Exhibits and Display Policy

The Marion Main Library of the Smyth County Public Library (SCPL) system makes space available to community organizations for exhibits and displays. Those interested in using exhibit or display space should submit an application form.

Policy Statement

In keeping with its mission to meet the educational and recreational needs of the community and its role as a community cultural center, SCPL makes library exhibit and display spaces available without charge to community groups and organizations. The Library presents exhibits and displays of paintings, photography, sculpture and other art works, as well as documents, artifacts and other ephemera, with the purpose of providing educational and cultural enrichment and lifelong learning, promoting library resources, and reaching out to the community.


Exhibits:  Exhibits generally include paintings, photography, sculpture and other art works, presented using the Library’s main floor or display cases. 

Displays:  Displays generally include documents, photographs, artifacts, and ephemera.


Content of Exhibits/Displays

  • Exhibits and displays must be of an educational, cultural, or civic nature.
  • Exhibit/display space will be granted to individuals, groups or organizations, with preference given to Smyth County residents and organizations, regardless of their beliefs or affiliations, provided the content of the exhibit/display is suitable to the Library’s mission and is appropriate for all age groups, including children.
  • Exhibits and displays may not be for commercial purposes, for the solicitation of business, for profit, or for fundraising. Religious proselytizing and partisan political recruitment are similarly prohibited; educational exhibits or displays on these subjects are allowed.
  • The Library reserves the right to refuse or remove any material judged unsuitable or to rescind an exhibit/display for violation of this policy.
  • In presenting exhibits and displays, the Library does not imply endorsement of the beliefs or viewpoints of their subject matter. The Library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of opinions and a variety of viewpoints.

Selection & Scheduling of Exhibits/Displays

  • The Library Director is responsible for reviewing and authorizing exhibits and displays. In the event of a negative decision regarding a proposed exhibit/display, the Board of Trustees may choose to consider an appeal from the proposed sponsor.
  • All exhibits and displays will be considered in terms of the Library’s mission to provide educational and cultural enrichment. The following will also be considered when selecting and approving exhibits and display.
    • Suitability of subject matter and physical presentation
    • Quality of the presentation
    • Local or regional interest
    • Space requirements
    • Timeliness
  • Applications for use of exhibit/display space will be considered on a first come, first served basis and limited to four weeks per calendar year per individual, group or organization. The exhibit/display period is four weeks. The Library reserves the right to determine the schedule of exhibits/displays, including the length and location of exhibits/displays.
  • Use of exhibit and display spaces for Library purposes takes precedence over other uses. If the Library finds it must use its space for its own purposes even though a non-Library exhibit/display has been previously scheduled, the Library will make every effort to schedule an alternate time for the exhibit/display. Potential exhibitors assume the risk that the Library may need to preempt an exhibit/display for its own purposes. 

Installation of Exhibits/Displays

  • Exhibitors are responsible for installing and removing exhibits/displays on the dates agreed upon by the Library and the exhibitor, and for all measures necessary for installation and removal of exhibits/displays, including but not limited to shipping, packaging, storage, signage, labels, framing, and any equipment/supplies needed for same.
  • Assistance will not be provided by library staff; however, the library staff will provide access to library-owned exhibit hardware if it is available. All exhibits/displays must be set up and removed with as little interference as possible to the daily operations of the Library. If the Library must remove an exhibit/display because it is not removed as scheduled by the exhibitor, the Library is not responsible for any damages. The Library will not provide storage for the property of organizations or individuals displaying in the Library.
  • Exhibitors agree to be responsible for and to pay for any and all damages to Library property including exhibit/display spaces, walls, floors, grounds, furniture and fixtures resulting from the installation or removal of an exhibit/display.
  • Exhibit photos, artworks, etc., must be framed, mounted or packaged and displayed in a safe and attractive manner. No heavy items may be placed over doors. Any electrical connections are to be hidden from public view as far as possible and may not be placed so as to cause or create a safety hazard.
  • Each exhibit/display must contain an informative explanation to assist the general public in discerning the subject or purpose of the exhibit/display. This information may be provided by explanatory labels on individual items, in poster or sign form, or be contained within the exhibit/display itself. Exhibitors are encouraged to provide a contact phone number as part of the exhibit/display for members of the general public who may wish more information.


  • The Library will list exhibits and displays, when possible and feasible, on its digital and physical marketing materials. Additional publicity is the responsibility of the exhibitor except when the exhibit/display is co-sponsored by the Library. Press releases or other promotion of the exhibit/display shall not imply endorsement of the viewpoints put forth in the exhibit/display.
  • Video, photography, or press interviews arranged or accomplished by the exhibitor is not allowed within the Library proper without the express advance written permission of the Library Director.
  • Exhibitors may not schedule special opening or other events without the permission of the Library Director. All arrangements must be approved by the Library Director at least two weeks prior to the planned event. No alcoholic beverages may be served. The event must be open to the general public.


  • No admission may be charged for exhibits or displays at the Library.
  • No prices may be posted on items in an exhibit/display, except by approval of the Library Director. Transactions for the purchase of exhibit/display items shall be directly between the purchaser and the exhibitor. No sales may be made on the premises. No exhibit/display material which is sold during its display in the Library may be removed before the end of the exhibition period.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation, protection or possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed in the library for exhibit/display are so placed at the owner’s risk.
  • The Library Director shall have the final decision on the content and arrangement of all exhibits/displays and reserves the right to reject any part of an exhibit/display or to change the manner of display.
  • Complaints about this Exhibit & Display Policy or about the content of a particular exhibit/display should be addressed to the Library Director.

Application Procedure

  • Applications may be made up to six months in advance and no less than one month in advance.
  • Applicants should familiarize themselves with the Library’s exhibit/display spaces.
  • Applicants must fill out and sign an application form, which includes a waiver of liability, and be familiar with the Library’s Exhibit & Display Policy.

Approved by the SCPL Board of Trustees on October 20, 2022.  This policy will be reviewed no later than October 2026 or earlier if appropriate.

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