Library Policies

Below are a few selections of the policy of the Humeston Public Library.  If you wish to read the entire policy, please request a policy book from the library director.

Access, Services and Programs

A public library is an important community institution contributing to the well-being of the citizens.  All citizens have the right to library service regardless of sex, age, race, religion, social status or educational level.  The presence of the library enhances the quality of the community. 

Availability of Hours and Services

Hours of operation shall be:

Monday                      1:00 to 5:00 PM

Tuesday                      1:00 to 6:00 PM

Wednesday                1:00 to 5:00 PM

Wednesday Story Hour    10:30-11:00AM

Friday                         1:00 to 5:00 PM

Saturday                     9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Holiday Closings and Emergency or Weather Closings

The library will be closed on Thursdays, Sundays and the following holidays:

New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day, Washington's Birthday,  Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Vetern's Day, Thanksgiving,  and Christmas

Story hour will be cancelled if the Mormon Trail School District cancels or delays school due to inclement weather.  Regular library hours will be observed during the winter providing library staff can safely travel to the library.

Restricted Access

In accordance with Chapter 692A of Subtitle 1 of Title 16 of the Code of Iowa, sex offenders convicted of a sex offense against a minor shall not be present upon the real property of a public library and shall not loiter within three hundred feet of the real property boundary of a public library. The Code provides an exception to this if the library director issues written permission.

The Library Director will not give written permission for registered sex offenders convicted of sex offenses against minors to be in the library. This decision may be appealed to the Library Board of Trustees. The issuance of a library card at any time is NOT permission to enter the library.

Persons barred from library property under the law remain entitled to library service. Such persons may receive information via telephone or e-mail.  They may register for a card via telephone.  It is the responsibility of the patron to arrange for an adult courier (age 18 or older) to select, check out, and return materials to the library through possession of the patron’s card.

Persons barred from library property under the law will not be served by the library’s homebound delivery service.

Violations of this policy will result in the loss of ALL library privileges and will be immediately reported to law enforcement.


Borrowing Privileges: All patrons must have a library card at the Humeston Public Library or hold a valid card from another Iowa library and be in good standing to borrow library materials.

Adult patrons may borrow up to 10 items at one time.  Children may borrow up to three items at a time. Library staff may set temporary limits for high demand items.

Library Cards: New patrons must provide full name, mailing address and telephone number or email address when requesting a library card.  New patrons must read the following statement.  Their signature on the back of their library card indicates acceptance of responsibility.

I agree to be responsible for all items borrowed with the library card issued in my name or my child’s name.   I promise to pay replacement fees if the library materials are damaged or lost while in my care.  

Patrons under 15 years of age must list parent or guardian on their library profile.

All library cards expire after three years of non-use.  Patrons whose cards have expired must apply for a new library card. 

Holds: Patrons may place holds on-line, in person or over the phone. Patrons will be notified by telephone, email or text message when the materials are available. There is no charge to the patron for placing a hold on any material.  Materials will only be held for two shifts.  If item is not picked up by the end of the second library shift, it will be offered to the next patron on the hold list or returned to shelf.

Fines and Fees

Humeston Public Library will not charge fines for overdue library materials. Patrons are allowed a three week loan period. Books and other materials may be renewed by calling into the library and talking to the staff or leaving a message if it is after hours. Patrons are also encouraged to renew using the online catalog on the library’s website. The library reserves the right to charge for lost or damaged materials.

Humeston library will attempt to give call reminders one time a week for the first 3 weeks of any late material. If the material has reached four weeks past the due date time period it is considered evidence of the intent to deprive the library of its property and the patron will be charged the full amount to replace the material. Individuals who fail to return overdue library materials will lose borrowing privileges until items are returned or replaced.  Failure to return library materials may result in criminal action for theft. The board shall be consulted and give approval before criminal action is initiated.

Lost or Damaged materials:  If materials are lost or damaged beyond repair the patron must pay the replacement cost.

Also, the library will charge fees for different services we provide. These services include printed documents, photocopies, faxes, lamination and book covering.

 Loan Periods

All library materials shall have a three-week loan period.   The director may establish the different loan period for special collections, materials that are temporarily in great demand, or new formats of materials added to the collection.

Meeting Room

The purpose of the Humeston Public Library Meeting room is the facilitation of library-related activities.  When the room is not being used for these purposes, the room will be available to community groups, non-profit organizations, and private parties on a first come, first served basis.  Availability of the meeting room will be determined by library staff.  The Humeston Library reserves the right to cancel reservations when circumstances warrant; cancellations will not be made without prior notification. The library meeting room may not be rented for  usa of a profitable business.

The meeting room will be available during library hours: Monday 1-5 PM, Tuesday 1-6 PM, Wednesday 1-5 PM, Friday 1-5 PM, and Saturday 9:00-11:00 AM.  The meeting room may be reserved for outside of these hours and the key check out/check in procedure will be followed.  Requests for the use of the meeting room must be submitted through the librarian at least two days in advance of the meeting.  The meeting room may be reserved up to one year in advance.  Requests for long-term training sessions or semester-long classes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Renters may check out keys from the library or the bank during operating hours.  When checking out the keys, renters will sign and date the supplied form indicating they are responsible for the key and understand the meeting room policy.  Keys checked out from the bank shall be returned to the bank and keys checked out from the library shall be returned to the library the next business day after the meeting room is rented.  Renters may choose to leave keys checked out from the library in the designated place in the meeting room.

The recommended occupancy of the Humeston Public Library Meeting Room is up to 40 people.  Groups larger than this should seek other accommodations for their anticipated function.

Library sanctioned activities may use the meeting room free of charge.  All other groups will be asked for a donation of $25 per use of the meeting room. A donation of $50 is requested for full day meetings.  In certain circumstances, fee may be reduced or waived.

Special arrangements may be made for use of other library property (Laptop, digital projector, or white board easel) in the meeting room.  Arrangements for use may be made through the librarian.  User may access the Internet through the wireless network connection or through the Ethernet jacks on the east or west walls.  An Ethernet cord will be available upon request.  Use of library’s computer and projector during any meeting will result in an additional charge of $25.

Failure to leave the room in good order, misconduct, or damage to library property are grounds to refuse the user in the future and may result in the immediate termination of the event. The user is financially responsible for any damage to or loss of library property. 

The user is responsible for insuring that the scheduled meeting or activity does not disturb library customers or interfere with work-related activities of the staff.  Children using the meeting room must be supervised at all times.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in the meeting room. All refreshments (including coffee and condiments) are to be provided by the user. Users are responsible for discarding their own trash. Clean-up is the responsibility of the user.

Smoking and use of tobacco or alcohol on library property is strictly prohibited. 

Coffee pots, microwave, refrigerator and a small selection of serving utensils are available for use.  The library will have coffee filters available for use free of charge.  User is responsible for cleaning any items used and returning to their proper places.  User shall supply dish cloths and towels or launder and return library’s dish cloths and towels used during meetings.

Visitor parking is available on Broad Street.  Parking on the west side of the library is prohibited in case of emergency calls to the Fire Department. 

The Library is not responsible for accidents, injury, theft, or damage of personal items occurring in connection with use of the meeting rooms.

Permission to use the Library meeting room does not imply endorsement of, or agreement with, the purpose(s) or the expression of any individual or organization by the Library or its staff.

Any user who fails to abide by these policies may be denied future use of the meeting rooms.

Selection, Purchasing, and Collection Development

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Board of Trustees.  The director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item.

General Standards of Selection:  Selection is a subjective process, involving a general knowledge of the subject and recognition of the needs of the community.  Material is judged on the content and style of the work as a whole.  Quality and suitability of the format are also considered. At all times, the director should select material that will build a well-rounded collection, which includes varying viewpoints and opinions.  Selection criteria include:

  • Individual merit of each itemLiterary merit
  • Usefulness
  • Clarity and logic of presentation 
  • Enduring or timely value
  • Authentic, authoritative and accurate information
  • Social significance
  • Presentation of both sides of controversial issues
  • Suitability for library use
  •  Existing library holdings on the subject matter
  • Budget
  • Popular appeal and demand
  • Availability of the material in nearby libraries

Standards of Selection for Youth Materials: Materials for the Children’s and Young Adult collections shall abide by the general selection criteria outlined above.  The Library strives to maintain a quality collection that stimulates the enjoyment of books and reading.  The youth collection shall contain materials appropriate for children age 0 through 15 and for all reading abilities.  Formats for children’s materials may also include toys, games and puzzles in addition to the wide range of formats for the general collection outlined below.  

Citizen Request for Library Acquisition:  Citizens may request materials to be placed in the library.  All requests shall include the title, author and the format requested.  Requests need to be signed and should be submitted to the library director at the circulation desk.

Complaints and Request for Materials Reconsideration: The Board believes that censorship is a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to not read books of which he or she does not approve, that person cannot exercise censorship to freedom of others to read the material of their choice.

Gifts and Donations

The Board of Trustees and staff of the Humeston Public Library encourage the private support of the Library's service to the community through gifts of money, materials, property, and bequests. These gifts allow the Library to expand services for the benefit of the public.  Gifts are accepted to enhance public library services and are not intended to replace municipal support.

The Library's acceptance of any gift does not guarantee its retention as Library property in perpetuity.  Books and other materials are accepted with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed.  The same selection criteria are applied to gifts that are applied to purchased materials. The library director shall determine the classification, housing, and circulation policies for all gift items. The director may refuse to accept materials that he or she believes do not contribute to the purpose of the library or meet the criteria outlined in this policy.  If donated items are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director may dispose of them in a book sale or other suitable manner.

Donations of materials, furniture, or equipment must meet space, utilization, and design criteria for the building and library grounds.  As the needs of the library change, Trustees reserve the right to modify use of a gift from its original intent.  Once the library accepts a gift, it is clearly understood that it becomes the property of the library and decisions regarding the item(s) ultimately lie with the library trustees and staff. 

The Library does not provide appraisals of gifts. Donors are responsible for providing a quantitative count of the donated materials and a receipt of quantity received will be issued without an assigned monetary value.  

Gifts of personal property may be received and accepted. Items other than library materials which are of historic value, and are not intended for loan to the public, are considered museum objects. These items are not solicited. Gifts donated with special conditions are generally not accepted.

Memorials: Memorial gifts of books or money to purchase books are also accepted and a bookplate will be placed in the book.  Donors are encouraged to consult with the Director prior to donating library materials.  The library director will strive to select memorial books with appropriate content befitting the remembered.  Acknowledgement of memorial donations will be sent to the family of the deceased.

Endowments and Bequests: Endowment gifts and bequests may be added to the existing Library Endowment held at the South Central Iowa Community Foundation or a new fund may be established with investments in Certificates of Deposit, bonds, or other suitable investment vehicle.

Public Access Internet Use

The Humeston Public Library provides free public access to the Internet, a medium that offers a wealth of educational, recreational, and cultural information for library users. Because the Internet is a vast, unregulated medium, the Library cannot control and is not responsible for the content or accuracy of information accessed over the Internet, including information contained in electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of electronic communication.

Youth under the age of 18 must have the consent of a parent or guardian to use the internet.  An “Internet Use Form” must be signed by the parent or guardian and will be kept on file at the library.  Further restriction of a minor’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parents or guardians.  To address issues of safety and security of minors when using email, social media, and other forms of electronic communication, parents or guardians should urge minors to follow basic safety guidelines: never give out personal information, never arrange via a computer to meet someone and never respond to messages that are threatening or suggestive, remembering that people online may not be who they say they are.

While accessing the Internet at the library, users must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws.  Users may not attempt in any way to alter, damage, or sabotage computer hardware or software and will be financially responsible for any malicious damage to hardware or software. Internet users may not access pornographic sites or use Internet sessions in a manner that is deliberately offensive or creates a hostile or intimidating environment.

The library is not liable for any damage to a customer’s disk or computer that may occur from use of the Internet at the Library; nor is the library responsible for any liability that may occur as a result of the disclosure of financial or other personal information while accessing the Internet at the Library.

The Library does not release information on the use of the Internet by Library users except as required by law.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in loss of access. Illegal acts may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

Public Access Computers – Other Uses

The computer resources of the library must be used in a manner that is consistent with the purposes and environment of the library. All users of computer resources are expected to act in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, and to adhere to the regulations for their use set forth in this document.  Users of the library computer resources:

  • Must abide by time limits set by staff to ensure fair use of resources
  • Must pay for any printing
  • Must not circumvent system protection facilities.
  • Must not knowingly use any tool to produce system failure or degraded performance.
  • Must not engage in unauthorized duplication, alteration or destruction of data, programs or software.
  • Must not transmit or disclose data or information belonging to others and may not duplicate copyrighted material.
  • Must not engage in abusive or improper use of computer hardware. This includes, but is not limited to, tampering with equipment, unauthorized attempts at repairing equipment and unauthorized removal of equipment components.
  • Must not use computer resources for illegal purposes.
  • Must not use computer resources to engage in abuse of other users.
  • These regulations are subject to revision. You are expected to be familiar with any revisions in regulations.
  • Any User who is found to be in violation of these rules shall be subject to the following:
  • Suspension and/or termination of computer privileges;
  • Referral to law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution;
  • Other legal action, including action to recover civil damages and penalties.

Patron Rights and Responsibilities

It is a patron's responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law.

Young children:  The Humeston Public Library encourages visits by young children and we desire to make all visits to the library both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library.  Therefore, all children under age six must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality is essential to protect the exercise of First and Fourth Amendment rights.  In accordance with First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Iowa Code (22.7) and professional ethics, the Board of Trustees of the Humeston Public Library respects the privacy of users and recognizes its responsibility to protect their privacy. 

The library will not reveal the identities of individual users nor reveal the information sources or services they consult unless required by law.  Confidentiality extends to information sought or received and materials consulted or borrowed.  Confidentiality includes database search records, reference interviews, interlibrary loan records, computer use records, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities or services.

The library will hold confidential the names of registered patrons and their registration information and not provide access for private, public or commercial use.

The lawful custodian of the records is the Library Director.

The library will not release registration, circulation or other records protected under the Iowa Code unless it is required by law to release the information.  Circumstances that may require the library to release the information include the following:

The records shall be released to a criminal or juvenile justice agency only pursuant to an investigation of a particular person or organization suspected of committing a known crime.  The records shall be released only when the Librarian is presented with a court order demonstrating a judicial determination that a rational connection exists between the requested release of information and a legitimate end and that the need for the information is cogent and compelling.  

The library receives a Warrant for the information issued under the USA Patriot Act (which includes amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act).

The library receives a National Security Letter seeking the information pursuant to the USA Patriot Act.

The library receives a valid court order requiring the library to release registration, circulation or other records protected under the Iowa Code and the information is not sought in conjunction with a criminal or juvenile justice investigation.

Acceptable Behavior

Library patrons and visitors shall conduct themselves at all times with respect and courtesy towards library staff and other patrons.  Proper conduct includes abiding by the following rules.

  • Shirt and shoes must be worn in the library building. Exception would be muddy or wet shoes. Tey have to be removed. Ask personnel if unsure.
  • Wet swimsuits are not allowed on any library furniture
  • Loud talking, including loud cell phone conversations within the library are prohibited.
  • Abusive or profane language and obscene gestures is prohibited.
  • Physical threats or abuse directed toward any person is prohibited.
  • Young children must not be left unattended anywhere in the library.
  •  Animals, with the exception of animal aids for the disabled, are prohibited.
  • Running and other disruptive actions are prohibited.
  • Theft, abuse, misuse, vandalism, or damage to library furnishings, equipment or materials is prohibited.
  • Smoking in the library is prohibited.
  • Weapons are prohibited on library property.
  • Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are prohibited on library property.
  • Covered drinks in seating areas are permissible and shall be disposed of when finished. Beverages are not allowed in the technology center or near any computer
  • Eating in the library, except for meeting room functions, is prohibited.


This patron code of conduct has been established to:

  • Protect the rights of individuals to use library property, materials, and services;
  • Protect the rights of library employees and volunteers to conduct library business without interference;
  • Ensure the use of the facilities, materials, and services by the greatest number of individuals;
  • Preserve those materials and facilities from harm; and
  • Ensure the safety of patrons, employees, and volunteers.


Inappropriate conduct will result in a warning by library staff.  Continued misconduct may result in suspension of some or all library privileges at the discretion of the library director and library board. 

Any patron who feels he or she has been unfairly suspended may file a written appeal with the board of trustees.  Appeals will be considered at the next regular board meeting, provided they have been received at least seven days prior to the meeting.