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Library Law and Policies

Library  Membership

Residents, Annexed Patrons, or Property Owners

If you live in Montgomery County AND Hillsboro School District, Unit #3, or own property within the Hillsboro Area Public Library District's boundaries, then you are entitled to a library card by paying for the library through your property taxes. The following areas are included in the library district's boundaries: Hillsboro, Hillsboro outskirts, Schram, Taylor Springs, Butler, Coffeen and Irving.

(If you are from Panama or Donnellson, eligibility depends on whether you live in Montgomery County or Bond).

Reciprocal Borrowers

If you have membership with another library such as Litchfield, Witt, Nokomis, Greenville or Raymond, etc. then you are entitled to use your library card here to borrow materials or use the computers.

Non-Resident Library Card Laws

If you live in Bond county (some of Panama) or if you do NOT live in the Hillsboro School District Unit #3 boundaries (much of Fillmore),  you will have to pay $70 for a non-resident library card. Why? Because it is the law.


According to the Illinois Local Library Act, state law, (75 ILCS, 5/4-7) if you do not live within the library district's boundaries, you are not paying for the library within your property taxes and therefore are considered a non-resident. Non-residents are required to pay a fee for services comparable to local taxpayers who already are paying for the library.

According to the Secretary of State's website, "Public Library Boards have the authority to extend the use of the library to nonresidents for an annual fee, which must be equal to or the cost paid by residents" [23 Ill. Adm. Code 3030.10].

Please refer to Public Library Non-Resident Service Administrative Rules on the Secretary of State, Jesse White's website.

Cards for Kids (SB3177)

If you have a child in the Hillsboro CUSD #3 School District and you are NOT covered by our library district (aka non-residents) AND your child qualifies for reduced or free lunch, you are eligible for a free family library card. A student ID card (or letter from the school) and poof of residency will need to be provided to be eligible.

Circulation Policy

Books are loaned for a period of 2 weeks. 12 books or materials per library card or family. Books can be renewed by email, over the phone, or in-person. 

Ebooks Policy

Available Services:

The Hillsboro Public Library offers two eBook services, including Axis 360 and Overdrive.

Both of these services offer digital eBooks as well as audiobooks.

Registration For Services:

eBook services are free to Hillsboro Public Library patrons with

a valid library card in good standing (less than $3.00 in fines on their account).


To register for eBooks, contact Director Kolb at (217) 532-3055 or email to get started.

Hold and Renewal Policy

Placing Holds

If a patron requests a material that is already checked out to another person,

then patrons can ask to put a hold on the material.


Note: This library allows patrons to put holds on popular materials, except when the book is first processed, in which it is then displayed with the new books and may be checked out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hold Notification and Pick-Up

Once a patron is notified that a hold is “ready” or “available for pick-up”,  the patron has one week to pick up the material. Once the one week hold availability has ended and the patron has not yet picked up by the materials (for whatever reason), then the hold goes to the next person on the holding list or it will be re-shelved (if there are no further holds).  


Renewal of Materials with Holds

If a patron requests to renew an item with a hold, the staff will inform the patron that it is currently on hold for another patron. In that event, the patron currently possessing the requested item is allowed one renewal (checkout for a total time of 1 month).


Renewal of Materials without Holds

Patrons can renew materials without holds up to 4 times (2 Months in total).

Interlibrary Loan Policy

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is the process by which a library patron can request a book or audio book from another library in the event that Hillsboro Public Library does not own the title.

How do I participate in Interlibrary Loan?

To request materials we ask you fill out an interlibrary loan request form upstairs at the circulation desk.

Interlibrary Loan Code and Cost

According to the ILLINET 2015 Interlibrary Loan Code [23 ILAC 3030. Exhibit A, pg. 80] "It is not allowable for either the requesting library or supplying library to charge (the patron) for ILLINET resource sharing transactions of returnable items." In other words, interlibrary loan is free to all Hillsboro Public Library patron members.

How soon Can I Expect My Materials?

Please give us 1-2 days to process your request and plan 7-14 days to receive your materials. Call to renew your materials.

IMPORANT!  We will call you when your materials arrive and give you one reminder call thereafter. If your materials are not picked up within a period of one week, we may send back the materials so other patrons from the supplying or lending library can check-out the materials. You will have to re-request the materials in this event.

To avoid this, please call the library and let us know when you plan to pick up the materials or how long to hold them for you if you are going to be out of town.

Fine Policy

General Fine Policy

Books or materials that are late will be charged 20 cents a day, per item.

There is a 2 day grace period to return overdue items without incurring any fines. Patrons will not be allowed to check out books or materials if their fine is over $3.00.

Lost Books

If you suspect a book may be lost let the staff know so we can renew your materials to avoid any overdue fines. You will be given one month to find the book.

After one month if you have not found the book. The book will be marked as lost and you will be responsible for paying the full price for the book.

Fine Notification

You will first be notified of your fine when you come to the library. If a patron does not come to the library you will first be notified by a letter and then phone call regarding your fine.

Please see the attached document (left) regarding policies further lost book policies, damaged materials and max fines allowable. 

Meeting and Study Room Policy

Meeting Room/Conference Room

Seats up to 12 persons. Reserve Only. Free to any local club, charitable organization, or non-profit. Can also be rented to a commercial businesses or for a private event for $25 for a minimum of a 2 hour block. Cannot be rented to anyone under the age of 18.

Study Rooms

Seats up to 3-5 persons. Free to use for private study, tutoring, research, meetings, group work, or private use. A Chromebook laptop is available for checkout for in-house use in the study room. FYI: It has to be connected to a Gmail account to use.

Walk-ins are always welcome, but priority for these rooms will be given to those with reservations.


To make a reservation, call us at (217) 532-3055, make a request in-person, or email us at with your first and last name, the organization's name and the meeting day and time you would like to reserve the room for.

An agreement and liability waiver must be signed in person in order to use any of these rooms.

Computer and Internet Policy


Anyone with a valid Hillsboro Public Library Card or any valid library card in the area, can use our computers for free without providing a donation. Any patron with fines over $3.00 will not be allowed to use the computers.

Computer Donations

Any adults who do not have any library card (non-residents), are highly encouraged but not required to to pay a small computer donation. For patrons that are considered "non-residents," we ask for a $2.00 voluntary donation to help pay to maintain our computers. It is very expensive to update and maintain computers, so we have decided to continue the donation at this time.

Children and Minors

Children 14 and an older may use the computers without an adult present, but must have a signed waiver by the parent on file. Children 13 and under still need to have an adult with them to use the computers to protect them from inappropriate or malicious content.


Please be aware that our computers do not have firewalls to block potentially offensive or inappropriate content except on the children's computer. Nor is the library responsible for any content on the internet. In addition, the director and staff are unable to monitor children on the computers at all times, so it is the parent's responsibility to monitor, supervise and teach internet safety. 

Computer Sign-In

Everyone, including children or their guardian are required to sign the date, their name and the time they enter the library when using the computers.

Genealogy Computer

Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations take priority. Anyone needing the genealogy computer for genealogy or historical research, and anyone who is physically disabled

also takes priority over someone working on the computer in that room.

Computer Assistance and Lessons

Computer assistance is always available to patrons, however the director and staff cannot guarantee the amount of time spent on any one question or issue depending on the traffic or director’s schedule that day. For further assistance we recommend a one-on-one lesson or appointment with the director. Lessons are free once a month.

Printing Policy

Printing Fees

If a patron prints double sided, the patron will be charged for both sides. In addition, the following charges apply based on the color selection:


Black and White

Black and White or Grayscale printing is offered at 25 cents per page.

Color printing is offered for 50 cents per page.


Printing in color is available at the computer next to the circulation desk. If this computer is unavailable, please ask staff for assistance.

Printing Too Many Pages

If a patron makes a mistake, the patron is still responsible for paying for their copies. If the staff or director is helping the patron and they make the mistake, then the library assumes responsibility.

Children's Programs Policy

No Exclusion

While we have particular programs recommended to various ages, we will not turn down a child wanting to attend any program due to age, sex, race, religion, or for financial reasons.

The only exception to this rule is in the event a young child is wanting to join a teen program because teens can have mature conversations which are not appropriate for a grade school student.


In this event if the child still wants to participate and there is a high demand among younger children, the program will be offered again.

Do I Need A Library Card?

No. Our children's programs are free to all children and families who attend Hillsboro schools, except when there is a limitation on the program attendance due to limited number of computers. In this event, a sign-up will be made available at the library, on the website or you can email

Program Safety Requirements

If you are not staying with your child during the program (available to children ages 8 and up), we ask that you sign in and out your child with your signature, time and a phone contact in case of emergencies.

If someone else is picking up the child other than the parent or legal guardian, we need a letter or email with written consent with the person's name and relationship to the child.

Unattended Children and Inappropriate Behavior

The library is NOT responsible for unattended children. If misbehavior occurs and you, the parent or guardian is not here, the director reserves all right to redirect or discipline the child.

Patron Code of Conduct

Language and Volume

While we do believe in the right to free speech, loud, offensive or threatening language will not be tolerated. As this is a “family and retiree friendly” library, cursing, threatening language, or offensive language will not be tolerated as it infringes upon others rights to safety, the right to read or study.


Patrons are always allowed to talk upstairs, especially to the staff or director. Talking is permitted in the computer lab but is not to disturb others on the computer. If you need a quiet place to study or perform work related tasks, designated quiet areas consist of the genealogy room and the cozy corner in the large print section. The large table in the Children's area is also permitted especially during the mornings when the children's area is generally quiet or not in use.


We would prefer that cellphones should be turned to vibrate or silent. If a patron needs to make a call or receive a call, patrons are welcome to take calls in the lobby/foyer area or in the genealogy room with the door closed. If a patron is seen talking on a cellphone or Bluetooth device disturbing staff or those reading, they will be asked to move to one of these designated areas. If the patron refuses or if the volume level does not decrease, the patron will be asked to take their phone call outside. 

Computer Lab

Those listening to music, videos, podcasts, playing games or etc., are required to either have their own earbuds or headphones or will be asked to mute the volume so as not to disturb others. The library is NOT responsible for loaning out or cleaning earbuds.

Offensive Odors

If a patron has offensive body odor, or excessive cologne or perfume, that is disturbing another patron or the staff, by either making it uncomfortable to breath or by creating a feeling of nausea, that patron will be asked kindly to leave, and to come back the next business day.


Patrons will be appropriately attired including shirts, shoes and that both women and men should be modestly covered.



Sleeping is permitted in the library with the following limitations, 1) The patron may not sleep on the floor, or across library furniture 2) The patron may not disturb others (i.e. loud snoring) 3)The patron sleeping is not considered to be disturbing anyone else.

Food and Drink Policy

Computer Lab

Food or Drink is NOT allowed in the computer lab period. No excuses.


Only coffee, tea, and water are allowed in the library. Patrons with a drink other than these items will be asked by a staff member to hold the drink at the circulation desk. Alternatively, patrons can choose to finish the drinks outside. All liquids must have a resealable lid or cap.  (For example, if you have a can of soda, you will be asked to finish the drink outside).


We currently have an "Out of sight, out of mind" policy. If you have food on your persons, it needs to be kept in a bookbag, pack, or lunchbox at all times.



The only exception to food or drink in the library is during library sanctioned events supervised by volunteers, staff, or the director.

Library staff members are also allowed to have food or drink in the library during breaks.

Elevator Policy


The elevator is only for those with visual or physical impairments or those with medical conditions which may require elevator services. Parents, guardians or caregivers with strollers or mail carriers in need of a lift may also use the elevator.

Unattended Children

The library is NOT responsible for injuries or entrapment to any unattended child using the elevator.

If a child (ages 18 and under) becomes stuck in the elevator or is caught abusing the elevator, the police will first be notified and then an attempt to notify the parents will be made.


If you are making plans to come to the library and need assistance using the elevator, please call 217-532-3055.

ADA (American Disabilities Act) Compliance

Compliance Statement

The Library makes all attempts possible within reason and within financial reason to comply with ADA Laws and Acts.

Large Print

The library currently offers over 1,200 large print books for those with visual impairments or those who may have a hard time reading small print.

Audio Books and Talking Books Program

The library offers audio books both physically or digitally (through Axis 360 and Overdrive), for those with visual impairments. We also offer the state program "Talking Books" which provides free services to elderly who may be deemed "legally blind" or for those with visual impairments. Please contact the director for more information on Talking Books.


Most computers now come with tools in your internet browser to either view the screen or images on a larger scale or come with a magnifier tool. Please ask the staff or director for assistance.

Home Delivery Services

The library wants our community to be aware that we do offer home bound delivery services through volunteers if you are physically unable to come to the library due to injury or poor physical condition. In this case please call the library to sign-up for this program. You must be a library card member to be eligible for this service.

Concerns or Complaints Policy

If you have a concern or complaint that you would like to make against our policies, the staff, or services, please contact the director in-person, over the phone or by email.

"I take concerns and complaints very seriously and will do everything in my power to discuss the issue with you or resolve the issue." - Shelley Kolb, Director

FYI: A complaint will only be brought to the board's attention or filed formally when the complaint is made in writing by mail or by emailing the director at

(Complaints made on Facebook are NOT considered formal.)

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