Iowa Code section 702.22 defines library materials and equipment and Iowa Code 714.5 relates to the theft of library materials. Books overdue for two months, and equipment overdue for one month, can be prosecuted as theft under this law. Before taking any legal steps, the library must have made a reasonable attempt to notify the customer that the material is overdue and that legal remedies may be taken. One notice to the customer must be by certified mail.
The library may request help from law enforcement in getting the library’s property back. The library can require a deposit on library equipment before it is checked out, and in the case of late returns, can penalize the customer up to 25% of the value of the equipment. The law requires that the library post a notice about Iowa Code section 714.5 and about any fees that may be imposed by the library.