Purchasing Policy

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The primary objective of the Kalamazoo Public Library Purchasing Policy is to ensure that all goods and services are procured through the use of appropriate contracts, in the best interest of the Library, have funds appropriated for their acquisition within a board approved budget, and include terms and conditions to protect both the buyer and the seller.

Acquisitions will be conducted on an open and competitive basis in order to obtain the best value, giving preference to local suppliers, especially those within the library district, when an equivalent product or service that meets required criteria is available. Although price shall normally be a major consideration in all purchases, the Library reserves the right to take such factors as durability, timeliness, availability, vendor past performance quality, environmental impact and operating cost into consideration.


All purchases must be funded by an appropriation either within an adopted budget or expressly approved by the board of trustees. No purchase over $10,000 not funded by an appropriation either within an adopted budget or expressly approved by the board of trustees may be made without Finance & Budget Committee approval.

Bids or quotations may be solicited whenever in the opinion of the Director or his/her designee a more advantageous price may be obtained without undue delay or detriment to library operations and when the quantity cost is great enough to offset the time and cost of obtaining bids or quotations.

Whenever formal bids exceed $50,000 they shall be reported to the Director for referral to the Board along with any appropriate recommendations. All requests for formal bids will be sent to at least three vendors, if possible, and posted in a prominent location in the Library.

Contractors and subcontractors shall covenant not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment with respect to hire, tenure, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment, or a matter directly or indirectly related to employment, because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status, disability, or handicap, except where based on a bona fide occupational qualification. Breach of this covenant shall be regarded as a material breach of the contract as provided in the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (MCL 37.2101 et seq.).

Conflict of Interest

A business entity in which an employee has an economic interest represents a conflict of interest if the employee has any involvement in the selection of that entity as a library vendor. Engaging a relative as an independent contractor is also a conflict of interest for an employee. Conflict of interest may be avoided by review and approval of either the Assistant Director for Operations or the Library Director. Such conflict and the arrangement to avoid it must be documented and available for internal review.

Library employees may not accept anything of significant monetary value from anyone who (1) has or is seeking to obtain Library business; (2) has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties.

Authority and Responsibility

Kalamazoo Public Library has determined purchasing and contracting decisions for some supplies, materials, furniture, equipment, or services may be made more effectively by a variety of personnel. Authority and responsibility for certain aspects of purchasing and contracting processes have been delegated to employees throughout the organization. This approach requires employees involved at every stage of the purchasing process to take responsibility for understanding library policies and procedures regarding purchasing and vendor relations.

Only authorized employees may commit the library’s resources to a purchase. Ultimate approval authority rests with the approved budget in place. Allocation of that budget is delegated to the Director and further through the appropriate Assistant Director, Purchasing Manager and Agency Department Heads.

Adopted: August 24, 1992.
Revised: October 25, 2004.

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