FAQs

Check out our frequently asked questions!

Hamilton East Public Library is here for you. Are you interested in using the library’s services, but you aren’t sure where to start because you have too many questions? We can help!

If you cannot find an answer to your question, don’t hesitate to ask any staff member at Hamilton East Public Library. You can also visit our Policies page for more detailed information. We are here to help you find what you need!

LIBRARY CARDS

How do I get a library card?

If you reside or own property in the township of Delaware, Fall Creek, Noblesville or Wayne in Hamilton County, bring a current, valid photo ID and a document issued within the last 60 days verifying your address to the Service Desk at either Fishers Library or Noblesville Library. Acceptable documents include mail (with a legible postmark), statements, bills, leases, etc. A current driver’s license is also an acceptable form of identification.

If you reside or own property in the township of Adams, Clay, Jackson, or Washington in Hamilton County, bring in a picture ID and your library card from your local library. Hamilton East Public Library (HEPL) has a “reciprocal borrowing” agreement with the public libraries serving those areas. Once your information is verified with the local library, you will be able to use your home library card to borrow material and use other HEPL services (except for e-services and interlibrary loan services).

If you live in White River Township in Hamilton County, there is no public library in White River Township, and no agreement for library services has been signed with a neighboring public library. However, you may obtain a HEPL card with all of the same privileges as a resident’s card by paying the “non-resident fee-payer” fee. Please call the library at 317-773-1384 (Noblesville) or 317-579-0301 (Fishers) to obtain the annual fee amount for the current calendar year.

If you live in the state of Indiana, but outside of Hamilton County, you may obtain library service by presenting an Indiana Public Library Access Card (PLAC) and the public library card issued to you by your local public library. You may purchase a PLAC from your local public library, or you may purchase one when you register at HEPL. Once your information is verified, you will receive a HEPL card for as long as the PLAC is valid.

If you live outside of the state of Indiana, you are not eligible to purchase a PLAC or obtain a library card. You may still use the other services offered by the library — you may browse the collections and periodicals, use the study rooms, attend children’s and adult programs, obtain reference services, or use the public computers or wireless network.

Learn more about obtaining a library card here!

How soon after I apply for a library card can I check out materials?

If you present all of the requested items at registration (see How do I get a library card? above), you will have full privileges and be able to use your card immediately. If your residence cannot be verified, you will be issued a card and be able to check out two items with limited services until your residence is verified. If you register as a “reciprocal borrower” (resident outside the HEPL service area, but in Hamilton County except for White River Township), or as a PLAC borrower, you will be able to use the library as soon as your registration information is verified.

Where can I use my card?

Your HEPL card can be used at either Fishers Library or Noblesville Library.  Additionally, if you register as a reciprocal borrower, you may use any library in Hamilton County (Carmel, Westfield, Hamilton North, and Sheridan).  Ask our staff for more details about the reciprocal borrowing program!

Do I have to have my library card with me to check out or use library materials?

We strongly recommend that you present your library card every time you check out materials for your protection. However, if you do not have your library card with you, you may check out items by showing a valid photo ID at the Service Desk.

What if I lose my card?

If your library card is lost or stolen, it is your responsibility to notify the library immediately. If you do not notify us, you will be held responsible for all items checked out on your card. This includes all overdue fines and/or replacement charges for lost or damaged material. Once you notify the library the card is missing, a block will immediately be placed on the card so that no one can use it.

What does my library card allow me to do?

Your card entitles you to borrow any circulating print and non-print materials available at Fishers Library or Noblesville Library. You are also entitled to use all of the library’s services, from downloading eBooks to using public computers or wireless network.

How old does my child have to be to get a library card?

Children 5 years of age and older are eligible to get a library card as long as their parent/guardian resides or owns property in the township of Delaware, Fall Creek, Noblesville, or Wayne in Hamilton County.

Learn more on our Parents’ Guide here.

If I have a card issued through the PLAC program, what does that allow me to do?

PLAC cardholders have access to print, non-print, and electronic resources provided by HEPL. Interlibrary loan requests for items not available through HEPL’s collections must be requested through the patron’s home library.

If I have purchased a non-resident fee-payer library card, what am I allowed to do?

Your card entitles you to check out the same materials and enjoy the same library services as residents of the HEPL service area.

When does my library card or PLAC expire?

Standard HEPL cards are valid for up to two years after the issue date. If you have a HEPL card issued through the PLAC card program, your HEPL card will expire on the same date as your PLAC card (and can be renewed by presenting a new PLAC card). Non-resident fee-payer cards expire one year from the date the fee was paid. Reciprocal cards expire one year from the date of registration.

Can I buy a PLAC?

Yes, PLACs are available for purchase at our Service Desks inside our buildings. We ask that you pay by credit card, to minimize cash handling. You will need to bring your home library card and ID.

How do I renew an expired library card?

Come inside the library to renew your card. If you cannot come into the building, our staff can help you by phone. You may also contact us at circquestions@hepl.lib.in.us for questions related to your library card.

How many items can I check out with my library card?

Your HEPL library card allows you to checkout 60 total items at a time. This includes 10 DVDs and 10 music CDs.

Our e-Books and e-Audio resources through Overdrive and the Libby app are limited to 10 items at a time. Once you have finished with an ebook or audiobook title, you may return it through the app or your library account and become eligible for additional ebooks and audiobook materials.

Hoopla items, available through the Hoopla App and the HEPL online catalog, allow cardholders to borrow up to 15 titles per calendar month. Cardholders must create a Hoopla account to identify how many borrows they have remaining per month. Look for Hoopla “bonus borrows” as items in this curated collection don’t count against your limit!

Freegal Music: Cardholders may download five songs and stream up to three hours per day beginning each Monday at 1:00 am EST. Cardholders must create a Freegal music account to identify how many downloads or streaming hours are remaining.

For more information, see our Circulation Policy.

LOAN PERIODS AND FEES

What does being fine free mean?

Effective November 1, 2021, Hamilton East Public Library will no longer charge daily overdue fines on late materials. This change applies to all circulating materials.

  • You are responsible for bringing materials back. Being fine free means that the library will no longer charge a daily fine for overdue materials.
  • Your account will be blocked from checking out additional items if you don’t return items within 3 weeks (21 days) of their due date. Your account will be blocked until you return the overdue items. When the overdue item(s) are returned, the blocked status will be removed.
  • When an item is 45 days overdue, you will be charged for the replacement cost of the item. If the item is returned anytime between 45 and 180 days overdue, the replacement fee will be waived and your account will return to good standing.
  • When an item is 60 days overdue, you may be referred to a materials recovery agency, and a $10 non-reversible, non-refundable referral fee will be assessed.
Why is the library going fine free?

We want to remove barriers for all patrons to return to the library! Fines tend to keep patrons away from the library instead of encouraging them to return materials.

How will this affect revenue?

Fines account for less than one percent of total operating revenue. Going fine free will reduce staff time spent on fine-related issues, allowing staff to spend more time on other priorities.

What is the difference between fines and fees?

Fines are the daily charges when an item is kept past its due date.  Effective November 1, 2021, the library will no longer charge overdue fines on late library materials, including books, audiobooks, and DVDs. Customers who lose borrowed library materials will be charged the replacement price of an item.

Fees are the charges for special services provided by the library. Fees are assessed for photocopies, computer printouts, data storage devices, materials, etc.  The library will continue to charge for these services.

What if I have overdue fines that I have not paid?

Effective November 1, 2021, the library will waive all pre-existing overdue and related processing fees. Lost and damaged items and other miscellaneous fees will remain in place.

What if I still have fines showing up on my account?

Effective November 1, 2021, all pre-existing overdue fines and processing fees on your account will be waived. However, remember that you are still responsible for the replacement cost of long overdue, lost, or damaged materials, and you may see bills on your account associated with those items.

Will I be waiting longer for my holds?

Good news! Most libraries that are fine free report that a majority of patrons still return their materials on time, and waitlists aren’t affected. Rest assured, library staff will be monitoring the effect on waitlists and adjust accordingly. Of course, we always encourage patrons to return materials on time so others can enjoy them! If you still have questions about holds, please contact the library or email circquestions@hepl.lib.in.us.

LIBRARY MATERIALS AND HOLDS

What are the fines for overdue materials?

Effective November 1, 2021 the library implemented a Fine Free Policy and will no longer charge overdue fines on late library materials, including books, audiobooks, and DVDs.  Lost and damaged items and other miscellaneous fees will remain in place.

Learn more about the library’s loan periods and fees here.

Can I renew an item online?

Before your due date, we will attempt to renew eligible items automatically.  If your library account needs attention, or if an item cannot be renewed (express copies, items with holds, items which have reached a maximum of 5 renewals), items must be returned by the original due date to avoid overdue fines.  You may still attempt to renew items independently by accessing your account via the library app or website, or you may call the library at 317.773.1384 (Noblesville) or 317.579.0300 (Fishers) for further assistance.

Can I place a hold on an item online?

Yes. First, find the item in our catalog. Click the “Place Hold” link. If you are not already logged in, enter your library card number (without spaces) and PIN, and select the location, Fishers or Noblesville, where you will pick up the item.

NOTE: To place a hold online, your account must have a status of “OK” (no overdue items or outstanding fines). You may also place and manage holds via the Hamilton East Public Library app.

Can I recommend specific materials I would like to see at the library?

Yes, we encourage our readers to make suggestions for new additions to our catalog. We will attempt to acquire the item, by either purchasing it or borrowing it from another library.

To place a request, log in to your online account here, or contact the library for assistance.

What can I do if I have questions or concerns about certain materials available in the library?

Hamilton East Public Library serves a large and diverse community. Within our community, groups and individuals have diverse interests, backgrounds, and needs, and the library was created to serve all people within our service district. For more information about how we collect materials to serve our community, see our Collection Development Policy.

If you are still concerned about a specific item or items, we offer a process where materials may be reconsidered for inclusion in our collection. Please contact us for more information.

You can also find our Parents’ Guide here.

What do I do if I’ve lost or damaged library material?

Please contact the library for an evaluation of the item. Because we reserve the right to replace specific lost or damaged items with more up-to-date versions or formats based on Library needs, HEPL does not accept replacements in lieu of payment for lost or damaged items.

LIBRARY SERVICES

Can I arrange homebound delivery?

Yes, you can learn more here!  For additional information, contact the library at adultquestions@hepl.lib.in.us or email parkt@hepl.lib.in.us to request service.

Are curbside services available?

Yes, we offer contact-free curbside holds pickup by appointment.  Learn more and schedule your curbside pickup here.

Can I access digital and online services remotely?

Yes, you may access our digital and online services through our website or mobile app. Our digital collections have been expanded and include access to free Apps, e-Books, Movies, Music, and online databases.

Are public computers available?

Public computers are available for a maximum of 2 hours per day with one 30-minute extension.  Reservations may be made for the next available computer, if all computers are in use.

See computer labs and technology available here.

Can I donate books?

The Friends of the Library bookstores are accepting book donations. We ask that you limit donations to 2 small boxes/bags at time to be deposited through a bookstore donation drop slot.

Learn more on our Book Donation Policy here.

Can I book a meeting room or study room?

Fishers meeting rooms may be reserved online here.  Meeting rooms in Noblesville are currently closed.

Study rooms are available at both locations on a first come, first serve basis.

CONSTRUCTION

How will I return library materials during construction?

Inside and outdoor book drops will remain available as much as possible during the project. When book drops are unavailable, materials may always be returned inside the library during our regular business hours.

How is the library incorporating sustainability features like native plants and trees in our construction plans?

HEPL is committed to integrating sustainability principles into our construction projects and creating green spaces throughout the grounds of both libraries.  Our goal is to create green spaces and outdoor amenities to provide residents outdoor library experiences to enrich community life and well-being.

While greatly expanding our parking in Fishers and adding more pedestrian-friendly access and gathering spaces, our green spaces will include native pollinator plants, native trees, and evergreen trees.  More than 100 new trees will be planted, and native pollinator plants will be added to our urban landscape throughout the library grounds in Fishers.

In Noblesville as well, native trees and plant species will be planted throughout the parking areas and green spaces to provide rich color, texture, and shapes that add beauty and enhance our ecosystem.

Additionally, library remodeling plans incorporate natural and more efficient lighting, more efficient heating and cooling, and energy-efficient windows.

What services will be available during construction?

Patrons can come inside our libraries to browse and pick up library materials. Other services available at this time include: printing, mobile (wireless) printing, public computers, copiers, Curbside Holds Pickup, digital media lab (Noblesville), Indiana Room (Noblesville), and Ignite Studio (Fishers). At this time, meeting rooms in Noblesville remain offline.  Continue checking our website for construction updates.

INTERLIBRARY LOANS

Who can use this service?

This special service is available to any HEPL patron who lives or owns property in Delaware, Fall Creek, Noblesville, or Wayne townships and is a library card holder in good standing (Fines or fees totaling $5 or more must be paid prior to processing interlibrary loans).  PLAC cardholders and reciprocal borrowers who do not live in our library’s service district should place their interlibrary loan requests through their home library.

What types of materials can I borrow through an Interlibrary Loan?
  • Books
  • Photocopies of magazine and journal articles
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Books on audiotape and CD
  • Fiction and nonfiction videotapes and DVDs
  • Microfilm (census, obituaries, etc.)
  • Music CDs
  • CD-Roms
What types of materials cannot be borrowed?

Sorry, the following materials are not available through this service:

  • New items, within the first 6 months of publication/release
  • Items owned by HEPL
  • eBooks
Is there a fee for this service?

There generally is no fee, but this is dependent on the policies of lending library.  Patrons may have 5 active requests at one time.

How long does it take for materials to arrive?

The interlibrary loan staff will make every effort to process your request on the day that it is received (weekdays). An interlibrary loan generally arrives in 2 to 3 weeks.  This is highly dependent on the responses from other libraries and the delivery systems used.  The more difficult to locate items may take considerably longer.  Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a delivery date.

How long may I borrow these materials?

The loan period for materials can range from 2 weeks to over a month. This is dependent on the library lending the materials to us.  Interlibrary loans are often not renewable.

How will I know my materials have arrived?

When your requested materials arrive at the library, we will contact you by phone or e-mail.  You may pick up your items at the Circulation Desk.

Still looking for more information? How can we help you?
Noblesville Exterior Book Drop is closed - please return library materials inside. | See Construction News Here