Exhibits Policy

Purpose

The Worcester Public Library welcomes the community to use the various display and exhibit areas in the building with preference given to Worcester residents and Worcester based organizations. As part of its mission to provide a wide range of information and materials to support the civic, intellectual and cultural pursuits of the community, space is provided for displays of an educational, cultural, intellectual, charitable or recreational nature for exhibiting works of area artists and craftspeople. This space is made on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. These display areas may also be used for materials from the library’s collection or to publicize library services, collections or activities.

Content

Since the library is a repository for all types of knowledge and information, almost any material can potentially be the subject of a library exhibit.

The materials and information in the exhibits may represent controversial points of view. In keeping with the constitutional safeguards and the Library Bill of Rights, the library makes no effort to censor or amend the content of an exhibit. Those who object to or disagree with the content of any exhibit are entitled to submit their own exhibit which will be judged according to the library’s exhibit guidelines.

Sources

The library itself is a primary source of exhibits featuring materials, programs, local and current history, etc.

Any individual, organization or commercial establishment may use exhibit space subject to library guidelines.

Guidelines

  • All materials are displayed at the exhibitor’s own risk.
  • The exhibitor is responsible for installing and labeling the exhibit on the agreed upon date.A
  • All displays/exhibits must be set up and removed with as little interference as possible to the daily operations of the library. Once the exhibit is installed, changes may only be made with prior library approval.
  • The exhibitor must be identified by name within the display.
  • No fees are charged for display spaces. Groups using display spaces may not charge an admission fee, request donations or display prices on their work.
  • All items shall remain on display until items are scheduled to be removed.
  • The exhibit areas are open to the public only during the regular open hours of the library.
  • Damages to the premises, equipment or furnishings as a result of exhibitor use will be charged to the individual or organization responsible.
  • The exhibitor shall remove the exhibit promptly on the agreed upon date.
  • The library has the right to remove exhibit materials if they aren’t picked up by the agreed upon date. The library is not responsible for any damages to exhibit materials as they are being removed. Exhibit materials may be disposed of if not claimed in 30 days.
  • All events from outside agencies may be posted in the Community Bulletin Board Section after approval. Promotional materials may be left for consideration at the 1st floor Welcome Desk.

Limitations

Displays should be appropriate in scale, material, form and content for the library environment.  The library discourages material containing images that include significant elements of sexually explicit imagery or violence. The library does not accept exhibits or displays of a purely commercial nature. Materials advocating a candidate or ballot proposition may not be exhibited. The library does not accept any material being offered for sale to the public. The library reserves the right to remove any item from an exhibition or display on the above grounds or if the exhibition is a possible safety hazard, is too large or otherwise inappropriate for the display case, creates a maintenance problem, exceeds acceptable noise and light levels or interferes with the public services or other activities in adjacent library areas. If the exhibit contains elements that may be of concern under this policy, the exhibitor should discuss it with a library exhibit committee representative in advance of the installation date.

Disclaimer

Exhibit areas are available on an equitable basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. The library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of opinion and viewpoints. The library does not endorse content nor imply agreement or disagreement with beliefs or viewpoints expressed in the exhibits or displays. The library does not accept responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single day.

The Worcester Public Library determines at its sole discretion what materials will be displayed as well as scheduling, durations and assignment of display cases. The library’s decision on what will be displayed in its exhibit spaces shall be final.

Application Procedure

  1. Artist/Organization must fill out the Exhibit Application Form. Please visit mywpl.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Exhibit%20Application.pdf to print out an application or you may pick one up in person at the 1st floor Welcome Desk.
  2. Exhibit space may be reserved no more than 6 months in advance.
  3. The Exhibits Committee composed of library employees will review the application and a member of the committee will arrange to view the works to be displayed. Applications may take up to three weeks to be reviewed.
  4. If an exhibit is selected, a member of the committee will contact the artist/organization with the display availability.

Personnel

Responsibility for coordinating exhibits is delegated by the Head Librarian to the Exhibits Committee in the Main Library.

Contact

For additional questions, please contact the Administrative Assistant to the Head Librarian at 508-799-1689.

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