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Getting & Using a Library Card

Residents of DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands or Okeechobee Counties (Heartland Library Cooperative member counties) are eligible for a free library card.

Proof of residency must be presented when applying for a library card and when renewing or replacing cards. A photo ID is required in addition to the proof of residency.

Proof of residency must be one of the following documents, which are current, valid, and issued in DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands or Okeechobee:

Florida Driver’s License
Florida Identification Card
County Government Employee Identification Badge
School or College Identification Card
Voter’s Registration Card
Vehicle Registration
Lease or Rental Agreement for 12‐month period
Current Property Tax Receipt/Bill
Deed to Property
Declaration of Domicile from Clerk of Courts
Utility bill issued within last 3 months (must be in resident’s name)
Bank statement (not a check) (must be in resident’s name)
Postmarked first class mail with person’s name and correct, local address

Library cards are available to non-resident County visitors for a fee of $10.00 for 3 months, $20.00 for 6 months or $30.00 for one year. Additional family members (living at the same address) may purchase Library cards for $5.00 each if purchased at the same time. 

Lost or forgotten cards

If a patron loses his/her Library card, he/she should notify the Library as soon as possible and request a replacement. There is a $2.00 charge to replace a lost card. A patron may be allowed to check out items two times using their photo I.D (twice-per- year). A note will be added to their patron account record noting the date and requiring the Library card be produced the next time the patron wishes to check out items. If the patron can provide a police report in the case of a stolen card, the card will be replaced at no charge.

Loan periods

All Library materials circulate for 2 weeks. Limit 20 items total:

5 audiobooks
5 CDs
2 DVDs (Glades and Okeechobee circulate 5 DVDs)
1 DVD set (sets hold 3+ DVDs)
5 magazines
1 videogame
2 Pink Cart books

** Some material limits may differ by Library.

Fines and charges

Since Library materials are purchased with tax dollars, the Governing Board of the Heartland Library Cooperative feels a responsibility to ensure their availability to all patrons. To achieve this goal, the Board has established a system of overdue notices and fines. The purpose of overdue notices is to secure the return of Library property for continued use. The purpose of fines is to provide partial reimbursement to the Library for materials, staff time, and postage used in sending out overdue notices.

Fines on overdue materials are charged for each day the Library is open.


Overdue Fine

Maximum Fine



$50.00 or cost

Pink Cart Book


$50.00 or cost



$50.00 or cost



$50.00 or cost



$50.00 or cost

Music CD


$50.00 or cost



$50.00 or cost

Video Game


$50.00 or cost

Printing & Photocopying 

Black and white printouts are $.25 per page
Color, $1.00 per page

Copy machine users are advised that there are restrictions on copyrighted materials. Any violation of copyright is the responsibility of the copy machine user.

Meeting Room Policy 

The room is available to individuals or organized groups in the Library service area. The Library Board may make exceptions if the Board deems extenuating circumstances are involved.
The fact that a group is permitted to meet at the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group's policies or beliefs by the Library staff or Board. 

It is understood that Library programming will have first priority in room use. 

Groups requesting use of the Library meeting room must confirm with the individual Library how many seats are available in the meeting room. 

Refreshments may be served, if allowed by the individual Library, and shall be provided by the group. The people using the room shall leave it in neat, clean, orderly condition; if not, the group/individual will be given notice that continued offense will result in denied access to the meeting room. The group may be charged for repair and/or cleanup of the room if damage occurs during the meeting.
The Library is not responsible for any equipment, supplies, materials, clothing, or other items brought to the Library by any group or individual attending a meeting. The Library cannot provide pencils, paper, pens or other materials for non-Library sponsored meetings. The Library Board and staff do not assume any liability for groups or individuals attending a meeting in the Library.

Internet Policy & Disclaimer

Computer workstations are located within each library. Internet use is limited to sessions with a maximum of 60 minutes. Total Internet use is limited to 120 minutes per day per person.

Wireless Internet Access is offered within each library. Internet use is limited to time periods when the library is open.

Internet users should have no expectation of privacy, should be considerate of other library users, and refrain from displaying materials that might reasonably be considered objectionable.

HLC receives E-rate and/or LSTA funding. As a result, HLC is required by federal law, specifically the Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”), to block Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, illegal, contain child pornography, or are harmful to minors. The HLC Board has chosen to block these categories of sites in order to fulfill federal requirements.

Social Networking except Facebook
Additionally, the HLC Board has authorized staff to block sites in the category of Streaming Media when needed in order to better manage the flow of traffic within the HLC local and wide area networks.

Inappropriate use, as determined by the library staff, will result in immediate cessation of Internet users’ access and/or disciplinary action. That authority is granted to the director for discretion on issues that may not be Board policy and procedures, with issue to be brought to the next meeting of the Board for ratification.

Access by Minors

Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which Library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. While HLC affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children’s access to library materials and resources, including those available through the Internet, HLC has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors.

Parents or legal guardians are advised to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. Parents or legal guardians are encouraged to read Child Safety on the Information Highway and to make use of the resources offered by NetSmartz.

HLC urges minors to also keep in mind the following safety guidelines:

Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without parents’ or guardians’ approval.
Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one uncomfortable.
Have parents or guardians report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if one becomes aware of the transmission of child pornography.
Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
Remember that everything one reads may not be true.

Internet Disclaimer

In offering Internet access, HLC cannot guarantee that information found through the Internet is accurate, authoritative, or factual. Nor can HLC control access points that often change rapidly or unpredictably. HLC uses a commercial Internet filter to block Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, illegal, contain child pornography, or are harmful to minors.

In consideration of HLC providing access to the Internet, Internet users and the parents and legal guardians of Minor Internet users agree to hold HLC harmless and agree to indemnify the library from any and all liability arising out of the use of the Internet and/or Library workstations. HLC is not responsible for loss of any data due to service interruptions. HLC is not responsible for any commercial transactions that an Internet user participates in while accessing the Internet.

Procedure for Dealing with Inappropriate Use of Public Computers

1st time – a gentle reminder and a note in patron record
2nd time – no computer privileges for 3 months; written warning handed in person to patron; note in patron record
3rd time – Barred from the library for 1 year; certified letter sent to home address; note in patron record
4th time – Permanently barred from the library; trespass warrant served by police; note in patron record.