Library Info - Frequently Asked Questions

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Need more information about our policies? View them online.

How do I get a library card?

Residents of the City of Joplin are entitled to a free library card. The applicant must supply proof of current address. Acceptable as proof of address are: recent utility or official rent receipt, telephone credit card with imprinted address, hunting/fishing license, recent computer generated mail with name and address, or current insurance card. Not acceptable as proof are: driver’s license, printed check, personal mail, Library cards, hand-written rent receipts, voter registration card, and business cards.

Someone who owns property inside the city limits is also entitled to a free card, regardless of the place of residence. A property owner must provide the current property tax receipt.

A JPL library card cannot be used by anyone other than the individual to whom it is issued. If it is lost or stolen, this must be reported to the Library immediately, because the card holder is responsible for all items checked out on that card.

Minors (anyone younger than eighteen) must have a parent's or guardian's signature on the application.

How do I get a card if I live outside the Library district?

The Joplin Library District is fixed by the limits of the City of Joplin. The Library is financed by a real estate tax on property within the city limits. We are happy to provide service to non-residents, but we must ask those patrons to help pay part of the cost. The $50 JPL fee is based on the average tax paid by a Library District resident.

There is no other place we can think of where you get better value for your money. For the price of one novel or the cost of renting half a dozen videos you can have access to the thousands of books, videos, audiobooks and other library materials in the Joplin Public Library collection. You will also be able to use the Library's computers. For less than the price of two cups of coffee a week you can have the world virtually at your fingertips.

It costs absolutely nothing to use materials inside the Library building, to access our electronic databases, to ask for reference help or information, or to bring children to storytime. We are very glad that you wish to use the Joplin Public Library and we encourage you to use your Joplin Public Library card often. You won't find a better bargain anywhere.

Can I search the Library catalog from outside the Library?

The Library catalog of materials is available online. Just click "JPL Catalog" in the top menu on any of the pages on our web site.

You can search by title, author, subject, and keyword, as well as look at numerous lists (best sellers, new books, etc.) the staff has prepared. From the catalog site, you can also access your own account, place holds, and make suggestions for purchase. Many of the items in the catalog are accompanied by additional information, such as reviews, cover art, plot summaries, etc.

Does the Library have computers for public use?

There are twenty-four computers with Internet access available in the lab at the south end of the building. Users must present a library card and are limited to one hour a day. Visitors may use a computer once every 30 days for 15 minutes free, pay $1.00 for up to 30 minutes a day or pay $2.00 for up to 60 minutes a day.

The Library has installed filtering software on all Library computers designated for Internet access. For those under 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign a permission slip in person at the Computer Lab desk to allow computer use.

Are there limits to the number of items I can check out?

You can check out limited numbers of some types of library materials.

  • DVDs: 4 per card
  • CDs: 4 per card
  • Books on CD: 4 per card
  • Software: 1 per card
  • Magazines: 4 per card
  • Encyclopedias: 1 per card
How long is the check-out period?

Most items check out for three weeks. The following items check out for one week:

  • New Fiction
  • CDs
  • Movies, Documentaries & Children DVDs
  • Display Items
  • Magazines
  • Vertical File materials
  • Software
  • Any item on which there is a hold
Can I ask that something be held for me?

You may place up to twenty holds on library materials. The Library will notify you by automated phone call or by e-mail when the items become available. Holds may be placed from any catalog terminal in the library, via the Internet, or with staff assistance.

How much are fines on overdue materials?

Overdue fines of $.25 per day are charged on adult and teen materials.
Overdue fines of $.10 per day are charged on items from the Children's Department.

There is no grace period before fines are assessed.

Overdue notices are sent via mail as a courtesy reminder to patrons. After an item is overdue by 51 days, the patron is billed replacement cost for the item. The Library submits long-overdue accounts to a collection agency.

Can I renew materials?

All materials, with the exception of compact discs, DVDs, and items on hold, may be renewed once for the same period as the initial checkout. If you are renewing by phone, you must supply your library barcode number. The Library will not renew materials for anyone unable to provide the patron barcode. You may renew your own materials either in the Library at any catalog terminal or from an outside computer via the Internet.

How do I request material that the Library doesn't own?

If you would like the Library to acquire an item that it doesn't own, you may fill out a Suggestion for Purchase request.

You may also borrow items from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary loan requests must be made in person at the Reference Desk. Depending on the type of request, there may be a fee for this service.

What are the Library's hours?

Current hours and scheduled closings are listed here.

How do I make a donation to the Library?

Gifts to the Library can take many forms. If you want to make a contribution to the Endowment Fund in memory of someone or in honor of someone, you may write a check to the Library for that specific purpose. The Library also gladly accepts donations to the Building Reserve Fund, which is used to finance special projects. You may also name the Library as a beneficiary in your will.

The Library also accepts donations of gently used books, videos, DVDs and CDs and recent issues of popular magazines. Donated materials may be sold by the Library if they are not added to the collection.

How do I apply for a job at the Library?

The Library accepts applications only when there is a position open. All openings are listed on our Employment page.

Where is the Library located?

The Library occupies the entire 300 block on South Main Street in downtown Joplin. Entrance to the Library parking lot is accessible only from 3rd Street. Main Street runs north/south and is 2 miles west of Rangeline Road. Main Street (Highway 43) is Exit 6 on Interstate 44.


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