Library Policies


  • Pets of any kind are prohibited in library buildings.
  • Service animals, with proper vest and/or ID, are permitted in all library and county buildings in compliance with ADA Accessibility laws. Please see the definition of service animal here:
  • From time to time, exceptions for the presence of animals in library buildings are made for library-related programs.

Business Incubation Center

Room reservations for the BIC at the Downtown Central Library are intended for businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, start-ups, boards, etc. Please be prepared to share your credentials in order to reserve the room. The room is intended for collaborations, meetings, training, and co-working; not for conducting commercial business such as sales calls or production. Please be advised that this room is not soundproof. You will be able to hear noise from outside the room, and outside will be able to hear you.

Please note, the BIC is not intended as a study room. If you need to reserve a study room, it is first come, first serve and there are 5 available at the Central Library. Please ask library staff at the public desks to reserve a study room. See the Study Room Policy below.


Please see the Display Policy page


The library welcomes donations of materials to supplement our existing collections. Materials must be in clean, acceptable condition and in proper format for public use. The content must also be appropriate for a public library collection. In order to best serve our mission, the library reserves the right to handle donated materials as deemed appropriate, including placing gifts in a different location, offering materials to other institutions, or selling items in Friends of the Library bookstores or book sales to further support our materials budget.

  • Book or DVD donations, in good condition, are accepted at any of our locations. Please review our donation policy above before bringing items to the library. We do not accept VHS tapes, older encyclopedia sets, older textbooks, or magazines.
  • Monetary contributions may be made to help the library purchase books or other materials. Please use the Gift Designation Form. You may also make a donation to any Friends of the Library group or to the Manatee Library Foundation via the Giving Partner.
  • If you would like to donate a new item in someone's honor, please use the Gift Designation Form.
  • The library does not place a value on donations for tax purposes, but will provide a gift acknowledgment letter if requested.

Internet and Computers

Library Cards

Library Card Policy page includes registration forms, loan periods, fines and fees, and renewal information

Meeting Rooms

The Meeting Rooms page includes policies, procedures, available rooms, meeting room application, and contact information

Museum Passes

Manatee Libraries currently offers museum passes to the South Florida Museum, compliments of the museum. One pass is good for up to four visitors in one visit, and may be checked out by a resident Manatee County library card holder (non-resident and reciprocal borrower card holders are not eligible for museum passes). Passes may be placed on hold, but must be picked up by the requester from the owning location (they are available to check out by the requester beginning on Wednesday and are valid through Tuesday of the following week). They cannot be renewed and are not valid with other offers and discounts.

Residents checking out a museum pass will be issued a paper receipt which indicates the due date, or expiration date, of the pass. Museum passes will always expire on Tuesday and are not renewable. The paper receipt is good for only one visit, will be taken by the museum staff upon admission, and does not need to be returned to the library.

Museum opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 am to 5 pm | Sunday Noon to 5 pm |   Closed Mondays

Rules of Behavior

The Library, as a limited public forum, reserves the right to require library patrons to leave the premises if these rules are not followed. Refusing to leave when asked will result in law enforcement being contacted, the issuance of a trespass citation, and may result in an arrest in accordance with the Florida trespass law (F.S. 810.08). Failure to comply with any of these library policies after a request from Library staff to do so may result in law enforcement being summoned.

Prohibiting the following:

  • Any illegal activity or other behavior that infringes upon another person’s safety or right to enjoy the library.
  • Sleeping, or laying on library furniture in such a way that creates an obstruction.
  • Bulky items. Including, but not limited to bedrolls, blankets, duffle bags, suitcases. See Bag Policy below.
  • Weapons, hazardous materials, or any other object that endangers the safety of others.
  • Tobacco, e-cigarettes, alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Damage or misuse of computers or library property.
  • Unaccompanied children under 12 years of age (a child must be under the constant supervision of a guardian 16 years or older and may not be left alone at any time).

Printable Behavior Policy   (en Espanol)

Bag Policy  (en Espanol)

Safe Child Policy

  • Children ages 11 and under must be accompanied by someone 16 years of age or older in all library facilities.
  • When a child 11 or under is found unattended, a staff member will attempt to locate the child's parent/caregiver in the library or contact the parent/caregiver by phone and inform him/her of the rules. If a parent cannot be located, law enforcement will be called.
  • Children ages 12 or older may be in the library unsupervised.

    Full policy in English: Unattended Children
    Full policy in Spanish: Niños Desatendidos

Study Rooms

  • Rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis and can only be scheduled in person on the day of intended use.
  • Rooms may be reserved for 2 hours per day. If others are not waiting for the use of a study room, the occupying patron may continue to use the room.
  • Librarian on duty is responsible for coordination of scheduled use.
  • Ending time requires that the study room user has cleaned up and is out of the room by the beginning of next user’s occupation.
  • Rooms are for study, tutoring, and collaboration and may not be used for solicitation of business or pursuit of commercial endeavors.
  • The library reserves the right to refuse use that violates other library policies (including unattended children and behavior policies) or interferes with other library patrons’ use of the library.
  • Photo ID is required to reserve room.