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Frequently Asked Questions About NebrasKard

What is NebrasKard?

NebrasKard is the "brand" name given to Nebraska's reciprocal borrowing program among participating libraries. The program allows borrowers of participating libraries to borrow materials from other participating libraries, subject to the rules and regulations of those libraries.

Which libraries can participate in the NebrasKard program?

Public libraries must meet Nebraska accreditation requirements in order to issue a NebrasKard to their borrowers. However, an unaccredited public library may participate in the NebrasKard program as a lending library. Nebraska post secondary higher educational libraries may also participate. In fact, post secondary libraries have had reciprocal borrowing arrangements in place for a number of years. All participating libraries must sign an agreement that sets forth program policies.

Who should sign the agreement?

The person who is authorized to enter into legal agreements on behalf of the library should sign the agreement. This procedure should be the same as followed by the library for other types of agreements.

Is there a NebrasKard fee?

There is no fee unless an accredited public library issues a NebrasKard to a non-resident who has not paid a non-resident fee that is equivalent to the per capita tax support received by that library from local sources. In such cases, a $15 per person annual fee will be assessed. The library may choose only to issue a NebrasKard sticker, or key chain tag, to residents of the library's primary service area. A public library's primary service area is the governmental jurisdiction (i.e., municipality or county) that provides the majority of the library's revenue.

What happens to fees collected for issuing a NebrasKard?

Fees are to be retained by the issuing library and may be applied toward participation costs.

Can an out-of-state person be issued a NebrasKard?

For public libraries: A library may issue a non-resident library card to an out-of-state person, if that is the library's policy. However, a library cannot issue a NebrasKard to an out-of-state person.

For academic libraries: A NebrasKard sticker may be added to the student, faculty, or staff ID card used by the library for lending purposes. This may include students from out-of-state, currently enrolled, who are living in Nebraska.

Will there be a database of NebrasKard borrowers?

At this time, there are no plans to create a database of borrowers.

How will it be known if a borrower is in good standing?

Library personnel will not know whether an individual is a borrower "in good standing" from a participating library. There will be risks just as there are risks with resident borrowers. To reduce risk, libraries are asked to get a current address. The main factor is the individual borrower's home residence. If the individual is a local resident of a community that has a participating library, and the individual has been issued a NebrasKard by that library, the individual should be allowed to borrow items from another participating library.

Can a participating library refuse to loan items to someone who possesses a NebrasKard?

A library can deny service to anyone subject to its rules, regulations and policies and provided it is not denying any service that is required by law (federal law, state statute, or local ordinance). An example would be someone who may have unreturned overdue items, or unpaid fees.

Can a NebrasKard be issued to children or young adults (minors)?

Yes. However, again libraries local policies guide the loan of materials to minors.

Will the NebrasKard have an expiration date?

At least initially, the NebrasKard will have an annual expiration date.

Will libraries receive any reimbursement for loans or postage costs for returning NebrasKard items?

Unlike Nebraska Interlibrary Loan compensation, there will be no reimbursement for loans or postage costs. Libraries may collect postage costs from NebrasKard borrowers.

Must libraries have a property stamp for loaned items?

The library must have some way to identify loaned items. Property identification is necessary for return of borrowed items. A property stamp is the usual means for identification.

What about loan of art or other special items?

Libraries may impose restrictions on loan of art or special items to NebrasKard borrowers. It is better to impose restrictions than to not participate at all.

Is an item considered returned when it reaches the lending library or when it is returned at another library?

This depends on the policy of the lending library.

Can libraries share the name and address of a library cardholder with another library seeking the return of overdue materials?

The NebrasKard borrower agreement will require individuals to grant permission for libraries to share that individual's name and address with another library.

Is there anything in Nebraska library law that precludes one library from limiting service to a library cardholder because that person has overdue materials or fines from another library?


Can a library refuse to loan an item to a registered borrower of another participating library if that person is unwilling to follow the library's registration procedures?


When a card is expired is that library patron still a valid NebrasKard user?


What if a patron has a NebrasKard sticker or a library bar code on a card other than a library card?

Many colleges have their students and faculty use I.D. cards as library cards.

Is a NebrasKard sticker on the home library card required?

No. However, the Nebraska Library Commission will provide key chain tags and stickers for library use. The Nebraska Library Commission will maintain a list of participating libraries on its Web site. Libraries should require a borrower to have a current NebrasKard in order to loan materials. If a library loans materials to an individual from a community which participates in the program but who does not have a NebrasKard in her or his possession, the library loans the materials at its own risk. In either case, the library should verify and obtain the borrower's address and phone number

Can a library withdraw from the program?

A library may withdraw from participation in the program at any time by sending written notice to the Nebraska Library Commission.

Additional Questions Added July 27, 2001: Is a NebrasKard Participating Library required to charge a fee to non-residents that wish to become NebrasKard users?

It is up to each individual NebrasKard Participating Library to decide whether or not to charge a fee to issue a NebrasKard to a non-resident if the library already charges at least $15 for a non-resident card.

If the NebrasKard Participating Library issuing the NebrasKard does not charge a non-resident fee, the library is required to charge $15 to non-residents for the NebrasKard. The NebrasKard Participating Library issuing the NebrasKard retains the $15 fee.

The NebrasKard Participating Library issuing the NebrasKard may choose to charge the $15 fee for the NebrasKard in addition to the amount charged for non-resident cards as long as the non-resident fee is at least $15.


Library A levies no charge for a non-resident card. The library must charge $15 to issue a NebrasKard to non-residents. Library A retains the $15 fee.

Library B charges a non-resident fee of $10. The library must charge at least $5 to issue a NebrasKard to non-residents (and may choose to charge $15) to issue a NebrasKard to non-residents. Library B retains the entire fee.

Library C charges $25 for a non-resident card. The library can decide to also charge an additional $15 for NebrasKard. Library C retains the $15 fee.

Library D also charges $25 for a non-resident card, but this library decides to include the $15 NebrasKard charge as part of the overall non-resident fee and does not decide to charge an additional $15 for NebrasKard.

If the stickers don't fit on our cards, can we trim them? Can we put the stickers on either the front or the back?

Yes, but make sure the logo is visible enough to make it easy for other libraries to tell that the customer is a registered NebrasKard user and that the expiration date is legible.

The sample key chain card that I received just snapped in two with one bend. Are others concerned about durability?

Try as we might, we can't seem to get the card we tested to break. We made dozens of bends and no breaks. Try another one. You must have had a faulty sample.

Can libraries issue a NebrasKard to an out-of-state resident?

A local public library may issue a local non-resident library card to an out-of-state person, if that is the library's policy. However, a public library cannot issue a NebrasKard to an out-of-state person. Academic libraries may affix a NebrasKard sticker to the student, faculty, or staff ID card used by the academic library for lending purposes. This may include currently enrolled students from outside Nebraska who are living in Nebraska.

For more information, contact Rod Wagner.