LIBRARY DISPLAYS AND PROGRAMS POLICY
Library Displays and Programs Policy
Missouri River Regional Library plays a vital role by promoting full and equal access to information, encouraging reading, enabling life-long learning, and empowering creativity. The library will provide a variety of displays and programs that inform and enrich the lives of people of all ages and diverse backgrounds.
Approved by the Board of Trustees June 20, 2023.
DISPLAYS AND EXHIBITS:
Missouri River Regional Library offers resources that present a wide variety of views and opinions on current and historical issues. The inclusion of an item in the collection or a display does not represent an endorsement of its contents by the library system. The library will strive to include a wide spectrum of opinions and viewpoints in library displays and exhibits, as well as offer displays and exhibits that appeal to a range of ages, interests and information needs. Library displays and exhibits should not exclude topics, books, media and other resources solely because they may be considered to be controversial.
Displays Within Library Facilities
To support discovery of library resources, services, and events, individual library items and promotional information are displayed in designated locations in library facilities. Library staff prepares displays of library materials and/or promotional information solely for the following purposes:
- Highlighting newly acquired items or library resources, services, and events.
- Informing patrons of the variety of subjects, genres, and formats included in library collections.
Factors to be considered by library system staff when planning the timing, duration, placement, and theme of a materials display shall include:
- Purpose of the display and whether its themes and goals were approved by the Library Director or their designee(s)
- Size and location of designated display space within the library facility
- Number of related materials available at the library facility where the display will be located
- Expressed interests and/or information needs of area residents
- Historical, seasonal, regional, or educational relevance.
Each display shall only include material classified for one age group: children, teens, or adults. Only materials classified for youth are to be displayed in the youth areas of library facilities. The selection of items to be displayed must be appropriate for all audiences regardless of the location of the display.
Community Bulletin Boards and Displays
The library offers community bulletin boards and displays within its facilities. These bulletin boards are used to distribute free handouts, flyers or publications as a public service. Inclusion on a bulletin board or display does not constitute endorsement from the library. The library assumes no responsibility for any inappropriate use of posted information. All postings must be approved by library staff.
The library may post information on library bulletin boards or displays on a space available basis. Posted material must describe community groups, organizations or events that are non-profit, open to the general public, and intended to educate, enrich or inform. Posted material must include the name of the organization sponsoring the information or event that is being publicized. Only one posting per organization may be displayed at any one time (except for Missouri River Regional Library sponsored events).
The library offers limited exhibit space for personal collections of art or collectibles and for informational displays from civic and non-profit community organizations. In addition to the general display area, the library invites area artists to display their works in the library’s Art Galleries. Along with staff, a local arts committee is responsible for overseeing the Art Gallery exhibits at the Jefferson City location.
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS:
The library supports its mission of connecting people with the world of ideas and information by developing and presenting programs that provide additional opportunities for information, learning, and entertainment. Programming is an integral component of library service that:
- Expands the library’s role as a community resource
- Introduces customers and non-users to library resources
- Provides entertainment
- Provides opportunities for lifelong learning
- Expands the visibility of the library
Ultimate responsibility for programming at the library rests with the Library Director, who oversees this responsibility through designated staff.
Library staff utilizes collections, services and facilities in developing and delivering programming. The library’s staff use the following criteria in making decisions about program topics, speakers, and accompanying resources:
- Community needs and interests
- Availability of program space
- Treatment of content for intended audience
- Presentation quality
- Presenter background/qualifications in content area
- Relevance to community interests and issues
- Historical or educational significance
- Connection to other community programs, exhibitions or events
- Relation to library collections, resources, exhibits and programs
In addition, the library draws upon other community resources in developing programs and actively partners with other community agencies, organizations, educational and cultural institutions, or individuals to develop and present co-sponsored public programs. Professional performers and presenters that reflect specialized or unique expertise may be hired for library programs; performers and presenters will not be excluded from consideration because of their origin, background, or views, or because of possible controversy. Library staff who present programs do so as part of their regular job and are not hired as outside contractors for programming.
All library programs are open to the public. Programs may be designed with specific audiences in mind, i.e., children’s programs, toddler’s programs, and teen programs. Programs targeted toward specific audiences will be publicized as such. Registration may be required for planning purposes or when space is limited. Every attempt will be made to accommodate all who wish to attend a program, including patrons with special needs. However, when safety or the nature of the program requires it, attendance may be limited. When limits must be enforced, attendance will be determined on a first-come, first-service basis or by pre-registration.
Programs may be held on site at any library facility or off site. Any sales of products at library programs must be approved by the library. Programs are not used for commercial, religious, or partisan purposes or the solicitation of business.
The library’s philosophy of open access to information and ideas extends to library programming, and the library does not knowingly discriminate through its programming. Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants, and program topics, speakers and resources are not excluded from programs because of possible controversy.
External organizations or individuals partnering with the library on programs must coordinate marketing efforts with the library’s Marketing Department.
Non Library Sponsored Events
Missouri River Regional Library meeting rooms will be available free of charge during normal library operating hours to nonprofit community groups and organizations sponsoring meetings and programs open to the public. Private family social events are prohibited. Meetings of any group or organization that is soliciting business, trying to make a profit, or fundraising are also prohibited. Library programs and activities have first priority for use of meeting rooms. Use of a library meeting room does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants by Missouri River Regional Library.
Reservations may be made using the online Reserve A Room form or by telephone. The individual initiating the request must be 18 years of age, and will be considered the official representative of the group and will assume responsibility of communicating meeting room regulations to the group. Meetings and programs must be free and open to the public, except meetings legitimately closed per state statute. No charges, fees, collections or solicitations are allowed on Library property. The Library reserves the right to approve or disapprove any application.
In the event of an emergency, the Library Director reserves the right to cancel meeting room reservations. In the event of severe weather conditions, groups will not be notified, groups will need to check the Library's website for closing announcements.
RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY DISPLAYS, EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
Patrons residing in the library’s service area or active library card holders, who have questions or concerns regarding a library display, program or event should contact a staff member. The staff member will make every attempt to satisfy the patron’s concern by clarifying the display and event policies on an informal, positive, one-on-one basis. The staff member will notify the Assistant Director of Public Services. If the patron wishes to further pursue the matter, they may complete a Reconsideration of Library Displays, Programs and Events form. The reconsideration request will be evaluated by the Assistant Director of Public Services who will discuss the display or event with the appropriate staff. Once a final determination is made, the Assistant Director of Public Services drafts a letter for approval by the Library Director in response to the request. If the patron is not satisfied with the decision, they may request to speak with the Library Director. If the patron still does not feel their concerns are resolved, they may request that the Board of Trustees review the decision at a regularly scheduled board meeting.