Sponsorship Policy & Procedures

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Norfolk Public Library Sponsorship Policy & Procedures

The Norfolk Public Library welcomes sponsorship from local business, corporations, families and individuals. The aim of sponsorship is to obtain funding or in-kind support to provide services and equipment that may not otherwise be available. The Board of Trustees of the Norfolk Public Library believes that libraries play an essential role in the quality of life of our citizens and in this important function, the library should be supported through public funding. Therefore, sponsorship revenue should only be used to fund optional additional services or new, "start up" services.

Guiding Principles

The following principles will guide the Norfolk Public Library in the solicitation and acceptance of gifts, grants or support to enhance or develop library programs and services:

  • All gifts, grants and/or support must further the library's mission, goals, objectives and priorities. They must not drive the library's agenda or priorities.
  • All gifts, grants and/or support must safeguard equity of access to library services. Sponsorship agreements must not give unfair advantage to, or cause discrimination against, sectors of the community.
  • All gifts, grants and/or support must protect the principle of intellectual freedom. Sponsors may not direct the selection of collections or require endorsement of products or services.
  • All gifts, grants and/or support must ensure the confidentiality of user records. The library will not sell or provide access to library records in exchange for gifts or support.
  • All gifts, grants and/or support must leave open the opportunity for other actual or potential donors to have similar opportunities to provide support to the library.
  • Gifts of books or other library materials will be accepted in accordance with the terms outlined in the NPL Collection Development Policy.

Recognition and Acknowledgement

The library will ensure that each sponsor receives acknowledgement and to the degree that the donor is willing, public recognition. The following guidelines will be used in providing acknowledgement to and recognition for sponsors:

  • A letter of acknowledgement for gifts of money and in-kind support will be sent to all sponsors and a copy will be placed on file.
  • Any special recognition agreements will be stipulated in the letter.
  • Public acknowledgement of sponsorship in the library's promotional materials will normally be restricted to a statement of the sponsor's name and a display of logo. Standards controlling the size format and location of such acknowledgment will be developed by the public information specialist to ensure both consistency and quality of appearance. Such acknowledgement will not take precedence or have prominence over the library's own logo or promotional material.
  • For gifts and/or sponsorships valued at over $500, the library may submit a press release to local newspapers and/or publish an article regarding the sponsorship in their own newsletter if the sponsor is willing.
  • Acknowledgement of sponsorship may also take the following forms at the library's discretion:
    • Launch of a special program or media campaign to announce the gift.
    • Sponsor's name on promotional materials.
    • Small standardized plaques may be placed on donated furniture or equipment.
    • Library bookplates.

In all cases, the type and scope of donor recognition required by the donor will be weighed against the benefit to the library.


All gifts, grants or in-kind support given with special requirements must be approved by the Director of Libraries. The solicitation of gifts, grants or in-kind support by library staff and valued at over $500 must receive prior approval of the Director of Libraries. All gifts valued at $5,000 or more must be accepted by ordinance through the Norfolk City Council per city regulations.

Authority for Implementation

The library reserves the right to make decisions regarding the implementation of each grant, gift, or offer of in-kind support. Purchasing decisions, including type of equipment, materials, furnishings, and other components of a gift will reside with library management. All details as to design of programs and allocation of resources for will also reside with library management.