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Membership · Circulation · Schedule of Fees for Library Materials · Computer Use · Meeting Room Use ·
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Who can belong?

You qualify for a free McArthur Public Library card if you live, work, own property, teach, or go to school in Biddeford. For all others, there is an annual $30 membership fee.


How can I join?

All we need is a completed and signed application, current ID, and proof of your current residence (not just your mailing address).


Acceptable ID:
Driver’s license or state ID
Social Security card
Alien Registration card
School ID
Food stamp card

Acceptable proof of residence:
Auto registration
Printed checks/deposit slips
Utility bill
Cancelled mail with postmark dated within the last 30 days
Valid hunting or fishing license
Rent receipt
Lease or mortgage agreement


Children (ages newborn-13) will need a parent or legal guardian’s signature and ID to get a library card. We encourage parents to get cards for all their children.


Family Cards

Out-of-town residents may choose to get one card for the whole family for a single membership fee of $30.00.

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What can I get with my card?

Your library card allows you to borrow books in both regular and large print, magazines, pamphlets, CDs, videocassettes, DVDs, and audiobooks. Sorry: reference materials must stay in the library.


How long can I keep them?

Most library books, CDs, and long DVD sets can be checked out for three weeks. Most videos, DVDs, some high-demand children's books, and CDs, DVDs, and videos borrowed from other libraries check out for one week.


How many can I take?

For the most part, as many as you can keep track of. We ask that you limit yourself to no more than 2 books from any nonfiction section. In order to ensure that we have enough audiovisual material on hand for browsers, we ask that you keep your DVD borrowing limited to 10. .


What if I return them late?

There are no fines on children’s materials. The fine on most adult and young adult materials is 5¢ a day per item, with a maximum fine of $3.00.


Can I renew my books?

If they are not on reserve for another patron, library items may be renewed for one more check-out period. Additional renewals may be made at the discretion of library staff. Renewals may be made in person, online or over the telephone.


Can I reserve a book that is checked out to someone else?

Yes, you may, and we will give you a call when it comes in. We will hold reserved material for 10 days after you’ve been called. Keep in mind that there is frequently a long reserve list for popular items, and it may be a while before we call. Please also remember that we cannot guarantee that a book will be returned on time! We're happy to help you place a hold, or you can do it yourself online.


What if you don't have the item I need?
McArthur Library belongs to a statewide network known as Minerva, and you can connect to the holdings of over 60 Maine libraries through our electronic catalog.


If none of the libraries in our network owns (or is willing to lend) the item you want, you may make an interlibrary loan request and we will search the country for it.


If the item you are searching for is brand-new, or hasn't yet been published, you may fill out a purchase request slip and that will be referred to the appropriate librarian for consideration.


Warning: it is relatively difficult to borrow audio or video materials from outside of Minerva, and we cannot guarantee the success of these requests.


What if I don’t return what I’ve borrowed?

Because library items are meant for the whole community to share, it is important to return them on time. If items are not returned, you will be billed for their cost and you will not be allowed to borrow anything else until they are returned, or paid for, in the case of lost books. Once overdue items are returned, you will owe the library only the overdue fines.


I dropped this book in the tub.

Oops. Unfortunately, items that have been lost or damaged will need to be replaced, and you will be billed for the cost. Check the schedule of fees for replacement at the end of this section for the details.


My toddler destroyed this book.

We believe in putting books in children's hands and letting them get familiar with them. We also know that they are not always as careful with them as we’d like. Therefore, we waive charges on books damaged by small children, because they need to be given the first-hand opportunity to learn how to take care of books. We do ask that you work with your child to prevent future damage!


What if I move?
Please keep us updated when you move or change your phone number. We need to be able to reach you when that best seller you have on hold comes in!

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Schedule of Fees for Library Materials


Adult Room Books*  


Fiction $30.00


Nonfiction   30.00


Oversized   50.00


Trade paperback   17.00


Mass market paperback     8.00
Children's Room & Young Adult Books  
  Fiction $17.00
  Nonfiction   20.00
  Trade paperback   17.00
  Mass market paperback   17.00
  Book & cassette/CD kit   17.00
  Board book     6.00
Magazine/Pamphlet $  4.00
  Magazine folder     2.00
Audio cassette  
  (per cassette) $10.00
Music CD** $17.00
Audiobook CD (per disc) $10.00
Video cassette** $20.00
DVD** $20.00
* Adult materials with a value over $50.00 and children's or YA materials with a value over $25.00 will be charged as marked on the item.
**Multi-disc or -cassette sets and DVD/CD combos will be charged list price for the entire set.
Please note: materials borrowed from another library will be billed at a cost set by the lending library; these costs may be as high as $75 per item.

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Computer Use

Welcome to McArthur Library’s public computer network. To maximize availability to this resource, and to insure fair accessibility for all, please follow these guidelines, which include our policies, rules and procedures. As with the rest of the Library’s facilities, your use of the computers is governed by our posted Behavior Guidelines. 

Internet Access Policy
The McArthur Library endeavors to develop collections, resources and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational and educational needs of our diverse community of users. It is within this context that the McArthur Library offers access to the Internet.

The McArthur 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 global entity with a highly diverse user population and Library patrons use it at their own risk.

  • All 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. Parents, and only parents, may restrict their children, and only their children, from access to Internet resources available through the Library. Please note: In recognition of the fact that some Internet content is inappropriate for young children, the Library has installed an Internet filter on the computers in the Children’s Room. Parents and guardians should understand that such filters are not 100% effective; we advise you to supervise your children’s sessions.
  • The McArthur Library does not seek to limit users of Internet access computers in the Adult Room from obtaining information you might find offensive. There are sexually explicit materials and other information resources on the Internet that you may personally find controversial or inappropriate. Similarly, the Library is limited in its ability to prevent third parties from observing information on the monitor.
  • Users of computers in the Library should be aware that they are in a highly public place. Should you use a public access computer to view unprotected speech as defined by the Supreme Court*, you may be asked to discontinue your viewing. If you do not cooperate with staff requests, you risk losing your computer privileges.
  • 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. Please remember that many times you will find the specific information you need right here in our books, periodicals, electronic databases, etc.
  • Individuals who use Library computers for illegal purposes will have their privileges revoked and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Staff Assistance
Library staff will provide as much assistance as possible in helping you access the Internet and make use of the applications installed on public access computers. However, you must bear in mind that Library staff cannot fill out forms for you or provide editorial advice. The need to serve many Library patrons at once makes it impossible for staff to provide in-depth training concerning Internet surfing or personal computer use.

Guidelines for Access
Access to any of the Library’s Internet computers is governed by “Cassie,” our computerized waiting list. If you see a vacant computer, please use your library card to log in and begin your use. If all computers are in use, please use the registration computer, in the Adult Room, or go to the desk, in the Children’s Room, to get onto the waiting list. If you do not have a McArthur Library borrower’s card, please see Library staff for a guest pass, or go to the Check-Out Desk by the front door for your own library card.

All patrons are entitled to up to 90 minutes of computer time per day, time permitting, but no more than 45 minutes in one single turn if there are other patrons waiting. If there is no one waiting to use a computer after you, you may extend your time in 10-minute increments at the prompting of the computer.

  • Important! The computer is not kidding when it tells you your turn will end. If you do not save your work, you risk losing it. If you do not have a floppy disk, you may purchase one from the staff for $.25.

If you have a preference of one specific computer over another, you may select it when making your reservation. Please bear in mind that this may extend your wait significantly.

If Library staff become aware that the computer sign-up system is being abused in any way, offenders will lose their computer privileges for one week. Please play fair.

Printing from Library computers costs $.15 per page. Computer users are responsible for the cost of all pages printed. Printing from the Internet can be very squirrelly; often you may find that what seemed like a short document has resulted in a 45-page printout. Please use Print Preview or cut and paste to a Word document to control your printing costs. All printouts may be retrieved at the Information Desk on the same floor as the computer you have been using. Keep in mind that your print job will be sharing a printer with many other computer users; to ensure that your material is not mistakenly taken by someone else, please pick up your printouts as you make them.

 *Almost all speech is protected under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court makes an exception for obscenity, which must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  1. whether “the average person, applying contemporary community standards” would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
  2. whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law [defined in Maine as depicting or describing “ultimate sexual acts, excretory functions, masturbation, or lewd exhibition of the genitals”], and
  3. whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

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Meeting Room Use

The McArthur Public Library offers meeting room space to area non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals.

Priority in making these spaces available is given first to Library functions, then to the City of Biddeford or its departments, and then to non-profit organizations or individuals representing non-profit organizations. As part of our mission to the community, space is made available to these entities without charge.

Businesses or for-profit entities are welcome to use the spaces, as they are available; below is a suggested donation schedule for the use of the two rooms: 

  1.  Small Group Meeting Room (accommodates up to 8 people): $25/hr.

  2. Community Room (accommodates up to 75 chairs, theater-style): $50/hr.

Functions held in the Community Room are expected to be free and open to the public; the Director must approve any other use before a room reservation is confirmed.

Organizations using the Community Room are responsible for setting the room up for their functions and for restoring it to its original condition after use. Use of audio-visual equipment should be indicated on the Community Room Booking Form.

Any group that wishes to show a film as part of an event must ensure either that it possesses the public performance rights to that film or that it is covered by the Library’s site license. Any unauthorized public performance of a film is a violation of federal copyright law. To check whether a film is covered by the Library’s license, enter the title in the search engine at www.movlic.com or consult with the Library staff.

Reservations for the two rooms can be made according to the following guidelines:

  1. The Small Group Meeting Room can be reserved for sessions up to two hours on a weekly basis for up to two months; this reservation can be renewed according to availability. More frequent or longer sessions must be approved by the Director. The intent of the Small Group Meeting Room is just that: for small groups to meet in relative private; any exception must be approved by the Director. Any abuse of this intent will result in termination of privileges.
  2. The Community Room can be reserved for sessions of up to three hours on a monthly basis for up to one year; this reservation can be renewed according to availability. More frequent or longer sessions must be approved by the Director.

All users of either room must fill out a Room Booking Form (attached) annually before a reservation can be considered confirmed.

Light refreshments may be served in either room, but alcoholic beverages are not permitted. All trash, spills, crumbs, etc., must be cleaned up. Compensation for any damage to either room, its contents, or equipment beyond normal wear and tear will be the responsibility of the booking organization. NO SMOKING IS PERMITTED IN THE LIBRARY PROPER OR ON THE GROUNDS INTERIOR TO THE SURROUNDING FENCE.

Room users are expected to have completed their activities and tidying-up by the time the Library closes. Off-hours use of the Library facilities is permitted only with the express approval of the Director, pending availability of staff to monitor building security. The library will assess a charge of $20/hr or any fraction thereof for the off-hours use of the facilities to cover the direct costs to the Library.

Use of Library facilities by any organization does not constitute an endorsement of its activities or beliefs.

The organization or individual arranging for room use will be responsible for paying for all damages to the property of the library or others and for any personal injuries which may result from such use of the room or rooms. This responsibility will extend to paying for any attorney’s fees incurred by the library in protecting itself from such claims.

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Community Information Area

The McArthur Library maintains a community information area that includes brochure racks and wall space for posters and flyers. As space is very limited, the Library also maintains an electronic bulletin board both in the Community Information Area and as a link from the Library’s website. This policy covers both physical and electronic postings.

In all instances, informational postings with regard to Library programs and events take priority over other postings, which will be displayed physically on a space-available basis and posted on the electronic bulletin board. Postings of events of limited duration will take priority in allocation of wall space over those of a more lasting nature, as will those for more local events and organizations over statewide or national events or organizations.

It is the responsibility of Library staff to maintain the Community Information Area.

General guidelines for inclusion of materials in the Community Information Area follow:

  • Only materials for non-profit organizations will be considered.

  • The sponsoring organization and basic contact information must be clearly indicated on posters and brochures.

  • While events and information of a political or religious nature are permitted, campaign literature is not.

  • Commercial advertisements will not be considered for inclusion.

Any exceptions to this policy will be made at the discretion of the Director and must be considered within the context of the Library’s mission.

The posting of materials or brochures does not constitute an endorsement by the Library of the sponsoring organization’s activities or beliefs.

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