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Purchasing Policy

SECTION I. Purpose

The Board of Commissioners of the Seaford District Library has established this purchasing policy to govern the purchase of goods and services for the Library. As a steward of public funds, the Library will make purchases that provide the greatest economic advantage. First consideration will be given to vendors within the library district who offer competitive pricing and acceptable quality and service.

This policy has the following objectives are to ensure that all library purchases comply with applicable laws, make the best possible use of tax dollars by purchasing goods and services economically and provide clear and consistent guidelines for SDL staff to follow which incorporate basic principles of sound management.

SECTION II. Purchasing Agent

The Library Director shall be the chief purchasing agent of the Library. The library director is responsible for the library-wide purchasing function and shall have the authority to delegate powers to the Library Department Heads for purchasing items within their respective budgets. All such authorized persons are required to coordinate their purchasing with the SDL Business Office. The Library Director is responsible for ensuring that purchases are reported to the SDL Board following approval by the Director and the Board Treasurer. In the Library Director’s absence, the Assistant Director shall serve as SDL’s chief purchasing agent.

SECTION III. State & Federal Laws

All purchases will be made within the legal requirements of the laws of Delaware and the United States.

SECTION IV. Purchasing Guidelines

These guidelines apply to the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment, or the rental of same, or the construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of the real or personal property. The Library Director will have the authority to authorize and/or approve purchases up to $1,000 consistent with the approved annual budget.

•Preference will be given to purchasing from local businesses when the total cost, quality, and timeliness of the delivery are comparable. The library will require quotes for amounts over $5,000.

•Purchases will not be artificially divided so as to constitute “small purchases.”

•Purchase orders and/or contracts for purchases/services must be signed by the Library Director or Assistant Director. Contracts over $5,000 must be approved by the Board of Commissioners.

•All approved invoices are to be routed to the bookkeeper within 5 business days of receipt.

•SDL will not knowingly purchase or accept bids to purchase goods or services from SDL Library Board members, employees, spouses of the above individuals or children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, and sisters of the above individuals and their spouses.

•Purchases shall be reviewed and approved by the Library Director and the BoardTreasurer prior to the issuance of checks.

•The Director is authorized to establish charge accounts with businesses from which the Library will make purchases on a continuing basis. Library employees who may make purchases using the established charge accounts shall include the director, the Assistant Director. The Director may assign other employees responsible for purchasing supplies needed for specific library programming.

•All contractors must have insurance to work on library property.

•Major library vendors that are supplying computer hardware and software, books, audio-visual materials, and periodicals subscription vendors are exempt from the restrictions of this policy.

•The library will use State of Delaware contracts when applicable to purchases when the total cost, quality, and timeliness of the delivery are comparable.

SECTION V. Emergency Purchasing Guidelines

An emergency is defined as an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. If a situation impinges on Library services or facilities and an emergency purchase contravening the policy statements above is deemed necessary, it must be approved by the Library Director and/or his/her designee. Established procedures will be followed as much as is practicable under the circumstances. A written justification of the nature of the emergency and the selection of the particular vendor shall be submitted to the Library Board and shall become part of the record for the purchase.

SECTION VI. Charitable Purpose

Because the purpose of the Library as a Public Library is to use taxpayer-provided funds for Library services only, such funds may not be distributed to any other charitable purpose.

Approved by the Board of Commissioners: October 16th, 2019

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