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Library Policies

Clicking any of the policy titles will display that policy in full.

Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Policy

The Huntsville Madison County Public Library affirms its support of equal access for persons with disabilities and of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The Library seeks to make its services, facilities, and programs as accessible as possible to the public, including those who have disabilities.

The Main Library offers the special services of the Blind and Physically Handicapped Department (B &PH), which provides a collection of audio and Braille materials from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).  Patrons of the B & PH Department who meet the NLS requirements may receive materials by postage-free mail.  Assistive computer technology and limited physical assistance from the Blind and Physically Handicapped staff are also available.

 

Persons may wish to request accommodations or make complaints about accessibility at the Library.  The following procedures have been developed in order to assist the Library in addressing these concerns:  

Step One: Requests for accommodation and/or complaints about accessibility can be presented in person, by mail, email, or over the phone. These should be addressed to the Library Director who then makes every attempt to provide accommodation and/or resolve the issue.

Step Two: If resolution is not achieved by Step One, a complaint can be presented in writing on an Accessibility Concerns Form. Assistance in completing this form is provided as needed. Completed forms are reviewed by the Library Director and a formal response is made to the library user within ten working days of the date of original submission of the form. The formal response can be a telephone call, followed by a letter confirming the telephone discussion, or directly by letter. The Library Director will make every attempt to resolve the issue through this means.

Step Three: If resolution is not achieved by Step Two, the concerned individual can request that the complaint be presented to the Library Board. The Library Director will place the matter on the agenda so that the concerned individual can present his or her concern at the next regularly scheduled Library Board meeting.

Download the Accessibility Concerns Form (.rtf format)

Computer Use

 

Public Access Computer Procedures

  • All public access computers in the Huntsville Madison County Public Library System may be used by adults and children ages 10 and older. The Youth Services Department of the Main Library and some Branches have computers that are specifically for children, and have no age limits. To use all other public access computers, children ages 9 and under need to be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.
  • The Library uses an automated PC Reservation system. Every effort is made to provide equitable access and time to all users of our public computers.
  • All computer users must have one of the following:
    1. A valid Huntsville-Madison County Public Library card.
    2. A Public Computer Use Only Card for non-residents, guests, and residents ineligible for a full membership. This limited-access card is strictly for computer usage. It may be obtained at a service desk and should be issued to patrons who are frequent users of the public computers. Such cards are unable to check out items; guest and non-resident patrons wishing to upgrade computer-use only cards may apply for a full card at a circulation desk. Non-resident fees apply to full membership cards.
    3. Guest computer use ID—This type of card will no longer be issued effective April 1, 2008.
  • To use a public access computer, a user must have either a valid Huntsville-Madison County Public Library card or a Public Computer Use Only card. No one may use another person’s card or card number. Anyone that does not comply with this requirement will have his or her card blocked for one month and will lose borrowing and computer use privileges during that time.
  • Copies made on computer printers are $.15/page, with the exception that there are no charges for print-outs made of searches in our online catalog.
  • Generally, a patron is limited to 1 hour usage per day with 1 extension for 30 minutes if no one is waiting.
  • High demand locations have express workstations for quick email access and other short uses. These computers have a time limit of 15 minutes, and are on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations or sign-ups are required for these workstations.
  • Reservations, where reservations may be made, will be held for only five (5) minutes past the reservation time in all locations but the Regional Computer Training Center, where they will be held for ten (10) minutes.
  • Flash Drives may be purchased for $7.00; headsets for $2.00.
  • Patrons may access personal e-mail accounts that are web-based like Hotmail, Yahoo and America Online.
  • Patrons are required to use only the software available on the library computers, and are not allowed to load software on a computer's hard drive, or use their own software on a floppy disk or portable USB flash storage device.
  • Patrons may use portable USB flash storage devices, also called memory sticks, on the library computers. The library is not responsible for any damage that might occur to a patron's personal device, and cannot guarantee, due to manufacturer variations, that all memory sticks will work with library workstations. A patron's personal USB peripherals such as external hard drives and webcams are not permitted for use on library computers.
  • Individual departments or Branches may have additional procedures that are specific to each location and based on their users' needs.

Internet Safety Policy

Mission
This is the public’s library. Our mission is to enrich the educational, recreational, and cultural life of our community through materials, information, and programs that foster a lifelong love of learning.

Internet Access

The Library collection is supplemented by the wide variety of resources available through the Alabama Virtual Library and the Internet.  Computers are provided for our users to access these online resources in the Library, and free classes are available in the Computer Training Center for those who wish to improve their computer and Internet skills.

The content of the Internet is unregulated, and the Library has no control over the resources available there.  Information found on the Internet may be reliable and current, or it may be inaccurate, out of date, illegal, obscene or sexually explicit.  Because the Library cannot monitor or control the information available through the Internet, users access the Internet at their own discretion.

In order to provide equal access for users to its computers and the Internet, the Library sets time limits for computer usage and requires user sign-up or reservations.

Users are expected to utilize the Library computers in a responsible manner and to respect the rights of other users.  Any actions that will cause damage to computer software or equipment, or will result in the invasion of privacy or harassment of others will not be allowed.

The Library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library’s Internet service.  Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are advised to utilize virus-checking software on their home computers.  The Library is not responsible for damage to users’ storage devices or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from the use of the Library’s computers.

Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians of Minors

Parents/guardians are responsible for their minor (under the age of 17) children’s use of the Library’s resources and facilities.  This includes using the Internet at any of the Library locations.  Parents who believe that their children cannot responsibly use the Library’s Internet access are requested to monitor their children’s Internet use.

The Library will assist parents/guardians and children in the use of the use of the Internet, and suggest specific web sites that are age and content appropriate for children.

Unacceptable Uses of Computers

The following general uses of the Internet and Library computers are not permitted:

  • Viewing graphic sexual materials;
  • Downloading and installing software on Library computers;
  • Hacking the Library network, including unauthorized use of network logins
  • Using the Internet for unlawful purposes;

The following types of Internet and Library computer usage are prohibited for minors as specified in the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act (NCIPA):

  • Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web;
  • Uses that compromise the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;
  • Unauthorized access, including hacking, and other unlawful activities by minors online;
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors; and
  • Access by minors to materials harmful to minors.

The term "harmful to minors" is defined by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 USC Section 254 [h][7], as meaning any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that

  • taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
  • depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals;
  • taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

Technology Protection Measures

The Library uses technology protection measures, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, to protect against access to visual depictions that (1) are obscene, (2) contain child pornography, or (3) are harmful to minors.

Technology protection measures are not foolproof, and may not always prevent Library patrons and staff from inadvertently accessing text or images that may be offensive.  Sites that contain inoffensive and useful information may also be erroneously blocked.

Library staff will disable upon request the technology protection measures on designated computers to allow Internet access for lawful purposes for adults (age 17 or older).

Adults or minors may also request access to web sites that are erroneously blocked.  Library staff will review the sites in question and provide access to those that are blocked in error.

Penalty for Violation of Policy

Any user who fails to comply with this policy will receive a warning and will forfeit the remainder of his computer time.  After the first warning, users continuing to violate this policy will be issued a six-month trespass warning and will be barred from using any Library facilities for this period of time.

Adoption

This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Huntsville Madison County Public Library at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on June 26, 2002, and revised on September 21, 2004 and April 21, 2005.  It was reviewed and revised by the Library Board at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on March 19, 2014.

Headsets

Due to Public Health concerns, the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library no longer loans Shared Computer Headsets for Public Use.

Patrons are welcome to bring in personal headsets suitable for computer stereo use, or to purchase a reusable quality stereo headset at a service desk for $2.00 each. Any headset purchased becomes property of the patron, and must be taken with the patron upon exit from the Library.

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is not responsible for purchased or personal headsets left on the premises, or damaged due to patron misuse.

Approved by the Board of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library July 18, 2001.

Acceptable Use Policy

HMCPL encourages patrons to engage in interactive sections of our websites, by participating in online discussions and, in some cases, providing content. Before you participate in these activities please read our policy on user-generated web content:

  1. Patrons who provide online content to HMCPL for its websites are granting HMCPL full license to use such material for promotion of library services, collections and other activities. By posting comments on our websites, patrons agree that HMCPL may use their content for these purposes without compensation.
  2. All content submitted for online discussion will be reviewed by staff. While we may not always have the resources to review patron comments prior to posting, HMCPL reserves the right to edit or delete user content in a manner that is consistent with our mission and policies. As such, we will not post content that contains vulgar language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive comments that target or disparage groups by ethnicity, race, religion, sex or gender.
  3. HMCPL reserves the right to moderate user-generated content for any reason.
  4. HMCPL is not responsible for any user-generated comments and contents that appear on our websites.
  5. This policy may be revised at any time.
Darkroom Use

The Darkroom is available for formal educational purposes and personal use by students of photography and photographers.  Patrons must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Have a current Huntsville-Madison County Public Library card in good standing
  2. Supply proof of darkroom knowledge (i.e. - class syllabus, teacher recommendation, portfolio
  3. Complete and sign a 'Darkroom Application and Responsibility' form.

The Darkroom is generally available for individual use only with the exception of parent and child or qualified teacher and student unless otherwise approved by a manager.

Persons using the facility must provide their own chemicals and paper.

There is no on-site storage.

The Darkroom is available during Library hours.  Clean-up must be completed by closing.

The Darkroom can be reserved in advance in four hour increments by contacting the Audio Visual Department at (256) 532-5947.

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library assumes no responsibility for personal injuries, thefts or losses of private property while using the Darkroom.

Digital Video Security Camera Policy

Security cameras will be used where needed to discourage violations of the Library’s Rules of Conduct, to assist Library staff in preventing the recurrence of any violations and, when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity. The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of digital video cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded digital video images at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library.

Video monitoring and recording will be conducted in a manner consistent with all existing local and applicable laws and ordinances.

Cameras may be installed in locations where staff and patrons would not have an expectation of privacy. Examples include common areas of the Library such as entrances, near book and media collections, public seating, delivery areas and parking lots.

Cameras will not be installed in areas where staff and public have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms.

Procedures

  • Digital video security cameras are installed in selected indoor and outdoor locations at the Main Library.
  • A sign will be posted at Library entrance informing the public that security cameras are in use.
  • Selected staff will have access to the real time monitors, although activity is only randomly monitored.
  • In pursuit of incidents of criminal activity or violation of the Library’s Rules of Conduct, only the Executive Director or his/her designee(s) will have access to the archived material.
  • Video recordings and photos obtained through the video monitoring system will be released only in response to search warrants, court orders, and requests by law enforcement for an active investigation.
  • Images will typically be retained for a period determined by the storage capacity of the equipment, usually about 14 to 21 calendar days. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted.
  • Selected digital video may be saved for as long as required

Guidelines

  • Staff and patron safety is the first priority in any threatening situation. The protection of Library property is of secondary importance.
  • Cameras will not be installed for the express purpose of monitoring staff performance.
  • The general public will not be allowed access to camera images.
  • Questions from the public may be addressed to the Executive Director.
Display and Distribution of Free Materials

Library-produced displays, handouts, announcements, etc.  provide information to the public on Library programs and events.  These materials may be displayed on Library public service desks and other areas designated for Library use only.

The Library has a limited amount of space available for the distribution of free literature and displays. Only materials for non-profit organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities in the community may be displayed.  The Library does not endorse the activities and information contained in these non-Library displays and promotional materials.

Guidelines for the display of nonprofit organization materials and information: 

  • Materials must be approved by the Library Department or Branch Manager where the display will be located.
  • Political campaign advertising and notices advocating or promoting partisan political issues will not be allowed.
  • Materials will be displayed for limited periods of time only.  Items will be removed at the discretion of the Library staff.
  • The Library reserves the right to establish time, place and manner restrictions for the display of materials.  The Library also reserves the right to restrict the geographic area from which materials will be accepted and to determine the frequency with which material may be posted for the same group.

Approved Date:  7/15/2009

Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination Policy

The Library recognizes that one of its responsibilities is to provide job opportunities and employment in a non-discriminatory manner. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the Library will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. The Library does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national and ethnic origin, age, disability, political affiliation, religious affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law. No employee or applicant for employment with the Library shall in any way be favored or discriminated against for any of these reasons.

The Library shall take the necessary action to eliminate equal opportunity barriers and to prohibit discrimination and/or preferred treatment concerning any individual on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national and ethnic origin, age, disability, political affiliation, religious affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law (except where age or physical requirements constitute a bona fide occupational qualification necessary for proper and efficient functioning in the job); and, on the basis of any other non-merit factor. Equal employment opportunity, free of discriminatory practices, shall be enforced in all facets of employment including, but not limited to, recruitment, testing, promotion, terms and conditions of employment, compensation, benefits, training, discipline, appeals, layoffs, and terminations.

Any employees or applicants with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace are encouraged to bring their issues to the attention of the employee's supervisor or the Library's Human Resources Director as soon as possible. The Library cannot solve the problem unless it knows about it. The Human Resources Director is the Library's EEO Officer. If an employee or applicant is uncomfortable reporting his/her concern to his/her supervisor or the Human Resources Director, the employee or applicant may report the concern to the Executive Director, Deputy Director or any Library Board Member.

Supervisors shall provide employees and applicants alleging discrimination accessibility to those who can respond to and assist the individual in order to ensure that their rights are not violated and to decrease the necessity to seek assistance through outside investigating agencies. Supervisors or Library Board Members receiving complaints about discrimination shall immediately report those complaints to the Human Resources Director. Supervisors and any other employees who witness any type of behavior that they believe may constitute discrimination should immediately report such behavior.

Employees and applicants can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal or retaliation. The Library will not retaliate, or allow retaliation, against any employee or applicant who complains of discrimination, assists in an investigation of possible discrimination, or files an administrative charge or lawsuit alleging discrimination.

The Library will not tolerate discrimination against any employee or applicant. All allegations of discrimination will be quickly and discreetly investigated. To the extent possible, the identity of those involved will be protected against unnecessary disclosure. When the investigation is completed, the involved parties will be informed of the outcome. Any employee found to be engaging in any type of discrimination that violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

The Human Resources Director shall be responsible for the distribution and discussion of this Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination Policy with directors, managers, supervisors, and other employees, and Library Board Members to assure understanding and reasonable and consistent application. Supervisors shall conduct personnel management operations in accordance with this Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination Policy.

Fines and Fees

Overdues

Books:

$.25 per day - $10.00 maximum per book

Paperbacks/Board Books:

$.25 per day - $2.00 maximum per paperback

Audiobooks:

$.25 per day - $15.00 maximum fine per audiobook

Music CDs:

$.25 per day - $10.00 maximum per disc

DVDs:

$1.00 per day - $15.00 maximum per DVD

Music Tapes:

$.25 per day - $10.00 maximum per tape

Video Tapes:

$1.00 per day - $15.00 maximum per tape

Kits:

$1.00 per day - $15.00 maximum per kit

Rental Collection (Book and AV Quick Picks):

  • Books: $.50 per day - $20.00 maximum per item
  • DVDs: $2.00 per day - $20.00 maximum per DVD

Magazines:

$.25 per day - $2 maximum fine per magazine

Playaway Views:

$1 per day - $20 maximum fine per View

A Note to Our Patrons about the Huntsville Public Library's Retrieval of Long Overdue Items

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is serious about recovering overdue materials.

Library patrons receive the following overdue notices:

  • Day 10: First overdue Reminder e-mailed
  • Day 20: Second overdue Notice e-mailed and sent 1st class mail
  • Day 35: Third overdue Bill User for Materials e-mailed and sent 1st class mail
  • Day 45: Items set to ASSUMED LOST & billed to patron's account
  • Day 50: Patron's account referred to a collection agency specializing in the recovery of long overdue materials.

Damages

Books: List price charged for books damaged beyond repair. Partial damage prorated.

Cassettes: List price charged for albums and cassettes damaged.

Video Tapes: List price, or prorated against extent of damage.

Compact Discs: List price, or prorated against extent of damage.

DVDs: List price, or prorated against extent of damage.

Digital Audiobooks: List price, or prorated against extent of damage.

Lost Items

In the event a book or audio visual item is lost, patron will be charged the price of the item when purchased by the Library.

Lost items may be returned for a refund, less any overdue fines, within 90 days of the receipt date. Patrons must return the item(s) to an HMCPL location along with the payment receipt.

Holds Policy

Holds are made for books, cassette tapes, compact discs, audio books on compact discs, video tapes and kits. Holds may not be placed on DVDs or book and DVD Quick Picks. There is a 20 item holds limit that a patron may request at a time.

An item may not be renewed if a hold has been placed on it.

Materials are held for 5 days.

Other Fees

Headsets

$2.00

Batteries

50¢ each

Public Computer Printouts (except online computer citations)

$.15 per copy

Photocopies

$.15 per copy

Color Photocopies (Main branch only)

$.25 per copy

Microfilm Printer Copies

$.20 per copy

KEY RING LIBRARY CARD

$2.00

Lost Library Card

$2.00 for replacement of lost card

Lost Booklets, Brochures, etc.

$3.00

Broken Locked DVD Case

$1.50

Lost or Damaged Audio Book Case

$3.00

Gifts and Memorials

Gifts and Memorials

The Library Board is grateful for all donations and gifts. It is through the generosity of individuals and groups that areas of library service have been developed and the library collection enriched to an extent that would not otherwise have been possible.

The Library, as a non-profit organization, may issue receipts for donations that may be used for Internal Revenue Service tax deduction purposes. The Library cannot set a value on gifts, this is the responsibility of the donor.

Gifts

All gifts become the sole property of the Library and may be utilized or disposed of in any manner approved by the Board. In certain instances, if the Board deems it to be for the benefit of the Library, terms or restrictions may be placed upon gifts by the donors, and a contract entered into by the Board and the donor.

The addition of gift books and other materials to the Library collection is determined by the same standards of selection that are applied to purchased material. Library staff will review and screen material using such selection criteria as:

  1. Timeliness (published within the past 5 years)
  2. Scope
  3. Relevance to the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library collection policy
  4. Appropriateness of content and format
  5. Literary or educational quality
  6. Physical condition
  7. Sufficient availability of title in collection.

Materials not added to the collection may be sold by the Friends of the Main Library or the Branch where the donation was made and the proceeds provide support for the library location receiving the gift. The Library does not provide notification to the donor of whether or not a gift has been placed in the collection.

The donor is responsible for:

  1. Delivering gifts to the Library in small boxes or bags that can be easily lifted
  2. Completing the gift acknowledgement form that is provided by the Library and may be used for tax purposes.

Memorials

Monetary gifts for the purchase of books or other library material as memorials will be accepted, and appropriate designation and acknowledgment will be made by the Library

Library staff will review titles that are available on a specified subject matter, if requested by the donor, and will select a title within a given price range that is most needed by the Library. These books or other materials become the property of the Library and will be treated as regular library acquisitions.

For memorial gifts, an acknowledgement will be sent to the recipient designated by the donor indicating for whom the gift has been given and the name of the donor. For honor gifts, a notification of the gift and the donor will be sent to the honoree. The donor must provide the Library with names and addresses for notifications.

With a gift of $25.00 or more, a plate will be placed in the purchased book with the names of the donor and honoree. A gift of under $25.00 will go to the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library book fund. Donors and recipients at any level will be listed in the Friends of the Library newsletter.

Memorial funds for special projects or acquisitions may be established if approved by the Library Board.

Books from Local Authors

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is pleased to encourage local writers by purchasing their printed works. If there is a title to be considered, contact information for the author, a description of the work, and how it can be purchased should be sent to askus@hpl.lib.al.us.

Approved Date: 12/16/09

Info Requests from City Directories

The Library does not provide city directory information by telephone. Library patrons are required to come to the Library to retrieve such information.

Library Hours

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library has established weekly schedules of operation that are specific for each library location. Holidays and other planned closings will be noted in the Huntsville Times as well as on the Library website and on fliers and signs at all library service locations. All materials that would normally be due on the date of a scheduled closing will automatically show in the computer a due date of the next open day.

Approved Date: 10/21/09

Materials Selection

General

The primary responsibility of public library service is the selection and maintenance of the best possible book collection to meet the interests and needs of the community. Books and other materials will be chosen for values of interest, information, education and enlightenment of all the people of the community. In no case should any book be excluded because of the race or nationality or the political or religious views of the writer.

There should be the fullest practicable provision of material presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times--international, national and local; and books or other reading matter of sound factual authority should not be proscribed or removed from the library shelves because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

Censorship of books, urged or practiced by volunteer arbiters of morals or political opinion, or by organizations that would establish a coercive concept of any issue, must be challenged by the library in maintenance of its responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment through the printed word.

Specific

The library will endeavor to select worthwhile books on all sides of all subjects. Censorship of any political doctrine or religious creed will not be exercised. The reading public will be given the opportunity to study all sides of any controversial issue. The library does not consider itself a censor, but a clearing house for all types of materials of a worthwhile nature.

An earnest effort will be made to purchase only books of recognized worth in various fields. Library funds will not be spent on works of no literary, reference or recreational merit.

The library will maintain a complete reference section in all disciplines in as much as library funds permit.

Books will be provided for young people to supplement their school work and broaden their fields of interest.

Quality books from approved lists will be purchased for children to assist them in reading skills, widen their horizons, help them in their school work, make them more aware of their cultural heritage, and provide them with entertainment.

Books of interest and assistance to elder citizens and retired persons will be purchased, as will materials to assist adults in their continuing education.

Books for recreational reading will be selected for varied interests such as popular fiction, historical novels, popular non-fiction, mysteries, westerns, science fiction and light romances.

Books of a general scientific and technical nature will be provided in so far as they do not duplicate existing collections in special libraries in the city available to the public.

A basic collection of the great cultural works of our civilization will be maintained.

As the public library is the natural storehouse for materials of local historical interest and as these may not be available anywhere else, every effort will be made to collect and preserve books, manuscripts, etc. relating to this region.

The needs of the physically and visually handicapped for special materials will be provided for by special collections.

Meeting Room Policies

The Meeting Rooms of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library are provided to further the Library's mission to meet the informational, cultural and recreational needs of the community.  The primary use of the meeting rooms is for Library programs. 

Eligible Organizations

In addition to library programming, the rooms are available to non-profit organizations located in Huntsville, Madison and/or Madison County.  The following types of organizations are eligible:

  1. Friends of the Library or Huntsville Library Foundation
  2. Educational
  3. Civic
  4. Cultural
  5. Governmental (meaning a group sponsored by a city, county, state or federal agency)
  6. Denominational groups, organizations, or associations, affiliated with more than one church, will be allowed the use of the meeting rooms when no religious services are to be conducted.  While no group shall be denied access based on the content of their meetings or religious views expressed therein, the meeting rooms are not designed to be used for regular church services for any one organization or to provide a forum to organize or build membership for one particular church, congregation or equivalent thereof. 

Individuals are not eligible to use the library meeting rooms unless they officially represent one of the groups that meets the requirements listed above.

A non-profit group that meets the eligibility requirements above but is not based in Huntsville, Madison and/or Madison County may be considered for use of a meeting room if the organization is providing a service to local residents.

Organizations may be required to provide written documentation of non-profit status (which may include charter, bylaws, or articles of incorporation or such other documentation as may be requested) to the Library Administration 72 hours prior to the use of the meeting room.

Unacceptable Uses of Rooms

Rooms are not available for the following:

  1. Private social purposes, such as weddings, family reunions, receptions, dinners, birthday parties, baby showers, etc.
  2. Promotion of commercial products or services
  3. Political campaign events for one candidate or candidates of one political party.
  4. Paid tutoring sessions.

Library's Right to Deny or Cancel Use

The Library reserves the right to deny or cancel use of a meeting room to qualified groups for the following reasons:

  1. Library sponsored programs and events take precedence over meeting room use by outside organizations. If cancellation of a scheduled program is necessary, notice will be given as soon as reasonably possible.
  2. The group is using the room for an initial introductory or explanatory meeting to be followed by other meetings in another location where fees will be charged.
  3. The group has violated a rule or has misrepresented the purpose of the organization or meeting to be held at the Library.

Admission Fees and Charges

No fees, admission or other charges, sales of any kind, or solicitation of funds will be allowed for any non-Library sponsored function.

Programs that are sponsored by the Library or a Library-related organization may involve profit-making groups and fees or admission charges.  The sale of books or materials may also take place at an event sponsored by the Library or a Library-related organization.

Hours Available

The meeting rooms are available during the Library's regular operating hours. 

Reservations

Reservations are accepted Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Generally, a meeting room should be booked at least one month prior to the event, but not earlier than one year.  A completed meeting room application must be on file at the Library and must be updated annually.

Room Setup and Cleanup

Any organization using a meeting room is responsible for setting up the room according to its own needs.  Library staff are not responsible  for room setup.

After a meeting, rearranged tables and chairs must be returned to their original setup.  A $25 fee will be deducted from the damage deposit if the room is not left in the original setup.

Groups must allow time for the setup and cleanup of the room during the Library's regular hours.  Cleanup must be completed at least five minutes before the Library closes.

Equipment

The Library has very limited audiovisual equipment available (please see attached equipment list).  A fee is charged to use the equipment.  Users of Library equipment are responsible for familiarizing themselves with its operation in advance of the meeting, and for the setup and operation of the equipment during the meeting.  Library staff are not available to operate equipment.  It is recommended that users provide their own audiovisual equipment if possible. 

Wireless Internet access is available in the meeting rooms to library cardholders.  A library card pin number is also required.

Decorations

No wall decorations are allowed.  All decorations must be removed at the end of the meeting.  Confetti, candles and other open flames are prohibited.

General Rules

All meetings must abide by the following:

  1. No illegal activities are allowed.
  2. The distribution and/or consumption of alcohol are prohibited.
  3. No red drinks may be served. 
  4. All meetings must be open to the general public. 
  5. No regular classroom meetings are permitted.
  6. Library employees do not take telephone messages for people attending meetings.
  7. Groups using the meeting room will be expected to conform to all library rules as required of other patrons.
  8. A $50.00 damage deposit is charged for the Main Library Auditorium and the Bailey Cove, Eleanor E. Murphy and Madison Public Library meeting rooms.  The deposit must be paid in advance.  Applicable equipment fees must also be paid prior to the meeting.  A $2.50 surcharge will be added if the deposit is paid by credit card.  The deposit will be returned if the room is left in good condition and furniture is placed in its original setup.  The $2.50 surcharge for credit card payment will not be returned.
  9. Groups that are not considerate of library policies will be denied further use of the meeting rooms. 
  10. Groups which have been approved to use the meeting rooms will receive a copy of these policies and must have a responsible party at least 18 years old sign the accompanying form that they will abide by these policies.
  11. Youth organizations using a meeting room must have at least two adults (18 and over) present at all times.
  12. The Library may require proof that any public audiovisual presentation is not in conflict with copyright laws.
  13. The Library establishes capacity for each room.  Groups are responsible for ensuring attendance at meetings does not exceed capacity.
  14. The Library assumes no responsibility for personal injuries, thefts or losses of private property while on or using Library facilities.
  15. The Library reserves the right to enforce fire codes, noise limitations or any other rule approved by the Library Board.

Approved Date:  3/18/09

Membership and Circulation

Borrowers Cards

Resident: Issued free to all Huntsville and Madison County residents ages 16 and older. Residents of Limestone County that live within the city limits of Madison and Huntsville are also eligible. Valid at all branches and bookmobile. Identification with correct name and permanent address required. A government-issued photo ID is required, such as a driver's license, passport or student school card. ID can be out of area driver's license combined with a lease, utilities bill, or imprint on a check or deposit slip.

Non-Resident: $20.00 annual fee for individual. $35.00 annual fee for families. A government-issued photo ID with correct name and address is required.

Young Readers: Issued to youth ages 15 and younger. Parent or guardian signature required. Parent or guardian must be a resident of Madison County or a Limestone County resident living within the city limits of Madison or Huntsville, and must agree to be responsible for all items borrowed by the child(ren). Identification for the adult is required as detailed in the Resident section listed above.

Public Computer Use Only: Issued free for in-house computer use only, to residents ineligible for a full membership card or to non-residents who do not desire full privileges. Non-residents may upgrade to fully privileged status if membership criteria are met. Identification with correct name is required. Preferred information includes, but is not limited to, address, zip code, phone number and birthdate. A photo ID is not required for a computer use only card.

Card Limits

Adult Card - 30 items or $500 value of all items borrowed.
Young Readers Card - up to 30 books, 5 CDs, 10 DVDs, 5 audio books on CD, up to 30 videos, 5 cassette tapes.
Public Computer Use Only - No items may be borrowed with a Public Computer Use Only card.

Books

Check Out Period: Two (2) weeks, three (3) renewals, unless item is on hold.
May be returned to any Library within the Huntsville-Madison County System.
Reference: Reference books do not circulate.

Audio Visual Materials

Limit and Check Out Time:

  • Cassette Tapes - 5 for two weeks, three (3) renewals, unless item is on hold.
  • Music CDs - 10 for two weeks, three (3) renewals, unless item is on hold.
  • Digital Audiobooks - 10 for two weeks, three (3) renewals, unless item is on hold.
  • DVDs - 10 for one week, 1 renewal, no holds.
  • Audio Books on Compact Discs - 10 for two weeks, three (3) renewals, unless item is on hold.
  • Video Tapes - up to 30 for one week, no renewals.
  • Kits - 1 for two weeks, no renewals.
  • Playaway Views - One (1) per week, One (1) renewal, no holds. Must be returned to the library at which they were checked out.

Magazines

Check Out Period: Two (2) weeks, up to three (3) renewals, no holds.
May be returned to any library within the Huntsville-Madison County System.

Computer Software

Available for in-house use only.

Rental Collection (Book and AV Quick Picks)

Rental Fee: $2.00 per book, $1.00 per DVD

Check Out Periods:

  • Books - Two (2) weeks, no renewals, no holds.
  • DVDs - One (1) week, no renewals, no holds.

Holds

Holds are made for books, cassette tapes, compact discs, audio books on compact discs, video tapes and kits. Holds may not be placed on DVDs, book and DVD Quick Picks, or magazines. There is a 20 item holds limit that a patron may request at a time.

An item may not be renewed if a hold has been placed on it. An item with a hold will accrue overdue fines according to the established rate if not returned by the date due.

Materials are held for 5 days.

Subregional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Material for the blind and physically handicapped is circulated free to those who are certified eligible by rules established by an Act of Congress.

Microfilm Readers

Microfilm Readers in the Huntsville Heritage Room

In order to serve the largest number of people in the most equitable manner, it is necessary to set up rules governing the use of the microfilm readers.

  1. If there are people waiting to use the readers, each person will be limited to one (1) hour.
  2. Persons waiting to use the readers will sign up at the librarian's desk, and will be granted a turn in the order of their arrival.
  3. After a patron has relinquished a reader he may sign up for another turn after everyone waiting has had his turn.
  4. If no one is waiting the patron may, of course, use the reader as long as he wants to.
Privacy Policy

In accordance with state law, employees of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library shall maintain confidentiality concerning library use by any individual patron, including registration and circulation records of that patron and information concerning the use of the Library by that patron. Consequently, employees should not make registration and circulation records open for inspection except as provided by Section 41-8-10 of the Code of Alabama, 1975. Employees may permit inspection of registration and circulation records of a minor child to the parent of the minor child. Any comment or release of information to the public should be made only upon approval from the Director.

Proctoring of Examinations

The Main Library provides a test proctoring service by advance appointment. It is the responsibility of the test-taker and the institution requesting the proctoring of a test to verify before sending the exam that the guidelines and conditions presented here are acceptable to the institution giving the test. No personal information about Library staff will be released to an institution requesting the proctoring of a test.

Cost is $15 for the first hour of any test; $10 each additional hour. Payment by cash, check, or credit card must be made at the time of application for proctoring services. Fees are non-refundable; no shows must reschedule.

For a list of designated times for proctoring, please visit www.hmcpl.org as times may change seasonally.

The Library staff cannot interpret test instructions for the student nor assist in any technical manner with an online test. Test-takers are responsible for supplying all materials, including paper, pencils, calculators, and audio equipment such as headphones. Library staff cannot sign a proctoring verification that attests to more than they are able to do. Tests must be completed one half hour before the Library closes.

The Library will not proctor any GED testing. These requests will be referred to the Calhoun Community College Adult Education Program.

Tests that are not available online must be sent to the library by U.S. Postal Service only. Tests must include a postage paid return envelope. The test will be held at the Main Library for 30 days. When the test is completed it will be sent by U.S. Postal Service on the next business day. A test will not be accepted if returned by fax.

Appointments to take examinations must be scheduled at least one week in advance during Main Library hours. Reservations may be made at the Reference and Adult Services Department of the Main Library, with payment due at the time of reservation. The test-taker is responsible for notifying the Library staff at the time of reservation of the length of the test. No appointments will be scheduled until the application is complete.

Before taking the exam, the student will be required to present a valid government-issued or student picture I.D.

Computerized tests can be accommodated at the Reference and Adult Services Department as long as test takers understand that there will be some degree of noise and activity surrounding them. The Library will provide a computer that has Microsoft Word and Internet access. Installation of any special software that may be needed to complete the examination on a Library computer is not allowed. If more than 60 minutes are required, the staff may extend the time limit of the public PC workstation to accommodate the exam at the beginning of the session. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure in advance of the test date that the computing resources are adequate for their testing requirements and that the Library computer can access the test site’s URL.

The Library reserves the right to cancel of change the date of any proctored test. Examples of reasons for cancelling or rescheduling a test may include inclement weather, computer malfunction, building evacuation, etc. The Library will provide for a make-up test in the event of test cancellation due to inclement weather or other circumstances.

The Library is not responsible for interruptions of the testing process, such as the building losing power or the internet connection.

 

Fees

  • $15 for the first hour of any test; $10 each additional hour.

 

Application

 

 

Approved Date: 8/4/12

Updated: 11/7/12

Public Records Access

Purpose

To define responsibilities and procedures for handling outside request for information regarding employees, Board minutes, library policies and/or records.

 

Procedure

  1. Individual contacts Huntsville-Madison County Public Library requesting access to information regarding employees, Board minutes, library policies and/or records.
  2. Director of Human Resources is hereby designated as the officer of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library that is to receive all requests from any individual that may request public information of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.
  3. The Director of Human Resources will furnish the approved form, as attached hereto, and request that Requester complete all portions of the form, together with signature.
  4. The Director of Human Resources will have the authority to determine whether the requested information should be provided, taking into consideration privacy, security, critical infrastructure, reasons for request (including whether request is speculative or out of mere curiosity), and whether such requests will unduly interfere or hinder the discharge of duties and operations of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.
  5. The Director of Human Resources will determine within a reasonable time as to:
    1. Whether the information or any portions thereof will be furnished.
    2. The reasonable cost of compiling, preparing and copying the requested materials.
  6. The Director of Human Resources, or his designated representative, will reply, in writing, as to whether the information or records requested will or will not be made available, and if records and materials will be made available, will inform the Requester of the reasonable cost of compiling, preparing and copying the information as requested. Requester will be informed that, prior to the information being furnished, the cost, if any, are required to be paid. If the costs are required to be paid in advance, and if payment is other than cash or bank check, then funds will be required to be cleared before records and information are copied, produced or otherwise assimilated.
  7. If the Requester desires merely to inspect records, the Director of Human Resources shall designate a time and place during business hours to examine the records.  At the time of viewing and inspecting, employees of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library shall be present.
  8. If the information consists of copying, compiling and preparing records, then after payment of costs, the records or information will be furnished to Requester at a time and place designated by the Director of Human Resources.
  9. Any questions concerning the time, manner and place of providing documents under this policy shall be directed to the Director of Human Resources.

 

 

HUNTSVILLE-MADISON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION FORM

Please Print

 

 

Date of Request: __________________________________________________

 

Name of Person making request: _____________________________________

 

Address/Telephone Number: _________________________________________

 

Information Requested (please be specific):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purpose of Request (what the information will be used for):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signature: ________________________________________________________

Reconsideration of Materials

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library supports intellectual freedom and subscribes to the principles of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, Libraries: An American Value and its statements on Freedom To Read and Freedom To View. The Library makes an effort to represent all sides and viewpoints of controversial issues and does not endorse particular beliefs or views. The selection of an item does not express or imply approval or disapproval of the contents. Library materials will not be sequestered except for the purposes of staff use or for protecting them from theft or damage.

Comments from members of the community frequently provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the Library. The Library welcomes the expression of opinion by patrons on the collection as a whole, parts of the collection or individual items. While a patron may personally object to certain materials in the Library collection, he/she may not restrict access to those materials by other library users. Censorship of library materials must be challenged by the Library in maintenance of its responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment through the material.

If a patron objects to material owned by the Library, he/she may complete a Request for Reconsideration Form for submission to the Executive Director. The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Madison County and hold a valid borrower's card.

The following procedure will be followed when a Request for Reconsideration is submitted:

  • The Executive Director will appoint a staff committee to study the request and determine if the material meets the Library's selection criteria. The committee will prepare a written recommendation of its findings.
  • The Executive Director will consider the committee's recommendation and will respond in writing to the person who submitted the request.
  • In the event the person who initiated the reconsideration request is not satisfied with the decision of the Executive Director, he/she may request in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision that the matter be forwarded to the Board for final review.
  • The Executive Director will present the reconsideration request to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Based on the information presented, the Board will make a final determination of the matter.
  • The Executive Director will send a written response detailing the Board's decision to the person who submitted the request.

The decision on reconsideration of a specific title will remain in effect for three years.

During the review process the Library will take appropriate action to insure that the item will continue to be available to the public.

Approved Date: 4/15/09

RFID Materials Security System

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library utilizes a radio frequency identification (RFID) system in some Library locations to protect the collection of materials and to provide self-check options to customers.

THIS SYSTEM WILL PROTECT THE COLLECTION AGAINST UNAUTHORIZED REMOVALS, ENABLE THE CIRCULATION SYSTEM TO WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY, AND PROVIDE BETTER LIBRARY SERVICE FOR ALL USERS.

The public is expected to enter and leave the Library through the designated entrance and exit gates. The system monitors through bags, briefcases and clothing so there is no need to display parcels, briefcases, etc. for examination before leaving. Personal books and objects will not set off the alarm.

This system will not affect film, data storage devices or any personal objects. There is no danger to health devices such as pacemakers.

Library staff will be glad to answer any questions about the RFID system.

Rules of Conduct

The Library has a right to maintain each of its facilities in a clean, pleasant and safe manner.  Every individual has the right to use the Library undisturbed and every Library employee has the right to work without undue interference.  All Library users and employees should be free of any threat of harm, invasion of property, or gross indignity.  It is impractical to address every behavioral situation that may occur in the Library.  Library employees have the responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the Library whenever the rules do not specifically cover certain situations.

 

Disruptive conduct including but not restricted to the following is prohibited:

  1. Behavior that unreasonably disturbs others or interferes with Library operations and services including but not limited to:
    • Speaking in a loud voice
    • Playing any audio equipment or device that can be heard by others
    • Running, horseplay or fighting
  2. Behavior that annoys, harasses or threatens another person, including but not restricted to the following:
    • Conveying threats of any kind of physical force or harm
    • Using obscene, abusive or racially charged language
    • Engaging in sexual misconduct
    • Stalking, staring or invading personal space
  3. Being under the influence of or in possession of any intoxicating drug or alcoholic substance on Library grounds
  4. Sleeping in, or using as sleeping quarters (Code of the City of Huntsville 1982)
  5. Drinking uncovered beverages in the Library
  6. Smoking inside the Library building or outside any designated and posted areas on Library premises
  7. Defacing, destroying or tampering with Library property or equipment
  8. Soliciting funds, panhandling, gambling, selling, advertising or petitioning for contributions or support
  9. Using restrooms to bathe, shave, or change clothes where it unreasonably interferes with other patrons use or staff use of the restroom, or involves willful and lewd exposure in violation of ordinances and state law (It is not a violation of this rule for a woman to breastfeed an infant or a person to change a child’s diaper.)
  10. Interfering with patrons use of the Library through poor personal hygiene
  11. Failing to wear shirts or shoes
  12. Entering the Library with animals or vehicles, except as required by persons with disabilities
  13. Leaving unattended persons in the Library who seek or need personal assistance for other than Library related services, and where staff has a reasonable basis to be concerned for the safety of the unattended person (Examples may include persons less than 10 years of age or persons needing supervision because of physical or mental conditions.)
  14. Failing to observe Internet use guidelines and policy
  15. Entering the Library with any firearm, knife or other weapon with the potential for causing bodily harm or reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to employees or patrons
  16. Violating any City Ordinance or State Statute while on Library property or grounds.

 

The Library reserves the right to search bags, briefcases, etc. for Library materials not properly checked out.

Each person is expected to take full responsibility for his/her personal property.  The Library is not responsible for personal belongings in the Library or on Library property.

Parents may be notified of incidents involving minor children (under the age of 19) that occur in the Library or on Library property.  Parents may request a copy of the security report.  Minors who are repeat offenders may be denied access to the Library.

Anyone violating these rules is first warned by Library security or the supervisor in charge of the Library at the time of the offense.  If the conduct continues the offender will be ordered to leave the premises.  Staff members or security officers at their discretion will expel patrons without a warning in situations of serious, threatening, or willfully malicious behavior.  Failure to observe these rules may lead to revocation of Library privileges, including the right to visit the buildings and grounds.  Anyone wishing to appeal their exclusion may submit an appeal in writing to the Executive Director.  Repeat offenders or persons ordered from the premises who do not comply may be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing

 

 

Approved Date: 7/15/09

Revised Date: 8/17/11

Tutoring

The Library is available to the public for the reading and enjoyment of library materials and to support the research and educational needs of its patrons. As part of this educational purpose, the Library permits tutoring on the premises in accordance with this policy.

Any individual or business that requires a business license to operate cannot conduct paid tutoring sessions at any location of the Library. All tutoring that takes place in the Main Library or the Branch Libraries, whether by an individual or a business, must be free of charge.

The Library does not sponsor, recommend, or assume liability or responsibility for the work and/or activities of tutors who use Library space. Tutors may not publish or distribute advertisement or letters identifying the Library as their place of doing business or imply Library sponsorship of their activities.

Depending upon the Library location, meeting room space may be available for use by tutors who are not charging for their services. Each location will determine the best use of its meeting room(s) as well as the appropriateness and availability of these rooms for tutoring sessions.

Tutoring in accordance with this policy is allowed in open study and reading areas if such activity does not disturb staff or Library users. Tutors and their students must comply with all rules, guidelines and procedures governing behavior in the Library.

Approved Date: 4/15/09

Video Game Collection Policy and Procedure

Collection Development Policy for Video Games

The library is pleased to offer video games to our patrons to be circulated from the Audio-Visual Department of the Main Library.  This collection will help serve the community's information and entertainment needs.

  • Games will be carried in formats to accommodate a variety of consoles.
  • We are currently collecting games that have the following ESRB ratings:
  • EC (Early Childhood),
  • E (Everyone),
  • E10+ (Everyone 10 and older),
  •  T (Teen),
  •  M (Mature).

The collection does not contain games with a rating of AO (Adults Only).  All materials in the collection were selected based on ratings and feedback from the community.  We welcome suggestions for items we do not have, and are open to the possibility of expanding the collection in the future.

Policies

Games may be checked out for7 days with an adult library card only.  Borrowers will be asked to sign an agreement regarding the loss or damage of a game and the replacement cost will be assessed at retail value.

Users are limited to one game per week. 

No holds or renewals shall be allowed. 

Games must be checked out and returned to the Main Library Audio-Visual desk to insure that the game is returned undamaged, so that you are not charged a replacement fee.

Overdue fines for video games are $1.50 a day with a maximum fine of $30.00.

Late fee of $1.50/item per day for each video game applies if these items are not returned by closing time on their due date.

Customers under the age of 16 must have parents check out video games.  A parent or guardian must authorize use of video games. Parental permission includes any signature that we currently accept for obtaining a library card, for example grandparents, caregivers, etc.

Borrowing Rules and Fees for Video Games

  • Patrons may borrow a maximum of one video game per week.
  • The Circulation Fee for All Games is $4.00/game
  • Loan Period: All games circulate for 7 days
  • Adults (16 and over) may borrow games from the entire collection.
  • Overdue Fines:  $1.50/day ($30.00 maximum)

Late fees will apply if the items are returned to any location other than the Main Library and if they are deposited in the book return.  All games must be returned to the Audio Visual department desk of the Main Library and given to a library worker, (915 Monroe St.  Huntsville, AL. 35801)

There will be no Branch Run on Video Games.

Game Collection Development

Presently, approximately 70 games for four platforms are own by the library.  We ARE accepting donations.  If you have older games which might work on (Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, or any other current gaming platform) and which are in good shape, contact Breneidra Johnson (256-532-5948) to discuss donations.

We're also interested in learning what additional games we should purchase when funds allow. If you have suggestions, please visit the libraries' materials request form on our website to recommend a game.

 

Upon initiation of the circulation of games, all games will be circulated for a fee of $4.00.