The Austin Public Library attempts to provide the community with limited, temporary space for displays, exhibits, and bulletin boards to further the Library’s mission to provide information and services that promote lifelong learning, literacy, and love of reading to enrich the quality of life in our community. Not all Library buildings can accommodate postings, displays, or exhibits. To make the most efficient use of the space that is available, the Library has established the following criteria for such material.
Any individual or group requesting to post, display or exhibit materials should bring the material(s) or, in the case of an exhibit, a representative sample of the materials, to the Reference desk at the Central Library or inquire at the Circulation desk at other Library branches. The Austin History Center develops its own exhibits to display materials in its collections. The responsibility for administering this policy in all locations of the Austin Public Library rests with the librarian in charge or their designee in consultation with the Division Manager, Office of Programs and Partnerships.
Because display space is very limited, preference will be given to the Library, Library support groups, City, and City-related material, and as space permits, announcements of events and activities of tax-supported or non-profit educational, cultural, and charitable organizations. Objective material which presents both sides of controversial issues and which relates to supporting material in Library collections will be preferred. Space for political campaign literature, legislative lobbying, commercial advertising, solicitations, religious proselytizing, and personal notices or communications cannot be provided. Posting of creative writing (e.g., poetry, short stories) whether personal or by well-known authors is only permitted as a part of library sponsored exhibits.
Acceptance or rejection of material for display does not imply approval or disapproval by the Library of the ideas or opinions expressed. The Library does not assume responsibility or liability for materials exhibited in Library facilities. The Library reserves the right to refuse to post, and the right to remove announcements, posters, displays, or exhibits which do not meet the above criteria or which have been posted for a reasonable length of time. Material left for Library consideration for posting cannot be held or returned. The Library will dispose of all material as it sees fit or, for special displays and exhibits, according to prior arrangement with the artist/exhibitor.
The librarian in charge or their designee must approve all postings, displays, and exhibits. Any item placed on bulletin boards or any items attached to walls or other library surfaces without prior approval will be removed and discarded. All displays, exhibits, and bulletin board postings shall be temporary. All postings shall be dated. The Library reserves the right to establish size and time limits for any announcement, poster, display, or exhibit. This policy does not prohibit the restriction of specific bulletin boards, display or exhibit areas to specific uses by authorized Library staff.
The Library does not have the resources to engage in a formal artwork selection process. The acceptance of artwork for temporary display will be based on the best judgment of the librarian in charge or their designee in consultation with the Division Manager, Office of Programs and Partnerships as to its suitability for display in the building and its appeal to the local community. Original artwork displayed shall not have any prices attached; however artists may provide their name and contact number. Formal exhibits of artwork will be subject to the guidelines of the City Arts Commission. Permanent works of art for Library property shall be acquired according to the provisions in the City Code for Art in Public Places.
This policy supercedes all previous library-wide policies on displays, postings, and exhibits.