Kingsport Public Library Policies


Borrower Classification & Limitations

Borrowing Items

Overdue Fines


Get a Library Card

Rules of Conduct

Internet Policy

Laptop Computer/Portable Electronic Device Policy, In Library Use Policy

Guidelines for Children in the Library

Exhibit & Display Cases

Meeting Room Policy

Patron Record Confidentiality Policy

Parent/Guardian Registration Form for Therapy Dog Reading Sessions


Juvenile Old enough to sign a card through age 11 Can check out only Easy Books, Juvenile Books or Young Adult Books
Young Adult Ages 12-17 Can check out books & AV (except DVDs)
Regular Ages 18+ Can check out any type of circulating materials
Internet Only Can use the Internet only
  1. Limited residents
  2. Travelers
  3. Students 16-17 without parent signature
  4. Family member where another family member owes over $5 unpaid fines/fees
Can check out up to 3 items – books only
Organization Organization must be located within the City of Kingsport Can check out any type of circulating materials

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  • 4 weeks – All circulating items can be borrowed for four weeks, except new adult fiction, new magazines, audio-visuals and DB reading list titles
  • 2 weeks – New adult fiction can be borrowed for two weeks
  • 1 time – Renew items one time before the due date.  Exceptions include items that have holds, DVD/VHS, new adult fiction and Interlibrary Loans
  • A borrower can check out items or use the library computers as long as that person does not owe the library over $5.00.

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  • Overdue fines are $.20/day for most items
  • Overdue fines are $1.00/day for DVD/VHS, $2.00/day for MP3 players and $5.00/day for eReaders.

The maximum overdue fine for each item per category:

Book $5.00 each
DVD/VHS $5.00 each
MP3 Player $10.00
Storytelling Kit $25.00
Cost of device if overdue 25 days or more
$25+late fines+any damage fines if returned in either outside or inside book drop

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Lost library card $1.00 first time, $5.00 subsequently
Copies – black & white $.15 per page
Copies – color $.50 per page
Lost or damaged item Cost of the item plus $10.00 processing fee
Limited Card Deposit $15 – refundable
InterLibrary Loan Usually no fee, but may vary according to the lending library’s policies
Returning DVD to book drop/vice-versa $3.00 plus any damages

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If you are 18 or over, live within the City of Kingsport, Sullivan County or Hawkins County, you can submit an application online below or come to the library to fill out the application. If you live outside these areas, but within fifty miles, you must come to the library to fill out an application. There is no annual fee for having a card.

If you are younger than 18, you must apply in person at the library with your parent or legal guardian who will sign your application.

Before you can receive your library card, you must come to the library and show library staff a current photo ID and one item you have received in the mail in the last 30 days at your current address.

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So that all patrons of the Library can use its facilities to the maximum extent possible during the Library’s regularly scheduled business hours, the Kingsport Library Commission hereby adopts the following rules:

  1. Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building.  Patrons not engaged in reading, studying, or using library materials shall be required to leave the building.
  2. Patrons shall respect the rights of other patrons and shall not harass or annoy others through noisy or boisterous activities, by staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, by following another person about the building with the intent to annoy that person, by playing audio equipment so that others can hear it, by singing or talking to others or in monologues, or by behaving in a manner which reasonably can be expected to disturb other persons.
  3. Cell phone use is not permitted.  If the patron’s phone rings while they are inside the library, the patron needs to take the phone into a lobby or outside.
  4. Patrons shall not interfere with the use of the Library by other patrons; or interfere with Library employees’ performance of their duties.
  5. Patrons shall not be permitted to enter the building without a shirt or wearing shirts unbuttoned or unzipped or without shoes or other footwear.  Persons whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other persons shall be required to leave the building.
  6. The following are prohibited inside the library:
  • Selling or soliciting services, money or items.
  • Distributing or posting printed materials that have not been approved by the Library.
  • Possessing or consuming illegal drugs or being under the influence of same
  • Possessing or consuming alcohol or being under the influence of same.
  • Smoking or other uses of tobacco.
  • Bringing/consuming food or beverage in any type of container (except in staff areas and in the auditorium for scheduled events where food and non-alcoholic beverages may be consumed.).
  • Sleeping or putting head on the table
  • Putting feet or legs on the furniture
  • Bringing animals or pets into the library (except assistance/therapy animals).
  • Intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing any library property, patron’s property or employee’s property.
  • Taking library materials into restrooms.
  • Removing library material from the premises without authorization through established lending procedures.
  • Receiving incoming calls on the pay phone
  • Riding skateboards, bicycles or electric scooters in the Library.
  • Playing games of any kind except under library supervision.
  • Moving tables, chairs or other furniture.
  • Leaving a child under 11 years of age unattended by an adult.
  • Stranding any child or young adult (up to age 17) at the Library without a ride home at closing time.
  • Changing clothes, bathing, shaving, etc. in the restrooms.
  • Bringing bedrolls, blankets, frame back-packs or suitcases.  Small duffel bags must remain with the owner at ALL times.
  • Carrying weapons of any type.
  • Engaging in disorderly conduct, fighting or challenging to fight, or using offensive words likely to provoke violence.
  • Using obscene or abusive acts and/or language.
  • Any other illegal acts or conduct in violation of Federal, State or local law, ordinance or regulation.

Any patron not abiding by these or other rules and regulations of the Library shall be asked to leave the Library premises and may be banned for various time periods.  Library employees shall contact the Kingsport Police Department if deemed advisable.

Theft or damage of library material is a serious offense and will result in permanent exclusion from the library and/or in arrest.

Communication of threats, physical violence or sexual offenses will result in permanent exclusion and/or arrest.

Trespassers will be arrested and prosecuted.

Any patron who violates the Library’s rules and regulations shall be denied the privilege of access to the Library by the Library Commission, on recommendation of the Library Manager.  Any patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Library Commission.

 Adopted 11/9/92 Amended 3/8/93 Amended 8/12/02 Amended 7/14/03

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  1. In keeping with its mission to provide information through appropriate means, the Kingsport Public Library & Archives (hereafter referred to as “the Library”) offers public access to the Internet for the purpose of expanding and enhancing information resources.
  2. Internet users access the Internet at their own discretion and are responsible for their own searches. Not all information found on the Internet is reliable, current, or accurate, and users are encouraged to make use of links from reliable sites such as are created by libraries, universities, and public agencies.  The Library is not responsible for the content or availability of any Internet Web Page that the Library did not create.  As with other materials available within the Library, authorizing and overseeing use by children is the responsibility of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
  3. This service is equipped with an Internet filter.  The purpose of the filter is to promote use consistent with the nature and function of the Library, and to encourage a public work area that is inviting and non-threatening for all.  Please be advised that no filtering software is completely effective and the Library does not dictate how the filter functions.  While the filter will restrict access by minors to text or graphics that are obscene, child pornography or inappropriate or harmful matter on the Internet and World Wide Web, no filtering software is completely effective.
  4. The Library cannot guarantee users confidentiality or privacy when accessing the Internet in a public area.  Internet users are asked to show common courtesy towards other users.  Users are also advised to be cautious about information they provide to others over the Internet.  When using a web-based e-mail service, minors should be careful not to give out identifying information such as their home address, school name or telephone number without their parent’s or guardian’s approval.  Minors should never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without their parent’s or guardian’s approval.  Minors should not respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening or that make them uncomfortable.  Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
  5. Users under 12 years of age may use the Internet accessible computers only under the supervision of a parent or guardian, or an adult authorized in writing for this purpose by the responsible parent or guardian.  Users 13 and older must read and click “Accept” on the posted Internet Use Policy page to access the internet. Parents designate whether internet access is allowed for minors.
  6. This service is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Authorized Library personnel may reserve use for public training purposes, provided at least one computer is still available for public walk-in use.  Overall time limit per day for Internet is 90 minutes. Laptops may be checked out for 4 hour increments on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  7. Patron must use their OWN card. If they uses someone else’s card, that person’s card, as well as the patron’s card, will be blocked.
  8. Users may print pages at the cost listed in the Library’s Fee Schedule as approved by the City of Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
  9. Use of the Internet for purposes or activities that violate Federal, State, or local laws is prohibited including, but not limited to, those laws related to obscenity, libel, or copyright infringement.  Use of library computers to send, receive or display inappropriate material, defined as text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene, is prohibited.  Any use of the Internet that causes Library staff to reasonably suspect that such use violates these laws will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation and possible prosecution. Users must follow all library policies while using the internet.
  10. Internet access is not to be used to install software or files, change settings or configurations, violate another person’s privacy, engage in any activity that is loud, disruptive, or offensive to others, or engage in any activity that can be construed as vandalism, either of the Library’s computers or remote computers.  Unauthorized access or hacking into the library’s system is not allowed.
  11. The library provides free, unsecured wireless Internet access for public use. Security for personal wireless devices rests solely with the owner of the wireless device. The library is not responsible for damage to users’ storage medium or electronic devices or for any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from use of the library’s computers. Personal use of the library’s public wireless access will conform to policies regulating other types of public Internet access provided by the library.
  12. The Library reserves the right to suspend or terminate Internet access privileges for anyone not adhering to this policy.

Approved 4/10/00 Amended 4/9/01 Amended 12/10/01 Amended 08/25/06 Amended 1/14/2013 Amended 01/16/2019

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Laptop Computer/Portable Electronic Device Policy, In Library Use Policy

  • Laptop computers for in library use can be checked out to users 18 and older with a government issued photo identification card. The identification card must be left at the Palmer Room desk while the item is checked out.
  • The laptop for in library use can only be used inside the library building.  Patrons will be issued a laptop lock to use to secure the laptop. Laptops may not be taken into the restrooms.
  • If a laptop for in library use is removed from the building, the police will be notified and the borrower will be denied future borrowing privileges.
  • A patron may borrow only one laptop at a time.
  • Laptops are available on a first come, first served basis.  They may not be reserved in advance.  Laptops will not be checked out less than one hour before the library closes.
  • Laptops for in library use may be checked out for four (4) hours at a time. Time may be extended at the discretion of the staff. Laptops must be returned to staff at the Palmer Room desk 30 minutes before the library closes.
  • Borrowers may not install software or alter, delete, or copy any software on the laptop or change its existing configuration.
  • Borrowers must use a flash drive to save their work or send it via an email attachment.  When the computer session is ended, the files are automatically deleted.
  • Black and white and color printing from the laptops is available through a wireless connection. Fees are charged for all prints.
  • The borrower has full responsibility and fiscal liability for all costs associated with damage to the laptop computer or its associated peripheral equipment during the period it is checked out or its replacement costs should it be lost or stolen.
  • The Kingsport Public Library is not responsible for damage to any removable device or loss of data that may occur due to malfunctioning hardware or software.
  • By checking out a laptop, users agree to follow all library policies

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  1. Children ages 10 or younger should be under the supervision of a parent or adult caregiver who assumes responsibility for the child during his/her entire stay in the library
  2. If a young child is participating in a program, the adult must stay with the child in the program.  If an older child is participating in a program, the adult must remain in the building to be available in case that child needs to leave the program for any reason.
  3. If anyone under the age of 18 is left at the library at closing time or in the event the library closes early due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the staff on duty will notify the Kingsport Police Department to arrange for the child’s return home.
  4. Young children should not use adult restrooms unsupervised.
  5. If a child’s behavior is disruptive, the family may be asked to leave
  6. Children should have some form of identification, including his/her telephone number 

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The Kingsport Public Library maintains a display case and bulletin boards for the exhibit of and posting of materials; and designated areas (such as literature racks and spaces on countertops and tables) for the passive distribution of information.

  1. Bulletin Boards and Display Case:
    1. The large bulletin board next to Circulation and Display Case in Lobby:

Reserved for materials about:

  • Library/Archive programs, services, and events (including area library events)
  • Friends of the Library programs and events
  • Other government entity information (such as the City of Kingsport, and the state and federal governments)
    1. The small bulletin board behind the Circulation desk:

Reserved for materials about:

  • Library/Archive programs, services, and events
  • Friends of the Library programs, services, and events
    1. The small bulletin board near the front entrance at Circulation desk:

Reserved for materials about:

  • Friends of the Library programs, services, and events
  1. Pamphlet Racks
    1. Small pamphlet racks on and around Circulation desk:

Reserved for materials about:

  • Library/Archive programs, services, and events
  • Friends of the Library programs, services, and events
    1. Large pamphlet rack near Circulation desk:

Other organizations may provide dated materials for passive distribution.  Passive distribution means leaving the materials with Library staff for Library visitors, if they so choose, to review and or/take with them.  Passive distribution does not include verbally or visually (by means of signs, placards, etc.) encouraging Library visitors to review or take any materials with them.

  1. General Prohibitions:

The following items may not be posted on bulletin boards or left in pamphlet areas:

  • Materials that support or oppose any current or pending ballot measure (except one pertaining to the Library) or political candidate.  The Library is not intended to be a forum for the support or opposition of political candidates or ballot measures.  Official election information is made available in the library.
  • Because it is not consistent with passive distribution, materials asking Library visitors to sign a petition or letter are not permitted.
  1. Terms of Use

All materials exhibited, posted or distributed must comply with this policy and any other applicable Library regulations or guidelines.  No other materials may be exhibited, posted or distributed.

To ensure equitable access to limited display space available, the Manager (or designee) may establish criteria regarding posting and distribution of material, including:

  • The maximum size of material to be posted or distributed
  • The maximum length of time materials may remain posted or displayed
  • The maximum amount of time before or after an event a posting may occur
  • The frequency with which material may be posted or displayed by the same organization
  • Consistent methods for allocating space should the number of materials exceed the space available for posting or distribution.

All posting and placement of materials in distribution areas and display case shall be done by personnel from the Kingsport Public Library, or by their designee. No advertisements of personal service or sale of products will be accepted. Individuals requesting posting or distribution shall not themselves post or leave materials in distribution areas.

Materials left for posting or distribution without authorization from the Library will be discarded.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection of materials displayed, posted or distributed.  Bulletin board and pamphlet materials will not be returned.

Authorization will be based upon the provisions of this policy and will not be based upon the viewpoint, beliefs, or affiliations of the groups or the viewpoints expressed in the materials.  Posting or distribution of any such materials in the Library does not indicate Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or events promoted by those materials. 

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The Kingsport Public Library has three meeting rooms – the Mead Auditorium (capacity 150), the Board Room (capacity 12), and the Media Station (capacity 5) which are available for use by groups, organizations and businesses.  Applicants will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.  Permission to use the library’s public meeting rooms does not imply endorsement of the aims, policies, activities or affiliation of any such group or organization.

Library meeting facilities cannot be used for any purpose contrary to local, state, or federal law.

  • Meeting rooms are available for use during normal library hours
  • Commercial groups wishing to use library facilities must complete an application form which will be approved or disapproved. Application forms are available at the reference desk or online.
  • Reservations are taken in one hour increments.
  • The library provides free Wi-Fi
  • Non-library related groups may not make sales or promotions of products or services, or charge an admission fee at the door for the event. This includes, for instance, not selling consumer goods such as baskets, housewares, jewelry or cosmetics.
  • Under no circumstances shall the sponsor of a meeting require sign-in of attendees nor should any follow-up contact be made at the sponsor’s initiation. This includes, for example, informational seminars intended to generate future clients for a company or individual
  • No fees, dues, or donations may be charged, solicited or collected by meeting room users for any programs taking place at the library
  • Fund raising events or solicitation of any kind are not permitted unless sponsored by the Friends of the Kingsport Public Library
  • Rooms are not to be used for private social events, such as weddings, receptions, graduation parties, family reunions, baby showers, birthday/anniversary parties, etc.
  • Children’s groups may be scheduled, provided they are supervised by an adequate number of adult sponsors.
  • The library’s name may not be used in promotional materials unless permission is given by the Library Manager
  • Groups may not give the library’s telephone number as a contact for further information.
  • The meeting must be held within the confines of the meeting room and shall not cause a disturbance to those using the library’s public areas.
  • The person making the reservation will be held responsible for the conduct of those attending the meeting
  • Meeting rooms must be vacated 15 minutes before the library’s posted closing and the premises left in good condition
  • Groups and individuals are responsible for carrying their own materials and equipment into and out of the building.
  • The library will make reasonable attempts to accommodate groups’ needs but meeting group users may be responsible for arranging tables and chairs in whatever configuration is best suited to the occasion. However, at the conclusion of the event, the furniture may be left as the group arranged it.
  • Groups using A-V equipment must provide such equipment unless arrangements have been made to use equipment owned by the library. The operation of any A-V equipment is the responsibility of the group using the meeting room and not the responsibility of the library staff.
  • Food is permitted in the auditorium and the board room.
  • Use of the kitchen must be reserved at the time of the booking. There is no additional fee for this.  Kitchen cleanup is the responsibility of the group that has used it.
  • Rooms cannot be scheduled more than three months in advance.
  • If a group is more than 30 minutes late for a scheduled reservation, the entire reservation is forfeited.
  • Fees are payable by cash, check, or credit at the time of use.
Non-commercial, non-profit use $0
Commercial use $25
Non-commercial, non-profit use $0
Commercial use $15


  • An organization using library facilities, furniture and equipment is liable for any damage to the facility and/or equipment.
  • The library assumes no responsibility for personal injury and/or damage to or loss of property of organizations or individuals incurred while using the meeting facilities. This includes personal property of attendees.
  • Advertisements, announcements, press releases, flyers, etc. relating to non-library sponsored meetings shall not imply that the meeting is sponsored by the library.

Failure to abide by these rules for meeting rooms use may result in revocation of meeting room use privileges.

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Patron Record Confidentiality Policy

Kingsport Public Library makes every effort to protect the privacy of library users. The library is guided by Tennessee State law regarding the privacy of patrons of the library, specifically Title 10, Chapter 8 of the Tennessee Code Annotated; Confidentiality of Library Records. The code reads as follows:

No employee of a library shall disclose any library record that identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific materials, information, or services or as having otherwise used such a library.

Kingsport Public Library also adheres to the American Library Association Code of Ethics that states in Article III:

We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

This policy establishes guidelines for the protection of personally identifiable information contained in library records or accessible in the library or through its computer systems.

Confidentiality of Library Records

Kingsport Public Library staff will not respond to any request by a third party for personally identifiable information about any library user. Such information includes database search records, reference interviews, email requests for information, circulation records, interlibrary loan records, and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

Personally identifiable information may be released only to a law enforcement agency after presentation of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction issued in proper form (a court issued subpoena or search warrant) and/or under the provisions of the USA Patriot Act.


The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act) became law on Oct. 26, 2001. Under provisions of the act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcement officials may seek court orders for library records for investigations relevant to national security or terrorism. Libraries or librarians served with these search warrants may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of the warrants or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrants. Key provisions of the Patriot Act were renewed for four years in the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011.

Personally Identifiable Information

  • Circulation Records: Kingsport Public Library will collect only the information needed to contact library users, such as mailing address, email address, phone number, driver’s license number, etc., in order to ensure the proper notification, lending, and return of library materials and the collection of fines. Records will be retained for the shortest length of time necessary to facilitate library operations.
  • Library cardholders submit their name, email address, postal address, telephone number or other identifying information in order to receive library services such as borrowing privileges, access to internet stations, receiving personal responses to questions, receiving library or Friends of the Library promotional materials, or being added to specific mailing lists. The library does not sell, rent or otherwise distribute information to outside parties except for possible uses related to the recovery of materials, and then in the most restrictive way possible to accomplish their purpose.
  • Reference questions are retained only for the purpose of statistics and to assist with follow up queries from clients. The questions themselves and any personal information such as names, email addresses, telephone and fax numbers submitted with the questions are confidential and are treated as other library user information under provisions the Confidentiality of Library Records policy above. Email questions will be deleted on a regular basis.
  • Searches of the online public access catalog (OPAC): The library does not require personal information to use the OPAC. Once a search is completed, a patron may clear their own search history. The search history is also erased automatically whenever the web browser is closed. The software does not retain a copy of any search.
  • Electronic databases and the internet: When patrons use their library card to reserve a computer, no paper record with the patron’s information is generated. When the patron logs off of a library computer, the software erases all history of their research and activity. In locations where a paper reservation list is generated by library staff, all paper records are discarded quarterly and kept confidential pending destruction. Library patrons should be aware that the Kingsport Public Library and other Tennessee library organizations license commercial databases from a variety of vendors. The library will make reasonable effort to restrict electronic database vendors from collecting and using identifying personal information of library users, however it provides no guarantee that personal information will not be shared with third parties.
  • Interlibrary Loan Records: Patrons may borrow items not owned by the Kingsport Public Library from other libraries within Tennessee and nationally. Interlibrary loan records will be retained for the shortest length of time necessary to facilitate library operations and will be kept confidential and be destroyed.
  • Reference Interviews: A reference interview occurs when a patron looking for information approaches a library staff member, who interviews the patron in order to narrow down the specific information needed. Patron information will be retained for the shortest length of time necessary to facilitate reference services. Written patron information will be kept confidential and be destroyed.
  • Security Cameras: Security cameras are installed throughout the library to assist staff and security personnel in monitoring and quickly responding to situations affecting the health and safety of library visitors and staff. Video from security cameras are kept on file for 120 days, unless an incident occurs that requires holding the file longer. Security camera video files are only made available through a subpoena.

 Public Relations, Social Media and Digital Resources

The library maintains a dedicated web site and other related social media accounts. The library may post pictures or videos of library programs and events on these sites in order to promote the events themselves or to promote the library in general. Being an information agency in the digital age, the library views these activities as an important component of connecting with the community. However, the library also recognizes a balance must be struck to also respect and protect the privacy of library patrons. Therefore, the following restrictions will apply to posting pictures of library events:

  • The library shall refrain from posting single-person close-up pictures of any individual without written permission from the individual.
  • The library shall not name, or tag, any individuals in photographs or videos posted on library social media without written permission.

The library may also select photographs of events for promotional purposes in print media, such as annual reports, adhering to the same privacy criteria.

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 R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dog)

Call 229-9366 to register your child in an available time slot.

Have fun, make a new (canine) friend, and improve your reading skills. Independent readers in grades 1-5 are invited to read to a socialized, experienced therapy dog with the dog owner. Children can bring their own books or choose a book from the library when you arrive. There are a limited number of time slots, so please check carefully that you will be able to come for the session you select. Note it on your calendar. Thank you.

Click here to download and fill out the Registration Form and return it to the library.

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