Abandoned Property


People that have left property at the Community Library by mistake or otherwise are the primary concern of this policy, though library staff are also affected in holding that property for a short time.

Statement of Purpose

In providing services to the community, personal items and property may sometimes be mistakenly left on library premises. This policy provides guidelines on how library staff will manage such abandoned property in efforts to return it to the original owner and prevent the accumulation of property that does not serve the library’s goals of providing access to information, technology and personal enrichment. This policy reasonably expects that owners of abandoned property that intend to reclaim it will actively inquire after the property.


Reasonable efforts to contact the owner of property that includes identifying information will be made promptly. Property without identifying information will be kept securely in a non-public area of the library for up to 30 days. Inquiries about property left at the library will be dealt with in a way that doesn’t provide excessive or leading details about a given item in an effort to ensure the true owner is the only one that can reclaim it. After the allotted time providing ample opportunity for the owner to inquire after and reclaim the property, such unclaimed items will be donated to a recognized local charity. Exceptions include cash, vehicles and property with identifying information where the owner cannot be reached. Cash will be returned to the person who found it in the library. Vehicles left on the premises will be managed within one week and may be removed with the assistance of law enforcement. Property with a known owner that cannot be contacted will be turned over to law enforcement for custody.


Library staff will log discovery of abandoned property and attempts to contact known owners. Law enforcement may be enlisted to take custody of items. The Library Director or a designee holds responsibility for providing documents related to the policy to the concerned parties. The Library Director is responsible for training and supporting staff regarding this policy.

Approved Date: 6/9/2016


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