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Ellis Library Exhibits


  • Scope of Policy
    • This policy establishes guidelines for exhibits in the Colonnade exhibit cases and the Bookmark Café in Ellis Library.
  • General
    • The objective of library exhibits is to publicize the richness and diversity of the Libraries' collection, and to provide information about and promote interest in achievements and activities of the University community.
    • Exhibits should be carefully conceived and should support the scholarly, historic, social and cultural concerns of the University.
    • Exhibits may be enhanced by borrowing items and artifacts to supplement library materials; however, the library assumes no responsibility for loss or damage. The Director of Libraries may elect to purchase temporary museum insurance coverage on special occasions.
    • No event may be scheduled in connection with an exhibition without prior approval of the Director of Libraries.
  • Administration of Exhibits
    • The Director of Libraries shall appoint an exhibits committee to implement the exhibits policy, to supervise the planning and preparation of exhibits and to maintain a master calendar of exhibitions.
    • The committee or its members may plan and execute exhibits. They shall also serve in an advisory/supervisory role for other exhibitors. A committee member will be designated as liaison between the library and each exhibitor.
    • Requests for exhibit space shall be submitted to the chair of the Exhibits Committee. However, the committee is not obligated to accept ideas or materials for exhibit.
    • Exhibits originating from within the Libraries have first priority. Exhibits of merit from other groups may be accepted as space is available.
    • A tie-in to the Libraries is recommended for all exhibits, for example, including appropriate books from the Libraries' collection, or displaying a bibliography for further information. The Libraries Exhibits Committee is responsible for the checkout of library material to be used in a display. Items are subject to being recalled if requested by a patron.
    • Exhibits should not advocate the personal point of view of the exhibitor. Topics for exhibits may include controversial issues only if such issues are presented from a neutral or non-partisan point of view.
    • The duration of each exhibit in the Ellis Library Colonnade display cases will be 4 - 8 weeks unless previous arrangements have been made. The duration of exhibits in the Bookmark Café will be 3-4 months, unless previous arrangements have been made.
    • The Exhibits Committee reserves the right to review each exhibit and to require necessary changes in keeping with this policy as well as to modify schedules for durations of exhibits, if necessary.
    • Non-library exhibitors must furnish all display supplies except bookends. A limited number of book stands may be made available to exhibitors.
    • Preservationally sound methods of displaying library material should be utilized.
      • Irreplaceable materials should be exhibited with care.
      • When open books are exhibited, their pages should be turned frequently, if appropriate.
      • All lighting for exhibit cases should be free of ultraviolet rays.
      • Light levels should be kept low as possible.
      • Temperature and humidity will be regularly monitored.
      • Books should be displayed carefully so that the book blocks are supported and spines do not crack when they are lying down.
  • Standards for Exhibit Content
    • The following criteria will be followed for acceptance of items for display including works of art in the Bookmark Café and other areas in the building:
      • All items and exhibits must meet professional standards and be appropriate for a library setting.
      • Exhibited items must be deemed to be in sufficient taste to be shown to the viewing public of all ages. This is not meant to censor controversial exhibits but to ensure consideration of the public nature of the Library as a facility and a community service. The final decision will be made at the discretion of the Exhibits Committee and the Library Director.
      • Additional considerations for works of art:
        • Works must demonstrate a broad spectrum of artistic expression and/or artistic merit
        • Items must be original work, hand-signed or authenticated by the artist, or a reproduction with recognized artistic merit.
  • Complaints about Exhibits
    • Should a formal complaint be lodged concerning the contents of a library exhibit, the Exhibits Committee will meet to discuss it and make a recommendation to the Director of Libraries, who will make a decision.
    • The committee will make its recommendation(s) within two weeks of the original complaint.
    • Materials in the exhibit under investigation will remain on display pending recommendation(s) of the committee and the Director's decision.
  • Security and Liability
    • The care, security, and preservation of artwork or items that are loaned for display in the Libraries will be the responsibility of the owner, whether that entity is the Campus Art Collection, a department such as the School of Music, or an individual.
    • The library provides reasonable security, but security cannot be guaranteed. Budgetary constraints may impact the relative level of security.
    • Insurance cannot be provided to the exhibitor by the library or the university. The Director of Libraries may elect to purchase temporary museum insurance coverage on special occasions.
    • The Library is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged materials while they are displayed or stored in the libraries. The library is not liable for damages occurring to items on exhibit or support materials (labels, pedestals, etc.) while in the library building.
  • Publicity
    • The library provides limited publicity, which may include a press release and short articles on the library's website.
    • Exhibitors agree to let the library photograph their artwork to be used for publicity about the exhibit, either in a press release, or on the library's website.
  • Exhibitor Responsibilities
    • Exhibitors must sign an agreement indicating that they accept the Library's exhibit policies and release the Library from liability for exhibited materials.
    • All exhibitors must also agree to the following responsibilities:
      • Provide a list of items that will be loaned to the Library for display.
      • Labels must be provided by the artist.
      • No works may be removed during the exhibit period.
      • The exhibitor is responsible for mounting and dismantling the exhibit, with assistance from members of the Exhibits Committee.
    • Additional considerations apply to the Bookmark Cafe:
      • Exhibits may contain items for sale; and the name and contact information of the artist will be provided.
      • All sales and taxes are the responsibility of the artist/exhibitor.
      • Exhibitors are expected to provide a biographical and/or exhibit statement and other information for creating press releases at least 2 weeks prior to installation.
    • Application forms for Ellis Library Exhibits may be found at:

Submitted to Library Council: January 29, 1988
Approved by Library Council: February 24, 1988
Approved by Director of Libraries: February 29, 1988
Revision Submitted to Library Council: June 24, 1993
Revision Approved by Library Council: August 5, 1993
Revision Approved by Director of Libraries: August 5, 1993
Revised by the Library Exhibits Committee: March 2012
Revision Approved by Library Management Team: August 21, 2012