Special Loan Policies

Homebound Services

The purpose of the Homebound Card is to provide home delivery of library materials, through the use of volunteers, to Des Moines library patrons who are unable to visit the library facilities due to a long term physical disability or illness. Homebound service is a free service, relying on volunteers to do the delivery and pickup and library staff to select materials. Items are checked out for one month and no fines are assessed. Patrons must be Des Moines residents.

The following guidelines apply to homebound customers only:

  1. Cards are made in the name of the homebound patron.
  2. The cardholder is responsible for lost items.
  3. Borrowers may be issued only one Homebound card.
  4. Books in large print, books in regular print, audiobooks, music compact discs, and magazines are available for homebound service. Audiobook fees will be waived. DVDs are not eligible for homebound services as they involve a shorter checkout period and a fee.
  5. The loan period is four weeks.
  6. Once a patron is signed up for Homebound Service, he or she contacts the library when materials are needed. This is usually on a monthly basis. The homebound librarian will select the materials or obtain the requested materials and contact the volunteer. The volunteer will then contact the homebound patron to arrange a pickup/delivery time. In some cases, a family member or friend may do the selection of materials and transport them to the homebound patron. In all cases, the homebound library card remains at the library.

Interlibrary Loan

Customers may request print and microform on interlibrary loan. Customers are limited to five active interlibrary loan requests at a time. The library does not request sound media, standard reference materials, or video on interlibrary loan. Customers are responsible for paying fees and charges assessed by the lending library and must pay fees assessed by the lending library for lost materials. Unpaid fees are posted to the customers library account.

Policies

  • Borrowers must have a valid, unblocked, DSMPL library card to place an interlibrary loan request.
  • Borrowers may request up to five interlibrary loan requests active at one time.
  • A fee of $3.00 will be charged for each interlibrary loan request.
  • Fees are collected at the time of request if the request is made by the borrower in person.
  • The fee will be charged whether or not the book is received.
  • Unpaid fees are posted to the customers library account.
  • Borrowers are responsible for paying any additional fees imposed by the lending library.
  • Borrowers are responsible for paying lost and damaged materials charges assessed by the lending library.
  • Materials worth less than $10 are not borrowed via interlibrary loan unless they are out of print or unavailable for purchase.
  • Videos, multimedia materials, and audio recordings are not borrowed through interlibrary loan.
  • Interlibrary loan materials are due back two weeks after the date the item is received from the lending library.
  • Materials may be renewed if approval for renewal has been received from the lending library.
  • Non-resident borrowers, other than residents of Windsor Heights and Rural Polk County, must use their home library for interlibrary loan borrowing.
  • Interlibrary loans must comply with copyright law.

Educator Cards

Download the Educator Card Application and Guidelines >

Guidelines for Educator Cards

The purpose of the Educator card is to allow teachers to check out books for the students in their classes. This program is designed for teachers in public schools, private schools, preschools, daycare centers, home day care providers and home school parents within the city limits of Des Moines, Windsor Heights, and Rural Polk County. Books are checked out for one month and no fines are assessed. The Cardholder must pay for lost books.

(A book is considered lost when it is forty days overdue.)

  • Cards are made in the name of an individual teacher or caregiver.
  • The cardholder is responsible for lost materials. If a school or daycare is responsible for paying for lost materials, the principal/director’s signature is required on the application.
  • Borrowers must use their personal library card with standard borrowing privileges to check out items for other household members and for recreational reading materials.
  • A maximum of thirty (30) items may be checked out on the card. When returning books, please ask that they be checked immediately if you are planning to check out additional items that day.
  • The loan period is four (4) weeks. Items may not be renewed.
  • Teachers are encouraged to keep all books in the classroom.
  • Audio CDs and audio books may be checked out, but not videos or DVDs.
  • The library cannot provide multiple copies of a single title.
  • The library cannot provide collections of nonfiction books on a single topic.
  • The library reserved the right to limit the number of books borrowed on a single topic.
  • The library reserves the right to restrict or limit the inclusion of high-demand items such as new fiction, audio books, and books on popular topics.
  • Failure to follow these guidelines may result in loss of borrowing privileges.

Vacation Loans

A customer may charge items out for a negotiated vacation loan period with permission from a librarian. Items charged should not be high demand items. Fees for vacation loans of audio books must be paid in advance at the rate of $1.00 for every three weeks. DVDs are not eligible for vacation loans as they involve a shorter checkout period.