Ohio
274 E. First Ave, Suite 100
Columbus, Ohio, 43201

The Library is open from 8:00am – 5:00pm Monday- Friday and closed on weekends and all state holidays.  The State Library provides a book drop, located outside the building in the parking lot, for returning materials when the library is closed.

VI.  Overdue Notices

Overdue notices will be sent at the time an item is overdue, following the Notice Schedule outlined below.  The final notice will be for notification that the customer’s library account has been blocked from any further transactions. The customer’s account will remain blocked until the overdue item has been returned a replacement fee has been paid, or a replacement copy of the book has been provided to the State Library of Ohio.

Notice Schedule:

  • First Notice sent one (1) day after the original due date.
  • Second Notice sent sixteen (16) days after the original due date.
  • Third Notice sent thirty-one (31) days after the original due date.
  • Fourth Notice sent forty-six (46) days after original due date.
  • Fifth and Final Notice sent sixty-one (61) days after original due date. Note: Library account will be blocked at Fifth (5th) Notice.

VII.  Library Account Blocks

Customers who disregard notices recalling library materials for other users, who disregard library notices requesting return of materials obtained by interlibrary loan or who have unreturned, non-renewed library materials, will be blocked from further borrowing.

Customers will receive four (4) late, overdue notices (see Notice Schedule above) before their library account will be blocked.   Once material(s) are returned to the State Library and checked-in, the block will be removed from the customer’s account.

VIII.  OhioLINK Access

The State Library is a member of OhioLINK (Ohio Library and Information Network). As such, State Library customers have access to circulating collections of the other OhioLINK member libraries across the state. Borrowing privileges for State Library of Ohio customers to access the collections of other OhioLINK member libraries are granted by the State Library.

An OhioLINK customer is any registered, valid borrower from any OhioLINK member library.  OhioLINK customers must be registered and in good standing at their local institution.  All rules for OhioLINK customers are based on statewide policies adopted by the OhioLINK Library Advisory Council.

Additional information about borrowing materials through OhioLINK is available on their website at:

As an OhioLINK member library, the State Library of Ohio agrees to abide by OhioLINK Patron Initiated Inter-Institutional Circulation Policies (see Appendix A) and any subsequent revisions formally approved by the OhioLINK Library Advisory Council.

OhioLINK access for Ohio Residents

Basic access to OhioLINK is provided to Ohio Residents who have a State Library card.  In order to provide expanded service through OhioLINK the State Library considers Ohio Residents, who are not State Employees, as “courtesy borrowers” who therefore are eligible for up to five (5) OhioLINK loans at any given time.  This designation meets the requirements of the OhioLINK Patron Initiated Inter-Institutional Circulation Policies. (see Appendix A).

OhioLINK book borrowing & renewing information

OhioLINK books circulate for twenty-one (21) days. OhioLINK books may be renewed up to six times for an additional twenty-one (21) days, as long as no holds have been placed by other customers. OhioLINK media circulate for seven (7) days with renewals permitted. OhioLINK books will be delivered by courier to the State Library, usually within three to five working days.

By mutual agreement, blocks placed by OhioLINK member libraries shall be honored by the State Library of Ohio.  Blocks placed by the State Library of Ohio shall be honored by OhioLINK member libraries.

IX.  Library Customers’ Responsibilities

  1. Customers are responsible for library materials until the borrowed materials have been returned, received and checked-in by State Library staff.
  2. Customers are responsible for reading and responding to all notices promptly.
  3. Customers are responsible for notifying the State Library of Ohio of address and contact information changes.
  4. Customers are responsible for returning library materials on or before the designated due date.
  5. Customers are responsible for renewing library materials on or before the due date. Customers may renew library materials online at, by phone (614-644-6950) or in person.
  6. Customers are responsible for paying for or replacing State Library owned library materials that are lost or damaged while in their possession, or while in transit.
  7. Lost Books: If a customer has lost a book, their library account will be blocked until the item is found and returned OR a replacement fee or replacement copy of the book has been obtained. Customers may replace a lost item with a copy of the same title, or another title acceptable to the library as defined by the State Library. Customers may also pay the State Library a replacement fee of $35.72 for the lost item.   Customers with a lost book should contact the Manager of Circulation & Special Services at 614-644-6950.
  8. Customers are responsible for charges on OhioLINK materials as indicated in the statewide policies adopted by the Library Advisory Council. (see Appendix A.)
  9. Customers are responsible for the following OhioLINK statewide policies as indicted in Appendix A when requesting library materials through the OhioLINK central catalog and/or electronic resources.
  10. Lost State Library of Ohio materials loaned to OhioLINK customers will be billed in accordance with the billing rate and schedule as established by the OhioLINK Library Advisory Council which is included in Appendix A of this policy.

Approved by the State Library Board, December 12, 2017.  Effective January 1, 2018.

OhioLINK Inter-Institutional Circulation Policies

OhioLINK Patron Initiated Inter-Institutional Circulation Policies as revised December 2018

The assumptions and parameters which follow apply only to OhioLINK loans; they need not affect local Circulation/ILL policies or practices. The Library Advisory Council has confirmed the following as the guiding principles for OhioLINK Online Circulation.

  • OhioLINK libraries are stewards of a shared collection and should strive to maintain the integrity of the collection.
  • Institutions are encouraged to make available for circulation as many of their holdings as possible.
  • In order to efficiently manage materials across institutions, institutions are expected to ru

This document has been reviewed, revised, and approved by the Library Advisory Council.

  1. Loan Length – 21 days for non-media for all patron types except faculty. Faculty may check out non-media items for 42 days. Seven days for media.
  2. All materials are to be pulled and ready for pickup by the courier within one business day. If the material is not found, the paging slip can be held one additional day for possible retrieval before canceling with re-request.
  3. Renewals – Up to 6 renewals of 21 days each for most patrons on non-media or 42 days each for faculty as long as no holds have been placed on the item. Seven-day media has 3 renewals of 7 days.
  4. Courtesy borrowers should be limited to five outstanding OhioLINK loans at any given time.
  5. Recalls – Materials will be recalled only for Course Reserve use; materials may be recalled from any patron type.
  6. Hold Requests – When there are no available copies, the system may allow one hold to be placed. If one hold already exists, the request will be canceled and the user will see the cancellation notice on his or her patron’s record stating that the request cannot be filled within OhioLINK and suggesting they use Interlibrary Loan at their library. Holds can be placed within a 10-day window of an item’s due date (i.e. 10 days before and 10 days after an item’s due date).
  7. Priority – Requests will be filled in the order received.
  8. Missing in Transit – If in-transit materials cannot be located at either location, a search list may be generated for statewide distribution and searching.
  9. Reserve – Materials borrowed through OhioLINK will not be placed on reserve at the borrowing institution, unless special arrangements have been made.
  10. ILL – Materials available through OhioLINK online requesting will not be requested or filled through traditional interlibrary loan services among OhioLINK members.
  11. Patron Records – Complete patron records will be kept only at the home institution of the patron. Only authorized staff at that library may change, update, or enter patron records for their borrowers. Only staff at the home library may override blocks for their borrowers. No patron information will be kept in the central database.
  12. Load Balancing – An attempt will be made to balance lending and borrowing over the course of time at each institution unless that institution chooses to be a net lender. To balance lending and borrowing, central site software may be manipulated regularly by OhioLINK staff. The selection of the copy to be sent to a borrower should be randomized by the system to balance lending and borrowing. The patron will not be able to designate which copy is to be borrowed unless the title has one or more volumes attached to it. Circulation staff may override this rule in order to borrow a specific copy when deemed appropriate.
  13. Charges – The patron’s home library will keep the monies collected for all late fees and replacement and processing costs. Institutions may use their own local charges for OhioLINK items. In place of locally defined charges, institutions may instead follow traditional OhioLINK charge structure. Under the traditional OhioLINK structure, patrons will be charged late fees at the rate of $.50 per day ($2.00 per day for failure to return a recalled item promptly). The maximum overdue fine per item is $15.00. The patron’s home library will be responsible for notifying its patrons of overdue materials and fees accrued. A lost book replacement charge of $75.00 will be billed to the patron who does not return an OhioLINK loan 30 days after the due date. A $50.00 processing fee (which includes the $15 late fee plus a $35 billing fee) will also be included on these lost book invoices. Only the replacement fee is canceled when the item is returned.
  14. Replacement – Patrons can replace lost OhioLINK books with an item of the same edition. The borrowing library should offer that replacement to the lending library. If lending doesn’t accept it, the borrowing library can choose to add it to their collection.
  15. Availability of Materials – New materials will be automatically available for any OhioLINK borrower as soon as they are available to local patrons for circulation. If the materials are ordered for a specific patron, the patron should place a hold on that order. Coding in local records should accurately reflect whether or not the item is requestable.

Further clarification of policies regarding OhioLINK and circulation may be found in the OhioLINK Distance Learning Policy and the Interlibrary Loan Policy.

December 2018