Exhibits and Displays

An important part of the Library’s mission is to facilitate public discourse, including the exchange of information on a wide variety of subjects. One of the ways the Library does this is by providing space for use by the public to mount exhibits and displays for educational, cultural, or informational purposes, which offer people of all ages a variety of viewpoints on a broad spectrum of topics.

Display areas that are designated for public use are legally considered to be public forums and are protected by the United States Constitution’s First Amendment, as well as the Maine Constitution. Accordingly, the Library does not restrict their use on the basis of viewpoint or ideas expressed. These facilities are available on a equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups requesting their use.


Display: A grouping of three-dimensional objects, such as books, handouts and give-away items which may be placed on designated areas within the Library.

Wall Exhibit: A grouping of two-dimensional works, such as photographs or paintings, framed or mounted on foam core and presented on designated walls in the Library, usually in the Androscoggin Room.

For purposes of this policy the term “exhibit” will be used to refer to both displays and wall exhibits.

General Regulations

It is important to read the entire policy for complete information on the use of exhibit spaces. Regulations in this policy are designed to make the Library’s facility available to individuals and groups in the community on a fair and equitable basis.

Individuals or groups using Auburn Public Library exhibit spaces shall not:

  • Collect admission fees or solicit donations from attendees unless the Library is a co-sponsor.
  • Promote or solicit sales of a product or service unless the Library is a co-sponsor.
  • Collect names of participants for later financial gain.
  • Distribute fliers unless these follow the Library’s Distribution of Non-Library Materials Policy.


  • Exhibits must be of an educational, cultural, or civic nature. Content must fall within the broad standards of community acceptability and be appropriate for all age-groups including children.
  • Exhibits may not be for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for the solicitation of business, for profit, or for fundraising. Nor may they be for the purposes of religious proselytizing or partisan political recruitment. Exhibits and displays on religious or political topics are allowed if they are of an educational nature.
  • The Library reserves the right to refuse or remove any materials judged unsuitable or to rescind permission foran exhibit/display for violation of this policy.
  • Exhibit cases may not contain materials that will decay, become hazardous, or leave stains.  Exhibitors will be charged for any damage caused by their display.

Selection and Suitability

  • The Library Director shall have the authority to consider or delegate consideration of requests and to grant permission to set up exhibits.
  • All exhibits will be considered in terms of the Library’s mission to provide educational and cultural enrichment.  The following guidelines are used for this purpose.
    • Suitability of subject matter and physical presentation
    • Quality of presentation
    • Local and regional interest,
    • Space requirements,
    • Timeliness.
  • Exhibits mounted in the Children’s Room must be appropriate to the developmental stages, needs and interests of children.
  • Applicants may be required to provide sample photographs, photocopies, prints or actual works proposed to be shown.  Applicants are responsible for arranging for the return of their review materials.


  • Exhibits must conform to the space restrictions of the exhibit area.
  • Exhibitors are responsible for installing and removing exhibits/displays on the dates agreed upon by the Library and the exhibitor, and for the removal of materials associated with their installation, such as shipping, packing materials, signage, equipment and supplies.  Installation and take-down must be done during regular Library hours.
  • Exhibit items may not be shipped directly to the Library.  The Library will not provide storage prior to installation, during the exhibit, or after take-down of an exhibit.
  • Assistance is not provided by the Library.  All exhibits must be set up and removed with as little interference as possible with daily Library operations.
  • If the Library must remove an exhibit because it was not removed as scheduled by the exhibitor, the Library shall not be responsible for any damages.
  • Exhibitors agree to be responsible for payment for any and all damages to Library property, including exhibit spaces, walls, floors, grounds, furniture and fixtures, resulting from the installation or removal of the exhibit.
  • Exhibit photos, artworks, etc., are to be framed, mounted or packaged in an attractive and safe manner.  Exhibits may not create a safety hazard.
  • Each exhibit must contain an informative explanation to assist the general public in discerning its subject or purpose. Illustrations or signs accompanying exhibits must be legible and neat in appearance.  No tacks, nails or adhesive tape are to be placed in or on doors, walls, furniture or fixtures.  Exhibitors are encouraged to provide contact information as part of the exhibit for viewers who may wish more information.  The exhibit explanation must include the standard Library disclaimer.  See disclaimer section below.
  • Transactions for purchase of items on exhibit will be directly between the purchaser and the exhibitor unless the exhibit is a fundraising activity for the Library.  No item that is sold during an exhibit may be removed before the end of the display period unless there are special circumstances involving Library fundraising.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation, protection or possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited.  All items are so placed at the owner’s risk.
  • The Library has the final decision on the content and arrangement of all exhibits and reserves the right to reject any part of an exhibit or to change the manner of display.
  • Approval to mount an exhibit is not transferable from one individual or group to another.



  • Exhibit space may be reserved by completing an exhibit application form up to three months in advance, but no less than thirty days in advance, of use of exhibit space.
  • Individuals and groups using the Library’s exhibit space shall complete, submit and, at the request of the Library staff, update an application.  By signing the application form, which includes a waiver of liability, the group indicates that it has read the display and exhibit policy and agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy.
  • The Library responds to reservation requests within fourteen days of receipt of an exhibit application.  .
  • Applications for use of space are considered on a first come, first served basis, and limited to three weeks at a time unless a special exception is made. The Library reserves the right to determine the schedule of exhibits, including their duration and location.
  • Individuals or groups are limited to use of exhibit space for one three-week period once every six months.  Schools may reserve exhibit space more often if space is available.
  • The use of exhibit space for Library purposes takes precedence over other uses. In the event of conflicting requests, the Library will make every effort to schedule an alternate time for the space for a requesting exhibitor.


The Library may provide basic publicity in its calendar within normal deadlines.  An exhibitor may make special media contacts but only with prior notification to the Director and with his/her approval of any special arrangements.


Permission for an individual or group to use the Library’s exhibit space does not imply endorsement by the Library, its individual Board or staff members, or the City of Auburn of the individual’s or group’s beliefs, policies, or programs.  No individual or group shall in any of its publicity state or suggest that the Library, its individual Board or staff members the City of Auburn sponsors or endorses any of the individual’s or group’s particular set of ideas.

Individuals and groups may identify the Library and provide its address in their publicity for the display, but may not give out the Library’s telephone/fax number or e-mail address as a source of additional information.

Below is the standard disclaimer language required to accompany exhibits and any related literature.

The Library, its individual Board or staff members, and the City of Auburn do not imply any endorsement of the beliefs, policies, or programs contained in this exhibit. 

The Library’s policy concerning challenged materials will be followed should complaints about an exhibit or display be received by the Library.

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