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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Library Policies

Applying for a library card, check out periods & limits, renewing items, placing holds/requests, etc.

Library cards are issued to those who live, work, go to school, or own property in either Rutherford or Polk County.  If you do not meet these criteria, please see our section on Non-Resident Cards.

You must be at least 5 years old to apply for a library card.  A parent or guardian signature is required for children under the age of 16.  The parent or guardian who signs as responsible party must have a CMC library card and be in good standing, or apply for a library card at the same time as the child.

New patrons must show identification with their current address when applying for a library card.  This could include a driver’s license, a checkbook, or a letter with a postmark on it.  A picture ID is also required for adult patrons.

Cards will be issued to individuals only.  No library cards will be issued to institutions, schools, churches, companies or other groups.  

If you do not meet the critieria to apply for a standard library card, you can obtain checkout privileges by paying a fee of $20.00 per year. Non-resident cards are limited to a total of five (5) items on their account at a time.

All library cards are valid for 3 years from the date of application. When a card has expired, library staff will verify and update contact information (address, telephone number, etc) and renew the card for another three years. There is no need to apply for or obtain a new physical card.

There is a limit of 50 total items per household (a household is defined as any two or more persons sharing the same address).

There is a limit of six (6) DVDs per patron.

Learning Tablets and Maker Kits are limited to one per family.

Reference and genealogy books may not be checked out.

At certain times, the library may limit books on specific subjects to only one or two per patron, such as when students in a class are assigned reports on that subject.

All items (books, CDs, DVDs, etc) are checked out for 14 days.  Some items, such as Learning Tablets and Maker Kits, cannot be renewed.

The library provides email and text alerts/notices.  To help you remember when items are due, you can sign up to receive a Courtesy Notice by email or text three (3) days before an item's due date.  Ask a library staff member to activate this notice on your account.

Most items may be renewed two (2) times for an additional 14 days each time, for a maximum checkout period of 42 days.  Learning Tablets and Maker Kits cannot be renewed.  Items that have had a hold placed on them by another patron may not be renewed. 

You may renew your items in 3 ways:

  1. in person at the library circulation desk
  2. over the telephone (828-287-6115)
  3. on the library website using the My Account link

Overdue fines are 10 cents per day for books, CDs, and DVDs.  Learning Tablets, Maker Kits, and Backpacks are $1.00 per day.

If an item is currently unavailable, you may request the item be placed “on hold” when it is returned.  Items can be requested in the library at the front desk or by phone.  Items from other CMC libraries can also be requested for check out.  These items will be transferred for you and you will be notified when they are ready for pick up.  Some items, such as reference and genealogy materials, cannot be requested.

You can sign up to receive Arrived Request notifications by email or text.  These notices are sent automatically when an item you have placed on hold is ready for pick up.

Rutherford County Public Library Security Camera Policy and Information

Security cameras are installed in the Rutherford County Public Libraries to protect the safety and security of people, the building, and its contents, while protecting individuals’ right to privacy. Only authorized Library staff may view recordings.

Placement of Cameras

Video recording cameras will be used in public spaces of the Library to discourage criminal activity and violations of the Library’s Code of Conduct.

Cameras may be installed in outdoor and indoor places where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples include public common areas of the library such as parking lots, entrances, seating areas, service desks, and areas prone to theft or misconduct. Cameras will not be installed in areas of the Library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as restrooms or private offices.

Signs are posted throughout the library informing the public and staff that security cameras are in use.

Because security cameras are not constantly monitored, staff and public should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of personal property. Rutherford County is not responsible for loss of property or personal injury.

Storage and Access to Recorded Data

Recorded data is confidential and secured in a controlled area. Video recordings will typically be stored for no longer than 60 days. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted.

Video surveillance records are not to be used directly or indirectly to identify the activities of individual Library patrons except as viewed in relation to a specific event or suspected criminal activity, suspected violation of Library policy, or incidents where there is reasonable basis to believe a claim may be made against the Library for civil liability. Authorized Library staff may use a still shot or selected portions of recorded data to request law enforcement review for assessing the security risk of a specific individual or for investigating a crime on library property.

Video data will be made available to law enforcement officials or agencies upon written request, and with approval of authorized Library staff. The Library shall retain a copy of the request. Recorded data will be accorded the same level of confidentiality and protection provided to library users by North Carolina law and the Library’s policies with respect thereto. Access is also allowed by law enforcement when pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law.

The Rutherford County Library System, including the main library, the Haynes Branch, and the Mountains Branch, welcomes children of all ages. It is important to all of the libraries that children are encouraged to develop an interest in reading and learning.

Library Staff have many duties to perform in order to serve the citizens of Rutherford County. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library. 

For their safety, children 10 years of age and younger must be directly supervised by a parent or caretaker (age 16 or older) while in the library. Children 10 and under that are found unattended will be monitored by a staff member until a parent/caretaker is located. If unable to locate a parent/caretaker, staff will contact the police.

Children 11 and older may remain in the library without a caregiver present for a maximum of 3 hours if they are observed by library staff to be using the library appropriately.

Appropriate library use includes, but is not limited to:
• Looking at or reading books or magazines
• Quietly using computers
• Working on schoolwork or other projects
• Participating in library programs or activities

Library staff will exercise appropriate procedures to ensure the safety of unattended children 17 years of age and younger when the library is closing. Any unattended children will be alerted by a staff member about 30 minutes before closing time that they need to contact their parent and/or ride so they will be picked up before the library closes.

If upon closing, unattended children remain in the library, library staff will verify the child has contacted their parent or ride. A staff member will remain in the library with the child until the child is picked up. If after 15 minutes of closing the child has not been picked up, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department or the Lake Lure Police Department (for Mountains Branch) will be contacted.

Everyone who uses the library will be subjected to the Disruptive Behavior Policy.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees: April 28, 2015