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Direct Access Program-Guidelines

Direct Access Program - Guidelines

Participation Information

CDLC member libraries interested in joining the Direct Access Program (DAP) may contact CDLC for application information. The library director and appropriate staff should review the information provided about the DAP, and understand the reciprocal nature of the Program. The DAP Application for Library Participation and Directory Information forms should be filled out and submitted to CDLC.

Upon acceptance to the DAP, the participating library will receive a copy of the DAP card application form and DAP cards for distribution. The Direct Access Program Guidelines and Directory are available on the CDLC website, and are print-friendly if you prefer to have a hard copy. Links to DAP informational brochures which may be printed for distribution to library patrons are also available on the website.

Participating libraries are responsible for keeping current DAP patron records, providing CDLC with statistics on the number of DAP cards issued, and providing any information changes to CDLC. Additional data collection will include: total number of loans to DAP borrowers; number of items not returned; and demographic information on borrowers. Questions or suggestions regarding the Direct Access Program may be addressed to CDLC's Executive Director.

Any library may choose to lend directly to any DAP cardholder, or they may choose to limit lending to any category or combination of categories listed below. Note that ALL participating libraries agree to loan to library system office staff (CDLC, Public Library Systems, School Library Systems).

Participation Categories

1 The library will lend directly to any adult DAP cardholder 19 years of age or older.
2 The library will lend directly to a DAP cardholder who is a professional researcher patron of a CDLC library (i.e. those possessing academic degrees or engaged in research).
3a The library will lend directly to faculty/staff of a CDLC academic institution.
3b The library will lend directly to graduate students of a CDLC academic institution
3c The library will lend directly to undergraduate students of a CDLC academic institution.
4 The library will lend directly to high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes.

A library participating in the program may choose to indicate further restrictions on access. Such restrictions will be noted in the DAP Directory. Examples of two common restrictions are:

"Patrons must first call the library and make an appointment to visit the library."
"Some restrictions apply to patrons living outside the library's service area. Please call the library in advance to find out the current policy."

Library Responsibilities

The library that issues a DAP card cannot be held legally responsible for materials lost or damaged by one of its cardholders. If necessary, however, the library issuing the DAP card is expected to impose appropriate sanctions (including revoking the card, revoking all borrowing privileges at the home library, levying fines, withholding academic transcripts, etc.) on offending patrons. The library that lends material is under no obligation to honor a DAP cardholder's request if that cardholder has outstanding obligations to the lending library, or if the DAP cardholder has a history of not returning material promptly. The success of the Direct Access Program is enhanced when participating libraries encourage responsible use of the cards issued to their patrons.

Patron Responsibilities

DAP cardholders are responsible for abiding by the rules and regulations of any library from which they borrow.

The library that lends material is under no obligation to honor a DAP cardholder's request if that cardholder has outstanding obligations to the lending library, or if the DAP cardholder has a history of not returning material promptly. In such cases, the lending library should notify the sponsoring library, which may want to revoke the card or take other action.

Obtaining a DAP Card

Students, faculty, and staff of academic institutions may obtain DAP cards from that institution's library. Individuals affiliated with special libraries may apply for a DAP card from their organization. Adult residents of the Capital District region of New York (comprised of Albany, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington Counties) may apply for a DAP card at their public library. High school students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes may be eligible for a DAP card with the approval of their school librarian and their School Library System director.

In some instances the lending library may issue its own circulation card to a DAP patron. Lending libraries may also require photo ID and additional written information from the DAP cardholder.

Issuing a DAP Card

The patron's home library is responsible for determining the patron's borrower status. Public libraries may issue DAP cards in category 1 or 2; special libraries may issue cards in category 1 or 2; academic libraries may issue cards in category 3 a, b, or c. School Library System directors may issue cards in categories 1, 2, or 4.

Borrower Categories

1 All adult borrowers 19 years of age or older.
2 Professional researcher patron of a CDLC library (i.e. those possessing academic degrees or engaged in research).
3a Faculty/staff of a CDLC academic institution.
3b Graduate students of a CDLC academic institution.
3c Undergraduate students of a CDLC academic institution.
4 High school students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes.

The library issuing the DAP card should also determine a standard period of time for which the DAP card will be valid, up to a maximum of one year. Special circumstances may warrant that a library issue the card for other than their standard period of time. When issuing (or reissuing) a DAP card, the following steps should be taken:

  • Verify that the individual is a current patron in good standing with the issuing library.
  • Verify that the address information is correct.
  • Assign the appropriate borrower category.
  • Affix a valid authorized signature (as listed in the DAP Directory) to the card.
DAP cards should be typed or hand-printed legibly in ink. A lending library has the right to deny borrowing privileges if a DAP card is illegible or appears to have been altered. To prevent the abuse of DAP cards, the use of pre-signed cards should be minimized.

Returning Materials

Material borrowed with a CDLC DAP card must be returned to the lending library.  If the patron’s home library has access to a courier service, that library may agree to return the material to the lending library via their courier. Patrons should inquire about this service before leaving materials at their home library.  The patron is responsible for the material until it is returned to and checked in by the lending library.

Updating Information about DAP Libraries

DAP Directory information is updated on the website directory by participating members. Updates are reviewed to assure that libraries continue to meet the criteria of the program.

DAP Guidelines revised April 2001
Adopted by CDLC Board of Trustees 4/28/01
Last modified on Thursday, 29 September 2016 09:14
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