General Policies

Table of Contents

Library Cards and Use

Every resident of Hopkins County is encouraged to use the Public Library facilities via the Main Library, Homebound Delivery Service, or Dawson Springs Branch Library. Each library card applicant applying online or by mail must furnish all information requested on an application form.  Patrons do not need to submit an application form if registering in person at our library facilities.

Patron must supply: Official form of photo ID with current address. If photo ID does not contain the applicant’s current address, then in addition to the photo ID, another form of identification may suffice for proof of address. This additional documentation but must be an official piece of documentation (e.g., a city/county utility bill, a property bill, a paystub, etc.) designating the applicant’s name and their correct address.

Replacement Cards: Replacement cards may be purchased for a $2.00 fee. Patrons should strive to keep up with their original wallet and keychain cards.

Out of County: Out-of-county library cards are available to patrons who do not live, work, or own land in Hopkins County. Out-of-county cards require a small yearly user fee, which must be paid by each member of the family receiving a card.  Full-Access out-of-county cards have a $20.00 user fee and give patrons full access to all of the same materials and services as their in-county equivalents. If an out-of-county patron wants a library card but does not require access to the Library’s physical collection, an Online-Only out-of-county card is available for a $10.00 user fee; this card gives access to all of the Library’s electronic resources (use of the Library’s public computers, electronic books, website resources, etc.) but does not allow for checkout of any of the Library’s physical materials (physical books, DVDs, A/V equipment, etc).

Juvenile Cards

Juvenile Cards: Parent/Legal Guardian must be present to establish a juvenile card account for minors aged 3- 17 years. These accounts allow full access to library materials excluding DVD/Blu-Ray titles, A/V equipment, and backpacks. Guardian name, address, contact information, and signature is required. ID of parent/legal guardian and proof of address also required (see above).

Juvenile Limited Cards: In the event a parent/legal guardian is not available and another responsible adult is present (Grandparent, sibling, aunt/uncle, cousin over age 18) to sign, a juvenile limited card may be issued.

Guardian name (or responsible adult), address, and contact information is required along with some form of identification if available. These accounts allow computer access (where applicable) and a restricted loan limit of 3 books/audio materials (except for first- time use cards, which is two [2] books/audio materials). Videos, A/V equipment, Go Packs, and cake pans may not be checked out with a juvenile limited card.

Circulation, Renewals, and Overdue Fees

Check Out:  All new users will be limited to two (2) items with a first time library card. A/V equipment cannot be checked out with a first-use card.   In times of high-volume requests, the library reserves the right to hold a few items on each subject within the library to supply patron demand.  Each patron is limited to a total of twenty (20) items checked out at any one time with the exception of a first-use card.  Patrons may request books and audio books from either the main library in Madisonville or the Dawson Springs Branch Library to be loaned between branches; however, videos and all materials less than one (1) year old may not be loaned. All items are due by close on the due date. Items returned in the book drops after close are not checked in until the next business day.

Book, Audio Book, and Music CD Checkout:  Books check out for 21 business days. Audio books and music CDs check out for 14 business days. Books, audio books, and music CDs may be renewed up to two (2) times as long as there are no reserves on the item. Audio books and music CDs are limited to four (4) items each per patron.  Late fees on these items are 10¢ per item per day, with a five (5) day grace period. The grace period applies only to books, audio books, and music CDs.

Video Checkout:  Only those 18 and older may check out videos. Videos check out for three (3) business days and may only be renewed one (1) time. There is a limit of four (4) videos per adult, only one (1) of which may be from the TV section (Limit two items from the TV section at the Dawson Springs Branch Library).  Late fees on videos are $2.00 per item per day.

Audio/Visual:  Audio/Visual equipment and screens are also available for checkout. Appropriate identification and a library card in good standing are required to borrow equipment. A 24-hour checkout time is allocated. Patron must be 18+ years of age to checkout A/V equipment.  A/V equipment may not be renewed, nor checked out with a first-use card.  Late fees on A/V equipment are $5.00 per item per day.

Go Packs:  Themed backpack kits (Go Packs) are available for checkout.  Only patrons 18 and older may check out Go Packs.  Go Packs check out for fourteen (14) business days and may be renewed up to two (2) times. There is a limit of one (1) Go Pack per adult. Overdue fines for Go Packs are $2.00 per day with a fine cap equal to the total cost of replacement (including backpack).  Patrons are responsible for any missing or damaged items and must pay for item/s replacement before they can check out materials or use the Library’s public computers. Go Packs may only be returned at the circulation desk and may not be left in book drops.

Cake Pans: Cake pans are available for checkout. Only patrons age 18 and over may check out cake pans. Cake pans check out for seven (7) business days and can be renewed one (1) time. There is a limit of two (2) cake pans per adult. Late fees on cake pans are $2.00 per item per day. Cake pans must be hand-washed before being returned. Patrons will be charged a $2.00 fee for each cake pan returned unwashed. Cake pans may only be returned at the circulation desk and may not be left in book drops.

Periodicals:  Magazines and newspapers may not be checked out at the Main Library (Madisonville) and must only be used in the designated reading area adjacent to the periodical shelving.  Patrons should also be mindful when using these materials, such as newspapers, that others may be waiting to use them too.  Staff reserves the right to regulate a periodical’s usage should any one patron have had a periodical for a significant amount of time and someone else is waiting to use it.  The Dawson Springs Branch Library does check out magazines (21 business day limit) but they do not check out newspapers.

Overdues:  No patron with outstanding fines or overdues may check out library materials or use the public computers.  This includes situations in which a patron has outstanding fines or overdues on their own account but has another patron’s permission to check out items on their account.  All checkout and computer use activity is forbidden until the delinquent account is cleared.  Also, since only adults can be responsible for a minor’s materials, any minor residing in a household with an adult patron holding outstanding fines or materials is also ineligible for checkout if the adult is the minor’s parent or legal guardian.  Overdue notices are generated by computer approximately two (2) weeks after an item has been found to be overdue.  These notices are mailed every two weeks to patrons. A second notice and/or phone call may be sent by the librarian offering another chance to return overdue items or to verify correct name and address.

Fine Schedule:  10¢ per item per day with a $2.00 maximum fine on each book, audio book, or music CD; $2.00 per day per item on DVD/Blu-Ray with a $6.00 per item cap.  A/V equipment is $5.00 per day up to the cost of the item. Go Packs and cake pans are $2.00 per item per day up to the cost of the items.


Donations may be accepted dependent upon available space and the condition of the items.  Donations must be relative to library collection. Not all donations will be added to the library collection.  Items not added to the library’s collection may be sold to benefit the library.  Any remaining books unsold or not accessioned may be recycled or given to other organizations (e.g., prisons libraries, schools, children’s homes, etc.).

No-Contact Homebound Delivery

The No-Contact Homebound Library Delivery Service at Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library provides free Library delivery services to individuals who are residents within Hopkins County and are unable to physically come to the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library at either of our two locations in Madisonville and Dawson Springs.

You must be a resident of Hopkins County and have a current Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library card. Delivery and pick up is available to individuals unable to come to the Library due to mobility, health (including quarantining individuals), or disability barriers. Whether you are at home, in assisted living or in a nursing facility, senior center, preschool, daycare facility, or private school you are eligible.

All deliveries will be made on Mondays starting September 13, 2021 between 10:00-2:30.  Other times may be possible depending on the delivery person’s availability.

These deliveries will be strictly no contact. Items will be placed in a bag(s) and left next to a door or other designated place.

The outreach coordinator will notify users in a particular area when it is off the road due to weather, emergency, maintenance, illness, etc.  You can request delivery by submitting an online form, or call the library at 270-825-2680 for scheduling requests and more information. Not all stops may be permissible and depend upon the current schedule and availability.

Book Drops

Book drops or returns are serviced on a weekly basis by the Bookmobile Librarian. They are located throughout the county. Only the book drop in front of the Main Library permits the return of video, DVD, audio, or CD materials. Heat and coldness can affect these items.   The book drops at the main library and the branch library are checked frequently during regular business hours.  Other book drops are checked on a weekly or semi-weekly basis.  The birdhouse libraries are not owned or maintained by HCMPL.  Items from the library’s collection may not be returned at these locations.

Children and Teen Areas

The Main Library’s (Madisonville) teen and children’s study tables and chairs are for children and teen use only – unless an adult is accompanied by a minor in their care.  Adults wishing to study, read, etc. should use any of the other available study tables and chairs located in the reading area, adult stacks, or adult computer lab.  Adult patrons unaccompanied by a minor may still browse and check out materials from both the teen and children’s areas, provided they do not loiter.

Replacement Cards

Replacement cards may be purchased for a $2.00 fee. Patrons should strive to keep up with their original wallet and keychain cards.

Lost & Damaged Materials

Lost & Damaged Materials:  Patrons are responsible for the cost of any missing or damaged items and must pay for item/s replacement before they can check out materials or use the Library’s public computers.  Replacement costs are calculated by adding the total cost of the item/s (shown either in the Library’s catalog record or the current market price – whichever of the two is cheaper) – plus a $1.50 processing fee per book and/or $5.00 processing for videos, whichever is applicable, and any associated overdue fines.  Patrons may also elect to purchase and donate an identical copy of the item that was lost or damaged in lieu of the Library serving as the purchasing agent.  Trades are sometimes permitted, such as swapping non-identical items for lost/damaged items.  These materials will be judged on a case-by-case basis by the Library Director and/or a staff designee, and are dependent upon the current needs of the collection as well as the item’s currency, condition, and usefulness.

Item Refunds:   Any materials lost and paid for may be reimbursed to the paying patron (less fine and processing fee) if receipt of refund showing payment for item is returned with item. Patron may not return a receipt more than six months from date of payment.

End of Day

Patrons wishing to check out library materials must do so no later than 10 minutes before closing to give staff sufficient time for closing procedures.  Patrons wishing to sign up for new library cards must do so no later than 15 minutes before closing.  The computer lab shuts down 15 minutes prior to closing.

Online Catalog & Resources

HCMPL offers our library catalog online for visitors to check resource available. Additionally, HCMPL provides a list of online resources for our patrons to access.

Meeting Rooms

Main Library

The main library has two (2) meeting rooms

Meeting Room A:
Smart TV with basic cable; sink; Wi-Fi access

Meeting Room B:
Smart TV with basic cable ; pull-down screen; Wi-Fi access

Digital projector and screen available but must be reserved separately prior to use.
DVD/Blu-Ray player available but must be reserved separately prior to use.


Dawson Springs Branch

Meeting Room
Full kitchen; Cable TV; DVD/VHS player; Wi-Fi access; after-hours entrance

Digital projector and screen available but must be reserved separately prior to use.

Smoke Free and Tobacco Use Policy

The Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library is a smoke free campus. Cigarette smoking, e-cigarette use, and/or any other tobacco product use will not be permitted in the buildings or outside anywhere on the grounds of the Library. Patrons who violate this Smoke Free Policy are considered in violation of the HCMPL Library Behavior Policy. Appropriate signage will be posted to notify patrons of the library’s smoke free policy.

Computer and Internet Access

For more information please see our Computer Use and Internet Policies.

Code of Conduct

For our full Code of Conduct please visit our Terms of Use page.