BUCKFIELD — After a 90-minute discussion about the Zadoc Long Free Library’s policies, the Select Board agreed Tuesday to a request by the library committee to adjust four mandates in the operating guide.
In a letter, committee Secretary Bill Glass proposed the library suspend late fees for overdue books, extend the checkout period from two weeks to three weeks, eliminate the $5 processing fee to replace a lost book and reduce the price for color print copies from 50 cents per page to 25 cents.
He stressed that the Maine State Library advises that fines for overdue books are no longer considered a best practice for libraries.
Patrons will have to return all overdue books before they can check out other books.
He also considered the fee for copies excessive and unfair. He noted the people getting copies were those without access to a copier at home.
“We’re doing it on the backs of the people who can at least afford it,” Glass said.
While interim Town Manager Cameron Hinkley expressed some concern about the potential loss of revenue due to the changes, the board largely supported the four changes.
What gave the board pause were the library’s policy in accepting donated books and the use of library space by the nonprofit group Friends of Zadoc Long Free Library.
Selectman Sandra Fickett said the library policy needed to be consistent with other town departments.
The committee recommended the library director be authorized to accept book donations of up to $500. Town policy, however, determined by a vote at a town meeting, that only the town manager has the authority to accept gifts of up to $5,000.
The board decided not to give the library director the ability to accept donations at this time and keep the policy uniform across all departments.
Allowing the Friends group to use the building for meetings would violate town policy, Fickett said.
Hinkley said the group should fill out the required paperwork every six months and let his office know at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting.
In other business, the board approved an $18,168 bid from Simard & Sons of Hampden for a fuel management system for Fire, Rescue and Public Works. The quote includes replacing two pumps and installing the electricity needed to run the new system. The town must install a 36- by 36- by 6-inch concrete pad to mount the system.
The board also approved spending $2,256 for two Apple iPads with routers that work as a mobile hot spot for the Fire Department’s engine and tanker.
The fuel management system and iPads will be paid from the town’s allotment of the American Rescue Plan Act.
Town Clerk Brittany Parrott was appointed the Bureau of Motor Vehicles municipal agent. As soon as she completes her training, residents should be able to register vehicles and receive plates at the Town Office.