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Display & Program Resources

Meeting Rooms, Exhibit Spaces, and Programs

When the public library invites the community to use spaces within the library —a meeting room, an auditorium, bulletin board, or exhibit case—the library takes on the responsibility to uphold First Amendment rights of free expression.

Access to these spaces should conform to the Library Bill of Rights: Article I states, “Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.” Article II states, “Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

Article VI maintains that meeting facilities and exhibit space should be made available to members of a community on “an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.” A library may control time, place, and manner of use, provided those statements do not discriminate against users based on ideology or speech. 

Guidance for Holding a Public Meeting 

Library-Initiated Programs and Displays as a Resource: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights  
Library-initiated programs support the mission of the library by providing users with additional opportunities for accessing information, education, and recreation. Article I of the Library Bill of Rights states, “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.” Library displays increase awareness of programs, resources, and services.