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Library Exhibits Policy

Policy Number LIB-010
Effective Date September 11, 2010
Responsible Office/Person Library

Library Exhibits Policy

The University Library uses its exhibits cases:

  • to increase student, faculty and staff awareness of library collections, services, and events,
  • to promote circulation and use,
  • to highlight university events or events of local or national significance, especially as they relate to library resources,
  • to enlighten library users and contribute positively to the library’s environment,
  • to be a means of strengthening partnerships among the library, the university, and the wider community.

Library staff selects the topics, materials, and dates for exhibits. Suggestions for exhibits from faculty, staff, administrators, and students are welcome, but their use cannot be guaranteed.
Note: This policy refers to the display cases located on the first and second floors and not to the third-floor display case (which is managed by Archives and Special Collections) or to public areas on the first floor (which are managed by the library’s Access Services department).

Exhibit cases:
First floor:

  • two flat glass cases (5 feet long, 28 inches wide, 6 inches deep) that are placed together, forming a larger area for a single display,
  • one upright glass case (5 feet high, 4 feet wide, 18 inches deep) that is open,
  • one upright glass case (5 feet high, 4 feet wide, 18 inches deep) that locks,
  • one upright wooden case (6 feet high, 5 feet wide, 24 inches deep) that is open,
  • a small case in the Circulation Desk.

Second floor:

  • two upright cases (5 feet high, 4 feet wide, 18 inches deep)
  • one flat glass case (5 feet long, 28 inches wide, 6 inches deep)

A large bulletin board on the second floor (above the flat case) is also the responsibility of the exhibits staff.

Exhibits coordinator
The exhibits coordinator is responsible for exhibits mounted in the library. The library’s staff associate for public relations/development serves as the exhibits coordinator, and works with a student employee to create exhibits. The coordinator:

  • develops and executes a plan for the exhibits each semester,
  • arranges for the exhibits to change in a timely manner,
  • prepares supporting material as necessary,
  • reviews incoming requests and suggestions,
  • supervises the student employee who mounts the exhibits,
  • facilitates the student employee’s efforts as necessary.

Requests for exhibits
The library receives requests and suggestions for exhibits from faculty, staff, students and administrators. As a building with a steady stream of patrons, the library is certainly an appropriate location for exhibits of university or community interest.
Requests are welcome but their use cannot be guaranteed. The Library does not have the space, the personnel, or the financial resources to mount large-scale displays. Only displays that fit within the confines of the above-specified cases will be considered. Each request must be reviewed against the following criteria.
Criteria for exhibits
Exhibits accepted for display in the library’s exhibit and display areas should satisfy the following criteria:

  • relate to the mission of the library and/or the university,
  • be suggested and sponsored by the library or by a university faculty member, administrator, or staff member,
  • be fair and equitable in terms of potential controversy,
  • be aesthetically pleasing,
  • display material relevant to the theme of the exhibit,
  • promote the materials, services, and functions of the library
  • facilitate cooperative relations among the library, the university community and, when appropriate, the wider community of southeastern Massachusetts.
Duration of exhibits
During the academic year (when the exhibits student employee is available), the exhibits cases are generally changed or refreshed every four to six weeks. The library reserves the right to extend or curtail the duration of an exhibit based on changing priorities, special requests, and the availability of the student employee.
Items on display in the library enjoy the same security as the library collection; however, there are no special security features for display areas. The library has only one locking display case. Unlike a gallery, the library does not carry any special insurance for damaged or stolen objects from a display; therefore, irreplaceable items or items of great value should not be included in a display. Personal items are only to be placed in the first floor locked case.
All items owned by the library and borrowed from library collections for display purposes must be charged out to EXHIBIT according to established library procedures. Items on exhibit are subject to regular library borrowing procedures.
In general, library users are permitted to remove a book from a display for borrowing.
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