Due to continued possible hazardous road conditions, all branches and buildings of the Central Arkansas Library System will be open reduced hours Wednesday, January 17, from 12pm - 6pm.

Circulation & Fees

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  • Board Policy #401
  • Board Approval: 06/14/89
  • Revision: 12/12/93, 12/27/94, 09/26/95, 04/01/98, 01/27/00, 04/24/01, 04/25/02, 07/15/02, 02/12/03, 04/22/10, 5/26/16
  • Director's Recommendation: 06/7/89


The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) provides check-out privileges to persons in our taxing areas, Little Rock, Maumelle, Perry County, and Pulaski County (excluding North Little Rock but including Jacksonville and Sherwood). Under certain circumstances, CALS provides check-out privileges to persons outside our taxing areas. Persons living outside CALS' taxing areas, but paying utilities to any municipal utility service provider within the area are eligible for library cards and may be required to submit proof of such payments. Students who are enrolled in educational institutions in our taxing area but who are domiciled outside that area, persons who have cards through the Gateway Program, North Little Rock residents, and persons visiting medical facilities within our service area for extended care are also eligible for CALS library cards.

Those living in another taxing area but working in CALS' service area and students in the same category may receive the same services as property owners in the CALS taxing area if they provide proof of either working in our service area or being enrolled in an educational facility in our service area. CALS participates in the Gateway Program, which allows individuals who have a library card with a participating library system to get a library card from any other library system in the program. A reciprocal agreement adopted by both the Laman and the CALS Board of Trustees on December 2, 1987, extends borrowing privileges to residents of North Little Rock. Persons or family members of persons who are outside our taxing areas but are using medical facilities within our service area must provide proof of that status. These persons may check out and have in their possession a maximum of five items.

For residents of other locations, or eligible persons who choose not to get a "Gateway Card," a non-resident card is available for $60 per year, which may be used for all CALS services. Non-resident fees are not refundable.

CALS recognizes that other persons in our service area who do not meet these guidelines desire check-out privileges. Therefore, persons with temporary addresses at shelters or similar facilities in our service area may check materials under the following rules. A person requesting a card must provide CALS with documentation from the shelter or service facility that he or she is a temporary resident. Anyone with a temporary address may check out and have in his or her possession a maximum of five items. Those with temporary addresses are not eligible for Interlibrary Loan service. Any person who does not have a temporary address may check out and have in his or her possession one item.

CALS offers several library card options for youth. Children may be listed as authorized users for family cards. Children may be issued individual cards with parent's/guardian's permission. Children without parent/guardian signature, who can provide full name, address, and all other required account information, may be issued provisional cards with limited borrowing privileges, 5 item limit. Parent/guardian signature is not required for applicants who are 14 years of age or older and meet ID requirements.


It is the goal of CALS to provide reasonable check-out privileges while recognizing our duty to insure (1) that materials the system owns are returned to the library and (2) that there is a reasonable expectation that delinquent/stolen materials can be recovered with a minimum amount of loss and/or expense to the taxpayers. Homeowners and renters usually create adequate paper trails that allow CALS to recover materials that are delinquent or stolen. Therefore, property owners who directly or indirectly pay real or personal property taxes in our service area and those persons’ immediate family or dependents who dwell with them are eligible to check out and have in their possession a maximum of 200 books, 25 audio books, ten DVDs, ten music CDs, and ten downloadable books.

Any patron who has accumulated more than $50 in fines will have his/her borrowing privileges suspended until his/her record has been cleared.

CALS may restrict or deny check out privileges for anyone who violates library rules.

CALS also reserves the right to waive any of the aforementioned rules if special circumstances make such a waiver advisable.

FINES AND CHARGES (adopted originally December 1981)

Reasonable fees and charges have been determined by the Head of the Circulation Department, with the approval of the Director, for the following items:

  • Overdues
  • Adult Books – Hardback – 10¢/day with $5 maximum per book
  • Adult Books – Paperback – 10¢/day with $5 maximum per book
  • Reference – $5.00/day with no maximum
  • (Special Loan – Requires Director's approval)
  • Juvenile Books – Hardback – 10¢/day with $3 maximum per book
  • Juvenile Books – Paperback – 10¢/day with $3 maximum per book
  • Book Club Kits – $1/day with $60 maximum per kit
  • Audio CDs – 10¢/day with $5 maximum per item
  • DVDs – 10¢/day with $5 maximum per DVD
  • Games – 10¢/day with $5 maximum per item
  • ILL Materials – $1/day with $60 maximum per item
  • Lost/Damaged Items
  • Books
  • Adult Fiction – $30
  • Adult Nonfiction – $40
  • Adult Paperbacks – $15
  • Juvenile Hardbacks – $25
  • Juvenile Paperbacks – $15
  • Book Kits – $100
  • In cases of damaged binding, patrons may, at the discretion of the branch/department manager, pay a bindery fee of $10 in lieu of the full replacement cost.
  • RFID Tag (Lost or Damaged) – 50¢
  • AV Items
  • Full replacement cost plus $7.50 processing fee
  • AV Containers
  • Full re-casing and processing – $7.50
  • DVD/CD case – $1.50 (single disc)
  • Any additional trays in the DVD case – $.50
  • DVD cover – $1
  • CD Book Albums – $5
  • CD Sleeves – 50¢
  • RFID Tag Lost or Damaged – 50¢ (CD Book) or $1 (DVD/Music CD)
  • Accompanying Materials for AV Items
  • Pamphlet or booklet from any AV item – $5.00
  • Book accompanying CD-ROM (user manuals, etc.) – $27.50
  • Games
  • $50 plus $7.50 processing fee
  • Other Charges
  • Lost Cards – $1 replacement fee
  • Unclaimed Holds/ILL – $1 charge if materials are not picked up
  • Returned Checks – $22.50 per check; original charge and returned check fee must be paid in cash

Materials returned more than 12 months after the latest due date will no longer be eligible for payment of the maximum overdue charge, but will be assessed the full replacement cost for the item.

Charges for lost or damaged materials are based upon the average replacement cost per item and reflect a processing fee. As the cost for new materials increases, replacement costs will rise correspondingly.

In some circumstances, the branch or department manager may allow patrons to replace lost or damaged items with an exact replacement in lieu of paying the standard fee. In such cases, a nonrefundable processing fee of $7.50 per item will be charged. This option is not available for Easy books.

The total charge will be refunded if the item is returned in good condition up to six months from the date the item was paid for. Check the library record to verify the date and amount of payment, and verify the identity of the person requesting the refund.