Library Policies

Standard Registration Rules

  • An application must be completed for every person wishing to borrow materials from Shelby County Public Libraries.  Applications for minors who are younger than 18 must have a parent or legal guardian’s signature.  If the guardian is not in good standing a card cannot be issued to the minor.  If a minor has a card that is not in good standing, the guardian of the minor who signed the application is liable for any and all charges or damages.  If the guardian wishes to apply for a card the charges on the minor’s card must first be paid before the guardian may be issued a card.
  • Customers are responsible for materials checked out on their library cards. Parents are responsible for materials checked out on their children's cards. For this reason, the library restricts the use of a library card to only the person who applied for and signed for the card.
  • Identification is required for all customers before a card can be issued. A form of identification, which contains a photograph of the applicant, is preferred. A customer without a photo ID showing the correct address must provide two (2) forms of written address verification.
  • If an individual’s library card is lost, the customer must report the loss immediately. The customer is responsible for all activity relating to the lost card until the library has been notified and the card made invalid. When an individual's library card is lost, the customer must fill out another application form and pay a fee of $3.00 for a replacement card.  An individual can have only one library card at a time. A card which has been replaced is no longer valid and should be destroyed if later found. The Library encourages customers to make every attempt to locate lost cards before replacing them, as the replacement fee is not refundable even if the card is later found.

Standard Loan Rules

  • Customers must present an unexpired library card in good standing to check out library materials. Good standing is defined as: Non-permanently stopped cards with complete data and without long overdue items, without excessive fines/fees (over $10.00), and without noted problems restricting library privileges. Under certain extenuating circumstances, the library director or authorized staff at the library where a fee or fine is owed can make special arrangements to continue library privileges but must note such action in the note field of the patron’s record. Each member library director will determine if special arrangements to continue the library privileges made at another library will be honored at their library.
  • Disputes in fine payments must be resolved at the library where the problem originated.  Payment for lost or damaged materials must be made at the owning library. Undisputed payments for lost materials may be made at any library without first contacting the owning library.
  • Cost charged for lost or damaged items will be the cost of the items shown in the computer database.
  • If a patron finds and returns the materials for which they have paid the replacement costs, the owning library will reimburse the patron as defined by the owning library’s local replacement policy.  Each library must issue a receipt for lost material payments.  Reimbursement of payments for lost materials will only be made upon presentation of a valid receipt.
  • Books borrowed through Interlibrary Loan and lost by the patron will be dealt with as determined by the Interlibrary Loan Policy.  The replacement cost will be the amount listed in the bill issued by the owning library.
  • The ability to renew an individual item is dependent on the owning library's policy.   Items that are renewable can be renewed at the owning library, through the website, telephone renewal line, and/or at any member library.
  • The ability to place a hold on an individual item is dependent on the owning library's policy.  Items that are holdable can be reserved at the owning library, through the website and/or at any member library.

Suspension of Privileges

  • The library will find it necessary to suspend a customer's borrowing privileges after the customer has accrued a total of $10.00 worth of fines on his library record. A customer's record will be cleared and privileges reinstated upon payment of owed fines.  A customer's borrowing privileges will be suspended after he/she has received a bill for the non-return of one item borrowed from the library. A customer's record will be cleared and his privileges reinstated upon return of the item and payment of overdue fees or upon payment of cost of the item.
  • At the discretion of the library director a customer's borrowing privileges can be suspended for unacceptable behavior including but not limited to physical abuse of facilities or resources, physical or verbal abuse of staff, stealing, vandalism, computer agreement violations, and/or any criminal activities on library property.
  • Customers can be banned from one and/or all Shelby County public libraries following the completion of predetermined policies for banning abusive customers. These polices will be developed and approved by each individual member library’s board. Only library directors can start banning procedures against a customer

Confidentiality of Customer Records

  • All information retained in customer records is for the purpose of conducting daily library business. This information is confidential in nature and can not be given out to unauthorized individuals or for any other purpose that to carry out normal procedures of the library.  Any requests for patron records or circulation records generated by the Polaris Automated Circulation System must be presented to the director of the Harrison Regional Library.  The Director and the Board of the Harrison Regional Library in consultation with the Board’s attorney will determine the process in which information is released or information is refused.  Any request for information must be accompanied by a subpoena signed by a judge of a Shelby County court.

Fines and Bills

  • Materials are loaned by the library with the understanding that the borrower will return them in the same condition and by the due date established by the library. The owning library director shall have the discretion to determine if materials returned are in the same condition as when they were checked out.  If materials are returned later than the due date, overdue fines will be charged to the customer.
  • Fines and other outstanding charges will be brought to the customer's attention at the checkout desk.
  • As a courtesy, customers will be notified of overdue items by automated telephone notification and/or by mail. After a customer has received an overdue notice and if the item is not then returned, a bill may be sent for the cost of the lost item. Failure to receive telephone and/or mail notification does not negate the customer’s responsibility. Customers are encouraged to notify the library of changes in addresses, phone numbers, names, etc….
  • Overdue fines accrue daily or as defined in individual libraries' local policies.

Link to Shelby County Library System Website:
Link to Shelby County Library System Catalog:

Jane B. Holmes Public Library Unattended Child Policy

The Jane B. Holmes Public Library is a place that welcomes children and adults alike.  A collection of children’s materials is available as are numerous activities for children.  However, upon occasion children have been left unattended and unsupervised while at the library.  It is impossible for library staff to monitor the comings and goings of children as well as to recognize if a child leaves with an adult other than a family member or designated caregiver.  Due to a concern for, above all, the safety of children while on library premises, the Jane B. Holmes Public Library Board has drawn up the following to serve as rules and regulations in regard to children at the library.

  1. Children under the age of ten (10) are not to be left unattended and unsupervised while at the library under any circumstances.
  2. Children under the age of ten (10) may not be dropped off to attend a library program and picked up at a later time including, but not limited to, story hour, summer reading program, or any other program for children or otherwise.
  3. Children under the age of ten must be accompanied by a person aged sixteen (16) or older.  It is not acceptable for children under the age of ten (10) to be left at the library under the supervision of a sibling/person who is less than sixteen (16) years old.
  4. Children ten (10) years old or older may be left at the library as long as they exhibit appropriate library behavior.
  5. Inappropriate behavior includes but is not limited to loud talking, offensive comments directed at library staff or other patrons, interference with other library patrons’ use of the facility, running, misuse or abuse of library materials or equipment, and failure to observe courteous behavior to other library patrons.  If a child exhibits inappropriate behavior the parent of the child will be contacted to remove the child from the library.  Failure to follow appropriate library behavior will result in library staff instructing parents that their child may not be left unattended at the library even if the child is ten (10) years old or older.  Continued inappropriate behavior may result in a loss of library privileges.
  6. Children under the age of eighteen (18) may not be left alone at the library at closing time.
  7. If a child under the age of eighteen (18) is left at the library at closing time, at least two library staff members will wait with the child for fifteen minutes while trying to reach the parents.  After fifteen minutes, the child will be escorted to the Helena Police Department to await the arrival of a parent.

Policies for Use of Meeting Room

  1. The meeting room is available for use by groups and organizations gathering for civic, cultural, educational or community welfare programs.  Meeting space is not available for partisan political activities, sectarian religious' purposes, commercial purposes, or any other activity that interferes with normal functions of the library.  Meetings must be held during normal operating hours of the library.  Meetings must conclude fifteen minutes prior to closing of the library.
  2. All meetings must be free & open to the public.
  3. Admission fees may not be charged for entrance to a meeting or program, nor any funds collected.  The only exception is in the case of fundraisers or registration fees related to institutes, workshops, etc. sponsored by or held in cooperation with the library.
  4. The Meeting Room is reserved on a first come, first served basis. The Meeting Room is not available for recurring daily, weekly, or monthly meetings. Reservations for use of the meeting room must be made one week in advance. Exceptions may be made by the library director.
  5. Helena Public Library’s name or address may not be used as the official address or headquarters of an organization using the library.
  6. The group will be responsible for the discipline of participants and reasonable care of the room and furnishings and will pay for any damage.  Organizations assume responsibility for any property they may bring to the library for use in connection with a meeting, all of which must be removed from the library at the end of the meeting for which they are used.
  7. Youth groups (under the age of 18) may use the meeting room provided they are supervised by adequate  numbers of adult sponsors.
  8. Requests for meeting room furniture, audio-visual equipment, etc. must be made 24-hours prior to the meeting.  Please note, items may not be available if in use by library or city staff. The hallway bathrooms are available for use. Refreshments such as snacks or boxed style lunches may be served, but there is no access to kitchen facilities. The Meeting Room must be left in the same condition as found at the beginning of the meeting. The library reserves a right to charge a fee if special janitorial services are required. The library’s disposable items are prohibited by group participants.
  9. Meeting room users will comply with all health, firearm and fire safety regulations.  Presently, no group may exceed sixty-five (65) in number.
  10. The library reserves the right to cancel the use of its meeting facility for any organization by written or verbal notification, if a group violates these regulations or misrepresents the purpose of a meeting.
  11. The fact that the library has considered and authorized the use of the meeting facility does not constitute endorsement by the library of points of view expressed by any group, organization or program participant.
  12. The use of the meeting room is separate from the use of the library and library materials.  Those using the meeting room should stay with their group in the meeting room.  Children must stay in the meeting room with adults at all time.

Please Note:  Page One of the PDF below is retained by the applicant.  Page 2 must be delivered or faxed (664-4593)  to the library.  YOU DO NOT HAVE A RESERVATION UNTIL YOU'VE HEARD FROM THE DIRECTOR, OR APPROPRIATE STAFF MEMBER.

Meeting Room Policy

Volunteer Policy

Volunteers are defined as individuals who perform library functions but are not compensated. Volunteers can provide invaluable support to a library and its staff when each role is clearly understood. Volunteers must be a minimum of 14 years of age and a resident of Helena, AL.  Volunteers must work a minimum of one hour each time. Applicants 18 years and older must agree in writing to a thorough background check by the City of Helena. The Jane B. Holmes Library does not accept individuals who are ordered by a court to volunteer.

Hours must be scheduled and convenient to both parties. Volunteers must complete an application before they will be assigned a specific duty or department. (Example attached).

Volunteers will fall into the following categories:

  • Civic groups such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts
  • Senior Citizen Groups
  • Students from Helena Fulfilling Community Service Requirements
  • Helena Residents

Use of Volunteers is at the discretion of the Library Director. While volunteering at the library, volunteers are expected to exhibit the same level of professionalism as library employees. Should a volunteer fail to exhibit such professional behavior the Library Director has the sole discretion to terminate volunteer activities for that individual.

Examples of volunteer tasks are attached, but volunteers are not limited to these duties.