Art Exhibit Policy

Art Exhibit Policy

The Art Exhibit program at Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL) provides the community with the opportunity to experience and engage with art in relationship to programmatic themes from the Library, enriching the community with the occasion to exchange ideas, educate, nurture self-expression and grow—all free of charge. Artwork shown will highlight local artists who primarily live and work in Tompkins County, as well as artists who reside within the five counties of the Finger Lakes Library System.

TCPL adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom, adopted by the American Library Association (ALA), as expressed in the “Visual and Performing Arts in Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights” statements. To this end, TCPL is committed to providing quality art exhibits for the community through a diverse array of artwork and exhibitions that reflect a wide range of views, expressions, opinions, and interests. However, TCPL will not display exhibits that contain child pornography or threatens violence toward or intimidation of an individual or group. TCPL 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. Exhibits will be chosen with the expectation that patrons of all ages will have viewing access. TCPL 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 TCPL’s Director, indicating how the exhibit violates the exhibit policy.

There are three ways in which TCPL exhibits are selected: 1) TCPL may appoint curators for exhibits. The TCPL Art Exhibit Coordinator, in conjunction with key staff, will select curators and art exhibits. 2) TCPL may serve as a co-sponsor for art exhibits. 3) TCPL may curate its own art exhibits. In all of the three instances, the exhibits must adhere to the Art Exhibit Policy and support library programmatic themes. Anyone interested in learning more about the above should contact the Art Exhibit Coordinator at

Curators will ensure that all artists complete a TCPL Library Art Insurance Disclaimer form.

TCPL’s Director reserves the right to make the final decision on all co-sponsored programs and exhibits.

Works Consulted

"Hate Speech and Hate Crime", American Library Association, December 12, 2017. (Accessed July 12, 2018) Document ID: aa35c1c7-f3aa-4b07-964f-30dcf85a503c

"Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A", American Library Association, May 29, 2007. (Accessed July 12, 2018) Document ID: e8ae9ed7-a469-f0d4-adf0-f2770d2ca8e8

"Visual and Performing Arts in Libraries", American Library Association, February 20, 2018. (Accessed July 12, 2018) Document ID: 0a0896ca-5cde-449e-ba5c-8d07bea391d9

Approved by the Board of Trustees July 24, 2018


PDF Version of the Policy