REMINDER: Return Policy Changes

Book ReturnEffective March 15, 2010, Kent District Library will be adopting a new materials return policy. This policy was developed by the 41 member libraries of the Lakeland Library Cooperative, of which KDL is a member.  For Kent District Library customers, this means that you will need to return KDL items to any KDL branch location.

For many years, West Michigan library patrons have enjoyed the ability to drop off their library materials at any Lakeland library. The Lakeland Cooperative truck delivery system ensured that the materials were returned to the owning library. The change in the materials return policy comes as a result of ongoing budget cuts, including a 40% reduction in State Aid to public libraries in fiscal year 2009-10. The goal of this policy change is to help contain the growing costs of staffing, transportation and fuel needed for the materials delivery system. Freeing up limited resources will also help retain popular library services such as interlibrary loan through the online holds system.

This change in policy WILL NOT impact your ability to place holds through the online catalog. You may still place holds on items in the online catalog and request that they be sent to the library of your choice. These interlibrary loaned items can then be returned to any library location. The exception is the Grand Rapids Public Library, which requires you to pick up and return loaned items only at their branches.

Key points to remember:

  • Items checked out from a KDL branch must be returned to a KDL branch (any of the 18 locations).
  • Items checked out from a KDL branch and returned at a non-KDL library (Grand Rapids Public Library locations, Sparta, Cedar Springs, and libraries outside of Kent County) will be returned to KDL, however, you may incur late fees as the items won’t be checked in until received.

While we understand and regret that this may inconvenience our customers, we are working hard to ensure that we make the most of our resources while preserving many of the popular services that our customers have come to rely on.

We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for helping us make the most of our library resources. Questions? Please post below.

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Written by Eric


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35 Responses to “REMINDER: Return Policy Changes”

  1. Sarah Says:

    When library materials are borrowed from another Lakeland library through interlibrary loan and returned to a KDL branch (since it was checked out from a KDL branch), how will the library staff know it was checked out from a KDL branch to check it in so it does not incur late fines? How is this going to operate?

  2. edehaan Says:

    Good question, Sarah. Items sent through the interloan system will be tagged with a sticker in order for staff to identify them. Items with this sticker will be checked in immediately upon return.

    I hope that helps!

    Eric DeHaan
    KDL Communications Manager

  3. Renee Says:

    I’m still confused – maybe you can clarify this for me! If I order a book, and it is from outside of Kent County, how do I know when I should return it so that I am not charged late fees?

  4. edehaan Says:

    If you order a book through the interloan system, from a library outside of Kent County, you can return it to any Lakeland Library member branch except for Grand Rapids Public Library. You can see a full list of those locations here: Standard lending periods will apply.

    We understand that this isn’t the most straightforward system, however, it is necessary in order to meet growing demand while maintaining popular services such as interloan. I hope that helps to clarify.

    Eric DeHaan
    KDL Communications Manager

  5. Andy Says:

    I summer vacation in Whitehall. I enjoyed the convenience of using my KDL library card and borrowing materials from their library and then returning them to a local KDL branch within the 3 week window.

    How will that change? If I return the material when due, at 3 weeks, could it take another week to make it back to Whitehall, with a 1 week late charge?

  6. edehaan Says:

    Apologies for the delayed response, Andy. You’re exactly right; if you return a Whitehall item to a KDL branch location, you will incur late fines for each day in transit. The transit time can depend on a number of variables, but 1 week is probably the minimum in this case. For books, these charges may not add up to that much (15 cent/day) but for DVD’s it can add up quickly ($1 / day). For this reason it is recommended that items be returned to the owning library.

    I hope that helps!

    Eric DeHaan
    KDL Communications Manager

  7. KSM Says:

    I recently checked out some materials from the Sparta library. I was planning to return the materials to the Wyoming library because it is closer to my home. Should I return the materials earlier then the due date so I do not get late fees?

  8. edehaan Says:

    Hi KSM,

    While we recommend returning items to their home location, you do have the option of returning them to another Lakeland Cooperative location if needed. Your chances of incurring late fees are reduced if you turn an item in before its due date, but we can’t gaurantee no late fees will be incurred.

    I hope that helps!

    -Eric DeHaan

  9. Becky Says:

    Thanks for working to keep our libraries running efficiently with the funds available! I’m so glad you have been able to preserve the inter library loan system. This may be moderately inconvenient, but we have been so spoiled for so long by our wonderful cooperative library system and times are tough for everyone, libraries included!

  10. Nicolette Says:

    Is this only for KDL? If I check out books from Georgetown through Cedar Springs library would I need to return them to Georgetown?

  11. edehaan Says:

    Is this only for KDL? If I check out books from Georgetown through Cedar Springs library would I need to return them to Georgetown?
    This policy applies to all libraries in the Lakeland Cooperative. If you check out a book at Georgetown or Cedar Springs, you should return the item to that branch location to avoid potential late fees.
    I hope that helps!
    Eric DeHaan
    KDL Communications Manager

  12. Star Says:

    As a librarian (who’s currently a stay-at-home-mom), I understand completely why you had to create this policy. You’re making due with diminished funds. Some things will have to change in order to continue to provide other outstanding services to your patrons. Thank you so much for providing the community with access to so many wonderful programs and resources!

  13. Jarrod Schenden Says:

    Wow… how inconvenient… the grand rapids seperation is inconvienent enough! now this?!

  14. Christina Dirkes Says:

    Curious- supposing I place a hold on a DVD, I watch it, and then return it before the date that it’s due? If the DVD is from a non KDL branch or just a branch far away from my house, do I have to drive all the way out to that branch to return the book?

  15. Laura Schreiber Says:

    I realize that you are dealing with limited funds but this is a giant pain for anyone who regularly uses the hold system. The whole reason we use this system to have access to books KDL doesn’t have. What is the point of being a part of the Lakeshore cooperative if I have to drive to Spring Lake to return a book? The option for holds should be changed and default only to the KDL system for searches so people don’t get stuck by accident. How unfortunate for all of us readers out there.

  16. Linda Says:

    Now I am confused. If I check out a book that is owned by Rockford, but have it sent to Cedar Springs, pick it up and check it out at Cedar Springs, where do I return it? Can I return it at Cedar Springs without risking late fees?

  17. Kathie Says:

    I would like to echo the sentiments of some others…THANK YOU so much for providing such a valuable service to us…we have been spoiled! We’re all having to cut back some and this is a small sacrifice to pay for such a privilege! I know that my parents have to pay $1 for each item that they request from their inter library loan system–we aren’t charged a thing! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to read so many books, listen to CDs, and watch DVDs…all without spending a dime! If I had to buy all the materials I wished to utilize, I’d never be able to afford it! Thank you again, for the wonderful service you provide to us!

  18. Diane C @KDL Says:

    Laura S–
    We understand how confusing this new policy is. However, it does NOT effect interlibrary loans (holds/requests). It only effects books checked out directly from a library. For example, if you request a book to be delivered to your KDL branch, you may return it to any KDL branch as we are one large library with multiple branches. The part that is changing is if you happened to visit the lakeshore and stopped in Spring Lake to visit their new library and checked out a book, THAT book would have to be returned to Spring Lake, not KDL or any other Lakeland library

    Linda– as long as you requested the book and are picking it up at Cedar, you may return it to Cedar. It’s the books that are not checked out because of a hold/request that might incur fines.

    Thank you for your support. The more I travel and visit libraries, the more I realize what a fantastic system we have here at KDL. I’m very blessed to be a part of it.

  19. Kathy Jo Says:

    If I can make a suggestion to people concerned about this new policy …
    When you drop off a book at whatever library, especially if it is an interlibrary loan, renew the book online before you drop it in the slot. That way, you won’t risk incurring fines because the book will be renewed, and it will be logged in when it reaches the proper destination, cancelling the renewal.

  20. kim Says:

    wondering if i go to plainfeild or sand lake and check out a wii game does it have to be returned to that library or can i return it to spencer (my local one)
    thanks for the great work

  21. edehaan Says:

    Kim, if an item is checked out from a KDL branch location, it can be returned to any KDL branch location. This includes the 18 branches listed on this page: So, to answer your question, a Wii game checked out at Plainfield or Sand Lake can be returned to the Spencer branch.

    I hope that helps!

    Eric DeHaan
    Communications Manager

  22. Jen Says:

    The Grandville KDL branch has been telling it’s patrons that books checked out must be returned to the exact branch they are checked out from. So for example, a book checked out from Granville KDL cannot be returned to the Kentwood KDL branch. Is this correct? It doesn’t seem to match this article. Obviously not all KDL staff are on the same page.
    There is also this banner on the web page for signing into my library account: Effective March 15, 2010.
    Check out an item at a library. Return it to the same library.
    I think the Granville branch also has similar signs posted. Confusing.

  23. Brian Says:

    Question: Without exception, I request mqterials to be picked up at the Krause branch in Rockford. If I get an item sent to Krause from a library that is not KDL, will I be able to return it to Krause or Alpine or Walker or any other KDL or will it need to be returned to Rockford only and on or before it’s due date?
    Thanks, Brian

  24. Patrice V Says:

    Jen – I’m sorry for the confusion…and it is confusing! Because KDL is a multi-site library system, any item borrowed from a KDL location can be returned to any KDL location.

    Having said that – if you borrow something from any other Lakeland Library location you will need to return items to the place from which they were borrowed. Clear as mud!? If you are still confused, please don’t hesitate to talk with any KDL staff member.

    KDL Grandville Branch Manager

  25. jvanderploeg Says:


    These changes will not affect interloaned items in any way. Items received through interlibrary loan will be marked so that they may be returned to any library branch.

    In addition, all items checked out from a KDL location may be returned to any other KDL location.

    If you have any other question, feel free to give us a call at 616-784-2007.


    Jon VanderPloeg
    Patron Services Manager

  26. Matt Says:

    What about MelCat loans? Can those be returned at any MelCat library?
    I remember reading a while back that the whole MelCat loan program was on the cutting block due to budget reductions. Has it been decided that this won’t happen?

  27. Andy Says:

    Thank you for being such a great library system. And for answering all these questions from people who clearly aren’t reading the policy as outlined above.

    It’s not that hard.

    Return the item where you checked it out.
    KDL libraries all = one library. GRPL is not KDL.


    C’mon people, you’re library patrons, so do your duty and READ the thing.

  28. Diane C @ KDL Says:

    Hi Matt,
    You may return MelCat items checked out at a KDL branch to any KDL branch. In terms of funding, while the state cut 40% of funding to the State Library and cooperatives for Fiscal Year 2009-10, MelCat and the Mel online databases were spared this time around. However, now we are looking at even more cuts for the 2010-11 state budget and we don’t know at this point how deep the cuts are or what we might loose.
    State funing for libraries supports the state-wide sharing program (MelCat) as well as Mel datatbases. Additionally, in our area, it also supports our catlog system and the delivery system to move materials between branches.
    Fingers crossed for the state budget process!

  29. Karen Says:

    Having lived in a number of different states, I think it’s fabulous that being in this community’s cooperative allows reciprocal use of my library card at 41 different branches, not just the branch supported directly by my property taxes. In spite of the state’s funding cut to the interloan truck/delivery service, I am more than willing to get in my car and drop my books off where I borrow them if it means being able to use my card at so many different libraries!

  30. Betsy Says:

    When I request a book online, is it pulled from a library that is within the KDL system or could it come from outside the eighteen-location libraries, making it necessary for a patron to pay attention to the source of each hold?

  31. TJ Says:

    I think its fair?

  32. Sheri Says:

    Hi Betsy,

    No need to keep track of where your holds come from — as long as you pick them up and check them out at a KDL branch, you can still return them to a KDL branch (any of our 18 locations).

    The only time this policy change would affect you would be if you visited a non-KDL library in person and checked out books there. For example, if you were on vacation in Holland and checked out books at the library there, you would need to return them to the Holland library as well, or risk overdue fines.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    KDL Webmaster

  33. Ann Says:

    I think it’s cheaper for you to incur late fees if this happens then to drive to return an item. Would the paid fine help the library?

  34. Raymond Passchier Says:

    As a Grand Rapids resident, can I still check out items at a KDL branch?

    I was told today at the Cascade KDL that I cannot request holds because I am a Grand Rapids resident. Please explain the reason for this policy change.

  35. Morgan (KDL) Says:

    Raymond, you can still check out items at any KDL branch with your GRPL library card. However, you will have to do hold requests and pickups at a GRPL location. Please see the Holds Policy Update blog post here: