Hamilton Public Library Mission Statement:

The mission of the Hamilton Public Library is to provide our patrons with an environment where lifelong learning, self-improvement and self-expression are encouraged.

We accomplish this by:

-offering a diverse collection of reading and reference materials;

-having readily accessible and up-to-date technology for patron use; and

-providing knowledgeable staff that can meet the needs of the community and each individual.

November 1880 Clarence A. Greene started a circulating library in Hamilton at the Post Office Book Store.  After many changes, in 1919, acting on a petition presented, the Hamilton City Council called for an election to vote on a ten cent tax to support the library.  The tax measure was won and nine directors were appointed to the Hamilton Public Library's first library board.  J.C. Penney, whose boyhood home was Hamilton, agreed to donate $10,000.00 as a memorial to his parents for the erection of a library building on the condition that the people of Hamilton contribute a minimum of $5,000.00 towards the project.  In 1920 the Library began building it's one story building.  The Hamilton Public Library's first librarian was Miss Mabel White.  The Library officially opened its doors on February 12, 1921.  The Hamilton Public Library stayed in that building until March 1976 where it joined the J.C. Penney Museum on Highway 13. 

The current tax rate for the library is 0.3058 and the Library Director is Sonja Farnsworth.  Please feel free to talk to her or any one of the board members should you have any questions or concerns.  The current board members are:

Nicol Montero -PresidentLiz Little- Vice PresidentDr. Sarah Connelly - SecretaryRenee Anderson - TreasurerJulie DawsonSusi PipkinMisty DoanSydney ErnatCandy Hensley

Hamilton Public Library Inclement Weather Policy

The Library will close on a case by case situation if there is inclement weather in the area. This decision will be up to the Library Director’s discretion, with board notification.  Cancellations will be posted to our webpage and Facebook.

Hamilton Public Library Policies

Approved March 1, 2023

Hamilton Public Library

312 N Davis St.

Hamilton, Mo 64644

Telephone: (816) 583-4832

Facsimile: (816) 583-7501




Our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Hamilton Public Library is to provide our patrons with an environment where lifelong learning, self-improvement and self-expression are encouraged.   

We accomplish this by:

-offering a diverse collection of reading and reference materials;

-having readily accessible and up-to-date technology for patron use; and

-providing knowledgeable staff that can meet the needs of the community and each individual.


General Use Policy


The Hamilton Public Library will provide a library card to any person regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, or sex  



Fines/Overdue Charges


  Materials become overdue at the opening of the library on the day following the due date on the book, a fine of $.10 per item is charged on all materials. Maximum fine of $5.00 per item.


Damaged or Lost Materials


Patrons with materials lost or damaged beyond repair (excepting normal use) will be the price of the book as listed in the book record.  The patron will not be able to check out any items until said fine is paid.


Anyone violating the regulations of the library may, at the discretion of the library staff, be asked to leave the premises and forfeit their library card.




Service to children is a major focus of the Hamilton Public Library. As long as the children act responsibly, they may use the library at any time it is open. The library does not have any specific responsibility to care for, or to watch out for children left unattended in its facilities. If an unattended child behaves in a disruptive manner, the child may be warned, and if behavior continues, asked to leave the library. If younger unattended children are left at the library at closing time, the police will be called.


Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children and teachers are responsible for the conduct of their students while they are in the library for a class visit or tour. If parents and teachers do not confront the children when they are disruptive, library personnel will.


The library does not allow loitering or solicitation. Library personnel reserve the right to ask anyone loitering or otherwise conducting themselves in a suspicious or inappropriate manner in the children’s area or elsewhere to leave.


Statement of Conduct


The Hamilton Public Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following conduct policy so that the Library may provide an atmosphere conducive to appropriate use of the facilities and to comply with the Library’s mission statement.


The following behaviors and actions are prohibited on Library property:



Violation of any of these rules can result in temporary expulsion, permanent expulsion or arrest.


Services/Programs Offered


The Hamilton Public Library offers the following services to all patrons:


Story Time

The library holds story time for children Thursday mornings at 10.


         Computer Access

The library provides patron use terminals for internet/word processing use


   Misc. Programs

There will be miscellaneous programs scheduled at the discretion of the Library Director.  Upcoming programs will be posted at the library, in the paper and on the internet.


Hours of Operation and Inclement Weather Policy

The Library is open Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The Library is open Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

The Library will close on a case by case situation if there is inclement weather in the area. This decision will be up to the Library Director’s discretion, with board notification. 

Approved March 1, 2023

Hamilton Public Library Policies & By-Laws





The Role of the Library in the Community

The role of the Hamilton Public Library is to actively provide for the educational, informational, recreational and cultural needs of the residents of Hamilton by selecting, acquiring, organizing, preserving and making available our materials and services. We seek to provide information without bias or discrimination. We cooperate with other agencies and institutions in an effort to enhance and expand public awareness and access to information. We have the responsibility to uphold the principles of freedom of expression and the public's "right to know."

Materials Selection Policy

The public library is the institution in our society which attempts to provide a diversity of viewpoints on a wide range of topics of interest, including political, social and religious ones--no matter how controversial or objectionable those ideas may be to some people. Because of this, the Hamilton Public Library chooses material representing different points of view, limited only by our selection criteria, budget, and the space in our facilities.

We support the Library Bill of Rights in providing free and open access to our materials for all age groups. Children are not restricted to particular areas of the Library. Our staff does not monitor the materials that children choose. The responsibility for the reading or viewing choices of children rests entirely with parents or legal guardians.  We do not monitor or criticize the selections of our adult/juvenile patrons but do accept and provide reading recommendations.

In considering which materials to place in the Library, we will not automatically include or exclude an item based on any of the following criteria:

We judge each book or other type of material on the basis of its overall content or style, not by isolated or random portions.

How We Decide What to Buy for the Library

Our Library Director is responsible for selecting and purchasing all materials for each library collection.  We purchase books- both fiction and non-fiction, audio/visual materials, magazines and reference materials for the following collections:  Adult, Young Adult, Juvenile and Youth/Easy Readers.  The Director consult various sources to determine the value of the material to the collection. The following criteria are considered when selecting materials:

No single criterion is used to justify a purchase; the Director must consider all the criteria in reaching a decision.

How We Decide to Remove Books or DVDs from the Library

·         hasn’t been checked out within a year or more

·         is in bad condition, worn out, torn or scratched

·         have multiple copies

·         outdated information

·         challenged successfully for removal

How You Can Have a Say

Suggestions and donations from people in the community are encouraged and are given serious consideration. We want to hear from you and will let you know whether or not we can buy or accept the material. All material added to our collection by suggestion or gift must meet the same criteria as ordinarily used in choosing items.

From time to time, a person may be concerned about a particular book or other material in the Library. If a person wants us to reconsider material that is in our collection, a meeting with the Library Director is required and the request for removal is documented.  The Director then takes the patron-signed request to the Library Board where members are required to read the material and hold a “majority-rule” vote.  If the material is found offensive or otherwise inappropriate, the material will be removed from the library’s collection and catalog.

The Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980, by the ALA Council.

For more information, contact the American Library Association.


Internet Access Policy


In response to advances in technology and the community standards, the Hamilton Public Library endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of our community. It is within this context that the Hamilton Public Library offers access to the internet.


The Hamilton Public Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The internet is a worldwide community with a highly diverse user population and it is your responsibility to use this resource wisely. Public computers can be viewed by anyone. There are no barriers that separate you and your viewing from the other library users.


Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all library users. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for the internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Approval must be provided by a parent or guardian before a child under the age of 18 will be allowed to use the internet computers. Parents are advised to supervise their children’s internet sessions and must be in attendance if a child is under 13.


To be more specific:

·         You may access materials or information that you find offensive, inappropriate or controversial. Materials that are pornographic (section 573.010 RSMo) and can be viewed by minors (“minor” as term is defined by section 573.010 RSMo) are forbidden.

·         Not all sources on the internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. You need to be a good information consumer, questioning the validity of the information you find.


You may not always be able to go to the places on the internet that you want to visit. There are many reasons, among them:

·         There are too many internet visitors and the host computer has closed or limited access from the outside world

·         The database or resource is licensed to a particular institution, in which case you would need to be affiliated with the institution in order to get access

·         The host computer has changed its address or has closed down

·         The Library’s internet connection may be periodically and temporarily inoperable due to technical difficulties



Underage checking out of DVDs

 DVDs with a rating of R will not be checked out to children under the age of 17 without parent or guardian permission given in person to library staff.  All other DVD's are available to patrons under the age of 17 for check out.


Staff Assistance

We will be glad to assist you in accessing the internet and we will provide you with reference materials to aid you in your search. Library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning the internet computer jargon, search strategies or personal computer use. Because of library scheduling, internet trained staff may not always be available.


   Guidelines for accessing the internet at the Hamilton Public Library


1.)    How to start:

·         Patrons need to check in at the circulation desk. All contracts must be signed by both child and parent/guardian if under 18 years of age. Children 13 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while on the internet.

·         There is a one (1) hour time limit on the use of the equipment if others are waiting.

·         Review the screen upon beginning your session and report any problems immediately.


2.)    The rules:

·         You agree to take proper care of all hardware, software, documentation and all other equipment that are the property of Hamilton Public Library. At no time will you change the software settings, Windows setup, or move or delete icons, etc.

·         You may not install or use your own software programs on the Internet Access computer. Flash drives/jump drives and/or DVDs can be used on the computers but the library reserves the right to scan these disks for viruses. You are welcome to save information to a flash drive; however, the Library prohibits downloading information, including executable files, pictures and/or software without permission of the Librarian on duty. Software downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus that can infect the computers and library network.  The Hamilton Public Library is not responsible for damage to a patron's storage media or computer, or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from a patron's use of the library's computers.  Information you print may be picked up at the circulation desk at the cost of $.35 per page. We recommend that you are aware of the number of pages (print preview) before you hit the print key. You are responsible for all pages printed while you are using the computer.

·         Failure to observe any part of the above agreement may result in a suspension of your right to use the library’s computers.

·         In no event shall the Hamilton Public Library be liable for actual, incidental, or consequential damages arising from the use of any equipment or software.

·         You agree to observe all copyright laws. You agree not to duplicate any computer software or documentation.

·         No food or drink in the library

·         PLEASE use earbuds/headphones if usage requires sound

·         PLEASE silence cell phones and take all calls in the hall

·         All prints default to BLACK & WHITE – if you would like to print in color you must select COLOR before printing. If you need assistance, please ask the staff on duty.


Filming and Photography Policy


Public libraries are classified as “limited public forums,” which essentially recognizes that libraries have the ability to place “time, place, and manner” restrictions on speech and speech-related activities occurring on their property as long as the restrictions are both reasonable in nature and viewpoint neutral.


Filming and photography are allowed only to the extent that it does not interfere with the delivery of library services and is consistent with the Library's mission. All parties involved in filming and photography are expected to follow the Library’s policies.


Persons filming or photographing on library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases. Presence in the Library is not consent on behalf of patrons for use of their image or likeness by any third party.


Failure to obtain releases and permissions from persons being filmed or photographed will be deemed unacceptable behavior for purposes of enforcing the Library's policies.


Library staff shall terminate any photo session that violates Library policies or appears to compromise public safety, patron confidentiality, or security. Termination may occur at any time that the activities become basically incompatible with the normal activity of the Library's use, safety, and function.


News Media Filming and Photography


The Library has an open-door policy for news media photographers and reporters who are doing stories or projects that directly involve the Library and its programs, resources, and services. Advance authorization for such coverage must be obtained from the Library's Director.


The Library does not grant permission for news media to use its facilities for stories or projects that do not relate to the Library itself; The Library disallows using Library facilities as interview venues for unrelated stories and disallows access to Library patrons for opinion polls or interviews within its facilities.


Documentary-Type Filming and Photography for Publication or Broadcast


The Library permits photography and filming of its premises and activities when the use of such involves the Library directly, i.e. books, articles, or videos about the Library itself or the Library's position as a learning destination. Authorization must be obtained in advance from the Library's Director.


Research Photography


The Library permits research photography of its materials and resources within certain limitations. Researchers and journalists are responsible for obtaining their own permissions when photographing copyrighted material in the library.


Amateur Filming and Photography


Casual amateur photography and videotaping is permitted for patrons and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit. The use of additional equipment such as lighting is not permitted. Amateur photographers have explicit responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed.


Exterior Filming, Photography, or Other Recording.


Any person or entity taking video footage, taking photographs, or doing other audio or visual recording on Library grounds shall not do so in a manner that would impede the ingress or egress of any patrons, workers, or other visitors entering or exiting a Library building. Should such activity make ingress or egress impossible for any time that person shall be given verbal warning for trespassing and if such activity continues within 24 hours then written trespass notice shall be provided.


Patrons or other visitors shall not walk through, stand, congregate, or otherwise disturb outside landscaping areas for any purpose other than in emergency situations.


Hamilton Public Library

Sale of Surplus Property Policy

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees & Effective:  


The Hamilton Public Library shall dispose of surplus property according to the following guidelines:


Per item Anticipated Value

Required Notification

Required Approval

Type of Sale

Under $250

Public notice in library

Library Director

Priced to sell

Over $250 - $999

Public notice in the main library, library web page, internet or local newspaper

Library Director

Open or closed bidding

Over $1,000

Public notice in the main library, library web page, internet or local newspaper

Library Board of Trustees

Open or closed bidding







The name of the library shall be the Hamilton Public Library.




1.     To provide a means for the educational and cultural advancement of the citizens of the community.


2.     To supplement the library facilities of the Hamilton Public Schools.




The Board of Trustees of the Hamilton Public Library was created to oversee the organization and direction of the Hamilton Public Library.  The Hamilton Public Library serves the district represented by the city limits of Hamilton, Missouri with further extension of library privileges to anyone in the surrounding area upon payment of the appropriate fee.




The Board of Trustees shall consist of nine members; each appointed three years on a rotating basis.  New board members are selected by existing members from library patrons identified as being library supporters and shall fulfill duties of board members as necessary, including meeting attendance.  Members are approved by the city council members.  Members may continue to serve for three consecutive terms.  Non-attendance of four or more consecutive meetings over a 90 day or longer period serves novice of voluntary resignation by said member.  Written or verbal notice at a regular meeting may also serve as resignation.  Lastly, by a vote of two thirds of the total membership of the board, a member may be removed from the board.


Members shall serve without pay for the term of office.  Special expenses to members may be reimbursed provided they are reasonable and have been generally approved in advance. 




Officers of the board shall be elected yearly by the members.  The officers will be president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.  The power to conduct meetings will succeed in that order in the absence of the superior officer.  In the event of a permanent or temporary absence of an officer, the acting president may appoint a member to temporarily fill that position.  If the office is vacant due to permanent absence of the member, another election for that position must be held at the first meeting at which a quorum is present.


The board president shall schedule special meetings, conduct meetings and appoint temporary committees.  In addition, the president should have frequent contact with the Library Director to discuss problems which should be brought before the board.


The vice-president shall assume the duties of the president in the absence of the president.  In addition, he/she shall communicate with the news media on a monthly basis providing information on board activities, policy changes and changes in library activities.


The secretary shall take minutes of meetings, be responsible for board correspondence and provide member notification of meetings.


The treasurer shall provide a financial report at each meeting and each month review financial transactions taken on behalf of the library. 




Meetings will be held the first Wednesday of the month, except for January, at 6:00 p.m. This time may be altered at any time prior to a regular meeting by a vote of the members in attendance or even at the discretion of the acting president of an individual meeting. Special meeting may be requested by the activating president on short notice and the meeting becomes official and may replace the regular meeting of the period should a quorum be in attendance. Meetings should be scheduled sufficiently in advance to give all members at least seven days’ notice of the meeting. In an emergency, the president must provide to members voting, a written description of the proposed actions and receive a written vote and signature of the voting board members. These records shall be provided to the board secretary and maintained by that secretary in his/her records.

Quorum at meetings shall consist of one half of the total board members.  Official binding actions of the board shall be only made in response to a quorum vote.  This shall include fiscal and legal obligations, creating and staffing standing committees and changes in by-laws.  General actions by the board shall require only a simple majority of those present at the meeting.




Members and chairmen of the committees shall be appointed at the discretion of the acting president.  These committees shall have a maximum tenure of only three months.  Non-board members may be recruited to act as advisors for committees as needed.  These advisors shall act without pay or committee vote.  Committee chairmen shall report to the board on committee action at each official meeting during committee tenure.


Standing committees are to be created only on the action of a quorum of the board.  Likewise the membership of standing committees shall be elected by a quorum board action. 


No committee, standing or temporary, shall have power to take action on behalf of the board.  Nor shall they take any action previously reserved to those requiring a quorum vote.  No committee quorum is defined.




All business in board or committee meetings shall be conducted according to “Robert’s Rules of Order”.




By-law amendment may be done by first proposing the appropriate changes at any official meeting.  At the next meeting, which is at least 21 days later; those motions passed by a quorum vote shall replace or modify the existing by-laws designated. 






















Hamilton Public Library

Disaster Recovery Plan



Approved June 2020




































Section:                                                                                          Page(s):


Disaster Prevention                                                                       3


Disaster Plan                                                                                  3


Safety Considerations                                                                    3


Administrative Considerations                                                      3


Disaster Recovery                                                                    4 


Pandemic                                                                                       5


Appendix A.  Emergency Telephone Numbers                       6        


Appendix B.  Evacuation Procedures                                       7


Appendix C.  Resources                                                                8                                                                                                           

Appendix D. Phased Reopening Plan                                            9
























Natural disasters including floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes cannot be prevented; however, the severity of their effects can be minimized by preparing ahead of time.  Human-engineered disasters including fire due to faulty electrical wiring or unattended equipment, or water damage resulting from broken pipes, damaged roofs, and malfunctioning dishwashers can often be prevented altogether.  Routine inspections of a facility can reveal conditions that invite disaster.


Basic measures including unplugging equipment when not in use, cleaning, and ensuring that work areas are clutter-free, help to prevent disasters.


To ensure staff safety and minimize injury during a disaster, all staff members must know the following:


Layout of the building;

Location of all fire extinguishers and alarms and how to operate them;

Fire exits and alternate escape routes (they need to be clearly marked);

Evacuation procedures (need to be practiced regularly).




Despite the best efforts to prevent a disaster, they happen. The Hamilton Public Library’s DR plan provides crucial information to minimize injury to staff and others as well as to materials and equipment.


Contact information for supplies and equipment necessary for library disaster recovery are provided in this document.  Each staff member and board member will have access to the document.




Safety is the primary consideration in any disaster. Escape routes and evacuation procedures will be clear to all staff members and visitors. If the building is unoccupied, it cannot be entered until it has been declared safe by the fire marshal or a civil defense officer.


In the best situation, outside sources of supplies and services can be contacted; however, if the disaster is widespread, they may be unavailable, which is why having some recovery materials onsite can be helpful.  To avoid health risks in situations where one might be allowed in the building, it is suggested that persons wear plastic or rubber gloves during cleanup. If there is mold protective gear—surgical mask or respirator, goggles, and coveralls—is advised. When working in the aftermath of area floods, tetanus shots may also be recommended—check with the Health Department or Red Cross office for information, including available clinics.




The Hamilton Public Library Board will have authority in decisions regarding wages and services. The Library Director will ensure that documents are backed up. Should it be needed, remote/virtual services, communication and instruction may be utilized.






Many disasters result in water-damage; mold can develop within two or three days.  The following steps are recommended for an effective recovery operation:


Step 1. Assess the damage.

·         How much damage has occurred? 

·         What kind of damage is it? Even if books and other materials are completely soaked, they can probably still be saved if they are not contaminated with sewage or chemicals.

·         Is the damage confined to one area or is the entire building damaged? 

·         How much of the office has been affected? 

·         What types of materials have been damaged? 

·         Are the damaged items easily replaced or are they irreplaceable? 

·         Can they be salvaged by an in-house effort or will outside help be needed?


Document the damage by a written description and by photographs.


Step 2. Stabilize the environment.

The environment must be stabilized to prevent the growth of mold. Ideal conditions for a recovery operation are 65 degrees and 50% humidity.


Work with City Hall (building owner) to have access to:


1. Pumps, to remove large quantities of standing water. Exercise caution as standing water can conceal hazards.


2. Fans, for air circulation, particularly in the damaged area. Fans should preferably expel the humid air from the site.


3. Dehumidifiers to help lower the humidity (need to watch temperature increases—monitor temperature and humidity constantly). As mentioned, mold can form within two days.


4. Remove damaged items; stabilize the environment and thoroughly cleanse the area. Scrub with soap and a fungicide floors, ceilings, and all furniture and equipment. Mold develops rapidly under carpeting and its padding. Only professionals should remove smoke odor or fog with fungicides or insecticides.


Step 3. Salvage Materials.

Priorities should be based on criteria such as the following:


·         Can the item be replaced? 

·         At what cost? 

·         Would the cost of the item be more or less than restoration? 

·         How important/unique is the item?


Unsalvageable Materials:

Materials soaked, burned, contaminated, or otherwise damaged beyond repair must be removed. In the case of books, it will be necessary to note title pages or other available identifying matter in order to search for availability, replacement or withdrawal (including removal from OCLC in the case of cataloged items).





Hamilton Public Library will follow the local, state, and federal guidelines for pandemics. This includes, but not limited to, cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing, shelter-in-place orders, and re-opening guidelines. Links to the county, state, and federal plans appear in Appendix C: Resources. In an emergency, Hamilton Public Library will make every effort to disseminate crucial information to the library community and beyond, via its webpage and such social media outlets as Facebook.


The Hamilton Public Library Board will have authority to vote to make decisions regarding library closings and employee compensation (payroll, sick leave, etc.).


The Hamilton Public Library Director will have responsibilities of:

            1. Modifying/Cancelling Programs

            2. Ensuring standards of cleaning/disinfecting are adequate and upheld

            3. Ensuring appropriate PPE or other safety equipment is acquired/available

            4. Continuing to pay bills and perform other administrative duties within safety regulations

            5. Communicating to the Board, staff and patrons

            6. Working with ALA, MLA and other resources to stay current on library developments

         7. Follow phased reopening plans outlined in Appendix D: Phased Reopening.