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Display Policy

General Principles & Purpose

Cary Memorial Library offers a limited amount of display space in the library for individuals and groups in the community that want to educate, inform, or engage the community. Display areas are not intended to be public forums for public speech and expression, but rather are intended to complement the library’s educational mission and enhance the public’s experience of the library.

Cary Memorial Library subscribes to the use of its facilities in a manner consistent with the ALA Library Bill of Rights. Permission to use display space does not imply endorsement or approval of the displayer’s beliefs, policies or programs by Cary Memorial Library or its Board of Trustees.

Display Spaces

  • Sophia Ho display case – locked case with adjustable shelves
  • Display wall and table – between the Circulation Desk and the Sophia Ho case
  • Display cases in Commons area – locked cases

NOTE: Display cubes, shelving and ceiling hooks in the Children’s Room and Adult areas, and the South Entrance lobby, are reserved for library use only. For the display cases in the Commons area, priority will be given to student art or collections that complement the student art hanging in the Commons gallery area.

Types of Displays

  • Works of arts, crafts, literature, or other cultural expression from community groups or organizations, students, professional artists and craftspeople, with an emphasis on those from Lexington and the surrounding communities.
  • Historical or other artifacts that are educational or may otherwise complement the collections of the library.
  • Informational material from town and state agencies, schools and non-profit organizations that may wish to publicize their organization or activities.

Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed by a committee of library staff and selected according to the following criteria (in alphabetical order):

  • Availability of space
  • Community interests and needs
  • Historical significance or representation of emerging trend
  • Quality of implementation
  • Relation to past/future library exhibits or programs
  • Suitability of physical form
  • Vitality and originality

NOTE: Displays should be appropriate for people of all ages.

Application Procedures

Displays are typically scheduled for one month at a time.

Applications are available at the Reference Desk.

Applications are reviewed by the committee on an as-needed basis. Display space may not be booked more than one year in advance.

The same individual or group may not mount a display more than one time in a one 12-months period. Library-sponsored and town displays are not subject to this limitation.

Representative samples of the body of work, a diagram of the proposed display, and a brief description of the individual or organization mounting the display shall be submitted for review by the committee.


The individual or organization mounting the display is responsible for publicizing the display. The library, however, reserves the right to review any publicity material before release.

Installation and Removal

It is the responsibility of the individual or organization to set up and remove the display on agreed-upon dates and to provide all necessary equipment. Equipment and supplies, however, must first be approved by the committee. Library staff and custodians are not available to provide assistance in setting up or taking down displays. Lighting in the display areas cannot be adjusted. Materials to be displayed on walls must use the existing museum hanging system.

The individual or organization will provide at the time of installation a list of pieces in the display and descriptive signs/labels for each of the pieces. Each display shall also include information indicating who prepared it and whom to contact for further information.

Insurance and Liability

The individual or organization agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Lexington, the Library, its employees, and the Board of Trustees from liability in case of theft, vandalism, fire or any other loss or damage to the exhibited materials. If exhibitors desire insurance, they must arrange for it at their own expense.

The Library cannot provide storage for the property of organizations or individuals displaying in the Library.

The individual or organization may be held liable for repairs to the Library that are a direct result of damages caused by a display or by its installation or removal.

Request for Reconsideration

The Library will not censor or remove a display, exhibit, or item solely because members of the community may object to its content. Individuals who object to a particular display, exhibit or item must complete a “Request for Reconsideration” form.

Individuals or organizations whose applications to display have been denied by the Library’s selection committee may also submit a “Request for Reconsideration”.

Requests for reconsideration will be answered in writing by the Library administrative staff. Should an individual wish to pursue the complaint, s/he may address the Library’s Board of Trustees.


Policy approved by the Library Board of Trustees – 10/17/2012