Library Home  Fall River Public Library Exhibit and Display Policy

The Fall River Public Library welcomes exhibits and displays. By hosting exhibits and displays, the library both provides individuals and groups with a means of public expression and also makes those public expressions available to the community. The purpose of this policy is to provide fair and consistent standards for the use of exhibit areas in the library, thus ensuring use of these spaces in a manner that is consistent with the library's other service objectives. The library welcomes the use of its display areas by the public. Priority will be given first to displays by the library itself or other City of Fall River departments and agencies, second to residents of Fall River or groups based in Fall River, and third to other individuals and groups.

The Fall River Public Library is committed to following guidelines for display set out in Article I of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights:
"Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation." Article II adds: "Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval." And article VI maintains that exhibit space should be made available "on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use."

I. Purpose

1. The library functions as an intellectual and cultural resource for the community. Displays are a means through which the public can visually share experiences, appreciate special interests, and exchange information.

2. When not being used to promote library-related or City of Fall River activities or services, display and exhibit spaces are available to community groups and individuals engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities and will be provided on an equitable basis to any such group which submits an application in accordance with the procedures outlined below. The library reserves the right to designate and limit space, size, and location of displays or exhibits.

3. Exhibit areas are accessible on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Those who object to or disagree with the content of any exhibit are entitled to submit their own exhibits, which will be reviewed in accordance with this and other library policies.

4. The library will not act as an agent for the exhibitor. Exhibitors are encouraged to post statements about their work, but price tags or the posting of price lists are not permitted.

5. In general, the library does not accept commercial notices for any group unless they have a special educational, informational, or cultural value to the community. The library does not accept any materials being offered for sale to the public unless the proceeds are intended directly to benefit the library.

6. No exhibits may be mounted by the public outside of exhibit areas specified by the library, as they may interfere with other library operations and public safety, and result in an appearance of clutter. For example, no exhibits or displays may be mounted from columns.

II. Guidelines

1. Displays are accepted at the sole discretion of the library Administrator, in consultation with appropriate staff members. Display proposals will be reviewed for their educational and cultural value, including their value in promoting use of the library.

2. The library has the right to review the materials before the exhibit is set up. The library will not accept displays, exhibits, posters, etc. which are judged illegal, offensive or inappropriate for a public library setting (i.e. one that is free and open to persons of all ages). Exhibits/displays that promote discrimination against persons or groups will be refused.

3. Displays and exhibits will be accepted as long as they do not interfere with the daily conduct of library business and as long as it is made clear that the library does not necessarily endorse their contents or points of view. Displays and exhibits will be approved and scheduled as space permits. The sponsoring group or individual is responsible for creating the display, setting it up on schedule, and removing it before the next scheduled display or exhibit.

4. The fact that an organization or person is permitted the use of a library exhibit area does not in any way constitute an endorsement by the library of its policies or beliefs and no claim to that effect may be used in advertising.


I. Application and Review

1. Persons interested in using a display space at the Fall River Public Library must first fill out a Display Application. This form can be picked up at the adult circulation desk in the main lobby or printed from the library's web site. A copy of this policy is included with the application materials. Questions should be addressed to Laurel Ann Clark, Library Administrator.

2. Displays will be approved for a prescribed time, with the understanding that the owner is responsible for installation and removal.

3. Neither the City of Fall River nor the Fall River Public Library will be responsible for any damage or theft that may occur during transport, setup, or removal of an exhibit.

4. Limited exhibit space should be taken into consideration when applying to display works of art, artisanship, or craft.

5. The library has five glass display cases. In each one, the dimensions of the display area are 3 feet wide x 3 feet deep x 2 feet high. These cases have proven to be ideal for the display of collectible items, jewelry, and pottery.

6. The Library Administrator, who serves as Display Coordinator, coordinates all exhibit scheduling. library exhibit areas are available to the public on a first come, first served basis, and are available to individuals and groups if the library has not previously scheduled the use of those exhibit spaces. library sponsored exhibits and displays will have priority.

7. It is not the intent of the library to provide permanent or continuous exhibit space to any specific individual or group. Up to two exhibits may be scheduled at one time.

8. Reservations for exhibit areas may be made up to three months in advance.

9. Exhibits normally are scheduled for two months, from the first day of the first month to the last day of the second month.

10. Displays must conform to the space restrictions of the assigned areas and be securely affixed to display surfaces.

II. Installation and Removal

1. Responsibility for setting up and dismantling exhibits lies with the exhibitor. The exhibitor will supply all tools and other materials needed for the exhibit.

2. Exhibitors are asked to be respectful of the multipurpose community use of the library; thus conversations and noise should be kept to a minimum. Exhibits are to be installed with all deliberate speed. Entrances and aisles may not be obstructed.

3. Exhibitors may not move any existing exhibit or library materials during the installation of their exhibit, unless permission to do so is granted by the Library Administrator.

4. Individuals or groups using the library's exhibit spaces may not install their works prior to the dates on which their space reservations begin. They may not mount their artworks in a manner that defaces the space provided.

5. Damage to the premises, equipment, or furnishings as a result of exhibitor use will be charged to the individual or group responsible. The exhibitor or organization and its members, jointly and severally, assume and shall bear full responsibility for loss of, or injury or damage to, any property of the Fall River Public Library as shall be caused or inflicted by the using individual or organization.

6. Groups and individuals using the exhibit areas are responsible for basic clean up and return of the space to good order.

7. Exhibit owners should visit the library exhibit space periodically during the times their exhibits are on display to assure that no portions have become unkempt.

8. Each exhibitor will supply and display descriptive information regarding the purpose, title, and ownership of the exhibit.

9. All displays shall be set up and removed on the assigned dates under the supervision of the Display Coordinator.

10. The library does not have space for storage of the property of exhibitors in the library building; therefore, exhibitors are asked to deliver and pick up display items on the dates established in advance. Insurance covering the value of the exhibit will be the responsibility of the exhibitor. Prior to the display, the exhibitor will sign a disclaimer releasing the library from all responsibility for the works displayed. See attached Display Agreement.

III. Responsibility for Loss or Damage

1. Each approved exhibitor will supply a complete inventory of the exhibit and the reasonable estimated value of each item.

2. Items on display in the library enjoy the same security as the library collections and equipment, but irreplaceable items or items of great value should not be included in a display

IV. Cancellation

1. The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to cancel any exhibit should conditions or situations, such as a unique exhibit opportunity or unforeseen need, warrant such action. If an exhibit is canceled, the exhibitor will have the right to display his or her exhibit again, for the full duration of the exhibit time originally scheduled, at the earliest convenience of the exhibitor and the library.

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees May 11, 2005.

Exhibit and Display Application

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