Art Acquisition Policy

Art Acquisition Policy

The Library Board of Trustees will accept gifts of personal property, art objects, portraits, securities and other donations only on the condition that they may be sold, given away, or discarded at the discretion of the Library Board of Trustees or the Library Director.


Acquisition Procedures

The Tompkins County Public Library provides space for the temporary and permanent display of art. Such displays are in keeping with the mission of the library: to connect people to the world’s wisdom, knowledge and culture through free and open access to information and creative expression in many formats.

Due to space limitations, permanent art acquisition, either through gifts or purchases, is limited to those works of art which are of intrinsic value to the library.  

A Library Art Committee, consisting of two trustees appointed by the President of the Board of Trustees, a community representative appointed by the President of the Board of Trustees, the Director of the Foundation, the Library Director, and a library staff member appointed by the Library Director, shall review all proposed gifts and purchases.

The committee shall consider the following:

  • Relevance to the mission of the library
  • Aesthetic quality
  • Importance to the community
  • State of preservation
  • Impact on exhibition space
  • Durability and ability to be placed in public spaces without security
  • Estimated value

The committee shall provide the Board of Trustees with a recommendation on all pieces offered to the library within three months of the donor’s offer or as soon as practical.  The committee shall also provide the Board of Trustees with a recommendation on acquiring art within one year of having the funds available for such purchase or as soon as practical.


De-Acquisition Procedures

The committee shall also provide recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding the de-acquisition of art following the same guidelines as above.

While the library will acknowledge gifts of art, it will not provide estimates of the value of artwork.


Approved by the Tompkins County Public Library Board of Trustees on September 24, 2019.

PDF Version of the Policy