Have you ever wished you could pop into a local library to check out a book to read while lounging on the beach at the Indiana Dunes State Park, even though your Indiana home library is hundreds of miles away? Perhaps you live in southern Indiana and you have to go all the way up to Allen County for a business trip. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to check out a DVD from the library near your hotel? If these situations strike a chord with you, a Public Library Access Card (PLAC) is the perfect solution.
PLAC is the statewide library card program enacted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1993 (Indiana Code 4-23-7.1-5.1). The PLAC program allows individuals to purchase a card which allows them to borrow materials directly from any public library in Indiana.
Any individual who holds a valid Indiana public library card may purchase a PLAC card which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. The cost of the card is reviewed and adjusted annually by the Indiana Library & Historical Board (ILHB). The fee for 2017 is $65.00. The Indiana State Library collects the revenue from the sale of these cards distributes it back to libraries on the basis of net loans.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the PLAC card program:
Q: Are public libraries required to participate in the statewide PLAC program?
A: Yes. According to Indiana Code 36-12-3-2 and Indiana Code 36-12-7-2, all public libraries “shall comply with and participate in the statewide library card program.”
Q: What types of materials are eligible for loan in the PLAC program?
A: Books and select non-book materials. Each public library will annually determine what types of materials will be loaned to PLAC cardholders, but at least books that normally circulate must be available for loan.
Q: Does the PLAC include access to eBooks, databases and other online resources?
A: No. eBooks, databases and other online resources are licensed locally for the home users of that library and are not available to PLAC holders.
Q: If I later decide that I don’t need my PLAC, can I get a refund?
A: No. PLAC fees are not refundable.
Q: Who is eligible for a PLAC?
A: Anyone who holds a valid library card issued by a public library in the state may purchase a PLAC. In order to receive a PLAC card individuals must have a valid “resident” or a non-resident library card.
Q: How is the PLAC used?
A: Individuals need to present the PLAC on their initial visit to the library and go through the registration process for that particular library.
Q: When does my PLAC expire?
A: The PLAC expires one year from the date of application for the card. At that time, the PLAC cardholder would need to reapply and pay for a new PLAC card.
Q: Must materials borrowed on a PLAC be returned to the lending library?
A: Yes. PLAC cardholders should be informed that they are expected to return materials borrowed using a PLAC to the lending library.
Q: May anyone in my family use the PLAC?
A: No. According to IC 4-23-7.1-5.1 the PLAC is always issued to an individual.
This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director at firstname.lastname@example.org.