The library collection is open to all. Parents who wish to restrict their children's library materials must accompany the child to the Library and monitor their online activity.
- New fiction & hotspots 7-day loan period
- All other materials 14-day loan period
- Newspapers and current magazines are not checked out, but all children's periodicals check out.
How to Apply for a Library Card
Anyone residing, working, or attending school in Ottawa County can be issued a free library card, valid for three years. Individuals residing outside of Ottawa County are charged $20.00 for a fee card, valid for one year. Children 5 years of age or who are enrolled in kindergarten may be issued a library card; those under 18 must have a registration card signed by a parent or guardian unless legally emancipated (documentation required.) Children's accounts must be linked to a parent or guardian account in good standing.
To apply for a library card, the information required is the name, permanent address, personal telephone number, work telephone, and email. Applicants must present a driver’s license or government-issued photo I.D. card with their current address at the time of application and proof of residency (see below). For those who work in Ottawa County, a recent pay stub showing the employer and address is required. Students can show a school ID or a current class schedule. A postcard may be mailed to applicants who have insufficient identification; the presentation of the postcard will be considered proof of address.
An individual who has recently moved to Ottawa County may be given a digital-only card number to allow them time to secure the necessary items. The card will allow the individual instant access to online library services for 30 days. Once patron submits necessary items, they will be given full access to the library's collection. Only one digital card per household will be issued.
Proof of Residency
- Utility Bill
- Rent Receipt
- Recently dated mail (not older than one month)
$5.00 is charged for a lost card, expired or not. Cards will not be issued 15 minutes prior to closing.
The card must be presented at the time of checkout. All materials checked out on the borrower's card, and all fines accruing on such materials are the responsibility of that person unless the Library has been notified in advance that the card has been lost or stolen. Only the patron assigned to a card may use the card for checkout purposes. Each person in the household will need a card registered in their name.
Renewals and Limits
- All materials except hotspots may be renewed twice, except for those for which there is a waiting list.
- DVDs are limited to four per household from the Children's Department, four per household from the Adult Department, and two per household from the Teen Department.
- Only one hotspot may be checked out per household.
Books not in our collection may be obtained through an Interlibrary Loan for patrons possessing a valid library card.
A fee of $2.00 per item to offset postage costs will be collected when the patron picks up each item.
Fines for overdue Interlibrary Loan materials will be the same as those for materials belonging to the Miami Public Library.
Circulation records are confidential; however, patrons should be aware that due to specific legislation (See below - Section 215 of the federal USA Patriot Act, Public Law 107-56), confidentiality may be compromised.
Section 215: Access to Records Under Foreign Intelligence Security Act
Allows an FBI agent to obtain a search warrant for "any tangible thing," which can include books, records, papers, floppy disks, data tapes, and computers with hard drives.
Permits the FBI to compel production of library circulation records, Internet use records, and registration information stored in any medium.
Does not require the agent to demonstrate "probable cause," the existence of specific facts to support the belief that a crime has been committed or that the items sought are evidence of a crime. Instead, the agent only needs to claim that he believes that the records he wants may be related to an ongoing investigation related to terrorism or intelligence activities, a very low legal standard.
Libraries or librarians served with such a search warrant issued under FISA rules may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of the warrant or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrant. A patron cannot be told that his or her records were given to the FBI or that he or she is the subject of an FBI investigation.
Overrides state library confidentiality laws protecting library records.