Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a patron?
Come to the library and fill out an application! We do not charge to sign up for a membership and anyone can become a patron (you don't have to show any proof of residency). Since we are a community-funded library that relies on donations rather than government funding or penal fines, we do not require that you live within the city limits or pay taxes in Harbor Springs to have access to our services, but we do ask that you become a donor.
What events or programming do you have?
We have several story times or other children’s programs each month and often have lectures or other special events that take place in the library. Please refer to our calendar for upcoming events.
How do I check out books?
For the first time, we have physical library cards to give out to our patrons! Ask at the circulation desk and we'll print one out for you. If you don't want one, though, we keep all of our patrons’ library cards on file at the library, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of your card. When you’ve selected the items you would like to check out, just give the librarian your name and she will find your card number and check the books out to you.
If we have your email address, you will receive a reminder three days before your book is due.
How many items can I check out?
You can check out up to 25 books at any given time. Books and DVDs are checked out for 14 days, and books on CD are checked out for 28 days. You can check out 10 books at a time through Michigan's Interlibrary Loan Program- MeLCat.
What if I've lost or damaged a book?
If you've lost or damaged a library book, please call us at 526-2531 and we can arrange to replace the book. We will attempt to contact you to remind you of overdue books via phone, email, and the postal service. We will send an invoice for lost books if we don't hear back from you after books are overdue for one month.
What is the 7-Day Loan Section?
Our shelf of new books is directly inside the door to the library to your left. The top shelf contains the 7-day loan books (up to three months old), the second shelf is our newest nonfiction books up to one year, and the shelves below that are fiction books from three months up to one year, both of which go out for 14 days. The newest books have a shorter loan period in order to encourage our readers to return the books quickly for our other patrons to read.
How much are late fees?
We don't charge late fees for our books. We would love to accept a donation, however, in lieu of any fees.
How can I renew my items?
Books that are eligible for renewal (books that don't have a hold placed on them, and books checked out by patrons with no other overdue books or unpaid fines) will be automatically renewed through our computer on the day it's due for up to two consecutive renewals. This gives you some time to finish reading your book without worrying about it being overdue. After it's been renewed the maximum amount of time, you'll receive notification via email and the book will fall into the overdue status at that point.
If we have your email on file, you will receive a reminder three days before your book is due. You will also receive a notification once it is overdue. If we don't have your email address, we'll give you a phone call to let you know once the book is overdue. You can also renew books from our website once you're logged in, but with our autorenewal process, that's really not necessary.
Can I place a hold on a book from home? What if someone else has checked out the book I want?
If you'd like to place a hold on a book, sign in to our system by clicking here and entering your library card number in the upper right corner (call us at 526-2531 if you don't know what it is) followed by the phone number we have on file for you. Once logged in, you can view your check outs, your circulation history, and due dates. You can also run a search for the book you're interested in reserving and have it set aside for you by entering the title in the upper left hand search bar, clicking "go." If the book is available at the library, the title box will be green and you can click "reserve this item" and we'll pull it from the shelf and put it aside for you. If the title box is red, it is checked out to someone else and you can still click "reserve this item" and be put on the list for it as soon as it becomes available. You will receive an email notification as soon as it's checked back in. Reserved books will be held at the circulation desk for 3 days before being placed back on our shelves for other patrons.
Do you offer printing/fax services?
We have a color wireless printer/scanner and can print for $0.20 per page. In order to print from your computer or device, be sure to log on to our wireless network, "HARBOR_SPRINGS_LIBRARY." While we do not have a fax machine, we can absolutely assist you in scanning a document and emailing it. Copy Plus and Ink Spot on State St. has a fax machine if needed.
Do you proctor exams?
Yes! Call us at 526-2531 and we can arrange proctoring your exams.
How do I log on to your computer system?
Ask your librarian for your library card number (or call us at 526-2531) and then you can log on to our website under “my account” or by clicking here. Your password is the phone number we have on file for you. From there you can check due dates of books you have checked out, place holds on books, and view your circulation history.
Where do I return my items?
Please bring your books back upstairs to the circulation desk. If the library is closed, please place your books in the drop box outside of our door.
*Please remember that during the pandemic all returned items are held in quarantine for 72 hours before being checked in. If you have returned your book, we will attempt to automatically renew it until the time we can check it in, but if you receive an email notification that your books are due and you know it's been returned, it's likely on the quarantine shelf and we will check it in as soon as we can and you can ignore the email.
Do you have eBooks?
The Harbor Springs Library has joined a consortium of 44 Northern Michigan libraries to offer our patrons a large digital collection of ebooks and audio books through an app called Libby from OverDrive. With the free app, our patrons can use their user id to access over 24,000 digital books. Click here for more information.
Are you a part of Michigan's InterLibrary Loan program?
Yes! Thanks to the Michigan Electronic Library Catalog or MeLCat, we are able to bring books to Harbor Springs from any library in Michigan. This process is free to our patrons and usually takes a week to two weeks. Deliveries come every Tuesday and Thursday. InterLibrary Loan items are checked out to our patrons for three weeks. You'll need your library card number (the P number on your card) to log on to mel.org and then just search for the topic or specific items you're looking for. Patrons may check out up to 10 books through MeLCat at any given time.
What else can I access through MeLCat?
The Michigan eLibrary (MeLCat) is an enormous database administered by the Library of Michigan that provides all Michigan residents with free access to online full-text articles, full-text books, digital images, and other valuable research information. Databases are available for kids, adults, and on specialized topics such as car repair, encyclopedias, business insights, discovery learning, bilingual resources, legal forms, and practice tests. The MeLCat Michigan database contains photographs, diaries, oral histories, local records and historical Michigan data. MeLCat Gateways include specialized resources such as those in health, business, and areas for kids and teens. Click here to access MeLCat.
Are you partnered with other local libraries? Can I drop off library books from other libraries?
I'm afraid not. While we adore our neighboring libraries, we do not have a partnership where we can deliver books back and forth unless ordered through MeLCat. Also, a library card at the Harbor Springs Library is not accepted at neighboring libraries and vice versa. However, regardless of the district in which you live, you can always get a free library card at the Harbor Springs Library.
Do you accept book donations?
We gladly accept book donations. Between the Covers Bookstore in Harbor Springs offers a generous 20% discount on books that will be donated to the library. They carry a wish list of specific books that we would love to receive. Used books that are donated to the library that don’t find a home on our shelves will be placed in our biannual book sale.
Do you sell books?
Yes! We have a couple of shelves of books for sale for $1-$2 a piece. We also have two large annual book sales: one around Thanksgiving and one around the 4th of July where we fill tables throughout the library with books for sale.
Do you lend other items such as games, electronic devices, craft supplies, or musical instruments?
Not yet. We do have puzzles available, but we do not have the space to store other, larger items.
Do you have computers available for personal use?
Yes, we have four laptops available to the public in the library (two Macs and two PCs). We also have mobile hot spots to lend that can be checked out and taken home. With the hot spots, as long as you have a cell signal, you can access the internet from your computer at home or on the road. Hot spots are checked out for two weeks. More about those here.
Do you have wireless internet?
Yes, the password is hslibrary1.
Public computer policies:
- There is no cost to use the public computers in the library nor is there a cost to borrow our WiFi.
- Public computers are available for use inside the library only.
- Files and applications cannot be saved to Harbor Springs Library public computers. All files will be deleted upon logging off or shutting down the computer.
- Please remember to log off of any online accounts and turn the computer off when finished.
- Above all, please be respectful and responsible while using library computers.
- The library is not responsible for damage to any personal computing devices that may occur while using our network.