McArthur Public Library

270 Main St - Biddeford, Maine - 207 284 4181

Library Policies

How do I get a Library card?

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. 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 cards

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.

Circulation FAQs

What can I get with my card?

Your library card allows you to borrow books in both regular and large print, magazines, CDs, DVD/BluRays, video games, comics/graphic novels and audiobooks.

How long can I keep them?

Most library books, CDs, and long DVD/BluRay sets can be checked out for three weeks. Single disc DVD/BluRays and video games 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 video game borrowing to 2, DVD borrowing limited to 5 and your CD borrowing limited to 10.

What if I return them late?

We appreciate you returning your library material on time since it is for the whole community to share. We do not charge fines for late material.

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 have 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. We do not charge late fines or fees. 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.

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.

Fees for Replacement of Library Materials

Library materials are billed at the suggested retail price. This is to help cover not only the item cost but also library processing fees. Pleased be advised that replacement copies are not accepted. Multi-disc sets and DVD/CD combos will be charged list price for the entire set. We cannot replace individual parts of any items.

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 $100 per item. These items are also billed 45 days after the due date with no replacement, refunds, or returns accepted. This policy is set by the statewide MINERVA Board


By using our computer or internet resources, users agree to abide by the Internet Safety Policy below.


Internet Safety Policy


It is the policy of McArthur Library to: (a) prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications; (b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; (c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and (d) comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].


Key terms are as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Access to Inappropriate Material

To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) shall be used to block or filter Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, access to inappropriate information.

Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.

Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

Inappropriate Network Usage

To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the McArthur Library online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.

Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.

Education, Supervision and Monitoring

It shall be the responsibility of all members of the McArthur Library staff to educate, supervise and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this policy, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act.

Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the Information Technology Coordinator or designated representatives of the Adult Services Team who are on the reference desk at the time the inquiry comes from the patron.


This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of McArthur Library at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on March 14, 2016.


Meeting Room Policy

Email or call the children's room directly at 207-571-7205 to request bookings or ask for more information - please read the information below as it may answer some of your questions.

The McArthur Public Library offers meeting room space to area non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals, as well as to the City of Biddeford for public meetings.  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 on the first floor adjacent to the Circulation desk (accommodates up to 8 people): $25/hr.

2. Community Room on the first floor (accommodates up to 75 chairs, theater-style): $50/hr. Important note: The Community Room has a mobile divider wall. This wall should NOT be operated by anyone other than  a library employee. Your group or any individual may be liable for any costs required to repair damages to this wall if you attempt to operate (open or close) it. If the wall is closed, you can utilize the door that is built into the wall. Upon your arrival, if you find the wall to be closed (and you would like it open) or vice versa, you must ask a library employee for assistance. We reserve the right to book the space on the other side of the wall concurrently, so it's possible there may be other meeting room users on the other side. This wall is designed to be sound-resistant, but not completely sound-proof.

There is a meeting room upstairs, but this is not able to be reserved in advance. Use of this room is limited to a drop-in basis for a maximum time period of 2 hours, and users must consult with staff at the Adult Room Information Desk on the 2nd floor. If this room is required for a Library function or meeting, those using the room may be asked to vacate the room, although the Library will make every effort to accommodate the needs of patrons.

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.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PARKING: Parking in downtown Biddeford can occasionally be challenging. Currently, as of April 2013, street parking is free but there is a limit of 2 hours, and they do ticket. There is a Biddeford Savings Bank parking lot (where you will need to pay) at the intersection of Main and Jefferson, and if you can park there, we can validate for up to an hour at the front desk of McArthur Library. However, the Bank does reserve many spaces in that lot for its customers, so we cannot guarantee that you will be able to park there. Please keep this in mind if you have a large group, should you be arranging a large event held in our meeting room.

Organizations using the Community Room are responsible for setting the room up for 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.

Reservations for meeting rooms can only be made for up to a month in advance. In other words, recurring reservations for monthly meetings will not be allowed, in order to provide fair access to the community.

All users of either room must email or call the children's room directly at 207-571-7205 to inquire about making a reservation – these reservations should only be considered confirmed once you have heard back from Library staff. Please allow 48 hours for a response.

Please be sure to include: your name, contact information (email and phone), your group/organization and whether it is a non-profit, requested dates and times, room you are requesting, and purpose of meeting room usage.

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 or cleaning to either room, its contents, or equipment beyond normal wear and tear will be the responsibility of the booking organization.

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 or consult with the Library staff.

No smoking is permitted in the library 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 minimum charge of $20/hr for the off-hours use of the facilities, in order to cover the direct costs to the Library.

Use of Library facilities by any organization does not constitute McArthur Library’s endorsement of the organization’s activities or beliefs.

The organization or individual arranging for room use will be responsible for paying for any and 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.


Community Information Posting Policy

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, provided space is available, and posted on the electronic bulletin board.

Postings of time-sensitive events or those 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.

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

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:

(1) Only materials for non-profit organizations will be considered.

(2) The sponsoring organization and basic contact information must be clearly indicated on posters and brochures.

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

(4) 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.