Circulation Policies

Patrons are required to present their Library card when checking out items, renewing materials, or placing holds. No exceptions! If you do not have your library card with you, we will place the materials aside for you for 24 hours.

Patrons will be offered a receipt listing the items' due dates when checking out new items. It is patrons' responsibility to return or renew materials on time. Patrons are responsible for notifying the library if they suspect any discrepancies in their accounts. Patrons cannot check out or renew materials if they have $10.00 or more in fees on their accounts.

For questions about these policies or your account please contact the Main Circulation Desk at 732-873-8700 option 2. or at our Franklin Park Branch at 732-873-8700 option 5

Late Fees

  • Adult and Young Adult Materials $.20/day
  • Children's Materials $.10/day
  • Blue Dot Entertainment DVDs $1.50/day
  • All other DVDs $1.00/day

Library Cards

The library requires that patrons must present a valid library card for all transactions except returns and bill payment. No other form of ID or facsimiles of the card (including smart phone apps) may be used. This restriction protects the patron's right to privacy and their account from misuse (i.e. irregular transactions.)

Patrons are allowed a one-time exception to use their drivers' licenses to check out or renew items if they do not have their library cards with them. If the one-time exception has already been used, staff can offer to hold the items aside for 24 hours if the patron wishes to return later with a library card. The library reserves the right to limit the number and type of items that can be held.

A library card is available free of charge to anyone who is able to show proof that they live in or own property in Franklin Township, work for the municipal government or own a business in Franklin (see “Library Card Master Chart”). A parent or legal guardian's signature and proof of residency are required to register a minor (age 17 and younger) for a library card. Minors must be present at the time of registration. The library requires all cardholders to provide a valid home or personal cell phone number.

All applicants need to apply for their library cards in person* and bring proof of residency in the form of:

A valid driver's license with a Franklin Township street address. If the driver's license has a PO Box for the address, the person must bring in proof of physical address such as: ownership deed with a Franklin Township address on it, PSE&G bill, telephone bill, tax bill or another bill with a current Franklin Township address. Bill cannot be more than 30 days old.


Another form of photo identification and one of the following: ownership deed with a Franklin Township address on it, PSE&G bill, telephone bill, tax bill or another bill with a current Franklin Township address. Bill cannot be more than 30 days old.

* Homebound applicants must receive special permission to register from the Head of Circulation.

Reciprocal borrowers may apply for privileges if they are in good standing with their home libraries. When a patron from another reciprocal library applies for a FTPL barcode, we must contact the home library to verify his/her status. If staff cannot reach the home library the patron must return when his or her home library is open. This process is repeated upon yearly renewals of borrowing privileges (see Reciprocal Agreement.)

Non-residents who do not qualify for free memberships may purchase library cards for a yearly fee of $50.00.

There is a $3.00 charge for replacement of a library card. If the card has been stolen or expired two years or more, there is no replacement charge.

Library cards must be periodically updated. At that time, patrons are required to show ID and proof of residency to renew borrowing privilege.

New library cards and replacement cards cannot be processed in the 15 minutes prior to closing.


In general, only the staff and the cardholder have access to information about a patron's library record. The New Jersey Statute 18A: 73-43.2 requires that library records that contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall be disclosed only in very specific circumstances:

  • The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
  • Disclosure is requested by the user; or
  • Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order.

Additionally, under the federal USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, disclosure of library records may be required when a search warrant or court order is presented to the library.

The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of a child(ren) under 11 years of age is(are) entitled to information relating to the use of the minor child's card, as this is deemed as essential and necessary for the proper operation of the library. However, if a child (patron) is over 11 years of age, the library will not disclose information regarding the account with anyone other than that patron, unless that patron authorizes such disclosure.

When patrons telephone for information about items being held, titles will be given if the caller supplies the appropriate library card barcode number. Library staff may confirm that reserves are being held for a person who the caller names, but may not reveal the titles unless the caller provides the library card barcode number. A patron may pick up reserved items for others if he or she presents the other individual's library card.

When patrons telephone to renew items, the caller must supply the appropriate library card barcode number. In person, patrons may renew or check out items for others if he or she presents the other individual's library card.

Video Club

To borrow entertainment movies patrons must be a member of the Video Club. Membership can be purchased at the Circulation desk for a one-time, non-refundable fee of $10 by cardholders in good standing. A courtesy membership can be extended to other household members, but refunds cannot be made if multiple household members pay for video privileges. Club membership is only available to patrons 18 years and older unless a parent or legal guardian gives consent. Parents/legal guardians are responsible for video selections by minors.

Library policy requires that staff check the contents of all media before they can check items out to a patron and again before the item will be checked back in. Patrons will be held responsible for any items not returned intact. Patrons are responsible for immediately notifying the library if movies are damaged or otherwise not playable. Patrons are responsible for returning movies in complete and undamaged condition.

Loan Periods

Most materials -- with the exception of entertainment movies, new fiction, and Interlibrary Loans circulate for a period of three weeks. New Entertainment movies (a.k.a. Blue-Dots) circulate for two days. Older Entertainment Movies circulate for seven days. New fiction and Interlibrary Loans circulate for 14 days. Reference materials, National Geographic magazine, all current issues of magazines, and newspapers do not circulate.

Checkout Limits

Items with limits must be returned directly to the Circulation Desk if the patron wants to borrow more that same day.

  • There is a limit of one Blue-Dot and ten older entertainment movies per cardholder. Cardholders must have video privileges in order to check out these materials.
  • Easy Readers (indicated by an "ER" above the call number) can only be borrowed ten at a time.

We suggest that patrons take only four books from a school reading list or homework assignment as a courtesy to others.

Staff may override a block to renew overdue items, but no additional materials may be checked out if fines are $10.00 or more.

Accompanying Material

Accompanying material must be checked out with the primary item; for example, a book with an accompanying CD-ROM. All items must be returned together. Neither will be checked in until primary and accompanying material are accounted for. If both the main item and accompanying material are barcoded then both must be checked out (and in) to the patron.

CD-ROMs must circulate together with their accompanying book. Librettos are optional if the patron wishes to borrow them.

If material is returned missing or replaced with non-library materials -- it will remain on the patron's account until the problem is resolved. Library staff will attempt to contact the patron for the return of the missing item.


All media cases must be opened and checked before scanning the item in or out to make sure that contents are correct and all accounted for. If parts are found to be missing or replaced with non-library materials -- staff are not to check the item in or out to a patron. Library staff will attempt to contact the patron for the return of the missing item.


Patrons must present the appropriate card in order to check out an item on hold. Holds can only be checked out to the account the item is on hold for.

Patrons may place holds on most items in our catalog. Patrons will be notified via phone or email when their item is available for pick-up, and will have three days from the date of notification (four days from when the item became available) to pick-up their holds. Patrons may request additional time if needed by calling the Circulation desk.

Patrons should call the Reference Desk for assistance if they need an on-shelf item pulled immediately. Otherwise, on-shelf requests will be pulled the following morning when the OnShelf Holds report is run.

Reservable materials include:

  • All circulating Non-Fiction and Fiction books, EDVs and older entertainment videos.
  • Circulating items listed as "At bindery," "Being acquired, "Being cataloged," "Being fixed/mended," "Checked out," or in "Reshelving."

Non-reservable locations include:

  • Blue Dot entertainment movies
  • Historical collection
  • Interlibrary Loans (ILL)
  • Magazines or periodicals
  • Reference collection

Preference will be given to the patron who has the book in hand. If a patron brings an item to the counter that is on hold for another user staff will override the hold and allow the item to be checked out. The person on hold will be notified when the item is returned.

The library reserves the right to cancel an on-shelf (aka on-demand) hold if a patron fails to pick up the same requested item two times in a row, or if they fail to pick up three different requests in a row. Patrons are asked to wait 24 hours before placing an item on hold that they just returned -- the library reserves the right to cancel these holds.


Most library materials can be renewed twice unless they are on reserve for another patron. New Fiction and regular Entertainment Videos may only be renewed once. Blue Dot (a.k.a. "new") entertainment videos are not eligible for renewal and cannot be placed on hold. Patrons must wait for the item to be re-shelved before they can borrow it again. Patrons wanting to renew an Interlibrary Loan will need to contact the Reference Desk for assistance with this special request.

For items that are eligible for renewals, once the renewal limit has been reached, patrons may re-borrow the item if no one is on hold for it and their card is not blocked because of fees. If the item is on hold for another user, patrons will not be able to renew it. After returning the item, patrons may place it on hold to try borrowing it another time.

If a patron owes $10.00 or more in library fees, he/she will not be able to renew online or by using SAM. Please call the Circulation Desk for further assistance.

For eligible materials, renewal requests may be made online, in person or by calling the library. Patrons may call to speak with a Circulation staff member during library hours, or they can call SAM -- the library's automated circulation telephone system -- available 24/7. SAM can be reached by calling 732-873-3985 or 732-873-3986. Renewals online or via SAM will require that patrons log on with their User ID and PIN. When calling to speak with a staff member, patrons can renew a single item by reading aloud the item's barcode or to renew multiple items by reading aloud their card number. Patrons are only allowed a onetime exception to renew by telephone without their library cards if they are able to verify for staff their full contact information. Renewals in person can be done using either the patron's library card or by scanning the individual items.

Overdue Notices

It is the cardholder's responsibility to inform the Library of the loss of his/her Library card or any changes to his/her address, telephone number or email. Failure to inform the Library of any changes will result in the Library's inability to send reminder notices. Failure to receive notices does not absolve the cardholder of the responsibility of maintaining his/her account.

Overdue notices are sent to patrons as a courtesy. Failure to receive the notice does not absolve the patron of responsibility for paying borrowing fees.

When library materials are one week overdue a notice is sent to the patron. A second reminder will be sent at three weeks overdue. The first and second notices can be sent by phone or email depending on the patron's notification preference. When an item becomes five weeks overdue, a final library notice is mailed.

Patrons are informed of overdue entertainment videos and DVDs when they are three days late. A second notice is sent after seven days. When an item becomes five weeks overdue, a final library notice is mailed.

At eight weeks all overdue item(s) are assumed lost and the account is billed for replacement. A billing notice will be mailed stating the replacement cost of the item. Patrons will have 15 days from the date of the bill to return assumed lost items. The materials must be returned in good condition. If they do, they will only be fined the late fee. After 15 days, the library may not be able to accept the item back, and the patron would then have to pay the replacement cost.

When materials become ten weeks overdue, the bill for these items may be sent to collections. Accounts sent to collections will be charged a non-refundable $10.00 referral fee. (See below for more information.)

At sixteen weeks overdue a second billing notice is mailed. Family Blocks will be issued if accounts qualify.

If you feel you have received a notice in error, please call the Circulation Desk at 732- 873-8700 ext. 2. We kindly ask you to please double check at home or in your car before you call us.

Lost or Damaged Materials

If patrons lose or damage any library materials they must pay the replacement cost. For most materials, this amount will reflect the original retail value. For older materials with no price listed in the system, staff will charge the standard out-of-print fee (see "Fee Schedule".)

The patron may personally replace items that are from one of the adult collections. Patrons should check with the library first before buying replacement copies. The replacement must be new and have the same ISBN as the lost or damaged item. The circulation department reserves the right to reject the replacement bought by the patron if it does not meet the library's standards. Patrons who choose to pay by bringing in a replacement copy must also pay a $5.00 processing fee. Staff must manually bill the patron for this charge.

The library cannot accept replacement copies for items from the Childrens' collections. Patrons must pay the replacement cost for these items.

Patrons only need to pay a processing fee if they bring in a replacement copy in lieu of paying the replacement cost. Accounts billed prior to January 2013 for lost or damaged items would have also been charged an additional $5.00 processing fee for each item. Staff should cancel that portion of these bills.

After the item has been fully paid for, it is considered the property of the patron. If the patron has paid for items and later finds them at home the library cannot refund their money. The patron may keep it or donate such items back to the library. Refunds will only be offered if the library finds the item on our shelves within six months of it having been paid for.

Family Blocks

The library reserves the right to block all household members if one member has overdue items or outstanding fines of $50 or more. Household members in good standing may borrow three books at a time, but they will not be allowed to borrow any media. Once our property is returned and fees paid in full, the Family Block can be removed.

Family Blocks are issued when items become 16 weeks overdue. Accounts are reviewed each summer.


After 10 weeks overdue, patrons who owe the library $25.00 or more in unpaid fees will be reported to the library's collection agency -- Unique Management Services, Inc. The agency will make several attempts to contact the patron before reporting the debt to the credit agencies.

For each account sent to Unique, the library will be billed $10.00. This fee must be paid by the user. The library is willing to work with users who return long overdue materials, but this portion of their bill is non-negotiable.


The library does not refund money collected for payment of fines or issue credits. The library will accept cash, check, money order or cashier's checks. The library cannot accept greater than a $20 bill or take payment by credit or debit cards. Any fees or fines accrued of over $100 must be paid in cash, money order or cashier's check.


Your Franklin Township Library Card can be used to obtain privileges at the following libraries:

** Indicates that you may borrow books only.

To register at a reciprocal library, you need to do so during our library hours so that your borrowing status can be verified with us.

It is best to return materials directly to the location from which they were borrowed. It can take one week for items to reach their owning libraries. Materials cannot be cleared from your account until they are received by the owning library. You may be charged late fees for materials not received on time.

View Reciprocal Libraries in a map