Borrowing Policy

Borrowing Policy

Loan Periods

Most items are checked out for 21 days (3 weeks at a time)

DVDs/Blu-Rays, New Books, back issues of magazines, Big Books, and holiday books can be checked out for 10 days.

Wi-Fi hotspots will circulate for 10 days and automatically renew 3 times.

Checkout Limits

Due to higher demand, there is a limit of 15 DVDs/Blu-Rays and 10 magazines that may be checked out to one library card at a time.

Holds on Materials

You may place a Hold for any circulating library material currently checked out or owned by Middletown Public Library. Find the item you want in the Library Catalog and click “Place a Hold.” Follow the on-screen instructions.

There is no charge for placing a hold.

You may have up to 25 holds at one time. When placing Holds on DVDs/Blu-Rays, please remember the checkout limit of 15.

Please allow 2-4 days for an item that is available at Middletown Library to be shipped to Hershey Public Library.

You will be notified by email, text, or phone call when your item arrives. It can be picked up at the Holds Pickup Shelf inside the front doors. Your hold will be identified by the first four letters of your last name, and the last four digits of your library card barcode. Items will remain on the Hold Shelf for 7 days.

Please alert library staff if you notice a Hold request is about to expire so the time can be extended.

Blocked Cards

You cannot check out, renew materials, or place holds on items if you have fees totaling $20 or more or you have long-overdue items.

For a library card to be considered “in good standing,” ALL of the following must apply:

  • Must be able to verify current address
  • No overdue fines or fees of $20.00 or more
  • No overdue or lost materials


Eligible items will renew automatically up to 5 times and will be calculated from the original due date if there are no hold requests on that item. Borrowers will receive updates on their checkout status by email or text message.

Interlibrary Loan items and items on Hold for another patron will not automatically renew.

Items from the Middletown Public Library will automatically renew once if there are no hold requests on that item.

To request a renewal of Middletown Public Library item, please call 717-533-6555. To request a renewal for an Interlibrary Loan item, please call Denise Phillips at 717-533-6555 ext. 3723.

Overdue Charges

Materials should be returned on time and in good condition to allow all patrons to enjoy services offered by the library. Please make staff aware of damage to items when returning them to allow for good care of the collection.

The Hershey Public Library is fine free for most of its materials. However, some items still accrue overdue fines as detailed below:

  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials: $1.00 per day, per item
  • Hotspots: $2.00 per day, per hotspot
  • Attraction Passes (Hershey Story, Hershey Gardens, etc.): $2.00 per day, per pass

Borrowing privileges are suspended with an account balance of $20.00 or more.

Fees for non-pickup of requested Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials range from $2.50 to $5.00 per item depending on shipping costs.

Overdue items are considered lost if not returned for 3 months after the item’s due date, at which time you will be charged the full cost of the item.

Nothing in this section is intended to relieve an individual of their responsibility for the cost of replacing a lost or damaged item or material, as more particularly set forth in the Damaged or Lost Materials Section below.

Damaged or Lost Library Materials

Users are liable for the replacement or repair costs of materials in their possession if loss or damage occurs.

Replacement fees will be assessed to the borrower’s account for items returned in damaged condition. Damage includes but is not limited to:

  • Water damage
  • Burned or ripped cover, cases, or pages
  • Ripped or removed labels, barcodes, or RFID tags
  • Dirt, sand, food, or other substances adhered to materials
  • Highlighting or underlining
  • Smoke odor and/or residue
  • Bed bugs and/or other pests

Incomplete returns

It is up to the borrower to make sure that each case contains all discs before checking out and returning audiovisual materials. If an item is returned missing one or more pieces, we will try to inform you. Please return missing pieces as quickly as possible to avoid replacement fees.

The library does not accept substitute materials to replace lost or damaged items. Replacement costs depend on the purchase/replacement price at the time of declaration.

Methods of Payment

Fines and fees can be paid in cash, check, or with a credit card through the library website at SmartPay.

Laptop Lending

Laptops can only be checked out to patrons with Adult library cards in good standing for in-library use only.

For a library card to be considered “in good standing,” ALL of the following must apply:

  • Must be able to verify current address
  • No overdue fines or fees of $20.00 or more
  • No overdue or lost materials

Borrowers may not install software and/or alter, delete, and/or copy any software loaded on the laptop or otherwise altering its existing configuration.

The borrower assumes any and all liability for the cost of repair or replacement in the event of loss, theft, damage, negligence or misuse.

A repair fee will be levied for damaged laptops and accessories based on the cost of the repairs.

Replacement for the laptop computer, power cord, and/or other accessories will be charged at current cost.

Under no circumstances is a borrower to leave the laptop unattended. The borrower will be held responsible for the laptop and/or accessory that is damaged, missing, lost or stolen.

A patron’s privilege to check-out a laptop may be suspended if the patron violates this Circulating Laptop Policy in any way.

All computer files will be erased after the computer is returned.

Until the laptop has been placed in the hands of a library staff member, the laptop remains the responsibility of the borrower.

Laptops must be physically handed in to staff.

Troubleshooting Problems & Questions:

If a patron experiences problems with laptop hardware or applications or has questions, he/she should bring the computer to the Public Services Desk for assistance.

The borrower will be held financially responsible for any damage to a laptop if he/she tries to troubleshoot problems.


The Hershey Public Library will assume no responsibility for damage to any removable drive (i.e., CD or flash drive) or for loss of data or files that may occur due to viruses, software failure, network failure, electrical failure or any other cause.

Library wireless connections are not secure, and appropriate caution must be taken with personal information.

Board approved 11/15/2022