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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Exhibition Policy

Program Purpose
The libraries’ exhibit program is an important component of the libraries’ mission to support the research, teaching, learning, and public engagement activities of the university.

Program Goals
The Exhibits Program is managed and implemented by the Public Programming, Marketing and Communications Team (Public Outreach Team), which reports to the Vice Provost for University Libraries. The team selects and presents exhibits that serve one or more of the following goals:

  • Promotion of the role of the library, its collections, resources and services central to the research and teaching programs of the university;
  • Development of opportunities to cooperate with library friends, donors, university departments, programs, faculty, staff and students; and with regional artists, scholars, and cultural agencies in the sponsoring of exhibits and related events;
  • Underscore themes articulated by the university as priorities including diversity, human rights, and public engagement;
  • Enrichment of the intellectual and cultural life of the university community;
  • Promotion of the library and the university as cultural resources for the citizens of Connecticut;
  • Support university events, programs, symposia, activities, and accomplishments; and
  • Create an inviting and educational setting for library users and visitors.

Eligible Exhibitors
The library makes this space available in accordance with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights which states, in part, that libraries should make exhibit spaces available "on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use."  As a result, the Public Outreach Team may grant permission to present an exhibit to:

  • The University of Connecticut staff, faculty, students, departments, programs, and other groups affiliated with the University.
  • Individuals, organizations, groups or societies whose work is consistent with the exhibits programs goals. 

Exhibit Content          
As a public space aimed at enriching the user’s experience, the library conducts an ongoing public art program.  The Public Outreach Team aims to present exhibits that are of broad, general appeal, designed for the interest of and viewing by the university community and the public generally, keeping in mind the appropriateness of the subject, technique, and style.
Suggested subject areas for exhibits include historical, cultural, scientific, artistic, recreational, athletic, educational, and social or community related topics.

Because the University and the Library are concerned with academic freedom and the free expression of ideas, the library will not exercise any censorship of exhibit materials; images, labels, catalogs, or promotional literature which does not offend the guidelines as expressed below.

The Public Outreach Team views the library as a venue for the presentation of ideas, some of which may be controversial, even offensive to segments of the viewing population. Materials that may arouse controversy because of their political, religious or sexual views will be considered and may be judged acceptable if presented appropriately. If the team approves an exhibit that is strongly partisan, it will give serious consideration to the presentation of other points of view should these be offered for exhibit.

Materials that are judged by the team to be sexually harassing, intimidating, humiliating, or demeaning to persons or groups, or that undermine their security or self-esteem, as stated within the official Policy Statement on Harassment for the University of Connecticut, will be excluded.

Complaint Procedure
Assuming an exhibit does not breach the University’s Policy Statement on Harassment, the Libraries’ Public Outreach Team subscribes to the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights as it applies to exhibits, specifically:

The library should not censor or remove an exhibit because some members of the community may disagree with its content. Those who object to the content of any exhibit held at the library should be able to submit their complaint and/or their own exhibit proposals to be judged according to the policies established by the library.

The policies stated by the library are as follows:

  • Complaints will be referred to the Public Outreach Team Leader;
  • The opportunity to submit a written complaint and/or discuss the complaint in person will be offered;
  • The Public Outreach Team Leader will present the complaint to the Vice Provost for University Libraries; and
  • If as a result from the complaint the exhibit or particular object(s) are determined to be in violation of the University’sPolicy Statement on Harassment, the exhibit or particular object(s) will be removed from public display.

Updated March 2012