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.

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 Executive 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 Executive 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 Executive 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)



The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) works to maintain a useful, well-rounded collection to support the library’s mission and meet the needs of residents of the library’s service area. This policy exists to guide librarians in selecting materials and to inform the public about the principles guiding collection development decisions. 

Our Community 

The Huntsville-Madison County community enjoys a unique background and heritage. For the better part of the past century, the Huntsville-Madison County community has been fueled by innovation and technical advancement and has welcomed newcomers from around the world to make our community their home. Consequently, our growing community encompasses a wide range of racial, ethnic, professional and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as a diverse range of religious and political beliefs, lifestyles, and identities. HMCPL’s commitment to education has caused the library to lead the state of Alabama in circulation at our local public libraries as many families rely on our library system to provide access to books and other materials in our collection as well as the many services we provide. 

HMCPL is a ten-branch system with an extensive outreach department that serves all of Madison County, Alabama. For over 200 years, HMCPL has been dedicated to enriching the educational, recreational, and cultural lives of communities in Madison County through materials, information and programs that foster a lifelong love of learning. 

Our Collection 

The HMCPL collection includes a wide variety of formats including the following: 

  • Print consisting of books, documents, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and maps. 
  • Audiovisual Media, including videos on DVD and Blu-ray, books on CD and digital audio player, music on compact disc, and streaming audio and video materials. When possible, digital materials are selected in accordance with this policy. However, digital materials may be provided through a content aggregator. As such, the inclusion or exclusion of specific titles in these collections are made by the vendor and may not conform to this policy’s guidelines. 
  • The library also provides wi-fi access to the Internet. 
  • Other formats include multimedia kits, microforms, educational toys, and selected audiovisual equipment. 

Materials may be available in a variety of formats. Factors governing choice of format include anticipated use, ease of access, and availability of technology, if applicable. 


HMCPL provides free access to materials in a number of formats (print, media, and electronic) to all patrons. It is the responsibility of the library director and staff to curate a balanced collection that meets the needs of our community under the authority of the library board. The director and staff will oversee the acquisition of materials using professional judgment, selection guidelines, and common sense consistent with this policy. 

Library users make their own choices as to what they use based on individual interests and concerns. HMCPL supports each person’s right to receive information and to decide which items are appropriate for them and their families. Ultimate responsibility for a minor’s use of library materials lies with the minor’s parent or guardian. 

Selection Guidelines 

HMCPL’s goal is to provide our community with library materials that encourage literacy and instill in patrons a lifelong love of learning. As described in more detail below, the library director and staff shall select materials on the basis of community interest, accuracy of information and literary or educational significance. The library shall not exclude materials solely due to the subject matter dealing with topics deemed controversial at 

any given time. The library shall not purchase or receive as a donation any book or material that violates applicable laws or regulations. 

General criteria for selecting library materials are listed below. An item need not meet all the criteria in order to be acceptable. Criteria include: 

  • Public demand, interest or need 
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value 
  • Prominence, authority and/or competence of author, creator or publisher 
  • Timeliness of material 
  • Relation to existing materials in the collection 
  • Reflecting competing or controversial points of view 
  • Authenticity of historical, regional, or social setting 
  • Materials on current or historical matters 
  • Accessibility for multiple users of electronic formats 
  • Costs 

Price, accuracy and timeliness of information are other factors influencing selection. The library does not typically purchase out-of-print material for the collection, and no attempt is made to purchase all the works by particular authors. As a general rule the library will acquire only works of interest to the layperson. The library does not support educational curricula through the purchase of textbooks. Borrowing materials from other libraries through interlibrary loan is another option available to customers for older or unique materials. 

The library welcomes suggestions from the public for materials to purchase. Purchase of such requests is dependent on whether the desired item meets general selection guidelines established here. 


HMCPL welcomes donations to enhance the collection. Donated items become the property of the library. All donations to the library are accepted on the condition that they may be retained and added to the collections or disposed of at its sole discretion, in accordance with this policy. Monetary 

donations intended for use in purchasing materials may be accompanied by a suggested subject area, but specific selection decisions will be made in accordance with this policy. 

Placement of Materials 

HMCPL staff will place materials based on suitability of subject, style and content for the intended audience. Library staff may reconsider or reevaluate the placement of materials at any time. 

Withdrawal of Materials 

Materials that are worn, damaged, outdated, duplicated, or no longer used may be removed from the collection. Materials withdrawn from the collection in this manner will be disposed of at the library’s discretion. 

The library follows accepted principles of intellectual freedom and each person’s right to access and receive information. 

Statements of Concern 

Should a patron of HMCPL take issue with the inclusion of a specific title in the library collection, they may complete and submit a “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form. For further details, please see the Statement of Concern policy. https://www.hmcpl.org/policies/concerns 

Updated 5/21/2024

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.

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.



The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) will offer displays and exhibits that appeal to a range of ages, interests, and informational needs of the Huntsville-Madison County community. Displays and exhibit materials will be based on the suitability of the subject and style for the intended audience. Acceptance of a display or exhibit topic by the Library does not constitute an endorsement by HMCPL of the content of the display or exhibit, or of the views expressed in the materials on display. The library will not display materials that violate applicable laws or regulations. 

The Executive Director holds the final responsibility for the display of library materials, but employees throughout the library share day-to-day responsibility. Library staff uses the following criteria in making decisions about display topics, materials, and accompanying resources: 

  • Community needs and interest 
  • Availability of display space 
  • Historical, cultural, or educational significance 
  • Connection to other community or national programs, exhibitions, or events 
  • Relation to library collections, resources, exhibits, and programs 
  • The HMCPL may partner with other community agencies, organizations, educational institutions, or individuals to develop and present co-sponsored displays and exhibits. 

Statements of Concern 

Should a patron of HMCPL take issue with the inclusion of a specific item in a display they may complete and submit a “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form. For further details, please see the Statement of Concern policy. https://www.hmcpl.org/policies/concerns 

Distribution of Free Non-library Materials 

HMCPL 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. HMCPL 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. 
  • HMCPL reserves the right to establish time, place, and manner restrictions for the display of materials. The HMCPL 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. 

Display Case and Exhibit Policy 

Some locations of HMCPL have display cases and/or exhibit space available for limited use by the public. As an educational and cultural institution, HMCPL will display and exhibit artwork or information of interest and enlightenment to the library community in order to further the following purposes: 

  • To increase awareness of the library's resources, including but not limited to library collections, services, events, and activities. 
  • To fulfill the library’s mission to empower individuals to create their own futures, explore the universe of ideas, and connect with our community and the world. 
  • To highlight eligible non-profit organizations, including the Friends of the Library or Huntsville Madison-County Library Foundation, governmental agencies (groups sponsored by a city, county, state, or federal agency), and individuals engaged in intellectual, charitable, civic, cultural, educational, or recreational activities in Huntsville, Madison and/or Madison County. 
  • The cases may not be used for exhibits that are commercial in nature, promote a specific religious concept, encourage partisan politics, or demean groups or individuals. 

For additional information about reserving display cases or exhibit space, request information at the specific branch of interest. 

Approved Date:  5/21/2024

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).
  • 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).
  • 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).

Updated: 6/7/2023.

Filming and photography is allowed at all 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.

Retrieval of Long Overdue Items

Library patrons receive the following overdue notices:

Day 3: First overdue Reminder e-mailed or sent via SMS message

Day 7: Second overdue Notice e-mailed or sent via SMS message

Day 14: Third overdue Bill User for Materials e-mailed and sent 1st class mail; Items set to ASSUMED LOST & billed to patron's account


Patrons are charged the list price for items damaged beyond repair.

Lost Items

In the event a book or audio-visual item is lost, patrons will be charged the price of the item when purchased by the Library. Lost items may be returned for a refund 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, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks with a 50 item limit. Holds may not be placed on magazines or comics.

An item may not be renewed if a hold has been placed on it. Patrons will receive notification that their held item is available through email or text. Patrons who do not have an email address on file will need to be called by a staff member.

Materials are held for 7 days.

Other Fees



Public Computer Printouts (except online computer citations)

$.15 per copy


$.15 per copy

Color Photocopies

$.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


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.

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 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 Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is pleased to encourage and recognize local writers by featuring their books in the HMCPL Local Author's Collection (physical and digital). The following guidelines ensure that HMCPL adheres to our mission and collection goals while supporting the local writing community.

Local authors must live in the Tennessee Valley counties of Alabama (Colbert, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Morgan).

Due to budget limitations, items for this collection will be accepted as donations and will not be purchased. Books by local authors that have been reviewed in standard sources will be considered for purchase as an addition to the library's general collection. Standard review sources include: Library Journal, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and Publisher's Weekly.

In keeping with with HMCPL's Gifts & Memorial Policy submitted works become the property of HMCPL and will not be returned to the donor. If they are not added to the library collection they will be donated to the Friends of the Library Bookstore.

In order to hold up to library usage, submitted physical materials should be sturdily bound (sewn or glued bindings). Spiral and comb bindings do not wear well, and books with pages designed to be filled in or torn out by the reader are not appropriate.

Submissions must be approved by library selectors before being accepted for placement in the HMCPL collection.

Library selectors cannot meet with individuals to discuss their work, nor can they provide professional reviews, promotions, or marketing of an author's work. HMCPL cannot acknowledge receipt of a submission or notify an author of a final decision.

Please complete the following form(s) for consideration:

Print Book Form

Ebook | Audio Book Form


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 - 50 items
Young Readers Card - up to 50 items.
Public Computer Use Only - No items may be borrowed with a Public Computer Use Only card.

Check Out Period

All items can be borrowed for a period of two (2) weeks with four (4) renewals unless the item is on hold.


Holds are made for books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks with a 50 item limit. Holds may not be placed on magazines, comics, or kits.

An item may not be renewed if a hold has been placed on it. Patrons will receive notification that their held item is available through email or text.

Materials are held for 7 days.

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.

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


Huntsville-Madison County Public Library offers Notary Public services for a fee of $1.00 per item notarized in a document. Notary services are dependent on Notary’s availability. Call the Library location in advance to ensure availability and/or to schedule an appointment. 

Rules for Notary Public services include but are not limited to: 

  • An original photo identification with a signature issued by a U.S. state or federal government, such as a driver's license, state ID card, U.S. military ID, or passport. Expired IDs and photographs of identification cannot be accepted. 
  • Patrons must bring their own witnesses if needed. The Library does not provide witnesses, and witnesses may not be solicited from staff or customers using the Library. A witness cannot be named in the document. 
  • Documents to be notarized must contain a Notary Public acknowledgment. 
  • DO NOT sign or date the document beforehand. Documents must be signed in the Notary's presence in order to be valid. 
  • Government Form I-9 or Employment Eligibility Verification must include a letter from the employer authorizing the Notary Public to act as the employer's representative. 
  • All real estate documents must be from the state of Alabama. 
  • All documents to be notarized must be in English. Notaries are not permitted to make use of a translator to communicate with a Notary customer. 
  • Notaries may not copy and notarize Public Record documents. Some common examples of Public Record documents include: birth certificates, death certificates, official school records and transcripts, immigration papers, military records, driver’s licenses, passports, and certificates of citizenship. 

Notary Publics will not provide service if the requestor, document, or circumstance raises an issue of authenticity, ambiguity, doubt, or uncertainty for the library. The Notary Public has the sole discretion to decline or provide notary public service. 

Updated 5/21/2024

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 HMCPL 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.

In accordance with the stated Alabama state codes, circulation and registration records access may be made available to parents or guardians of minor children. 

Any comment or release of information to the public should be made only upon approval from the Executive Director. 

Library Board Updated and approved: 3/19/24

The Downtown Huntsville Library 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 Downtown Huntsville Library’s hours. Reservations may be made at the Information and Business Center on the 2nd floor of the Downtown Huntsville 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 Downtown Huntsville 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 Downtown Huntsville 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 Downtown Huntsville 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.



The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) presents programs to further our mission and meet the needs of the residents of the library’s service area. This policy exists to guide librarians in selecting and planning programs and to inform the public about the principles guiding programming decisions. Library programs are planned public activities that are initiated by or presented in partnership with HMCPL and take place at a library branch, at locations in the community, or online. Library programs include, but are not limited to: book talks, how-to demonstrations, discussion groups, lectures, performances, storytimes, tours, and workshops.

Program Selection

The selection of program content (including topics, activities, presenters, and highlighted materials) will be made on the basis of public interest and relevance to HMCPL’s mission and strategic plan. Content will not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. Inclusion in a program does not constitute endorsement of program content.


All library programs are open to the public. Responsibility for the exposure of children to library programs rests with their parents or legal guardians. HMCPL may limit attendance of a program to a specific age group. Pre- registration may be required. Program attendees may be photographed, filmed, or video recorded and their likenesses used by the library in editorial or promotional materials.

Community Partnership

HMCPL sometimes partners with City or County departments, governmental agencies, community organizations, and businesses to present programs. Co- sponsored programs must include participation by library staff to plan program content, provide logistical support, or include information about library collections relevant to the program. Co-sponsorship and collaboration decisions are made on the basis of mutual needs and equitable benefits between the library and potential partners, as well as available library resources. Such programs materials must not endorse or oppose the election of any candidate for public office; endorse or oppose the adoption of federal, state, or local legislation; or promote commercial products or services.

Programming Costs

HMCPL attempts to present programs at no additional cost to participants but may occasionally charge a participation fee to offset the cost of materials used in a program. This fee may be waived at the patron’s request.

Sale of Materials

Materials may be offered for sale at a program by the program presenter or their representative. Eligibility to attend a program shall not be dependent upon purchase.

Statements of Concern

Should a patron of HMCPL take issue with a program, they are encouraged to contact the library director to arrange to discuss these concerns. Should that discussion prove unfeasible or fail to address the patron’s concerns, they may complete and submit a “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form available from the director. For further details, please see the Statements of Concern policy.

Approved July 2023


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 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.

Meeting, conference, and study rooms within the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) are made available for the enrichment of the educational, recreational, and cultural lives of our community. 

Individual adults, groups, or organizations are invited to reserve our rooms provided they abide by these policies and the Library Code of Conduct. Library members may create room reservations on a first-come, first-served basis in our online system. Contact reservations@hmcpl.org for assistance. 

General Rules 

  • Rooms may not be booked more than six (6) months in advance. 
  • No more than six (6) reservations may be held at one time. 
  • Rooms will be held for thirty (30) minutes after the reservation start-time and then will be released for use by other customers. 
  • Rooms are only available for reservation during regular hours. 
  • Some rooms are only available for up to two (2) hours per day. 
  • Some rooms require pre-approval prior to use. 
  • Meetings must end and rooms must be empty fifteen minutes prior to closing. 
  • Facilities are available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. 
  • Permission to meet in the library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of a group’s policies or beliefs. 
  • Use of the library logo in announcements or fliers must be pre-approved. 
  • No tape or adhesive of any kind may be used on the walls, windows, or furniture. 
  • View into the rooms may not be obstructed at any time. 
  • No open flames under any circumstances. 
  • Monetized events and room set-ups may be available in some rooms for a fee. 
  • There is a $25 minimum fee for any damage caused to rooms, damages exceeding $25 will be billed at cost. 
  • HMCPL 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. 
  • Seven (7) day cancellation notice is required. In unforeseen emergencies in which the Library has to cancel a meeting, HMCPL will attempt to give the group as much notice as possible. 
  • Individuals or organizations found to have misrepresented themselves or their use of library space will be barred from further use. 

Rooms may not be reserved or used for the following unless sponsored or co-sponsored by HMCPL: 

  • Performing arts groups (including conducting open call interviews, auditions or rehearsals). 
  • Graduations (including pre-k). 

Rooms may not be reserved or used for the following unless fees are paid:

  • Soliciting, sales, charging admission, ticketed events, asking for donations, or paid services (including tutoring or insurance seminars). 

Fee-based options are available at several locations of the Library, though each location varies. See the schedule at https://hmcpl.org/reserve/optionalcharges and then communicate your needs by emailing reservations@hmcpl.org. Fees will be added to the library account reserving the room and payment should be made prior to use. Any equipment needed during the reservation will be checked out to the library account reserving the room and, if lost, will be charged to that account. 

Political campaign events for one candidate or candidates of one political party may not be held at HMCPL. Any campaign event held at HMCPL must extend invitations to all the candidates qualifying for an election. HMCPL must be given proof that all candidates were extended an invitation for the event. 

Storage space and porter services are not available, nor can library staff deliver messages to attendees. HMCPL assumes no responsibility for personal injuries, thefts, damages, or losses of private property while using library rooms. 

The Executive 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, for state, local or federal governments, or for any organizations that holds an MOU or MOA. The Library Board reserves the right to amend any room regulations without prior notice. 

Submitting a reservation implies consent to these policies. 

Library Board Updated and approved: 3/19/24


Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) has a right to maintain each of its facilities in a clean, pleasant and safe manner. Every individual has the right to use HMCPL undisturbed and every HMCPL employee has the right to work without undue interference. All HMCPL 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. HMCPL employees have the responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of HMCPL whenever the rules do not specifically cover certain situations. 

Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caregiver at all times. This also includes any person needing supervision or assistance outside of HMCPL services because of physical or mental conditions. 

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

1. Behavior that unreasonably disturbs others or interferes with HMCPL 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 or in possession of any intoxicating drug or alcoholic substance on HMCPL grounds 

4. Sleeping in, or using as sleeping quarters (Code of the City of Huntsville 1982) 

5. Drinking uncovered beverages in HMCPL 

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

7. Defacing, destroying, or tampering with HMCPL 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 HMCPL through poor personal hygiene 

11. Failing to wear shirts and/or shoes 

12. Entering HMCPL with animals or vehicles, except as required by persons with disabilities 

13. Leaving unattended persons in HMCPL who seek or need personal assistance for other than HMCPL related services, and where staff has a reasonable basis to be concerned for the safety of the unattended person (Examples may include minor children or persons needing supervision because of physical or mental conditions.) 

14. Failing to observe Internet use guidelines and policy 

15. Entering HMCPL with the intent to cause bodily harm or reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to employees or patrons 

16. Violating any City Ordinance or State Statute while on HMCPL property or grounds. 

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

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

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

HMCPL security or the supervisor in charge first warns anyone violating these rules 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 HMCPL 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

Revised Date: 3/19/24

BOARD APPROVED May 21, 2024 

The role of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) is to provide opportunities that will allow individuals to freely examine subjects and make their own decisions. 

The library supports each person’s right to receive information and to determine what is appropriate for them and their families. As a result, the library will not remove specific materials solely because they may be controversial at the time or objectionable to some. 

The HMCPL board and Executive Director are aware that customers may take issue with the inclusion of specific items, programs, or practices, and they welcome the expression of concern by patrons. Patron concerns will be dealt with promptly and courteously as detailed in the following process. 

Concerned patrons may complete and submit a “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form https://hmcpl.org/concerns

The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Madison County and hold a valid borrower's card. 

Please note if the title of concern is the only copy in the library catalog and is checked out at the time of the statement of concern, the timeline for review will be impacted until the item is available for review. 

The following procedure will be followed when a Statement of Concern About Library Resources form 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 statement of concern is not satisfied with the decision of the committee, he/she may request in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision that the matter be forwarded to the Library Board for final review. 
  • The Executive Director will present the statement of concern to the Library Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Based on the information presented, the Library 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. 

Updated 5/21/2024

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