- Council of Governments (COG)jurisdictions: Cooperating municipal and county governments within the metropolitan Washington area who have a reciprocal borrowing agreement allowing residents for all COG communities free borrowing privileges from each member system. Participating jurisdictions are the District of Columbia; Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland; the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church; and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties in Virginia.
- Resident of the City of Falls Church: a patron whose residence, business, or properties within the jurisdictional limits of the City of Falls Church, hereafter referred to as the City.
- Non-resident: a patron who is not a resident of the City. Policy
It is the policy of the library to issue free or subscription library cards to all who meets the Eligibility Requirements, and to produce and maintain accurate records in order to distinguish Falls Church City residents from non-residents.
Each applicant for a library card must complete a card application form either in person or online (See below under Eligibility Requirements for card types).
A representative of a group or organization that is scheduled to visit the library may make arrangements to obtain library cards for the members of the visiting group, provided that each person in the group meets the Eligibility Requirements specified below. Arrangements must be made at least two weeks before the date of the visit.
Library cards expire three years (or less—see “temporary cards” and “subscriber cards,” below) from the date of issue. Renewal is free upon verification that the patron information is up to date and accurate, and that any fees on their record have been paid. Library cards may be canceled or temporarily suspended at any time by the card holder and can be suspended if the card is reported lost or stolen.
Patron records are updated any time a patron reports a change of information or upon confirmation of the current information. If a patron reports that she/he/they has moved into the jurisdictional limits of the City, proof of the new address is needed before the patron can receive resident privileges.
Under certain conditions, library card privileges may be revoked. Children 17 years of age and under may have their library card privileges revoked at the discretion of their parents.
Privileges may also be revoked when a patron is barred from the library through a “No Trespass” order (also known as banning or barment), or for accumulation of excessive fees or other violations of library policy.
Library borrowing privileges are extended to an individual or organization meeting eligibility requirements as outlined below for a free library card or to an individual or organization purchasing a non-resident or subscriber card. Anyone wishing to obtain a library card must submit a completed library card application and acceptable documentation.
Acceptable documentation of name and address includes, but is not limited to:
- Driver’s license (or license and DMV issued change of address)
- Personalized checkbook with printed address
- Postmarked letter (within 3 months)
- Utility bill (within 3 months)
- Rental or mortgage contract (including apartment #, if applicable)
- Tax receipt (within 3 months)
- Official confirmation letter from a residence facility
- Children 17 years of age and under may use the residential identification of a parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian who co-signs the child’s application has a library card with a current, correct address, no further verification is required.
There are six (6) types of cards available from the library. Following are the eligibility requirements for each type:
1. Resident Card
An individual may register for a free resident card if she/he/they meets any one of the following criteria:
- Resides within the jurisdictional limits of the City of Falls Church
- Owns a business or property located within the jurisdictional limits of the City of Falls Church
To receive a resident card, a patron must provide documentation of residence or ownership of property or a business within the City of Falls Church. Documentation must include the patron’s name and address as they appear on the application for the library card. A resident card is valid for three years and is renewable at no charge.
Residents also enjoy the following services: interlibrary loan borrowing, exam proctoring, and homebound services.
2. Non-resident Card
An individual may register for a free non-resident card if she/he/they meets any of the following criteria:
- Resides in a Council of Governments (COG) jurisdiction
- Resides outside the COG jurisdictions but works in the City of Falls Church
- Resides outside the COG jurisdictions but owns property or businesses in one of those jurisdictions.
To receive a non-resident card, a patron must provide documentation confirming their current address within a COG jurisdiction. Documentation must include the patron’s name and address as they appear on the application for the library card.
A non-resident card is valid for three years and is renewable at no charge.
3. Temporary e-Card
An individual that qualifies for a library card can apply online to receive temporary access to our e-collection and online database resources. They have 30 days from the date the card was created to come to the library and confirm their address using one of the acceptable forms of documentation. If the card is not picked up in the 30- day window, the card will be deleted and access to the e-collection and online database resources revoked. The date may be extended due to health and safety issues.
4. Subscriber Card
An individual living and working outside the COG jurisdictions but within the Commonwealth of Virginia may register for a subscriber card upon payment of an annual fee (see Circ-3 Circulation of Library Materials and CIRC-3a Fines and Fees Schedule). The fee is not pro-rated or refundable.
To receive a subscriber card, a patron must provide documentation confirming his/her/their current address. Documentation must include the patron’s name and address as they appear on the application for the library card. A subscriber card is valid for one year. At the end of the year, the library user may pay the subscriber fee to renew the card.
5. Corporate Card
Corporate borrowers are those individuals who are borrowing materials on behalf of an organization, school, company, or association. A free corporate card can be issued to:
- an organization within the City of Falls Church (receiving the privileges of an individual resident card)
- an organization in a COG jurisdiction (receiving the privileges of an individual non-resident card)
- an organization located outside the COG jurisdictions. In this case, the organization must pay an annual subscriber fee (see “Fines and Fees”), for which it receives the privileges of an individual subscriber card. The fee is not pro-rated or refundable.
To receive a corporate card, an individual must submit a letter of authorization on letterhead stationary from a corporate officer who accepts responsibility on behalf of the organization for all materials borrowed on the corporate card and who completes and signs a library card application. The corporate officer may withdraw, transfer, add, or change authorization.
Corporate cards are good for one year. The corporate officer may renew the card by certifying that all information is current and that the corporate agreement is still valid. If the card expires and the corporate officer is no longer available, a new authorization is required, as above. For organizations outside the COG jurisdictions, renewal also requires payment of the annual subscriber fee (see “Fines and Fees”).
6. Opportunity Card
Anyone that is temporarily residing in the City of Falls Church or one of the COG jurisdictions may apply for an opportunity card which grants full access to the e- collection and online database resources and 3 physical items checked out at one time (i.e. only 3 physical items on an account). Opportunity cards do not require proof of address. These cards expire after one year, though they can be renewed, through the same application process.
Borrowing Privileges and Restrictions
All cardholders have access to materials provided by the library in-house and online, including but not limited to: all circulating and reference materials, current and back issues of magazines and newspapers, downloadable collections, and on-line databases. All cardholders may borrow circulating materials. All cardholders have access to services provided by the library, including but not limited to: using in-house reference services; placing a reserve on an item at no charge; using public computer stations (subject to availability and other restrictions); renewing items by phone or internet (subject to some restrictions); and using the library web page to retrieve personal account information.
However, the following services are restricted to resident cardholders: interlibrary loan borrowing, exam proctoring, and homebound services. Temporary e-cards are the exception and only have access to e-resources for a limited time.
All cardholders are subject to restrictions on use of library materials as established in policies regarding “Circulation of Library Materials”. All cardholders are responsible for fees associated with materials returned damaged or unreturned. Borrowers should not return items belonging to MRSPL to other area libraries, nor should they return other area library items to MRSPL. Borrowers are responsible for any fees accrued for items lost because they were returned to other libraries.
A borrowing card is issued to a single individual for his/her/their personal use. Parents or
legal guardians who sign for a child’s card are the responsible party. (Exception: a corporate card is used by several members of the corporation)
By signing the application form and accepting a borrowing card, the cardholder accepts responsibility for the following:
- The return, in good condition, of all borrowed materials;
- Payment of fees incurred for any damaged or lost materials borrowed on the card;
- Reporting a lost or stolen card immediately;
- All charges incurred on a lost or stolen card up to the time that it is reported lost or stolen;
- Reporting promptly any changes in name, address, phone number, or e-mail ;
- All charges incurred on the card as a result of lending the card or library materials to another individual;
- Payment of the replacement fee for a lost or stolen card.