Library Cards

Hastings Public Library is funded by taxes from the City of Hastings, Hastings Charter Township and Rutland Charter Township. Property owners and renters within this tax base can apply for a free card by showing a government issued photo ID bearing your current address. Children under 18 must bring a parent or guardian with valid ID to sign up for a card.

If you do not live in the library’s service area, you may still apply for library cards for $100 per year or $25 for 3 months for your household.

For further information on Barry County libraries click on the library links below:

Delton District Library

Dowling Public Library

Freeport District Library

George W. Spindler Memorial Library (Woodland)

Putnam District Library (Nashville)

Thornapple Kellogg School and Community Library (Middleville)

J. C. Wheeler Library in Allegan County (serving Orangeville township)


Library card holders are able to borrow materials from the Hastings Public Library and any library in the Lakeland Library Cooperative with a card in good standing (no overdue materials or fines in excess of $10.00). Materials borrowed from other libraries must be returned to the library from which they were checked out.

Loan periods for most items are three weeks. Items can be renewed for one additional loan period either online through the “My Account” feature, by telephone or at the library if there are no holds on the items. Back issues of magazines, DVDs, videos and computer games circulate for 1 week.

Holds can be placed on books in the Lakenet catalog for delivery at Hastings Public Library. Holds can be placed online through My Account, by phone or at the library.

Through My Account, you can manage your library PIN, place holds and renew items. There is also a history feature that will allow you to check which items you have checked out over time. Signing up for email notifications will generate a courtesy notice three days prior to any items’ due dates and allow you quick notifications when holds are received at the library.


Fines are charged on items that are overdue. By renewing items prior to the due date you can avoid fines. Items can be renewed through My Account online, by telephone and at the library.

Fines are $.15 per day for all items except fiction games, DVDs and videos which are fined at $1.00 per day. If fines exceed $10.00, no check-outs can be placed on your library card. Public computers cannot be used unless all fines are paid.

Public Internet

Access to the internet is provided to patrons with a valid library card and by a guest pass to non-residents with valid government photo ID. Each person may use a library computer once a day for a maximum of one hour. Printing is available on library internet computers by creating a named print job at your station and going to the print release station to pay for and print your job. Library computers can also be reserved when all are in use by logging on to the reservation station across from Customer Service.

Parents and guardians of children under 18 years of age are responsible for their children’s use of the internet. The library’s internet and wireless connections are filtered in conformity with Michigan and Federal laws.

Unlimited Wi-Fi is available throughout the library without log-in or password, electrical outlets are available in the lamps on the study tables and near the fireplace seating.


Collection Development Policy


The Hastings Public Library is the community’s primary resource for information and knowledge. To fulfill its mission of “promoting life-long learning and enlightening citizens in a changing world” it has a collection development policy founded on the principles of intellectual freedom and equal access for all.

The Library strives to provide a collection that balances viewpoints from across a spectrum of opinions and provides access to subject matter in formats that meet the needs of the community. The Library uses selection practices that are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the community with an emphasis on recognizing the needs of special population groups.

Intellectual Freedom

Hastings Public Library endorses the American Library Bill of Rights:

ALA Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; amended June 28, 1967; amended January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 24, 1996.

A history of the Library Bill of Rights is found in the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual. www.ala.org

Collection Management

The primary goal of the Hastings Public Library is to provide an up-to-date, organized and attractive collection, both print and non-print, that is balanced and represents all fields of knowledge and all sides of issues in a neutral, unbiased manner with the financial resources available. The Library will also provide items that are in current demand.


Selection refers to the decision to retain as well as to add to the collection. It is based upon awareness of the diverse needs and interests of the individuals who use the Library, balanced with evaluation of the material and knowledge of the collections’ strengths and weaknesses. Selection decisions are also influenced by budget and space consideration and the availability and accessibility of alternative information resources.


Ultimate responsibility for materials management decisions which shape the development of the collections rests with the Library Administrator, who functions within the policies established by the Board of Directors. The Administrator is the final authority for materials selection, preservation, weeding, storage, budgeting resource allocation, and resource sharing.

The Administrator may delegate broad responsibility for collection development and oversight of the general collections to trained staff. Duties may include day-to-day selection activities such as perusal of reviews in professional library journals, withdrawal of materials, initiation of acquisitions, and monitoring of expenditures. The public is also encouraged to recommend titles. However final purchases and financial oversight is the responsibility of the Administrator.

The Youth Services Librarian will have responsibility for selecting and managing the children’s and young adult collections, however final purchases and financial oversight is the responsibility of the Administrator.

Selection Criteria

Selection is based upon the merits of the work in relation to the community’s needs. Materials will be selected to meet the needs of business, the professions, government, and community organizations. Materials selection will also take into consideration the homebound, the visually, physically and mentally disabled and those with learning disabilities. Needs of newly literate and ESL readers will also be taken into consideration.

The Library Administrator will use material reviews when making selections. Reviews may be in library review journals, professional journals, newspapers, and on-line sources. Primary review sources that will serve as sources for materials selection may include: Booklist, Library Journal, New York Times Book Review, and School Library Journal.

General Criteria


  1. Permanent value as a source material
  2. Vitality and originality of thought
  3. Contemporary significance
  4. Artistic excellence
  5. Entertainment presentation and value
  6. Accuracy and objectivity
  7. Suitability of physical form to library use
  8. Skill, competence, and purpose of the author
  9. Relationship to other materials and existing areas of coverage in order to maintain a well-balanced collection
  10. Technical quality in selection of non-print materials
  11. Critics’ reviews
  12. Significance of the author
  13. Importance as a document of the times
  14. Currency of information
  15. Relation to existing collections
  16. Format, durability and ease of use
  17. Scarcity or availability of materials elsewhere
  18. Multiple copies of textbooks to supply students with requirements for courses are not provided
  19. Multiple copies of popular titles will be provided within the confines of the budget


The Library is committed to unrestricted access to the collection and on-line resources. The Library does adhere to Michigan State law concerning internet access to minors (MCL 397.606) which states that the Library must use one of two ways to restrict access and prevent minors from “viewing obscene matter or sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors.” The library meets this requirement by appropriately filtering computers available to minors and by making all public computers available with age restrictions. Children’s area computers may be used by those ages 12 and under. Teen Room computers may be used by those aged 13-17 and adult computers may be used by those 18 and older.

Processing and shelving of materials shall in no way reflect a value judgment of the materials.

  • There will be no labeling of any item to indicate its point-of-view. Labels will be used to identify special collections such holiday and award books.
  • All materials will be shelved on open shelves, freely accessible to the public.
  • Patrons are free to accept or reject for themselves any item in the collection.
  • Children are not limited to the juvenile collection or young adult collections. Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian.

The Hastings Public Library will maintain stand-alone access computers to the On-line Catalog of HPL materials in locations convenient to the fiction and non-fiction collections.

To provide easy access into collection accessibility Hastings Public Library provides a link to the on-line catalog of materials on its web-site http://hastings.llcoop.org. Interlibrary loan holds are placed through the Library’s catalog.


The Library acquires materials in a variety of formats including hardcover, paperback, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, microforms, CDs, DVDs, and electronic databases. Materials are selected in the media most appropriate for efficient use. In certain circumstances the same work may be acquired in more than one format, i.e. Book and CD. Paper issues of serials such as the Banner and Reminder will be discarded and replaced by CD or microforms wherever possible.


All requests from patrons for specific titles or subject requests will be considered.

Whenever there is enough demand or interest in a title or subject, an item with unfavorable reviews may be purchased unless it is completely without literary or social value and already adequately covered by better materials.

Specialized materials of limited community interest will not ordinarily be purchased or added and requestor will be referred to interlibrary loan sources. Supplementary materials for students and information for specialists are provided in a limited number of fields however the library is cognizant of unnecessary duplication in subject areas which are the special prerogative of other community resources.

Replacement and Maintenance

The Library continuously evaluates the collections to keep it vital and up-to-date. Materials that are worn, obsolete or in unnecessary duplication are withdrawn (weeded).


  • Reference. The reference collection is a non-circulating collection of materials designed to provide access to factual information in authoritative forms. It includes, but is not limited to encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, and biographical materials. Hard cover copies are preferred, however paperback is accepted when it is the only available format and when the item will be superseded within two years. Reference materials in electronic format are available through the statewide mel.org internet interface. The databases are available in the Library and from any internet accessible computer with Michigan ID verification. A complete list of the databases in at mel.org.
  • Fiction. The fiction collection is a circulating collection of new and classic works of fiction for the purposes of light and general reading. Fiction is collected in regular print, large print, audiobook and ebook formats. In print, preference is given to hard cover copies due to the popular nature of these materials. Exception is made for those titles only available in paperback. The number of copies per title is generally limited to one with the exception of currently popular “best sellers.” Items which are obviously pornographic will be excluded from the collection, but no item shall be eliminated because of coarse language, violence or frank discussion of sexual episodes if the author is justified in what he/she portrays, or when such episodes are pertinent to the plot or character delineation. It is the Library’s responsibility to protect the rights of mature readers.
  • Non-Fiction. The non-fiction collection is a circulating collection of books dealing with all facets of knowledge. Non-fiction is collected in regular print, large print, audiobooks, DVD and ebook formats. Textbooks are not selected for this collection unless it is the only, or best, format available for the topic. In print, preference is given to hard cover copies. However, exceptions are made for titles that are only available in paperback format and for works that are likely to be outdated within a two-year period. Books purchased for the non-fiction collection must have adequate indexing, bibliographies, and provide meaningful illustrations. The relationship of the existing collection to new additions must be taken into consideration.
  • Children’s. Materials for pre-school through fifth grade are provided in the children’s collection. Children’s materials are selected in print, audiobook, video and ebook formats. In print, the number of copies per title is generally limited to three and paperback books will usually duplicate copies of hard bound titles unless only available in that form. Rebound paperbacks will be purchased when available. Abridged editions of the classics are purchased only when they retain the quality or favor of the original.
  • Young Adult (Teen) Materials. Materials for the young adult collection are selected to meet the unique needs of the children ages twelve to eighteen. The criteria used for purchasing adult fiction will also be in use for this collection. Teen materials are collected in print, graphic, audiobook, and ebook formats. Quality of graphics will be an added criterion when purchasing graphic book titles.
  • Periodicals. The periodical collection is a circulating and non-circulating collection of magazines and newspapers selected for current local and regional news, local history information, recreational pursuits, research purposes, book selection, and professional reading. The current year to date and one previous year are maintained in the collection.
  • Genealogy. The genealogy and local history collection, located in the Michigan Room, is circulating and non-circulating and consists of serial works that support genealogical and local history research. Local history refers to non-fiction works about Barry County and Michigan in general. Genealogy materials include basic genealogy research tools and sources in print, electronic, and microform formats. No effort is made to collect rare, archival materials for the purpose of preservation. Genealogy is selected with consideration of suitability for research in the defined areas, authority, scope, and qualifications of the author on the subject.

Materials not in Collections

The library has access to interlibrary loan through the Lakeland Library Cooperative’s “Lakenet” catalog and the statewide “MeLCat” catalog. Requests for materials may be placed electronically directly by patrons in each of these catalogs. Assistance in placing requests is available from library staff.


The purpose of all gifts received by the Hastings Public Library Board of Directors must be consistent with the Library’s mission.

The Library Board reserves the right to refuse gifts. A few instances where the gift may be refused include:

  1. If the cost to manage the asset exceeds the eventual benefit of the gift
  2. The gift would not fit the library’s tax exempt status.

The Library Administrator has the authority to refuse gifts that clearly do not benefit the library. If the future benefit of the gift is questionable or difficult to determine, the Board of Directors will make the final decision.

The Hastings Public Library can accept gifts for certain designated areas:

  1. General purposes
  2. Memorials
  3. Sponsored materials
  4. Library Endowment Fund

The Hasting Public Library accepts the following forms of assets:

  1. Cash
  2. Checks. Checks must be made payable to the Hastings Public Library. Designated areas should be noted in lower left corner or with accompanying documents.
  3. Securities. Securities for which there is a recognized market are generally valued at the arithmetic mean of the highest and lowest selling prices for that stock or bond in its principal sales market on the date of the gift. The value of a share in a mutual fund is its public redemption price in effect at the time of the gift.
  4. Non-cash gifts. Tangible personal property exceeding $5,000 in value and closely held stock exceeding $10,000 in value shall be reported at the fair market value placed on them by an independent, qualified appraiser. None of the following can serve as a qualified appraiser: the donor, taxpayer, the recipient, nor an agent of any of these. The donor shall pay the cost of the appraisal. Personal property and closely held stock will be sold at the highest possible price as soon as practical. The library discourages gifts of personal property that cannot be easily sold or which requires unusual expenses before sale.
  5. Life insurance.
  6. Real property. Each potential gift of real property will be reviewed individually with consideration given to an expeditious liquidation. The property will be sold at the highest possible price as soon after receipt by the library.
  7. Pledges. All pledges must be in writing and include the fund that will benefit from the gift, the anticipated payment schedule along with the signature of the donor. Pledge payment reminders will be sent to the donor, if requested.

Request for Reconsideration

Patrons who wish to request the reconsideration of Library materials shall be referred to the Library Administrator. If there is no verbal resolution about an issue with the material’s content, the Library Administrator will encourage the complainant to complete the Request for Reconsideration Form appended to this policy. If the request is for a withdrawal, the Library Administrator will examine the item in question, check reviews, and determine whether it conforms to the standards of the selection policies. If the request is for the addition of an item that has been rejected by the library, the Library Administrator will reconsider its addition. The Library Administrator will evaluate the material and make a decision regarding the material. The Administrator will then write the complainant giving reasons for the decision. Materials subject to complaint shall not be removed from use pending final action. The final decision to remove materials must receive confirmation by the Library Board of Directors.

Approved by the Library board, January 19, 2009

Patron Behavior

Code of Conduct

To ensure that all patrons of the Hastings Public Library may safely and freely use the library, there are expectations that patrons will behave in a manner that does not interfere with the mission of the library, the rights of others, damage the library or cause injury to others. Any library patrons who are unwilling to modify behavior that is unacceptable will be asked to leave the premises. The library uses security and video surveillance cameras to assist the library as it monitors behavior. The police will be called immediately when a patron’s conduct is illegal or when a patron has been requested to leave the library and has refused to do so.

In accordance with the Michigan Statue (MCL 397.206), the Library Board may exclude from the use of the library any or all persons who shall willfully violate the Code of Conduct that the Library Board has adopted. Such exclusion from the Hastings Public Library shall occur on the orders of the Director or the Director’s duly authorized representative.

The following procedures will be enforced for library patrons who have been asked to leave the library:

  • 1st time offense. No library privileges for 1 week.
  • 2nd time offense. No library privileges for 1 month.
  • 3rd time offense. No library privileges for 1 year.
  • Conduct that is considered unacceptable includes, but is not limited to:
  • Abandoning or leaving children under the age of 8.
  • Vandalizing or deliberately damaging library property.
  • Threatening or harassing library patrons or staff.
  • Use of offensive or abusive language.
  • Intoxication.
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Eating food or drinking beverages without using a spill-proof container.
  • Carrying a weapon.
  • Boisterous behavior i.e. running, rollerblading, skateboarding, loud talking, whistling, singing.
  • Selling or soliciting.
  • Sleeping.
  • Loitering.
  • Bringing animals into the library with the exception of service animals/programming activities.
  • Not wearing shoes or shirts.
  • Viewing pornographic material.
  • Aggrieved patrons may have the decision reviewed by the Library Board.

Unattended Children Policy

Parents and guardians are responsible for their children’s safety and behavior while in the library or on library property and will be held responsible for damage to library property caused by their children. This responsibility is not abridged if the parent or guardian is not present in the library with their child.

Children ages four (4) and younger may not be left unattended in the library unless participating in scheduled library programs. Children ages five (5) and six (6) may be left alone in the children’s area provided a responsible adult or mature adolescent is in the building.

All children are subject to the Code of Conduct and policies of the Hastings Public Library.

If it is determined by library staff that a child is left unattended, the proper authorities will be contacted. “Unattended” means that the parent/care giver is not in the library building supervising the child.

If at closing a child is left in the building, staff are instructed to call the police.

Surveillance Cameras in the Library

Hastings Public Library uses surveillance cameras to record at 15 points within the library during business hours. The monitoring is overwritten when the database is full so that ongoing security information is only kept for a minimum time, generally not exceeding a week.

Extracts of the monitors can be made by storing certain segments of the data to external CD. These copies are made when security breaches occur or disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct occurs. These materials are kept by the Library Administrator until the purpose for creating the tape is served. At that time the copies are destroyed. These copies are considered library records and can only be released to third parties with permission of the individuals involved or by court order.

The library discloses the use of surveillance cameras by signage at the entry doors.


Hastings Public Library provides smoke-free facilities and grounds, pursuant to a Hastings City Council resolution passed May 14, 2007.

* The Library Board is responsible for developing the policies for the library that govern the operation of the library. These policies cover collections, services, patron behavior and facilities use. Questions concerning policy should be directed to the Library Board through the ‘Leave a Reply, – Comment’ box below.

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