The Bridgeport Public Library serves as a vital community center that provides free and equal access to information for the people of Bridgeport, and all of Wise County. To support the public in meeting their goals for continuous education, cultural enrichment, and recreational reading the Library strives to offer a wide collection of materials aimed at preserving the past while exploring the future.
The Library supports the individuals' rights to have access to ideas and information representing differing points of view. The Library Board and City Council have adopted the American Library Association's statement regarding the following: Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View. It is the policy of the Bridgeport Public Library not to forbid or impede the circulation of items from the Library collection to any of its patrons in good standing, based on the patron's race, creed, national origin, age, and place of residence or other personal criteria.
Registration & Issuance of Library Cards
Library cards are available at no charge to all adult residents of Texas. A photo ID with the applicant's current address must be presented at the time of application. If the photo ID lacks a current address, the applicant must also provide an official document, such as a lease or utility bill, with their name and current address. A piece of mail that has a postmark less than 30 days old is also acceptable along with a photo ID.
Materials cannot be checked out until a library card is issued. By applying for a library card, patrons agree to comply with all of the borrowing rules of the Bridgeport Public Library, pay all charges to the card, and notify the library immediately if the card is lost or stolen or there is a name or address change.
Library cards may be issued to an organization or business at the request of the organization or business' executive director or owner. The request must be made in person, and proof of the position in the organization or business must be provided.
Responsibility for the card and any materials checked out on the card is that of the organization. A photo ID and proof of the current mailing address must be provided. A list of names authorized to use the card must be provided at the time of application and must be kept up to date by the card holder.
Access to Library Materials by Minors
Children 5 years or older are eligible for a card. An applicant under 17 years of age will need a parent or legal guardian, who must have a valid library card as well, sign the application to show that they accept responsibility for materials checked out on the card.
It is the policy of Bridgeport Public Library that the parents or guardians, not Library staff, are responsible for monitoring the selection of materials made by children. It is the parent or guardian, and only these, who may restrict their children, and only their children, from access to Library materials and services. Parents and guardians who wish to restrict their children's access to certain materials or services should advise their children of this restriction.
Library staff cannot and do not act in loco parentis (in the place of a parent).
The first library card is issued at no charge. Replacement cards are provided for a fee of $1.00. Proof of identity must be shown to receive a replacement card. Library patrons are responsible for notifying the Library when their card is lost or stolen. A block will be placed on their card and no additional materials may be checked out. Library patrons are responsible for materials checked out on lost or stolen cards that have not been reported to the Library.
When cards have been replaced then the old card is no longer valid and may not be used.
Checking Out Materials
In order to protect library patrons from unauthorized use of their card, they must show their library card in order to check out materials. Patrons who do not have their library card with them may present valid photo ID and check out as normal. Patrons/ families with outstanding fines over $10.00 that have not made arrangements to pay on these fines will not be allowed to check out materials.
Patrons may check out up to 3 items the first time they use their library card. After the first check out, patrons may check out up to 15 items per library card. Books, non-fiction DVDs, audio books, and non-current magazines may be checked out for a two week period. Entertainment (fiction) VHS/DVDs may be checked out for three days. There is a limit on entertainment VHS/DVDs of 4 per household. Reference and current issues of magazines do not circulate.
Library staff reserves the right to place temporary restrictions on the number of items loaned and the loan period if there is a valid reason, such as school assignments, holiday books, etc.
Late Material Fines
Any Bridgeport Public Library materials may be returned in the Bridgeport Public Library, or Evergreen Consortium, book drop. Materials returned in a book drop while the library is open will be credited as returned on that day. Materials returned in a book drop while the library is closed will be credited as returned on the following business day.
The Library charges for items returned after their due date. Late fees are calculated at the following rates:
- Books, magazines, books on CD, cassettes and non-fiction DVDs - $ .10 per item per day
- Fiction DVDs/videos - $1.00 per item per day
All items may be renewed two times if they do not have a hold request. Items may be renewed at the Library, by phone or online. If renewals are made by phone or online the library card number is required, plus the name as a secondary confirmation only, but the library card number is necessary in order for materials to be renewed.
On occasion, an item will still be shown on a patron's record as being checked out and overdue, and the patron will notify the Library that the item has been returned. Upon this notification, the status of the item is changed to Claims Returned. The item keeps this status for thirty (30) days from the due date unless the item is located before that time.
On a weekly basis, staff checks the shelves for the item. If the item is found, the item is removed from the patron's record with no overdue fees assessed. In this instance, a patron would not be notified of such resolution. If the patron finds that they had not returned the item and then returns it, overdue charges will be assessed.
The patron is then notified of the overdue charges through the regular notice process. If neither the Library nor the patron locates the item by the end of the claims return period, the patron is then billed the replacement cost for the item.
Patrons are responsible for all items checked out on their cards. If a patron loses an item, they will have to pay the current cost for that item. Paying for the item stops the accrual of overdue fees by treating the item as being cleared from the patron's record. In the event a lost item that has been paid for is found within thirty (30) days and is returned to the Library, together with the receipt of payment, the patron will receive a refund.
Materials checked out and not returned forty-five (45) days after the due date are considered lost. The customer is notified of the replacement costs for the materials.
The Library does not charge for normal wear and tear on an item. Damage beyond normal wear and tear, including purposefully defacing or destroying library material, is the responsibility of the patron. Fees for damaged materials will be the current price for the material.
Miscellaneous charges for damages (subject to change):
- Missing or damaged barcode $1.00
- Lost or damaged DVD / video case $2.00
- Lost or damaged media case (Book on CD) $5.00
- Lost or damaged DVD / video / media case cover insert $2.00
Non-Print Items Returned Incomplete
If a patron returns an item that is lacking one or more of its components or has mixed components of several items, the patron is responsible for returning the missing component(s). The Library will contact the patron and renew the item one time. The item will not be removed from the patron's record, and the item will accrue late fees until the missing component(s) is/are returned. In the event the patron does not return the missing component(s) before the renewal period expires, the item will be considered lost and the patron will be assessed the replacement fee for the item.
Patrons may place a hold request on any circulating item. Items are held for one (1) week. If the item is not picked up within the allotted time period, the hold is cancelled, and the item is returned to circulation or fills the next hold in the queue.
Interlibrary Loan Titles
The Bridgeport Public Library participates in the ALA sponsored Interlibrary Loan program. The Bridgeport Public Library will request from another library materials that are not available to its patrons locally. In order to request a title through this program, the patron's account must be in good standing by not having fines in excess of $10.00 or overdue materials. The patron also agrees to pay the return postage for the item borrowed.
The library honors any restrictions and/or timed check out periods the lending library may place on the material. The library patron is responsible for all materials borrowed from another library at the patron's request. The library patron will pay any charges assessed by the lending library. Interlibrary Loan items checked out by a patron are subject to the same late fees as the Bridgeport-owned title.
In order to check out the item, the patron must present the library card on which the Interlibrary Loan request was placed. Items are held for seven (7) days. If the item is not picked up within the time allotted, the loan request is cancelled and returned to the lending library. If a patron presents the card that originated the request, check out will be allowed even if the cardholder is not present at the time of pickup. No pickups will be allowed without the originating card.
- As a courtesy, the Library notifies patrons when they have overdue items.
- A first notice is sent at 5 days overdue.
- A second notice is sent at 12 day overdue.
- A third notice is sent at 19 days overdue.
- At 45 days overdue, the patron is sent a registered letter containing a bill for the replacement cost of the overdue item and the processing fee.
Library patrons / families with unpaid fines totalling more than $10 will not be able to check out materials.