Exhibit Policy

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Norfolk Public Library Exhibits Policy

Exhibits in public library buildings offer the community an opportunity to share in the enjoyment of the visual arts, allows artists and community residents to share creative talents and information, and enhance the visual environment in which library service is delivered. The library reserves the right to contact organizations and individuals to maintain diversity.

Exhibits are offered as a community service and do not carry the endorsement of the Department of Public Libraries or the City of Norfolk.

The library encourages free expression and free access to ideas, both essential elements in a democratic society and does not knowingly discriminate regarding age, race, beliefs, or affiliations. The Library subscribes to the principles of the "Library Bill of Rights," the "Freedom to Read Statement," and the "Freedom to View Statement" of the American Library Association.

Artists and exhibitors must consider that the viewing audience will include all ages, levels of sophistication, religious backgrounds, and personal tastes, when judging the appropriateness of their particular exhibit for the public library. The audience is not self selected as in a museum or a commercial art gallery, and the exhibit is not their primary purpose for visiting the library. Exhibits will not be excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation, not removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. The library may attempt to schedule exhibits with opposing viewpoints as time and availability of such exhibits permit. A system committee or library manager in each building will make the decision concerning the appropriateness of the display. That decision is final.



The type of exhibit space varies among library agencies, but may include space for wall mounted or two-dimensional exhibits, display cases, or space for free standing works too large for such cases.

Hanging Exhibits

Depending upon the site and the available space, some libraries may feature solo and group wall mounted two-dimensional exhibits. Selection is made of the basis of quality of the work and appropriateness for display in a public space. Selection is made by a system committee or building manager and each exhibit is on display up to a period of one month.

Exhibit Cases

In some library buildings, display cases are available to community groups and individuals on a first come, first serve basis. Each exhibit will be displayed up to one month.

Conditions of Exhibition:

  1. Groups or individuals may request and reserve exhibit space one year in advance (e.g., 12 months from the date of application.) Artists exhibiting in the library will have their exhibit schedule confirmed by the system committee or building manager.
  2. As part of the reservation process, the library may request that an individual or group representative present a sample photograph of the work to be shown. In order to display artwork, artists and groups are invited to submit slides or photographs of their work. A system committee or building manager schedules artists whose works are selected. Space for an exhibit opening is provided on a limited basis.
  3. The library will provide basic publicity in its publication, the NPL Newsletter, within normal deadlines. An artist or exhibitor may make special media contacts only with prior notification of the manager of the scheduling library and his or her approval of any special arrangements.
  4. Artists or sponsoring organizations are responsible for hanging/arranging all exhibits in library buildings.
  5. Artists or sponsoring organizations will design and mount all exhibit related signage.
  6. Exhibit case illustrations or signs accompanying exhibits must be legible, correctly spelled and neat in appearance.
  7. The City of Norfolk assumes no insurance liability for materials on display. Artists and exhibitors are responsible for their own insurance coverage.
  8. All exhibit pieces will remain for the duration of the exhibit period. No individual piece may be removed by an artist or an art organization.
  9. Exhibit cases may not contain materials that will decay, become hazardous, or leave stains. Exhibitors will be charged for any damage cause by their display
  10. A small tag with the artist's name and contact information, and the work's price, is permitted. No sales transactions may take place on library property.
  11. Should the exhibit case materials not be picked up at the end of the exhibit, the library will attempt to contact the individual or group representatives for two weeks. If the material has not been claimed within that period, the library will discard the materials.
  12. The Norfolk Public Library's policy concerning challenged materials will be followed should complaints about an exhibit or display be received by the library.