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Circulation Services Sections 1-2: Library Card policies

CIR-1 Library cards for Montana residents
Any resident of Montana is eligible for a free Billings Public Library card by applying in person at the Library with acceptable photo identification and proof of address. Current cardholders, who have no outstanding overdue materials or accrued charges, may receive all services provided by the Library.

Photo identification and documentation of residency within the Library's service area is required to obtain a Library card, and a birth date must be provided on the application, for statistical purposes and to distinguish among persons with the same name. Acceptable forms of identification when applying in person at the Library include the following:

  • Unexpired Montana driver’s license or Montana ID with current street address
  • Checkbook with current address
  • Valid fishing license with current address
  • Valid hunting license with current address
  • Current tax statement
  • Utility bill with current address dated within last three months
  • Valid vehicle registration with current address
  • Recently postmarked item of mail delivered to current address marked on item in ink or in other permanent method
  • Unexpired Montana voter registration card showing current street address

When applying for a card using an online or mail-in application, identification including a photograph must be presented at the service desk before the account will be valid for use. The library card will be mailed to the address on the application, verifying residence.

Those Montana residents living outside of Yellowstone County or who do not have proof of a permanent address in Yellowstone County are eligible for a Montana Resident card with acceptable photo identification and proof of current address.

  • In Yellowstone County, addresses may include those of temporary residential facilities and post office boxes. Applicants must produce a piece of mail received within the prior two weeks for immediate privileges. Borrowers in this category are limited to checking out two items at a time.
  • Outside of Yellowstone County, applicants must provide proof of current street address.

This card will permit cardholders to check out ten items at a time, reserve five items at a time and use the Library's computers. The card will be valid for one year.

Students not resident in Yellowstone County, but registered at schools and colleges within Yellowstone County, are eligible for service, upon presentation of proof of current registration and acceptable identification of current address.

Employees of the City of Billings and of Yellowstone County, but not resident in Yellowstone County, are eligible for service, upon presentation of proof of current employment by the City or County and acceptable identification of current address.

The initial card will be a ‘new patron’ card, valid for 28 days only. No more than six items may be checked out at a time on the ‘new patron’ card. At the time of an in-person application at the Library, the new patron will be asked to self-address a post card, which the Library will mail to the patron to confirm the address; the patron must turn in the card when received to establish a permanent patron status.

The parent or legal guardian of a minor may provide identification establishing residency in the Library’s service area and sign the application form certifying that the minor resides at that address. A minor’s relative or caregiver may provide identification for a Montana Resident card.

LOST LIBRARY CARDS
Cardholders will be charged a $1.00 fee for replacement of a lost library card. Every library patron is responsible for immediately reporting to the Library when his or her library card is lost or stolen and also responsible for charges on it until the Library is notified that it has been lost or stolen.

Upon presentation to the Library of a copy of a police report which documents that a card has been reported stolen, the Library will limit the liability of the patron for any charges accrued to the card after the theft of the card but before it is reported to the Library according to the following schedule.

  • Theft report presented to the Library within 15 days of charges being assessed to card: No more than $50
  • Theft report presented to the Library within 30 days of charges being assessed to card: No more than $100
  • Theft report present to the Library more than 30 days after charges are assessed to card: No limitation; full charges apply.
  • CIR 1.1 Computer and Internet Access Library Card
    Some Library users may wish only to be permitted to sign in to computers and the Internet and do not require any ability to check materials out of the Library. For those persons, the Library will provide a Computer Use Only Card upon provision of photo identification. The card will be valid for one year.

    CIR-2 Library cards for out of state residents
    Nonresidents of Montana may obtain a Billings Public Library card with photo identification and proof of address and payment of an annual fee of $75.00, or a quarterly fee of $20.00. Nonresident cards will be valid for the period issued and will entitle cardholders to all of the services provided to Billings and Yellowstone County cardholders.