Displays and exhibits

Click here for a pdf version of this policy.

Policy adopted by Board of Trustees October 15, 1996
Policy amended January 13, 1997
Policy amended September 9, 1998
Policy revised October 12, 2004
Policy revised August 13, 2012
Policy revised May 11, 2015
Policy revised March 14, 2022
Policy revised February 12, 2024

Displays and exhibits

Bethlehem Public Library provides public forum space to the community for educational, informational, civic and cultural exhibits. The Library adheres to the American Library Association’s policy statement Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, which states, “Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.”

Displays and exhibits will present a broad spectrum of opinions and viewpoints. Displays and exhibits are offered as a community service and do not carry the endorsement of Bethlehem Public Library.

Lobby exhibit and display space may be reserved up to 12 months in advance on the Library website. All applications will be considered pending until approved by the Library. Exhibitors are encouraged to provide information pertinent to their displays for the edification of viewers.

Wall space

Hallway wall space is available for hanging artwork: one on the parking lot entrance and one on the Delaware Avenue side. Artists are limited to one individual show in a 12-month period. Group shows are limited to 2 per calendar year.

Floor space

Exhibits may be set up in front of the mural directly opposite the entrance to the Library proper. Groups will be limited to 1 such display in a calendar year.

Glass exhibit cases

The Library provides three locked exhibit cases suitable for display of small items and collections: two in the lobby and one in the Children’s Place entryway. The lobby exhibit cases may be reserved simultaneously.

The Children’s Display Case is for children’s collections only.

General rules and guidelines

  • Residents and organizations within Bethlehem Central School District will be given priority over non-residents and organizations.
  • All age groups use the Library on a regular basis; exhibits should be suitable for viewing by all ages.
  • Exhibits and displays must comply with all federal, state and local laws.
  • The Library does not charge for the use of display and exhibition space.
  • The Library reserves the right to review all materials to be displayed in advance. The Library reserves the right to make final decisions on the content and scheduling of all exhibits and displays.
  • The Library does not accept responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single display.
  • Exhibits advancing a political campaign, promoting hate speech, providing harmful misinformation, or advertising for a commercial entity are not permitted.
  • Collection of donations for non-profit organizations will need prior approval by the Library Director.
  • Library sponsored or cosponsored exhibits take precedence over other exhibits at all times and the Library reserves the right to reschedule or cancel the use of the display areas by outside exhibitors with as much notice as possible.
  • Displays must include signage indicating the name of the individual or the organization responsible for the exhibit. Signage must include preferred contact information of the exhibitor or the organization with the exception of any minors. This signage shall be provided by the exhibitor.
  • Exhibits and displays will normally be scheduled for a period of one (1) month. Exhibits may be set up on the first day of the month and must be removed by the last day of the month, during Library hours. If the exhibit/display is not set up by the assigned period, the exhibit/display may be canceled by the Library.
  • If the exhibitor/collector must cancel a show, it is expected that the exhibitor contacts the Library as soon as possible.
  • Setup and takedown must be done by the exhibitor; Library staff cannot help with setup or takedown. The Library cannot provide storage space for display items.
  • Exhibitors may load and unload exhibit items from the parking lot (nonreserved spaces) or from the designated loading/unloading zone to the right of the garage. Driving onto the brick walkway or grass is prohibited.
  • Exhibits must present no fire, safety or personal hazard.
  • Exhibitors may host a public reception in one of the meeting rooms during public hours, in accordance with the Public Meeting policy.
  • The Library reserves the right to take down an exhibit or display for any reason. Notification to the exhibitor will be made with all attempts to have them take down the display before the Library intervenes. If staff must dismantle the exhibit or display after the scheduled removal date or for other purposes, they or the Library will not be responsible for any damage.
  • Exhibitors unconditionally and irrevocably agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Bethlehem Public Library and its members, officers, trustees, and employees from and against and all claims, actions, causes of action, costs, expenses, liabilities, or damages (including attorney’s fees) of any kind or character suffered or incurred or removal of my/our exhibit/display.
  • Bethlehem Public Library assumes no responsibility to protect or insure exhibit/display items and no liability for any damage to or loss or theft of exhibit/display items.
  • Grievances regarding exhibits and displays may be sent, in writing, to the Library director. The matter will be given serious attention and a response will be made within a reasonable time.
  • In accordance with the Solicitation & Distribution Policy, prices may not be included in any part of an exhibit or display. In addition, price lists or other means of solicitation are prohibited.    

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