Exhibits and Bulletin Board Policy
The St. Mary’s County Library will provide exhibit and bulletin board spaces for individuals and groups engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, or charitable activities. These facilities will be made available to the public on an equitable basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Under this policy, the term “exhibits” includes displays, handout literature and bulletin board postings.
Exhibits sponsored by the library itself will be consistent with the “Library Bill of Rights”, especially Article II which states that “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view”.
Exhibits sponsored by outside groups may be limited by size of the exhibit, length of time materials may remain on display, and the frequency with which materials may be displayed by the same group. Materials will not be excluded because of origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation, or of the doctrinal, religious or political beliefs of the potential users.
St. Mary’s County Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of exhibits or exhibitors.
Once an exhibit has been accepted for display under the library’s policy, it will not be removed because some members of the community may disagree with its content. Those who disagree or object to the content of any exhibit are entitled to submit their own exhibit or complaint that will be judged according to policies established by the library.
Criteria for Use of Display Spaces
- Approval must be obtained from the Branch Manager in advance of the date of the exhibit. Requests are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- The duration of any exhibit is established at the discretion of the library management and is dependent upon a schedule. The requirements of the library take precedence over those of outside exhibitors. Should the library require exhibit facilities for its own use, the library reserves the right to pre-empt space upon one week’s advance notice to the exhibitor.
- Size of material to be displayed will be limited to space available.
- Installation and removal of the exhibit are the responsibility of the exhibitor. The library will remove exhibits that are not removed on or prior to the date established by the library management.
- Neither the St. Mary’s County Library nor the Board of Library Trustees will be responsible for loss or damage to any exhibit.
- Exhibits may not be used for advertising businesses or personal services.
- Exhibits not sponsored by the library will contain a card or plaque no larger than 8-1/2” x 11” that identifies the sponsoring group and an address and phone number of an authorized representative.
Criteria for Use of Bulletin Boards
- Approval must be obtained from the Branch Manager. Only authorized library personnel may post notices on the library bulletin board. Unauthorized notices will be removed.
- Unless the date of a specific event is listed on the announcement, the material will be kept a maximum of one month.
- The size of material to be displayed will be limited to space available.
- Advertisements for businesses, personal services, and want ads are not permitted. Ads for fundraisers are not permitted unless to benefit a non-profit or charitable organization.
- Campaign posters are not permitted. A poster announcing a rally for political candidates at a specific time and place is acceptable. A poster encouraging the public to vote for a particular candidate is not permitted.
- Notices intended for posting must contain the name of the sponsoring group and the phone number of an authorized representative.
- Neither the Library nor the Board of Library Trustees will be responsible for loss or damage to any item accepted for posting.
- Announcements of events not open to the public are not permitted