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Library Policy: Circulation


Borrower Categories

In general, borrowing is limited to current students, faculty, and staff. Library facilities and selected resources are available for in-library use by the general public with some restrictions.

  • Currently enrolled students and employees of the Seattle Colleges

  • Currently enrolled students of other Washington State community colleges

  • Libraries of Washington State community colleges (through the Interlibrary Loan process)

  • Libraries who participate in interlibrary loan

Some restrictions may apply to each of the categories. Patrons who do not fall into any of the authorized borrower categories must arrange an interlibrary loan through their own libraries. The Dean for reserves the right to suspend or rescind borrowing privileges upon violation of any library policy.


  • Seattle Colleges (SC) student, with the exception of individuals enrolled only in Community Education courses; a currently registered student of Seattle Central College (SCC), North Seattle College (NSC), South Seattle College (SSC), and Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) as identified by a current student photo identification card issued from the above colleges henceforth referred to as a SC student photo ID card; and/or by inclusion in the current database from the Registrar's office.

  • Seattle Colleges (SC) employee: a faculty or staff member of the Seattle Colleges as identified by a current employee identification card, inclusion in the district Outlook contacts, or verification from their division by phone or written message. Photo ID must be presented at the time of check out. Retired SC employees retain their borrowing privileges.

  • Washington State Community College student: a currently registered student of any Washington State community college as identified by verification of current enrollment and presentation of a valid identification card from his/her respective institution, henceforth referred to as a WSCC student ID card.

  • Libraries: all Washington State community college libraries may request materials through the interlibrary loan process.

Borrower Identification

Borrowers must present acceptable identification at the circulation desk to check out library materials. Student borrowers must also present acceptable identification to request an interlibrary loan or reserve a group study room.

  • The acceptable identification for students of NSC, SCC, and SSC is a current SC photo ID card. State or federal issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s license, state identification card, passport) may be presented in lieu of the school ID.

  • Employees of the Seattle Colleges must show current college Faculty/Staff ID  or State or federal issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s license, state identification card, passport).

  • Students from other Washington State Community Colleges must show a WSCC student ID card AND provide a copy of their registration for the current quarter or a current quarter sticker.

  • Patrons who are personally identified by Library staff assisting at the time of check-out only need to present their student/staff ID number.

Community Education

Individuals enrolled in Community Education courses fall outside of the category of student borrowers. 

The following guidelines apply:

  • Community Education students may not borrow items from the circulating collections.

  • Community Education instructors may put items on Course Reserve for their students provided that these items circulate under these conditions: 1 or 2 hours, Library Use Only.

  • The library cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged reserve items.

  • Individuals enrolled only in Community Education courses must leave a photo ID at the Circulation desk when borrowing Course Reserve material.

Fines, Refunds, Blocks


Patrons must return library materials on or before their due dates. Fines are charged for overdue course reserves, technology items, and reference collection materials.Fines are waived if the overdue material is returned within a 30-minute grace period. Overdue fines are not charged for items in the general circulating collection. The following schedule for fines applies:

  • Special loan material includes reference materials. Fines for special loans are $0.50 per hour per item to a maximum of $5.00 a day per item, not to exceed $10.00 per item. Hours that the library is open, excluding Saturdays, are used to compute the fine.
  • Hourly Reserves (1, 2, 4 hour reserve): $2.00 per hour per item; maximum $50.00 per item unless the item has gone to ‘Lost’ status. Hours that the library is open, excluding Saturdays, are used to compute the fine.
  • Daily or Weekly Reserves: $5.00 per day per item; maximum $50.00 per item, unless the item has gone to ‘Lost’ status. Days that the library is open, excluding Saturday, are used to compute the fine.
  • Lost Status: Items more than 3 weeks overdue will be charged the replacement fee for the item and the ownership of the delinquent item will be transferred to the patron.
  • Fines must be paid in cash or by check for the exact amount. The student identification number must be written on the check. “IOU's” are not accepted.
  • Borrowing privileges are suspended and academic records will be blocked until all fines are paid.
  • Fines for district employees will be charged at the discretion of the library supervisor.


Patrons are responsible for all library materials they borrow. Patrons will be charged for lost or damaged items according to the replacement fee schedule. Refunds for lost and paid items may be offered. The following conditions apply:

  • The item is returned within one year from the date of payment.
  • The item is returned in good condition.
  • Processing fees are non-refundable.
  • Refunds will be mailed to the patron. Cash refunds will not be offered.

Student records may be blocked for the following issues:

  • Books more than three weeks overdue
  • Overdue reserve or reference items
  • Reserve or reference fines
  • Lost or damaged library materials
To remove a block, a student must contact the library circulation desk to resolve outstanding fines, charges, or lost items.
Revised June 2019

Interlibrary Loan

Out-of-District Borrowing

The Seattle Central Community College Library will borrow materials for authorized borrowers from libraries outside of the SCCD when, in the judgment of a librarian, the resources of the library do not meet the needs of the user. The service is provided at no charge to the borrower unless the lending library charges a fee (see below).

  • All out-of-district ILL requests must be verified and approved by a librarian before being processed.
  • ILL requests for non-print material are handled through Media Services following its own guidelines and procedures.
  • Borrowers are limited to two out-of-district ILL requests at a time unless the librarian approves additional requests.
  • Every effort is made to request out-of-district ILL materials from non-charging libraries. When materials are available only from a library that charges, the borrower is notified before the request is fulfilled.
  • We will, upon request, borrow materials from the Seattle Public Library, the King County Library System, and the University of Washington Libraries.
  • Interlibrary Loan borrowing services may be revoked if previously borrowed materials have not been returned or, in the case of loss or damaged materials, have not been paid for.

In-District Borrowing and Lending

Interlibrary loan transactions among the three libraries and media services centers of the Seattle Community College District are filled as expeditiously as possible. Each library and media services center reserves the right to restrict the circulation of reference and reserve materials. In-district ILLs are fulfilled at no charge to the borrowing facility or patron.

  • Requests for audiovisual material must be made with the assistance of Media Services staff.
  • The borrowing library must inform the lending library of RUSH requests by phone.
  • Every effort is made to ensure that ILL requests are filled within 1 business day and no more than 3 business days. If an item cannot be delivered within 3 working days, the library will notify the requesting library from which the request originated and the hold will be cancelled.
  • Every effort will be made to fulfill copy requests within 1 business day from the receipt of the request.
  • ILL of desk reserve and reference material must be explicitly approved by a Librarian of the lending Library. Usage limitations (shorter loan period, library use only restriction) are set by a Librarian.
  • No ILL requests are made or filled for course reserve textbooks.
  • Borrowers may renew ILL items as long as there are no outstanding requests for them.
  • The borrower’s library is responsible for sending out overdue notices, fine and fee notices and SMS blocking, as necessary.
Revised April 2005

Loan Periods & Overdues

 Item Type

 Loan Period



 Books  2 weeks  2 renewals  none
 Periodicals - current issue  Does not circulate    none
 Periodicals - back issues  1 week  1 renewal  none
 Newspapers - back issues only  1 week  1 renewal  none
 Video/DVD  3 days  1 renewal  none
 Music CD  1 week  1 renewal  none
 Reserve Items  varies  none  See above
 Reference Books  by special arrangement only  none  See above
 Non-Barcoded Items (pictures, maps etc.)      

*Renewals are allowed only if no other requests for the item are pending.

Overdue Materials

It is the policy of the Library to maintain control of the circulation of its materials and ensure the timely return of circulated items.  Fines may also be levied against students who do not return Course Reserve and special loan Reference materials on time.                                                                                                             
  • Overdue Notices will be emailed to patrons when borrowed materials become one week overdue.
  • Fine and Fee Notices will be emailed to patrons when borrowed materials become 3 weeks overdue. At this point, materials are assumed ‘Lost’.
  • Fine and Fee Notices will be emailed to patrons who owe fines. Notices are generated after the item has been returned and all fines calculated.
  • Student patrons will not be allowed to borrow library materials, register for classes, change schedules, request grades or transcripts, or pick up financial aid disbursements until all ‘Lost’ library materials have been returned or paid for.
  • Faculty or staff may lose their borrowing privileges until all ‘Lost’ materials are returned or paid for.  Revocation and reinstatement of borrowing privileges is at the discretion of the Dean and the Circulation Supervisor.
Revised April 2019

Lost or Damaged


  • The charge for a lost or damaged item is the cost of the item plus a nonrefundable $5.00 processing fee.
  • In the event that lost material is recovered, the replacement fee will be refunded. Processing fees are non-refundable
  • Except where defined below, fees for the repair of damaged materials will be determined by a supervisor or librarian
  • Under certain circumstances, patrons may be given the option to purchase replacement copies of lost or damaged items with permission of the supervisor but the processing fee will not be waived
  • Patrons who intentionally remove the barcode from an item will be charged a $2.00 fee

Claims Returned

Patrons are responsible for the library materials they check out. Patrons who lose library materials will be charged for replacement cost plus a non-refundable processing fee.

If a patron claims to have returned an item and a thorough search of the library collection does not recover the item, the circulation supervisor may waive replacement costs and fees.

Repeated “Claims Returned” occurrences by the same person may be treated in the same manner as “Lost” procedures dictate.  Patrons may be required to pay replacement costs and processing fees.

When fees are paid and the material is recovered within one year, replacement cost will be refunded to the patron.

Audiovisual Materials in the Circulating Collection

Patrons are responsible for all library materials and audiovisual media they borrow and are charged the replacement cost plus a non-refundable processing fee for all lost materials.  Patrons are also charged for the damage of materials depending on the extent of the damage and if the item is reasonably usable.

Replacement fees for audiovisual materials are as follows:

  • Replacement cost of a single CD recording is $20.00 plus a $3.00 processing fee, or the actual cost of the item plus a $3.00 processing fee.
  • Replacement cost of a multi-CD recording is $20.00 per disc plus a $3.00 processing fee, or the actual cost of the item plus a $3.00 processing fee.
  • Replacement cost of commercially produced audiocassettes and CDs is $30.00 plus a $5.00 processing fee, or the actual cost of the program plus a $5.00 processing fee.  Whenever possible, individual pieces will be replaced rather than the entire set.
  • Replacement cost of slide sets is cost of program plus a $5.00 processing fee.

 Damaged audiovisual materials are handled as follows:

  • The media technicians will determine the extent of damage to the item.
  • If the material is deemed damaged, then a replacement cost will be assessed based on the purchase price of the program.

Course Reserves

  • Replacement fees for lost course reserve material are determined by item type and availability and are assessed at current retail prices, plus a $5.00 processing fee.
  • Replacement fees for course reserve items that are personally owned by faculty will be assessed at current retail prices.  No processing fee will be collected, but any monies will be remanded to the owning faculty member.

Desk Reserves

  • If the item can be replaced, the patron will be charged the replacement cost plus a $5.00 processing fee.  If the item cannot be replaced, the patron will be charged the estimated market value of the item as determined by a supervisor or the librarian responsible for the subject area plus the $5.00 processing fee.
  • Under certain circumstances, patrons may purchase replacement copies of lost/damaged items, but the processing fee will not be waived.

Books in the Circulating Collection

  • Replacement fees are assessed at the current retail prices. 
  • Fees for out-of-print titles will be charged a $5 processing fee plus the amounts below:
 Item Description    Fee
Call #s: A-J, L, M, P, S, U-Z  $40.00
Call #s: K, N, Q, R, T  $40.00

Paperbound booklets……………..………….………….$5.00 per item+$5.00 processing fee
State documents…………………………..…….………$5.00 per item+$5.00 processing fee


  • The replacement cost for lost items from the Paperback Book collection is $5.00 plus a processing fee of $2.00.
  • The library will also accept new or used (but in good condition) mass market paperback books as replacement for lost or damaged paperback books, and the $2.00 processing fee will be waived. 


  • Up to $40.00 per issue or actual cost plus a  processing fee of $5.00 per issue.  The circulation and cataloging supervisors will maintain a  current list of replacement prices for higher priced journals.
  • Lost or damaged newspapers will be assessed a replacement fee of $1.00 per issue plus a processing fee of $2.00 per issue.

Reference Collection

  • The replacement cost for Reference Collection material is determined by a supervisor or the librarian responsible for the subject area.  The processing fee is $5.00.

Approved July 2004

Reference Materials

In general, reference books cannot be checked out.


Librarian on duty may authorize a limited loan of reference material. Decisions on the availability of a specific item for loan and length of time of the loan are made by the reference librarians, (in their absence the Dean for Instructional Resource Services) on an ad hoc basis, based the item’s current use pattern, its physical durability, scope of the information contained, and relevance of the information to the borrower's needs.

The librarian sets a short-term due date and time in consultation with the borrower. Authorized items must be checked out and returned at the circulation desk. Borrowers are responsible for returning reference books before by the due date and time.

Fees for the replacement or repair of reference material that is lost or damaged while on loan are determined on an individual basis by a supervisor or librarian, plus a non-refundable processing fee of $5.00 per item. 

Overdue fees accrue at $.50 per hour per item to a maximum of $5.00 per day per item, and not to exceed a total of $10.00 per item.


 The following types of reference material do not circulate under any circumstances:

  • Volumes from multi-volume encyclopedias, dictionaries or other sets;
  • The most recent edition of yearbooks and similar periodical publications;
  • Materials that require special handling or treatment due to factors of size, cost or durability (e.g., maps, atlases, globes, some art books);
  • Materials that are in are in frequent demand
  • In the case of disagreement among the librarians as to the eligibility of an item for circulation, the item will not be loaned except for short-term (maximum two hours) classroom use.
Approved April 2005