Library Policies


Mission Statement

The Blue Hill Public Library opens doors to information, culture, community, and the world.

Statement of Identity and Core Values

The Blue Hill Public Library serves the people of the Blue Hill Peninsula: children and adults of all backgrounds and circumstances.  As a dynamic cultural center dedicated to preserving the past while exploring the future, the library integrates new technologies with traditional collections.  It hosts and sponsors lectures, discussion groups, community meetings, exhibits, and displays.  The library believes in the transformative power of knowledge and that the unbound access to ideas and information is indispensable to an informed citizenry and the search for truth.

-Adopted by the Board of Directors 12-15-2020

Library Organization and Legal Status

The Blue Hill Public Library is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, governed by a board of trustees that is elected by its membership.  All cardholders in good standing or anyone who makes a financial contribution to the library is considered a member of the corporation, entitled to one vote at the annual meeting.

The library’s operations are funded by its endowment, by contributions and other gifts, and by annual appropriations, predominantly from the town of Blue Hill, but also from the towns of Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry.

Although the Library is not a municipal facility, it is a public library and generally observes applicable standards and policies of the American Library Association such as the ALA Code of Ethics, Library Bill of Rights, and Freedom to Read Statement.

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Who may use the library?

Library Registration
Everyone is welcome to use the Blue Hill Public Library, regardless of residency or age.  Each applicant will receive an individual library card upon registration, which must take place on library premises.

We suggest that very young children, those who cannot yet write their own name, use a parent or guardian’s library card.  When a child under the age of 12 joins the library, a letter will be sent home to the parents of each applicant.  This letter will explain the child’s rights and obligations as a library cardholder, as well as those of the parent as legal guardian to the child.

Parents and guardians are legally and financially responsible for their children until the age of 18, but the library’s policy of confidentiality for all ages will always be observed.

Please note that an individual’s library account will be treated in a confidential manner in accordance with state law.

Unattended Children
People of all ages are encouraged to visit the Blue Hill Public Library, which strives to create a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. However, it is parents and caregivers who are responsible for ensuring the safety and appropriate behavior of children while they are at the library, which does not act in loco parentis. Children and young people are expected to adhere to the same standards of conduct as adult patrons.

Children under the age of 8 may not be left unattended in the library under any circumstances, and library staff are not responsible for children, whether attended or unattended. Children under the age of 8 should always be in the immediate presence of a parent or caregiver who is at least 12 years old and who is conscientious in their responsibility to care for the child.

Young children who are not adequately supervised, or older unaccompanied children who are disruptive, may be asked to leave the library. If they cannot safely return home alone, they may use a library phone to contact an appropriate adult to arrange for a ride.

If a child has been left at the library without a ride or assistance home at closing time, library staff will attempt to contact a parent or legal guardian. In the event that a parent or legal guardian cannot be reached, depending on the circumstance, staff may call the authorities for assistance to the child. Library staff members are not permitted to give any minor patron a ride in their personal vehicles under any circumstances.

(Revised 6/27/2017)

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Patron Conduct Policy

The Blue Hill Public Library is a community resource for all to enjoy.  The library aims to provide its patrons with a comfortable and safe atmosphere conducive to a variety of activities pursued by a broad spectrum of the Blue Hill Peninsula Community.  Everyone is welcome at the library.

Disruptive Behavior – Any conduct that is dangerous or prohibits the use or enjoyment of the library by others will be addressed by library staff.  Extremely disruptive patrons will be asked to leave the premises, whether temporarily or for a longer term.  Volatile or abusive behavior directed to the staff or any patrons will not be tolerated.

Telecommunications – The library is not well-equipped for individual telecommunications. Cell phone use, videoconferencing and similar forms of communication are sometimes disruptive.  Patrons must silence their devices and limit their use to either the main floor lobby or anywhere on the second floor.  For longer calls patrons may be asked to communicate outdoors.  Consideration of the library’s atmosphere is appreciated.

Audio – Headphones are required for patrons who wish to listen to audio.  Speakerphones may not be used except in a meeting room during a closed-door scheduled meeting.

Technology-Free Area – To support the development of younger readers, the Larchwood Room is designated as a “screen-free” room.

Electricity access – Patrons may use outlets found underneath the tables and chairs to power their personal devices.  Cords should not cross aisles and walkways where they present a tripping hazard.

Animals – The library welcomes certified service animals that are trained to medically assist patrons.  Pets, emotional support animals, and other animals are prohibited.

Food – Drinks and snacks are permitted in most areas of the library.  Patrons are asked to clean up after themselves.

Smoking / vaping – Smoking or vaping are prohibited on BHPL property.

Alcohol – Consumption of alcohol is prohibited on library grounds except when explicitly authorized by the Library Director.

Weapons / firearms possession – No person, except a law enforcement officer, shall carry firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, incendiary devices, or implements which by their nature are capable of being used to destroy or injure a person or property on library property. Pocket knives and other similar items are not considered weapons.  Exceptions may be made for educational purposes at the Library Director’s discretion.


Adopted by the BHPL Board of Directors, 11-19-2019  revised April 24, 2024

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Circulation Policies

The smooth operation of a lending library is based on a concept of responsibility and trust that materials will be returned or renewed in a timely manner so they are available to all patrons. To that end the library will assess fines on overdue materials at the following rates:

Loan Period Replacement cost
Most Print items, audio items, etc. 3 weeks, renewals possible Retail cost for similar edition, or equivalent replacement item acquired by patron
Videos and DVDs 1 week, renewals possible Retail cost for similar edition, or equivalent replacement item acquired by patron
Juvenile and Young Adult Materials, all formats 3 weeks, renewals possible Retail cost for similar edition, or equivalent replacement item acquired by patron
Special Collections By special arrangement only, 24 hours, no renewals Assessed on an individual basis
Circulating Reference Circulation period varies according to item, no renewals Retail cost for similar edition, or equivalent replacement item acquired by patron
Interlibrary loans Set by lending institution Set by lending institution

When a patron pays for the replacement of a lost item, there are no refunds on lost materials that are later found.

When a patron has accrued replacement costs, their account is suspended. All borrowing privileges will be suspended until the matter is resolved.

Renewals are available by phone and online 24 hours per day. For telephone renewals, call 374-5515, listen for the prompts. For web renewals, visit our website, and look for a link to our catalog.  Note most items will renew automatically two times unless there is a hold on the item(s).

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Home Delivery of Library Materials

Depending on availability of volunteers, the library can deliver materials to or pick them up from the homes of house-bound patrons.  Delivery is also available to patients at the Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital.

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Policy for Reference Services

Service Goals
The staff at Blue Hill Public Library endeavors to provide accurate information and materials in response to requests from library users in an efficient, courteous and timely manner. Reference services will be delivered free of staff members’ individual bias, consistent with the principles expressed in the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and Library Bill of Rights.

Priority and Delivery of Service
Services available through the reference desk generally include information services; instruction on the use of the library and library materials; bibliographic verification of items requested; readers’ advisory; inter-library loan services; referral to community services; and tourist information. Questions are generally answered in the order received, with priority given to questions asked by patrons in the library.

When answering specific information questions, staff will normally cite the source of the answer.  Personal beliefs, opinions, and experience are generally not acceptable sources of answers to reference questions but, if given, will be identified as such.  In all cases staff will endeavor to deliver service free from their own personal beliefs and bias.

Telephone reference service is normally limited to supplying readily available information that does not require extensive research and that can be accurately imparted over the telephone.  Extensive research that requires selection of appropriate materials, interpretation of data and sources, or analysis of information (i.e. genealogical research) will be performed directly by the patron.  Detailed information, especially that which is subject to analysis or interpretation, will not be relayed over the telephone.  Samples of available materials can be gathered and held for patron pick-up.

Staff are not permitted to photocopy materials to be mailed except under circumstances authorized by the library director (e.g. for disabled patrons who cannot come to the library, for other libraries, etc.).  Telephone reference questions that can be answered quickly (two or three minutes) without affecting service to patrons in the library should be handled while the patron waits.  Questions that require more time to answer, or that are received while other patrons are waiting in the library, will be handled as callbacks.

Limitations of Reference Service
Staff members are not authorized to make purchases for or act as an intermediary between patron and the marketplace (e.g. online shopping).  In no case may a staff member be given a patron’s personal credentials such as user name, password or credit card information.

Instruction about the use of a patron’s personal computer will be generally limited to advising patrons on how to access the library’s public networks.  Staff may not act as “tech support” for a library patron or assist with configuration of a patron’s PC or other electronic device.  Staff may never directly touch a patron’s computer and are not personally liable for any damage caused to a patron’s computer when advising about its use.

All requests for reference information are strictly confidential.  Reference staff may consult with each other when necessary to serve the patron or consult with staff at other libraries, agencies, and organizations.  Questions are tallied for statistical purposed and may be compiled to assist in staff training.  In all cases, patron confidentiality and privacy will be maintained.

Additional care and caution will be exercised when providing legal, medical, or consumer information.  To avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable that patrons visit the library to review this type of information, rather than receiving the information over the telephone.  Reference staff will provide definitions, quote material verbatim, and direct patrons to information sources.  Staff will not offer advice or opinions, condense or abstract information, or suggest a course of action or diagnosis.  Staff will provide the source and copyright date for legal and medical information.

Based on Model Policies for Small and Medium Sized Public Libraries 1998, Neal Schuman Publishers, Inc. pp106-107.

Adopted by the Blue Hill Library Board of Directors, 2-24-2009

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Collection Development Policy

Purpose of the Policy
The policy provides overarching guidelines for determining what to add to the library’s collection, what to retain in the collection, and what to discard from the collection.  The Blue Hill Public Library’s collection includes items that are expected in a public library and also items that represent future trends or interests; our overall guide is the library’s Statement of Identity and Core Values found on the BHPL website and cover of this policy.

This policy also sets forth who is responsible for selection decisions and how limited funds will be allocated.  It addresses how complaints or concerns about materials will be handled.

Policy on Accessibility
The Blue Hill Public Library (BHPL) Board supports the principles enshrined in the First Amendment of the US Constitution and believes that the right to read and access diverse ideas is basic to democracy.

The library has adopted the Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements developed by the American Library Association (ALA), together with the ALA interpretations of those statements, as official library policy, and in adopting this policy, reaffirms its commitment to those principles.

Selections may include items that may be unorthodox or unpopular with the majority or controversial in nature. The library’s acquisition of these items does not constitute endorsement of their content but rather makes available its expression.  The library believes in the transformative power of knowledge and that the unbound access to ideas and information is indispensable to an informed citizenry and the search for truth.

Library users make their own choices as to what they will use based on individual interests and concerns. BHPL supports the right of each family to decide which items are appropriate for use by their children. Responsibility for a child’s use of library materials lies with his or her parent or guardian.  Children are not limited to the children’s collection, although this collection is kept separate from other library collections to enhance use.

All materials except Museum, Archive and Special Collections items will be freely and easily accessible to the public.  The library assures free access to its holdings for all patrons, young and old, who are free to select or reject for themselves any item in the collection.  There are some specific items in our collection to which we restrict physical access due to their condition and/or value.  Sometimes arrangements must be made in advance to examine these items.

Individual or group challenges to a particular item or type of material in the collection will not preclude its use by others.

Scope of Collections
The materials collection consists of more than 42,000 catalogued items in various formats, plus public access computers with internet access.  The library subscribes to more than 80 magazines, various newspapers, and offers patrons access to indexed magazine content online at the library or at home through the state-wide subscription to the Digital Maine Library.

The Maine Collection houses a selection of over 2,000 items of fiction and non-fiction material about Maine and by Maine authors, including transcriptions of original Jonathan Fisher diaries.

The library also collects, preserves and makes accessible various collections of historic or artistic interest.  The three main areas are:

  • The Special Collection, consisting primarily of books and other materials deemed important to preserve for future generations;
  • The Archives, a collection of primary documents and other materials related to the history of Blue Hill, the area, and the Blue Hill Public Library;
  • The Museum Collection, a collection of objects for display having unique local historic or artistic value, either because of their provenance or intrinsic value.

Acquisition, de-acquisition and preservation guidelines for the Museum Collection are addressed in a separate Museum Collection Management Policy.

Available from the library’s website, BHPL offers subscription-based digital library services free to patrons, possibly including e-books, e-audiobooks, digital music, movies, learning platforms and other services of interest to library patrons of all ages.

Collection Development Responsibilities
Authority for selection or de-selection of materials is delegated by the Library Board of Directors to the Library Director, who may in turn delegate to staff the responsibility to manage acquisitions, whether purchases or de-acquisitions, of any of the library’s collections.

Material acquisitions, whether through purchase or donation, are guided by this Collection Development Policy.   Systematic weeding of the collection is required in order to assure its vitality and usefulness to the community, and to make room for newer materials.

Selection Considerations

General Selection Criteria for all Collections
Selection is a discerning and interpretive process, involving a general knowledge of the area under consideration and recognition of the needs and tastes of the community.  The library strives to collect and make available a broad variety of items representing many points of view, and to maintain a balanced collection relevant to our community.

In accordance with the ALA Code of Ethics, library staff shall also strive to maintain a distinction between their personal values, opinions and convictions and those represented in the library’s collection.  Personal bias shall not justify emphasis upon, or exclusion of certain points of view in the collection.

Among standard selection criteria applied are:

  • public demand, interest or need
  • contemporary significance, popular interest or permanent value
  • authority and/or competence of author, creator or publisher
  • literary merit
  • attention of critics and reviewers
  • enduring value of content
  • importance of the subject matter to the collection
  • cost
  • scarcity of material on the subject
  • availability elsewhere
  • statement of challenging, original, or alternative point of view
  • recognition of local authorship, regional events, or accomplishments
  • quality and suitability of the format

Selection Tools
Tools employed in selection include professional journals, trade journals, publishers’ promotional materials, and reviews from reputable sources.

Current review sources that are consulted include but are not limited to: Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Horn Book, and VOYA.

Purchase suggestions from patrons are always welcome and provide library staff with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection.  Suggestions can be made in person at the circulation desk, or via the library’s online catalog.

Outside enthusiasts and professionals may also be consulted on an as-needed basis.  Their expertise may be used to help the library staff select materials for addition or for removal.

Maine InfoNet & Inter-library Loan
The library is a member of the Maine InfoNet consortium, a partnership of Maine libraries dedicated to improving information and library service to all Mainers through resource sharing, online systems and technology.  Membership allows Blue Hill Library patrons access to and borrowing privileges with more than 150 member libraries.  Each library has its own policy guiding its collection development.  No restrictions are placed on the Blue Hill Library’s users for access through inter-library loan to the Maine InfoNet collections other than those cited in BHPL’s Inter-library Loan Policy; however some lending libraries do have restrictions on how their items may be accessed.

Weeding, Storage and Withdrawal
Decisions about keeping materials as part of the active collection depend on the amount of available space, the condition of the item, whether the information is still current or of value, frequency of use, whether there is a better format available, and how many copies of the item are available elsewhere.

Items removed from the circulating collection may be moved to the Special Collection, may be withdrawn from the collection and included in the library’s book sales, discarded completely, or boxed for storage until more space is available.  The final decisions on the disposition are made by the Library Director.

Requests for Reconsideration of Materials
The Blue Hill Public Library welcomes comments and suggestions regarding the continued relevance of materials in the collection.  Those perspectives are considered by the staff in the ongoing process of developing the library’s collections.

Whenever any patron formally objects to the presence or absence of any library material, the process shall be as follows:

  • The complainant shall begin by having a conversation about their concerns with the Library Director.
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the results of that conversation they shall complete the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form (appended) and offered the opportunity to have their concern heard.
  • Once the completed form is received, the Library Director shall refer the matter to the chair of the Collections and Services Committee, who will carefully consider the request. If the chair of the committee feels it is warranted, and if requested by the patron, the chair will convene an ad hoc Materials Review Committee to consider the request.

The ad hoc Materials Review Committee shall consist of the Collection and Services Committee, plus one or more relevant staff members.

The committee will check reviews and other standard guides, survey library colleagues, and determine whether the item is protected by the First Amendment and conforms to the selection standards of this policy.  If the request is for addition of an item that has been rejected by the library, the committee will reconsider its addition.

Decisions will be rendered by majority vote of all members of the ad hoc committee, who has final responsibility for deciding whether to add or withdraw the material in question.  The committee will promptly notify the complainant and the Board of Directors, giving the reasons for the decision.

Materials subject to complaint shall not be removed from use pending final action.

All material challenges will be handled in a manner consistent with the library’s Confidentiality Policy.

Once the committee has rendered a decision to retain or remove an item from the collection, no further similar reconsideration requests for that item will be considered.

Policy Review
This Collection Development Policy will be reviewed at least every 5 years by the library’s Collections and Services Committee, which shall consist of the Library Director, one or more members of the staff, and several members of the Library Board as appointed by the Board President.

Collection Development Policy revised and adopted 2-22-2022 by the Board of Directors

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Museum Collections Management Policy

Objective Traditionally, the BHPL has served the dual function of community library and an educational and historical resource, housing more than 2000 items of local interest and significance, including in particular collections from Adelaide Pearson, founder of Rowantrees Pottery and influential patron of the library, and Roland Howard, whose bequest to the library came with instructions to “build up, equip and maintain a museum.” Much of the collection has a close connection to the history of the area and the people who have lived here, and will provide opportunities to entertain and educate both children and adults, coordinate museum displays with other library functions and exhibits, provide access to research opportunities relating to the history of Blue Hill and the Blue Hill Peninsula, and provide a visible link to the community’s past.
The goal of the Museum Collection is to continue these traditions in a manner designed to enhance the library’s appearance and function, as well as the experience of the library patrons, and to provide appropriate storage and opportunities for display for the items within the collection. In furtherance of these goals, the Collection and Services Committee Committee is charged with reviewing the existing collection, setting policy for appropriate acquisition and deaccessioning of objects, providing methods of appropriate storage and cataloguing for the collection, and developing opportunities and methods for display of the collection.
The collection includes decorative arts, ledgers, photographs, postcards, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, souvenirs, dolls, puppets, paintings, including a work by Jonathan Fisher, and historic surveys. Many items were collected by Adelaide Pearson in her travels, and brought back to illustrate the larger world to what was then a much more isolated community; Roland Howard donated fine examples of decorative arts, many of which came from homes in the area; Louis Levy oil pastels illustrate a particular period of Blue Hill’s history; and a puppetry related collection includes puppets made and used by local artist Frank Hamabe.

Acquisition Items may be added to the collections by means of gifts, bequests, purchases, or any appropriate transaction by which full and absolute title is effectively transferred to the Blue Hill Public Library. The library shall not accept long term, permanent or indefinite loans, or any accession whereby the library is not the owner of the item, except in a unique instance when the Collection and Services Committee approves of such an arrangement for a valuable item or collection that would further the Museum Collection’s mission. Items in the Museum Collection normally shall have no restrictions assigned to them. Any limitation on use, or any restriction or condition affecting ownership by the library shall be governed by the Blue Hill Public Library Gift Policy.
The Blue Hill Public Library shall follow current ethical standards as set down by the American Alliance of Museums, American Library Association, and the Society of American Archivists in regard to acquiring and deaccessioning museum collection items. Acquisition of items shall be accompanied by documentary evidence warranting ownership in the prior owner and effectively transferring ownership to the library. The library shall not knowingly acquire for its collections any item that has been stolen, illegally exported from its country of origin, or whose recovery involved unscientific or intentional destruction of or damage to historic sites. Every effort shall be made before acquisition to determine that the item has a clear and legitimate provenance.
Items shall be considered for accession according to the following criteria:
• value in relation to the history and cultural life of Blue Hill and the Blue Hill Peninsula
• whether or not the same item(s) already exist in the collection
• potential usefulness for research or exhibition relative to the history of Blue Hill and the Blue Hill Peninsula
• the library’s capacity to preserve, store and if appropriate, exhibit the item • the item is unencumbered by donor restrictions or provisions
• the adherence to NAGPRA – no Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects or objects of cultural patrimony will be accepted
• Space availability and upkeep cost and feasibility
The library may also consider an item which does not meet the above criteria but which could be used through exchange or sale to acquire another item of historical significance to the Museum Collection, or to make a cash deposit to the collection fund for such a purpose, or which is felt to be of specific value to the Museum Collection.

Authority to Acquire The Library Director and/or designated staff are responsible for the collection to which an item is to be added. After considering all of the above factors in the Collections Management Policy, they may accept on behalf of the library such unrestricted gifts as they deem appropriate. All museum collection purchases or large gifts are governed by the Collections Management Policy and subject to approval by the Collection and Services Committee. All items acquired, regardless of method, shall be included in Museum Collections accession reports, which are maintained as a permanent record of the Museum Collection.
By law, library staff cannot give tax advice or appraise the monetary value of a collection. However, staff members may render impartial assistance to donors in providing a list of qualified independent appraisers with relevant experience . It is the donor’s responsibility to arrange for and bear the cost of any appraisal. In certain circumstances, it may be possible for a donor to take a tax deduction for the donation. In such cases, should the donor be required to file an IRS Form 8283 or other forms, the responsibility is entirely with the donor(s) to file such forms and obtain the appraisal work. If needed, the library may sign acknowledging receipt of the gift once provided with sufficient information to review.
All gifts to the collection shall be accompanied by a Deed of Gift, signed by the donor and representative of the Blue Hill Public Library. This deed shall promulgate any conditions of the gift. Title is considered to be transferred when the library receives a Deed of Gift signed by the owner/donor, a bill of sale is acknowledged as paid in full in the case of purchased objects, or when a document is signed by all interested parties in the case of transferred objects.
All acquisitions shall be accessioned in a timely manner. Following acceptance of collection items, each item will be inventoried, documented and given an accession number. All information concerning the donor and the material in the collection, file receipts and any correspondence will be placed in a permanent donor file. Items will be photographed, entered into a collection database or index following library and archival standards, and placed in a designated storage area which is suitable for long term security and preservation of the collection.

Deaccession From time to time objects may need to be eliminated from the collection to better utilize the library’s financial and physical resources, or to better meet the mission of the Museum Collection. No object is deaccessioned without careful review and documentation of clear title. The Library Director or the Collection and Services Committee may recommend removal of an item from the collection. All accession records and information concerning the item shall be assembled and be available for a committee meeting. Following a majority vote, the committee shall approve the method of deaccession for the item.
Items shall be considered for permanent removal according to the following criteria:
• item does not have value relating to the history or cultural life of the Blue Hill Peninsula
• object is a duplicate of another item already in the collection
• item lacks potential usefulness for research or exhibition purposes
• the library lacks the capacity to store, preserve, and if appropriate, exhibit the item
• the condition of the item is beyond reasonable repair
• a more appropriate repository may exist for the object
• item has been permanently lost or stolen

Methods of Deaccession
The item may be given to an approved and impartial auction house for sale from which the proceeds from such sale shall go into the Museum Collection Fund. The Museum Collection Fund is to be used exclusively for the purchase, care or conservation of collection items and requires a majority vote from the Executive Committee for expenditure. When appropriate, credit will be given to the original donor if another object is acquired through proceeds or exchange of an object.
The deaccessioned item may be:
• exchanged by the Blue Hill Public Library for an item of similar value and of Blue Hill relevance through another museum, educational institution, and art, antique or archival dealer.
•donated by the Blue Hill Public Library to another historical society, museum or educational institution.
•destroyed after a decision by the Blue Hill Public Library
Accession records shall be marked to indicate the date and method of disposal and shall be filed with the accession records, and a list made available for the Director, Collection and Services Committee, and the Board of Directors.
No Blue Hill Public Library staff member or their family, no Board of Directors member or their family, no Collection and Services Committee member or their family shall benefit, profit, or otherwise receive museum collection objects deaccessioned and disposed of by the Blue Hill Public Library unless approved by majority vote by the Board of Directors.

On occasion items from the Museum Collection may be loaned out to a non-profit museum, library or educational institution for research, display or educational purposes. Outgoing loans are intended to be used for display or research, not for active demonstrations or theater props. Loans from the Museum Collection require approval by the Library Director, a loan agreement, and a condition report upon departure and return of the item.
Items will be considered for loan according to the following criteria:
• object is not too fragile to withstand travel, handling and climate changes
• facilities report ensures that conditions during loan period will not endanger the object
• items will not be used for personal or commercial gain
• borrower provides proof of insurance
• duration of loan is specified and is not more than one year
• any special conditions, requests or restrictions must be approved and documented
• borrower is responsible for all packing, shipping and travel costs associated with the loan

Care of the Collection
The Collection Development Committee shall advise the Library Director and the Board of Directors on the conservation of the collection. Care of the collection shall be maintained through accurate record keeping, preventative conservation and periodic inventory of the Museum Collection. Keeping accurate collections records is essential, including accession and deaccession records, photographs, condition reports, loan records and conservation reports. The climate of the Museum Collection storage area will be kept stable and will be periodically monitored for pest management. Proper storage, handling of objects and security procedures shall be overseen by the Library Director, the Collection and Services Committe and Library Staff. Objects on regular display in the Library should be handled according to the same standards as objects in the storage area. It is recommended that any restoration or repair to objects in the Museum Collection be done with the advice of a trained conservator. A comprehensive inventory check shall be done regularly.

Access to the Collection
The Museum Collection is an educational resource and shall be made available to the public by appointment under proper control, subject to the approval of the Library Director or members of the Collection Development Committee. Supervised access to storage areas is limited. No food or drink shall be permitted in the collections storage area. No ink pens will be permitted. Gloves should be worn when handling objects. Requests for permission to use images of items in the collection will be considered on a case by case basis.

Policy Review
This policy is subject to review by the Collection Development Committee as standards change or as need dictates, or a minimum of every five years.

Adopted by the BHPL Board of Directors 2011, revised 2-2-2022

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Internet Safety & Acceptable Use Policy

The Blue Hill Public Library is dedicated to providing unbound access to ideas and information to all of its users. In pursuit of that mission, the library provides free access to the internet through public computers and an open wireless network.

The internet offers access to a wealth of information that can be personally, professionally, and culturally enriching; however, not all information available via the internet is accurate, current, or complete. Users are encouraged to exercise critical judgment in evaluating the validity of information accessed via the internet, and to be courteous to fellow patrons when choosing what is appropriate to view in the library’s public space. Please keep in mind that the library must be shared by patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities. Individuals are asked to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information and images.

Filtering and Objectionable Material

In order to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Blue Hill Library is required to employ an internet filter on the library network. Given the nature of how information becomes accessible online, the library cannot and does not guarantee that the filter will block all objectionable material. The filter may also over-block material that is not considered objectionable.

Adults can override the filter at any time by requesting a code from a member of the library staff. Minors (patrons 17 and under) can request that the filter be overridden for a particular webpage at the discretion of the library staff. The library encourages parents and guardians in their efforts to guide their children’s access to information, and urges parents to discuss the use of the internet with their children in relation to family values and boundaries, and to monitor their children’s use of the internet while at the library if they are concerned.

User Privacy and Security

The library is strongly committed to user privacy and to undertaking steps to promote user privacy.  When using a library computer, the user is also responsible to take steps to protect their own privacy.  Users need to understand that there is no guarantee of privacy, however.  The library does not attempt to maintain records of what individuals view, and, to the extent that it is feasible, depending upon the software, a user’s information may not be maintained at the end of their session.

Users are cautioned that because security in an electronic environment such as the internet cannot be guaranteed, all transactions, files, and communication are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use and, therefore, users should act as if these materials and information could be vulnerable or become public. The library’s network does not protect your machine from viruses or third-party eavesdropping.

Acceptable Use

All patrons are asked to meet these expectations for using the library’s internet connection:

  • Use library computer resources and network for lawful purposes only.
  • Do not tamper with library computers, systems or settings in any way.
  • Be mindful of the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information and images.
  • Exercise good judgment and safety measures when using email, chat rooms, social media, or other electronic communications.
  • Make ethical decisions around disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information online.
  • Respect intellectual property rights when accessing copyrighted materials.

If you do not comply with these rules, you will be held liable for any damage and your privilege to use the library’s computer resources may be revoked. The library shall have no liability for any damages, direct or indirect, occurring as a result of the use of library electronic resources.

Staff Assistance

Library staff are happy to assist you with using library computers and digital resources. Please report any problems with library computers to a staff member immediately. Library staff are not authorized to assist with any online purchases or financial transactions or to touch, reconfigure or install software on any computer not owned by the library.

Print / Copy Policy
Copies and computer print-outs are available as a convenience to patrons at prices posted at the machines. There is no charge for reasonable amounts of copies to local students in grades K-12 as long as the copies being made are directly related to school assignments.


Adopted by the Board of Directors in a public meeting on 07-26-2016., revised April 24, 2024 in a public meeting

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Blue Hill Public Library Programming Policy

The Blue Hill Public Library has a long tradition of providing services that go beyond the lending of books and other materials. Interactive library programming has become central to the library’s services. The following policy governs these activities.

Scope of policy
This policy addresses various cultural programs, including but not limited to lectures, community forums, performing and visual arts, participatory workshops, technology programming, creative learning programming, health and wellness programs, storytimes, continuing education, book clubs, discussion groups, “how to” demonstrations, displays, and presentations for social, cultural, educational, or entertainment purposes; whether they are individually sponsored or co-sponsored, take place on library premises, at other locations, are hosted by library staff, library volunteers, or library partners.
This policy does not address library fundraisers or community-sponsored events taking place at the library, which are considered a separate entity from library programming. Library exhibitions are governed by the Blue Hill Public Library Exhibit Policy.

Program selection rationale
The production of public programming involves considerable time, effort and resources. Just as with selections for the library’s material collections, library staff will endeavor to provide a wide variety of offerings that will respond to “interest, information, and enlightenment of all peoples of the community.”
From selection of topics to demographics of the intended audience, the library will offer programs that appeal to all people from all walks of life. Programming will reflect the experience and needs of those both inside and outside of the mainstream, addressing the interests of the entire community, not just the majority. The library recognizes achievements by all members of the community and within available resources seeks to provide a platform for them to share their ideas, accomplishments and stories.
Freedom of Speech is a core value at the Blue Hill Public Library, as it is at many libraries around the world. In accordance with the Library Bill of Rights, which the Library Board of Directors has endorsed, the library will give exposure to a wide range of ideas to serve all members of the community.  Controversy, whether anticipated or real, is not a rationale for cancelling or choosing not to host a public program. Selected programming topics do not indicate an endorsement of the content by the library.
The library reserves the right to cancel or disinvite a speaker or event for any reason at any time.

Public safety: This is an overriding concern at library gatherings. Staff will observe maximum occupancy guidelines and maintain clear lines of access to all exits. Aisle widths will be ADA-compliant for patrons using wheelchairs and every effort will be made to make programs accessible to patrons with disabilities.

Fees: The library is committed to providing its programs and services free of charge to all, and will not require payment to attend any library-sponsored program. Whenever possible, supplies required to participate in a program will be provided by the library free of charge. While donation opportunities or items for purchase may be made available at library programs and events, payment or purchase will not be required.

Restrictions: While the library may recommend programs for a particular target audience, eligibility for attending a library-sponsored program is not limited to certain ages or demographics. Exceptions may be made when safety is an overriding concern and when the stated purpose of a program is to provide a supportive environment for a particular group.

Unattended child policy / transportation: Children at library programs, whether during or outside of regular library hours, are subject to the library’s Unattended Children Policy, which states that children under the age of 8 may not be left unattended at the library, but must be with a caregiver who is at least
12 years old and conscientious in their responsibility to care for the child. Library staff do not act as caregivers during library programs and are not responsible for children, whether attended or unattended. Library staff or volunteers will not transport children in any vehicle to or from library programs, whether at the library or at another location.

Movies: MPAA movie ratings are not enforced by the library staff. Parents and guardians are free to choose what is and is not appropriate for their child and the library encourages them to take an active interest in the media their children are consuming.

Should controversies arise from the selection or non-selection of a speaker or viewpoint, library patrons are welcome to express their concerns to the Library Director. Board Members and library staff who are made aware of such concerns will encourage complainants to address their thoughts to the Library Director. The Library Director will act as spokesperson for the library in all cases.  If, after discussing the matter with the Library Director, the complainant is still not satisfied, they have the option of filing a formal complaint using the appended form. The process followed will be the same as outlined in the BHPL Collection Development Policy.

Adopted by the Board of Directors (12-18-18)

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Exhibit Policy

Exhibit Policy
The library’s Britton Gallery, Roland Howard Room Display Cases and other exhibit areas are part of the library’s collection space. The library selects and exhibits artwork and other materials that are consistent with its mission. As with the library’s materials collections, the library seeks to make available materials that represent a variety of media and techniques, that are of artistic or literary value, that match the interests of our patrons, fit attractively in the available space, have some relationship to Blue Hill or surrounding areas, or to Maine, and that represent a variety of viewpoints.

The Blue Hill Public Library does not discriminate based on doctrinal point of view expressed by an exhibit and hereby endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the ALA interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights as related to library exhibit spaces and bulletin boards.

As with any other part of the collection, the library welcomes requests and suggestions from patrons and others for materials to be displayed. The library does not, however, guarantee that any particular request will be granted and reserves the right, in its discretion, to reject any exhibition. Objections to the materials displayed, where a patron asks that the materials be removed or limited in some manner, are treated in the same manner as challenges to books and other materials.

Some work exhibited at the library is available for purchase. Artists are asked to donate a portion of all sales generated by exhibit at the library.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees (6-29-05)

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Bulletin Board Policy

Bulletin Boards
The library has limited bulletin board space that it makes available for community news, events, and non-profit information. Items of a commercial nature will not be displayed. All items must be smaller than 12”x18”, and may be hung for no longer than four weeks at a time. Each poster should be labeled with a posting date. Library staff will remove items that have expired or have been on display longer than four weeks.

Dissemination of Free information and Advertising materials (pamphlets and other materials)
The library makes space available for the distribution of free materials such as pamphlets, flyers, brochures, leaflets and other media that provide information about non-profit, community, educational, cultural or recreational projects, events or services. Because space is limited, the library does not guarantee ongoing display of such materials for any individual or group. Items should be compact, with no larger than an 8.5”x14” footprint. The library, at its sole discretion will add or remove items from this area. Items for consideration should be presented to the Library Staff for display.

Use of Library Grounds for Third-Party Signs
The library does not permit private third-party signs to be posted on its property. Limited posting of signs for community organizations or events may be possible with the approval of the Library Director. Signs for political candidates or advocacy issues will not be permitted. All signs must be of a size and nature so as not to interfere with normal library business, traffic safety, and may be displayed only for no more than a week.
See also: The Blue Hill Public Library Exhibit Policy and Meeting Room Policy
Adopted March 7th, 2013

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Gift Acceptance Policy

The Blue Hill Public Library, a non-profit, tax-exempt 501c(3) organization, welcomes gifts of materials, money or real property. Gifts and donations may be made to the library in a number of ways both restricted and unrestricted: to the Annual Appeal that provides vital support to library operations, to the library’s Endowment Fund which provides for our longevity as an institution and secures our future, for specified purposes, or, through the gift of tangible objects and ephemera as additions to the library collection or facility.

Monetary Gifts
Monetary gifts can include gifts of cash, checks, bequests, annuities, stocks and bonds given to the library by donors, estates, corporations or foundations.

Unrestricted Monetary Gifts
Unrestricted gifts are monetary gifts either unsolicited or raised through the Annual Fund, special appeals and events. Unless a specific condition or directive is clearly stated by the donor and on record, or in the event of a major bequest when the gift would normally be added to the library’s endowment, monetary gifts shall be considered as unrestricted and will be deposited into the Annual Fund in support of operations. Acknowledgement of all monetary gifts shall be sent soon after receipt. Gifts may be made to the Annual Fund at any time during the year. Monetary gifts received by mail will be applied to the budget year during which the gift envelope is postmarked.

Restricted Monetary Gifts
Restricted gifts are donor-directed monetary gifts given with specific purposes. Restricted gifts are not deposited into the Annual Fund, and if accepted are used for a specific purpose as prescribed by the donor. Such purposes must be consistent with the mission of the library.

Expenditures from restricted funds do not require prior approval of the Library Board if they meet the donor’s designated purpose. Monetary donations made to support one-time material purchases will not replace regularly budgeted library expenditures and will not be used to replace already funded activities.

Memorial and Honorary Gifts
The library is proud to share in the legacy of, or in honor of, friends and relatives of library patrons. When a gift is received in memory or honor of an individual, library staff will take appropriate steps to notify the next of kin, or the individual being honored.

Any Memorial Gifts received by the library that are not restricted by the donor may be designated for a specific fund or purpose by the Library Board. Donations may be made to this fund at any time. Expenditures from these funds do not require prior approval of the Library Board if they meet the donor’s designated purpose.

Adelaide Pearson Society
The Blue Hill Public Library Board has established the Adelaide Pearson Society to recognize past, present and future bequests of $5,000 or more to the Library’s Endowment Fund. Adelaide Pearson was a founding member of the library, who gave time, collections and funds to The Blue Hill Public Library’s establishment and expansion, and whose dedication to the institution was crucial to its existence. All Society members shall be listed by name on the plaque hung in the library.
The Blue Hill Public Library will make every effort to honor the wishes of the donor. As with all gifts, acceptance of bequests and inclusion in the Adelaide Pearson Society is at the discretion of the Library Board.

Non-monetary gifts:
Art, Books and Other Tangible Objects
The library collections and grounds have benefited many times over the years from selective acceptance of gifts of items and property. Gifts of books and other appropriate library materials without conditions attached are gratefully accepted. However, such gifts cannot be guaranteed to become part of library holdings or displays. For example, special housing or permanent shelving cannot be promised, nor can the library guarantee to keep intact a group of donated materials. The Blue Hill Public Library has been particularly fortunate in the past in receiving fine paintings, sculpture, as well as furniture, equipment and estate items from donors. Acceptance of such gifts will be made by the Library Director, or if warranted, by the Library Board.

Gift terms such as a request to display or keep an item, or group of items in perpetuity are substantial commitments that will rarely be made. Such decisions are made by the Library Board with the recommendation of the Library Director.

The Library Board reserves the right to sell, loan or divest itself of donated non-monetary gifts in accordance with the law and applicable library policies.

Appraisal of gifted items
The library’s staff is not authorized to appraise gifted materials or services. The library staff also cannot advise on tax deductibility or deduction value of tangible gifts, and strongly recommend that any potential donor consult with their own attorney or financial advisor. If the donor requires an appraisal for income tax or other purposes, it is the donor’s responsibility and the library recommends that the donor have the appraisal made prior to transfer of ownership to the Blue Hill Public Library.

Adopted by the Board of Directors 12-16-03, revised August, 2009, September, October, 2014. Pearson Society added June 2015.

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Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

The Blue Hill Public Library recognizes that every patron is entitled to receive library services in a manner that does not compromise their privacy. In doing so the library will comply with applicable laws (see: MRS Title 27. “Libraries, History, Culture and Art, Ch. 4-A. Library records. §121. Confidentiality of library records”) as well as the principles expressed in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The library also recognizes professional guidance from the American Library Association, including the Library Bill of Rights, as well as its interpretations, the ALA Code of Ethics, and the Freedom to Read Statement.

Library records, personally identifiable info, etc.: Library staff are prohibited from sharing or discussing any patron’s library records or sharing any personally identifiable or private information with any outside third party except pursuant to a court order. These practices shall also apply to any individuals or organizations that are working with the library on any event or project, such as co-sponsorships of events.

Minors are afforded the same privacy rights as adults under Maine’s Confidentiality of Library Records law.

In certain situations, the library engages with various vendors and third parties for specific purposes that could include providing secured access to library data and records. Examples include vendors and third parties that assist the library with integrated library systems, email marketing services, collections agencies, et. al. Use of such services for those specific purposes is permitted and does not violate the library’s privacy protections.

Photos: The library takes photos at events and during normal business. Individuals will not be identified by name without their prior consent, or if they are minors, their parent’s or guardian’s prior consent.

Marketing communications: The library will, from time to time, send emails about library services and events. Whenever possible, such emails will include an unsubscribe option and mailing lists will be developed on an opt-in basis.

Sales of Art and other items: The library may display artwork that is for sale in the Britton Gallery and Howard Room, or at fundraising events. When it does so it acts as an intermediary between the purchaser and artist. By default, the name and contact information of the purchaser are shared with the artist unless withholding that information is explicitly requested by the purchaser.

Adopted by the Board of Directors 3-22-23

Mailing list

The library maintains a mailing list for fundraising and other purposes. We will not sell or rent this list, nor grant access to anyone except pursuant to official Blue Hill Public Library business.

BHPL Board Open Meeting Policy

The Blue Hill Public Library wants patrons of the library and other members of the community served by the library to be informed about library activities and operations and invites input from its patrons and other members of the community on library matters.  In order to achieve this important goal, the library welcomes patrons and members of the community to attend library board meetings and observe the deliberations and discussions of the business of the library.  If a patron or member of the community wishes to speak at the meeting, the individual must contact the board president or library director ahead of time to request time on the agenda.  They shall have an opportunity to speak briefly or ask a question during the time specified on the agenda for public comment.  The library board may choose, during a meeting of the library board, to set meeting procedures and/or go into an executive session not open to the public to discuss topics such as personnel matters, legal issues or similar confidential issues.

Committee meetings of the library board are not open to the public.

Patrons of the library and members of the community may also ask questions or express their views by writing to the library director or president of the library board.  If a patron of the library or a member of the community wishes to raise a complaint about the library or its operations, they shall follow the complaint procedures of the library.


Minutes of the meetings of the board, once approved by the board, may be reviewed at the library upon written request to the board president or the library director.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, June 23, 2020

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