Public Spaces Policies

EXHIBIT SPACES

The Tompkins County Public Library has a variety of spaces available for exhibits, such as tabletops, freestanding cases, wall space and floor space.

A broad spectrum of opinion and viewpoints is encouraged through the use of exhibits. The library does not endorse the viewpoints or artistic expression of exhibitors, and will not disallow exhibits because of controversial content or because of the beliefs or affiliations of those whose work is represented.

The library will not censor or remove an exhibit because some members of the community disagree with its content. Objections to an exhibit should be submitted in writing to the Library Director, indicating how the exhibit violates the attached policies on library exhibits.

Eligible users and prohibited activities are defined in the section on the use of the BorgWarner Community Meeting Room. Exhibit space is available on a first come, first served basis. Library exhibits and those jointly sponsored by the library have priority and the library reserves the right to cancel a scheduled exhibit in favor of library programming with 35 days notice.

Tabletop Displays
Tabletop displays will be located on the Avenue of the Friends, at a place designated by the library. Only one tabletop display at any time will be permitted. Eligible users who wish to set up a tabletop display must follow these procedures:

  • Make a reservation with the library’s Exhibit Coordinator. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.
  • The name of the user and contact information must be prominently displayed on the exhibit.
  • The display may be manned or unmanned, but it is the responsibility of the user to manage it.
  • No items may be sold from the table. Candy, food or drink may not be handed out. If handouts for children are available, they will be given to children as they leave the library.
  • The library will supply one table and two chairs, if requested. The group will provide everything else, including additional furniture and a cloth to fully cover the table. The library cannot be responsible for security of material displayed, nor can it supply storage space. The display should not obscure library signage.

The display may be up for no longer than two weeks.

Freestanding Exhibits
Freestanding exhibits will be located at a place designated by the library.

The library may schedule one freestanding exhibit at any one time for any one group. Eligible users who wish to set up a freestanding exhibit must follow the procedures listed below:

Make a reservation with the library’s Exhibit Coordinator. Reservations are made on a first-come, first served basis.

  • The name of the user and contact information must be prominently displayed on the exhibit.
  • Displays must be mounted so that there is no danger of tipping. The sponsoring user is responsible for putting up and taking down the exhibit at a time convenient to the library.
  • Exhibits which are designed to raise money, advertise or promote the sale of goods or services are not allowed.
  • The display should not obscure library signage.

Freestanding exhibits may be up for no longer than 1 month.

Exhibit Cases on Avenue of the Friends
Eligible users may use the freestanding exhibit cases on the Avenue of the Friends. Groups wishing to use these cases must:

  • Make a reservation with the library’s Exhibit Coordinator. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.
  • The name of the user and contact information must be prominently displayed in the exhibit.
  • Displays must be visible from all sides.
  • Displays must remain in the cases for a minimum of one month, and a maximum of three months.
  • The sponsoring user is responsible for putting up and taking down the exhibit at a time convenient to the library. After the exhibit is removed, display cases must be cleaned and all tape residue removed from glass.
  • The display cases are lockable. However, their contents are the responsibility of the exhibitor. The library cannot be held responsible for any damage that might occur.

ART EXHIBITS

Several spaces have been defined within the library for hanging art exhibits. These spaces are specially designed for ease of hanging art with little disruption to the interior walls. Art exhibits will be located at these spaces. Spaces for sculpture within the library are at the discretion of the library. Sculpture may be placed on library surfaces or floors as long as it has a stable base.

All art exhibits must be supervised by a professional curator or artist approved by the library.

  • Artists should be aware that their artwork might be touched, as the library does not have the ability to keep patrons away from sculpture and hanging art.

Exhibits will be scheduled at the discretion of the Exhibit Coordinator.

The Tompkins County Public Library and Tompkins County are not liable for loss or damage of artwork either while being transported to and from the library, packed or unpacked, or exhibited in the library. The artist understands that his/her work will often be unsupervised, and that the building is open to all members of the community. The artist agrees to hold TCPL and Tompkins County harmless from and to indemnify them against any claims for damage or loss due to theft, vandalism, fire, water, wind, damage from visitors to the space or other calamity while the work is on exhibit at the library.

The artist understands that insurance to protect his/her work is not available and thus not carried by the library or Tompkins County while the work is in the care of and on exhibit at the library. Any insurance carried on this work shall be paid for and carried by the artist if the artist so chooses.

EXTERIOR SPACES

While the library cherishes its role as a community center, as a practical matter, the library does not permit exhibits, displays or tables in or on any exterior space of the library by groups other than TCPL itself and those co-sponsoring and partnering with the library, the TCPL Foundation, the Friends of the Library, the Finger Lakes Library System, and departments and divisions of Tompkins County that report to the County Administrator. This prohibition does not extend to the Green Street and Cayuga Street public sidewalks.

Page last modified May 3, 2012