Circulation Policy

Library Cards

Library cards are available to all Rhode Island residents free of charge with proof of identity as may be obtained with a valid driver’s license. A current mailing and street address is also required.  There is no age limit to receive a library card.  Patrons under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign their registration form.   Patrons cannot borrow materials without a valid library card.  Patrons will be restricted from checking out materials if they owe more than $5.00 in fees on their library card.  If a card is lost, a replacement will be issued for $1.00.  The libraries of Foster belong to the Ocean State Libraries (OSL) consortium and library cards can be used at all participating Rhode Island Libraries.

Temporary Cards

Through the Ocean State Library Catalog, you may to register on-line as a patron of our library if you are a RI resident. You will have limited privileges. Holds and program registrations placed with this card are active for 30 days.
You must show a valid Rhode Island ID and proof of address at your library within 30 days to get a permanent card or this temporary patron record will be deleted.

Library Cards for Nonresidents

The Libraries of Foster adhere to OSL Policy No. 8 : 2.)

OSL member libraries may issue full-service OSL library cards to residents of other states for an annual fee, provided that the patron’s local library in their home state is still certified. In such case, the amount of the fee shall be calculated annually as the average cost per patron spent on both operating and capital expenses for the support of OSL member libraries during the previous fiscal year, rounded up to the nearest five ($5.00) dollars (as of 1/1/2011, fee is calculated to be $215)

 The person whose name appears on a library card is responsible for all items checked out on that card.  Patrons must check materials out on their own library card.  If a patron wishes to use another person’s library card that person must be present at the library.

Library materials are available without restriction to all library patrons.  Parents or legal guardians are responsible for the materials selected by children under their care.  Library staff will no deny access to any materials to any library patron.

Claims Returned or Claims Never Had

 A patron claiming to have returned an item or claiming to never have had the item that is missing may be issued a Claims Returned on his or her card.  A Claims Returned will be issued after a thorough search has been conducted by the library staff and/or by the patron for no longer than a two week period.  At this time, all overdue fines that have been incurred on this item will be cleared. Patrons are allowed two Claims Returned, after which, subsequent missing materials will be considered lost and the patron will be responsible for the replacement.

Lost or Damaged Materials

Any item that is either lost or damaged beyond repair will be replaced at the expense of the patron holding the item on his/her card.  Cost will be assessed from the current list price of the item as determined by Baker & Taylor or another purchasing source. Patrons may either pay for the lost item or replace it with an identical, new item.
Patrons will be issued a receipt at the time of the transaction.
If a lost or damaged item is overdue at the time a patron wishes to pay for it, the overdue fines will be waived and only the replacement charge will be collected.
If a patron finds a lost item after he or she has paid the replacement fee and the item has not yet been replaced, the patron will be reimbursed in full.  If a replacement has been purchased, no reimbursement will be issued and the patron is free to keep the found item.

Loan Periods and Fines

 The following loan periods and fines listed refer to the Foster Public Library and the Tyler Free Library only.  Each library in the state sets its own loan period and fines.  Patrons must return materials on their due date before the close of library business hours in order to avoid overdue fines.  Any materials received through inter-library loan or borrowed from another library must adhere to the loan periods set forth by the lending library. As part of the OSL consortium, the library restricts the lending material to a patron who owes more than $5.00 in fines or charges on their library card.

The Libraries of Foster Loan Periods and Fines

Books, Magazines, and Audio books

  • 3 week loan period
  • No fines for Foster Public or Tyler Free materials
  • Renewal:  One 3 week renewal for items not belonging to LOF that have no holds.  For items belonging to LOF with no holds, renewal at discretion of staff person.  Item must be seen after 2 renewals.

DVDs, Videos, Learning Kits

  • 1 week loan period
  • A limit of 5 LOF DVDs on one card at a time.
  • Overdue fine: $1.00/day
  • Renewal: 1 week for items belonging to LOF unless there is a hold on the item.  No renewals for items belonging to another library.

Compact Discs

  • 3 week loan
  • Overdue Fine:  $1.00/day
  • Renewal:  3 weeks unless there is a hold on the item.

Museum Passes

  • 3 DAY loan period
  • Overdue fine: $1.00/day
  • No Renewals


Updated:  10/2007