Display of Materials Policy

Libraries have specialized shelving for featured displays of collection items, including books, movies, and music. The purpose of these displays is to feature particular items from the collection, organized around a theme or material type. This includes displays centered on holidays, special events or interesting topics, new items received, and specialized collections such as BestSeller Express rental books.

Display shelving is designed for items that can be shown with front covers face-out for maximum visibility. Materials included should be creative and eye catching to stimulate curiosity and provide patrons an opportunity to browse items for check out. Display shelving may be located throughout the library, but is often near the front entrance and service desk areas for maximum visibility.

This policy encourages creative and inviting displays, but also recognizes the need to ensure that common areas are welcoming and do not include materials that have visual or textual obscenities that can be easily and unintentionally seen by children.

The result of enacting this policy should not make materials difficult to find and borrow independently, without assistance from staff, and are unrelated to the library’s collection development policies.

  • Common areas are defined as those areas near the front entrance, around the service desks, and in a library’s primary walkways intended to be used by all library visitors. Age-Specific areas are those that contain collection materials that are designated shelving locations for items that are written and purchased for a specific age group (Children, Teens, or Adults).
  • Display shelving located in age-specific areas (teens, children, or adults) should contain items that are from those age-specific collections, or related items such as Parenting Books or companion teacher’s books.
  • Display shelving located in common areas such as the entrance or service desk area may be used to display materials that appeal to any audience.
  • Display in common areas should not contain face-out materials that present visual or textual obscenities.
  • Materials that include visual or textual obscenities may be shelved in any of the following manners:
    • Face-out on display shelving located in the adult collections area.
    • On the normal material shelving following the library’s classification scheme.
    • Spine out on displays in common areas provided the spine does not contain the same or similar content as the cover. (This in particular applies to BestSeller Express rental books, as the front display shelving is their only location.)

The Library recognizes that library visitors will often move materials around and leave items in places where they do not belong. In these instances, a staff member will return the items to its proper location at their earliest convenience.

Disputes over the proper area to display a particular item should be directed the Executive Director.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees
January 18, 2012