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)

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

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.


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.


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.

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 Collection Policy

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) offers an online collection of digitized photographs related to the history of Huntsville and Madison County. This collection is intended for public access. Images and other material from the collection may not be reproduced without permission from HMCPL. It is the responsibility of the user to provide accurate attribution to HMCPL. Some of the material may be copyright protected. Proper credit must be given to the creator if known. The preferred citation is as follows: Courtesy of HMCPL Special Collections: http://digitalarchives.hmcpl.org/. Please refer to the ‘Consent for Usage of Materials from HMCPL Special Collections’ form.

HMCPL is not responsible for the improper or illegal use of any copies of materials from its collections.  It is the user’s responsibility to guard against the infringements of rights that may be held by others and for clearing reproduction rights and copyright restrictions.  HMCPL does not claim to control copyright of all of the pictorial, textual, audio or video materials in its collections.  Special Collections staff will provide such information as the library has, as a service to aid patrons in determining appropriate use of an item.  However, that determination ultimately rests with the patron.  HMCPL provides these materials for non-profit, educational, personal or scholarly purposes.  Transmission or reproductions of protected items beyond that allowed by “fair use,” as defined by courts of competent jurisdiction, requires the written permission of the copyright holders. 

HMCPL gives no exclusive rights for the use of its material.  Permission is granted for a one-time use only.  Any subsequent use of an image requires another written permission of the Library and any other copyright holders. 

HMCPL does not allow its images to be used out of context or modified in any way that affects the historical integrity of the image.

The nature of historical, archival and manuscript collections often make it difficult to determine the exact copyright status of an item. Whenever possible, HMCPL provides all known information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the information or metadata associated with digital items. HMCPL provides this information to assist users in determining the copyright status of an item. Ultimately, it is the user’s responsibility to use material according to the terms governing its use.

Although HMCPL attempts to provide thorough descriptive information for each item digitized to assist users in determining the historical importance and cultural context of an item, on occasion it has incomplete information about authors, publishers or other persons associated with the materials in its collection. HMCPL welcomes any comments from anyone who may have additional information about any of the items in the collection, especially copyright owners who are not properly identified, so that appropriate information may be provided to researchers and teachers in the future.


Collections Disclaimer

This material may be protected under U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized materials for private study, scholarship or research. Though HMCPL has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.

For questions concerning copyright information or permission to use HMCPL Special Collections materials please send an e-mail to hhrdept@hmcpl.org.


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.


  1. Digital video security cameras are installed in selected indoor and outdoor locations at the Main Library.
  2. A sign will be posted at Library entrance informing the public that security cameras are in use.
  3. Selected staff will have access to the real time monitors, although activity is only randomly monitored.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Selected digital video may be saved for as long as required


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

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

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.

Issuing a library card requires proof of residency as per Huntsville-Madison County Public Library policy.  However, to better serve our community, HMCPL is partnering with local missions and shelters to make allowance for exceptions to this policy.  Huntsville residents who do not have permanent addresses or are temporarily displaced may be issued a library card if they meet the following criteria that are supported by these local missions or shelters:

  • First Stop – clients of First Stop may show proof of residency by bringing in a letter provided to them by First Stop administration.  The letter must be current (no older than 2 weeks).
  • Breaking Free Rescue Mission – residents of Breaking Free Rescue Mission may show proof of residency by bringing in a letter provided to them by Breaking Free Rescue Mission administration.  The letter must be current (no older than 2 weeks).
  • Salvation Army – residence of the Salvation Army may bring in a proof of residency letter provided by the Salvation Army administration.  The letter must be current (no older than 2 weeks).  Or, library staff may call Kevin Free @ 256-536-0442 to provide phone verification of residency.  If unavailable to be reached by phone, the patron will have to wait for verification at another time by either letter or phone.
  • Downtown Rescue Mission – residence of the Downtown Rescue Mission may bring in a proof of residency letter provided by the Downtown Rescue Mission administration.  The letter must be current (no older than 2 weeks).  Or, library staff may call Dr. Kerry Walker @ 256-536-2441 to provide phone verification of residency.  If unavailable to be reached by phone, the patron will have to wait for verification at another time by either letter or phone.

Filming and photography is allowed at the 12 locations of the Huntsville Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) as described below only to the extent that it does not interfere with the delivery of library services and is consistent with the Library's mission. All parties involved in filming and photography are expected to follow the Library Policies.


Persons filming or photographing on library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases. Library staff may terminate any photo/video session that violates Library policies or appears to compromise public safety or security.


Library Sponsored Programs

Classes or events sponsored by the HMCPL may be photographed or video-recorded by the Library’s staff or its representatives. Attendance at an HMCPL-sponsored class or event constitutes the consent of all attendees, and the consent of the parents or legal guardians of any minor children in attendance, to the future broadcast, publication, or other use of photographs or videos at the sole discretion of the Huntsville Madison County Public Library.


Amateur Photography

Casual amateur photography and videotaping is permitted in public areas of library facilities for customers and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit. The use of additional equipment such as lighting and tripods is not permitted. Amateur photographers have explicit responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed.


News Media Photography

The Library has an open door policy for news media photographers and reporters who are doing stories or projects that directly involve the Library and its programs, resources and services. Advance authorization for such coverage must be obtained from the 

Library's Director of Public Relations and/or Executive Director.


Documentary-Type Photography for Publication or Broadcast

No photography or filming intended for broadcast or publication may occur in Library facilities without the prior written permission and approval of the Director of Public Relations and/or the Executive Director. Such approval shall contain the conditions under which the photography or filming will take place, and address the rights to ownership of the photos/films.


Photography for Groups and Non-Library Events in Meeting Rooms

Groups renting Library facilities may arrange for photographers and news media during their event. Filming and photography for such events is restricted to the space reserved by the group and may not take place in other areas of the Library.


All Other Requests

All other individuals, nonprofits or commercial entities interested in taking video or photographs in the Library must contact the Director of Public Relations for more information. Proof of insurance and other requirements will be necessary.


This policy is not intended to prohibit photography and filming at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library, but to prevent the disruption of library services.



$.25 per day - $10.00 maximum per book

Paperbacks/Board Books:

$.25 per day - $2.00 maximum per paperback


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

Music CDs:

$.25 per day - $10.00 maximum per disc


$.25 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


$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


$.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.


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




50¢ each

Public Computer Printouts (except online computer citations)

$.15 per copy


$.15 per copy

Color Photocopies (Main branch only)

$.25 per copy

Microfilm Printer Copies

$.20 per copy



Lost Library Card

$2.00 for replacement of lost card

Lost Booklets, Brochures, etc.


Broken Locked DVD Case


Lost or Damaged Audio Book Case


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.

Donations can be made online.


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.


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@hmcpl.org.

Approved Date: 12/16/09

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

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


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.


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.

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. 

Event spaces, study, conference or meeting rooms, and makerspace equipment 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.

Individuals or Organizations are invited to reserve our event spaces, study, conference or meeting rooms, and makerspace equipment for their own use provided they abide by these policies.

General Rules

  1. Groups and individuals must agree to these policies during the reservation process.
  2. A free library card is required for any group or individual who would like to use our  rooms or equipment. Visit https://hmcpl.org/getting-started for more information.
  3. No illegal activities are allowed: Rooms or equipment may not be used for purposes prohibited by City, County, State, or Federal law. Please refer to our Library Code of Conduct.
  4. The rooms and equipment will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  5. The larger capacity rooms require a security deposit in addition to any relevant fees.
  6. Parties, receptions and celebrations and other private events are fee-based and may be booked by Groups or Individuals 18 or over.
  7. All meetings must be open to the general public if not paying a fee to use the room privately.
  8. Library staff may enter the meeting room at any time during a scheduled meeting.
  9. The fact that a group is permitted to meet at the Library does NOT, in any way, constitute an endorsement of the group's policies or beliefs.
  10. Alcohol may be served at booked events at some locations. Rules do apply.

Eligible Users

In addition to library programming, the rooms are available to Individuals, Profit, Non-Profit, Government or Educational organizations.

The following types of organizations and individuals are eligible and classified for the purpose of establishing room rental fees:

  • Patron (No Organization): A civic, educational, or cultural group or individual that does not hold a 501(c)(3)  status or other documentation and is not a for-profit sole-proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
  • For Profit Groups: A sole-proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation.
  • Non-Profit Groups: An IRS recognized non-profit entity that can provide proof of 501(c)(3) status or other written documentation of non-profit status. Organizational bylaws or charters may be submitted as evidence of non-profit status pending an application to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status.
  • Governmental or Educational: A group sponsored by a city, county, state or federal agency. Emails associated with the primary contact must have a .gov, .edu or official email of the educational institution.

Friends of the Library or Library Foundation events are considered Library sponsored events and may be entered by library staff.

Room Use

Acceptable Use

  • The Library reserves the right to enforce fire codes, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, noise limitations or any other rule approved by the Library Board. Fire codes establish maximum capacity for each room.  Groups are responsible for ensuring attendance at meetings does not exceed capacity or prohibit accessibility. Exceeding capacity, disregarding ADA or noise complaints can cause the room to be forfeited.
  • Food and beverages may be served inside the larger community rooms.

Unacceptable Use

  • Violation of any library policy or of our Code of Conduct.
  • Library staff will not accept calls or relay messages to people attending meetings except in emergencies.
  • Political campaign events for one candidate or candidates of one political party. Any campaign event held at the Library must extend invitations to all the candidates qualifying for an election. The Library must be given proof that all candidates were extended an invitation for the event.
  • Paid tutoring sessions.
  • Candles and other open flames are prohibited.
  • Signs, decorations, or other objects are not to be taped or attached to walls, doors, windows, or columns in any permanent or damaging manner.
  • No equipment is to be removed from the meeting rooms and furniture from other areas may not be brought into the meeting room. Groups using the rooms are responsible for reimbursing the library for any damage to library furniture or equipment.
  • Excessive noise or disruption to the functions of the Library is not permitted. Music and noise must be kept to a reasonable level.
  • Children must be supervised at all times. The library is not responsible for children left unattended while their parent or guardian is in a meeting at the library


Reservations should be made in the Online Room Reservation System at http://hmcpl.org/reserve. Appointments for training on how to use the online reservation system are available by emailing reservations@hmcpl.org.

Groups or Individuals must not assume that library personnel have made or will make room bookings for any event.

Rooms and equipment users must have their reservations in their own name and Library account.

The Library assumes no responsibility for personal injuries, thefts, damages, or losses of private property while using Library meeting rooms or makerspaces. Groups using the meeting rooms shall hold harmless, indemnify and defend the Library from any claims involving use of the meeting rooms or makerspaces, including, but not limited to, claims for personal injuries, thefts, damages, or loss of private property. Such groups assume liability for any such claims, including claims for damages to the Library property.  Storage space and porter services are not available.

Proof of liability insurance may be required.

Room Availability

Nearest Booking

The nearest booking available for Event Spaces and Meeting Rooms is seven days. Makerspaces maybe booked in three days.  Study rooms are available immediately.

Furthest Booking

Event Spaces and Meeting Rooms may be booked six months in advance. For larger events that require planning prior to 6 months, please call the branch in which you are interested. Makerspaces and Study Rooms may be booked 32 days in advance.

Number of Bookings

Those using Meeting Rooms and Event Spaces are limited to six reservations in six months.  Those using Study rooms and Makerspaces reservations are limited to one per day.

Fee-Based Meeting Room Additions

Fee-Based additions are available at some locations and based on room capacity. Individuals and all types of organizations must pay for the following options:

  1. Hourly Fees, based on room capacities, are mandated for some rooms when used by For-Profit Organizations or Individual Patrons.
  2. After hours use is allowed at select locations on a case by case basis. Groups using Library space after closing are required to use and pay all Library contracted security and cleaning costs that are included in the After Hours Use fee.
  3. Alcohol may be served under the following guidelines and conditions at select locations. Groups or individuals who have booked select rooms in the library may serve alcohol during their events provided the Alcohol Fee has been added to the reservation and paid in advance. Alcoholic beverages may not be sold by groups renting the rooms. Library sponsored events may serve alcohol outside of regular library hours in the Library.
    1. The caterer for the event must hold the necessary local and state alcohol licenses and abide by all local and state laws pertaining to the service of alcoholic beverages.
    2. The room requestor must provide ATF Certified bartender. The Alcohol Fee does not cover the payment to the Bartender and the requestor will pay the bartender directly.
    3. The room requester is fully responsible for the alcohol consumption of guests and their behavior.
    4. Alcohol can only be served in the room reserved for use.
  4. Audio/visual equipment or room set-up is available at some locations.
  5. Some locations may offer room setups as a fee-based option; otherwise users are responsible for setting up the room according to their own needs. Reservations must allow time for the setup and cleanup of the room during the Library's regular hours and during their reservation time. Cleanup must be completed at least five minutes before the Library closes. Users will automatically be billed $10 for every five minutes past closing.
  6. Ticketed or private events, (events not open to the public) are fee based and require selection and payment of the Ticketed or Private Event option in the reservation.
  7. Merchandise sales, (including fundraisers, or any activity generating revenue, regardless of whether goods or services are sold at the meeting) requires selection and payment of the Merchandise Sales event option in the reservation process.  Professional services are not to be conducted in the Library.  If applicable, groups must obtain a sales tax license and comply with all applicable City and State laws.

Security Deposits

Some rooms require a security deposit. The security deposit will be refunded approximately two weeks after the event in the form of a check sent via USPS provided the meeting facility is found to be in satisfactory condition following the event using a condition checklist. If the facility is found to be in unsatisfactory condition, the deposit will be forfeited. Unsatisfactory conditions include, but are not limited to: stains, gum, and/or burns on the carpet; damaged walls or ceiling tiles; broken furniture and/or appliances.


Library Cancellations

In the event that HMCPL must close due to unforeseen equipment failure or a weather-related emergency, all efforts will be made to notify organizations scheduled to use the rooms.  Any notice of closing will be posted at http://hmcpl.org.

When a severe or inclement weather warning is issued, the library staff will follow set procedures. All persons in the building must comply with procedures.

If one-time events in the meeting rooms are canceled due to inclement weather, events will be rescheduled for another date or a full refund will be provided.

If any regularly scheduled meeting is canceled due to the Library closing for inclement weather, the group will be given an opportunity to reschedule its meeting or a credit will be applied to its next event’s fees.

Should there be a scheduling conflict, library sponsored events will have priority. The Library will attempt to inform any group using the meeting room as early as possible. The use of the meeting rooms must not interfere with the use of the Library by others.

The library reserves the right to relocate a group within the library if circumstances warrant.

Patron Cancellations

In order to cancel, reschedule or transfer a fee-based reservation, users must inform the Library seven days in advance of the scheduled meeting. Users are able to cancel their reservations online. If these conditions are not met, the fee and deposit will be forfeited. If eligible for a refund, credit card processing fees will be deducted. Study Room reservations not claimed will be cancelled after 30 minutes in order to make the room available for other users.

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 or individuals for the following reasons:

  • Library sponsored programs and events take precedence over meeting room use by outside organizations unless they are paying fees. If cancellation of a scheduled program is necessary, notice will be given as soon as reasonably possible.
  • The group or individual has perpetrated previous damage, violated a rule or has misrepresented the purpose of the organization or meeting or makerspace use to be held at the Library.
  • The group or individual reserved the space but was not present at the time of the event.
  • Fees were not paid seven days after approval of the event.
  • Audiovisual equipment was not returned after the event.

Audio/Visual Equipment Use

Many of our meeting rooms have Audio/Visual (A/V) equipment available for rent.

Audio/Visual Equipment Reservations 

Reservations for the A/V Equipment should be made via the online room reservation system found at http://hmcpl.org/reserve under Additional Resources for the requested room. Changes to the A/V rental reservation should be requested no less than seven days prior to the event.

Requests for use of the A/V Equipment for children or teens must be sponsored and signed by an adult who will assume full responsibility.

Permission to use the A/V Equipment is revocable and does not constitute a lease.

The A/V Equipment may be used only at the branch and meeting room in which it originates. As such, all restrictions on use of the meeting room policies also apply.

Organizations must provide one person to be responsible for use of the A/V Equipment during each scheduled event. This person must contact an A/V Staff Member at least one (1) week prior to the date of use to make an appointment to learn how to set up, operate and stow the A/V Equipment. The appointment time will be set at the discretion of the A/V Staff Member and must be prior to the reserved time to use the A/V Equipment. HMCPL personnel are not available to assist with the A/V Equipment during its use unless a formal request for technical support has been made in advance and the associated fees are paid. Additional fees will be charged if a staff member is needed to run A/V Equipment without prior arrangement.

Set up and take down of the A/V Equipment must take place within the time allotted for the meeting.

Eligibility for Audio/Visual Equipment Use

A/V equipment in our meeting rooms and all equipment will be “checked out” to the organization or individual Library Card used to create the reservation. 

The user is responsible for all A/V equipment borrowed against that Library Card. Only one email address can be associated with the account, however multiple authorized users may be listed on a group account.  The  card holder will be responsible for all fees and fines incurred on this card. All regulations of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library apply to the Library Card.  The Library may require proof that any public audiovisual presentation is not in conflict with the Children's Internet Protection Act and copyright laws.

The equipment must be “checked in”  and returned in the same condition in which it was found. The account holder is responsible for damages.

If the organization has a change of email, physical address or phone number, or the card is lost, the library must be notified immediately from the verified email account previously associated with the organization. Even if the library is not notified of changes, the organization will be responsible for all fees and fines incurred on this card.

Audio/Visual Cancellations, Denial of Application, Appeals

Any cancellation on the part of an applicant organization should be made at least seven days before the scheduled use date.

HMCPL reserves the right to cancel use of the A/V Equipment reservation in the event of unforeseen HMCPL demands.

HMCPL reserves the right to deny use of A/V Equipment to organizations that do not take proper care of the equipment, do not attend a lesson in A/V Equipment use, or are unable to use the equipment properly.

Denial of application may be appealed to the Huntsville Madison County Public Library Branch Manager or the Library Director by following the Huntsville Madison County Public Library Patron Appeal Process.

Internet Access

Wireless Internet access is available in the meeting rooms.

Hours Available

The meeting rooms are available during the Library's regular operating hours and after hours at some locations.

Event Promotion

The Library will not advertise meeting room bookings with the exception of Library-sponsored events. Flyers for events may only be posted on the community bulletin board in library buildings.

The name or address of the library is not to be used in handouts or advertising of any kind except as a source of location. No group may use the library as a mailing address. Groups may not use the library’s phone number as a contact for program information. The library may not be listed as a sponsor of an event without prior approval from the Branch Manager or Library Director.

Waiver of Applicable Regulations

The Library Director may authorize exceptions from specific regulations and fees of this policy for HMCPL and its programs, for the Friends of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Learning QUEST, organizations with which the Library has an MOU or MOA, Boards and Agencies of Huntsville, local governments within Madison County, Madison County Government, or for the State of Alabama. The Library Board reserves the right to amend any regulations without prior notice.

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.


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 - 10 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.


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 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 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.

Naming Policy

It is the policy of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library to identify libraries by the geographic location or neighborhoods served, rather than by named individuals. This will improve participation in and accessibility to the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library by the general public. Under rare and extraordinary circumstances, the Board of Directors of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, in its sole and absolute discretion, may choose to honor an individual for his or her lifetime contributions to the library system by adding the name of such individual to the geographic branch name.

The Board will consider the following factors in making such a naming decision:

  • The person considered must be deceased for at least one year before being considered for a library facility name. This restriction permits the Library Board to evaluate the lifetime contributions and accomplishments of the proposed honoree and protects from making decisions in reaction to transitory or emotional considerations.
  • The proposed honoree is associated with a myriad of services and has dedicated a substantial amount of energy, time, resources, leadership and/or volunteer service to improve and benefit the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library system or the library facility in question. The depth and breadth of the contributions must be obvious and compelling and must reflect a dedication and beneficence to the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library over a great span of time.
  • There must be a strong consensus among library users and residents of the surrounding neighborhood to add the name of the proposed honoree to the library facility in question.
  • The proposed honoree should reflect the spirit of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library’s mission of free and equal access to information for all.
  • The new name should not carry the banner of a transitory cause, no matter how worthy, but rather, reflect the tradition and stability of the Library as an institution. The public’s interest must be served by approving the proposed name.
  • Any such action shall be in accordance with federal, state and local law.

In summary, adding the name of a person to a library facility is reserved for the rare individual whose dedication and service to the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library system is extraordinary, unique and of the highest quality. The Library Board has sole authority and discretion on naming branches and facilities in its system.


Procedures for evaluating facility naming proposals

  1. Any member of the Library Board of Directors or member of the public may propose a name to be added to the geographic name of a library facility. This request shall be submitted in writing to the Library Board of Directors and shall provide supporting documentation, using the factors set forth above, demonstrating the qualifications of the proposed honoree to receive such an honor.
  2. If the naming proposal appears to meet the factors set forth above, the Chair of the Library Board of Directors shall place the proposal on the Library Board agenda for general discussion and for public comment at one or more regular or special meetings of the Library Board of Directors.
  3. Upon approval of the Board of Directors to proceed, the Board Chair shall schedule a meeting in the branch library facility or elsewhere in the neighborhood served by such facility to obtain direct testimony from members of the public living in the neighborhood of the facility.
  4. At any time after giving proponents of the name addition and the public an opportunity to be heard, after obtaining testimony from residents and patrons, and upon proper notice, the Library Board of Directors shall call for a vote on the issue.
  5. The affirmative vote by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Library Board shall, in its sole and absolute discretion, be required to approve the addition of a person’s name to a library facility.
  6. The Library Board shall, either at the time it approves the addition of an honorific name or in a subsequent meeting, designate the method of display of the name addition. The manner of such display may, in the discretion of the Board, be by exterior building signage, interior plaque, or any other means appropriate to the specific site. The Library Board may choose to assign any cost related to the name change to the proposing party.


Naming of Interior Spaces

Other naming opportunities are available within new buildings or existing buildings undergoing significant renovation and expansion. These opportunities may be identified by the Library Director in consultation with the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Foundation or the Library Board and may include such areas as meeting rooms, auditoriums, reading lounges, special use areas, collections, equipment, gardens and green spaces or other interior and exterior spaces. All naming opportunities shall be subject to Library Board approval.

  • Naming opportunities are available for individuals, families, foundations, and corporations making a significant contribution to the project.
  • The Library Director, in consultation with the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Foundation, shall be responsible for determining the manner in which the name is recognized (e.g., signage).
  • A list of the interior naming opportunities and costs shall be submitted to the Library Board for approval.
  • The Library Board must approve the name chosen by prospective donors to ensure that it reflects the tradition of the Library as an institution and that it will maintain the credibility of the Library with the general public. 


Name Recognition of Endowment Funds

The amount required for the Library Board to consider a named endowment shall initially be set at $25,000 but shall be reviewed from time to time by the Library Board. A named endowment may be requested by the donor or may be proposed by the Library Board. The request shall be evaluated by the Library Board for approval, in its sole discretion. The initial minimum investment of $25,000 must be funded within ninety (90) days, or the donated amounts will become part of the general library endowment.


Duration or removal of naming or name recognition

Naming rights in honor of an individual are generally expected to last for the useful life of the space or program; however, as determined in the sole discretion of the Library Board of Directors, the naming associated with a library facility, room, area, or collection shall end under the following circumstances:

  • A building, room, area, or collection is to be demolished.
  • A building, room, or area changes function to the extent that the purpose for the naming or name recognition is no longer relevant.
  • When extraordinary circumstances dictate, in the judgment of the Library Board, the name may be removed to preserve the overall credibility of the Library System. Such removal shall require a 2/3 majority vote of the Library Board. The Library Board shall notify the donor regarding the consideration to withdraw the name and provide a reasonable time, as determined at the sole discretion of the Library Board, to correct the deficiency. In the event the Board votes to remove the name, funds already collected shall not be returned to the donor.


In the case of pledged donations or deferred gifts, the naming agreement may take effect with the first payment, following approval by the Library Board. In the case of failure of the donor to uphold the agreement, the Library Board may withdraw the naming commitment





Approved 11-19-14

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.

The Main Branch of the Huntsville-Madison County Public 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 the 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.

The reservation fee is $15.00, which covers the first hour of any test.  There is a $10.00 per hour charge for each additional hour.  Payment by cash, check, or credit card must be made at the time of application for proctoring services which should be made at least 7 days prior to the actual testing date.  Fees are non-refundable; no-shows must reschedule.

Appointments to take examinations should be scheduled at least one week in advance during the Main Branch Library’s hours. Reservations may be made at the Information and Business Center on the 2nd floor of the Main Branch Library with payment due at the time of the 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.

The Main Branch Library proctors both written and online examinations. The proctoring facility provides access to a computer with Internet access and Microsoft 2010 programs. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure in advance of the testing date that the provided resources are adequate for their testing requirements.

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 either provided by the institution or by the student.  The test will be held at the Main Branch Library for 30 days. When the test is completed it will be sent to the U.S. Postal Service on the next business day. A test will be scanned and emailed or faxed if the institution allows.

Before taking the exam, the student will be required to present a valid government-issued or student picture I.D. and any other identification required by the school or institution.

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. 

The Main Branch Library proctors exams Monday-Thursday from 9:00am until 8:00pm and Friday from 9:00am until 4:00pm. There are no proctoring services provided on weekends.

The Library reserves the right to cancel or 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.


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




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



  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.





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: ________________________________________________________

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 ensure that the item will continue to be available to the public.

Approved Date: 4/15/09

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.


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.

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. Using any tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, inside the Library building or on the grounds
  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

Revised Date: 5/21/14

Revised Date: 10/15/14

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