Display and Exhibit Spaces Policy

Section: Library Resources

Approved: 5/21/2009


Revised: 10/21/2010, 03/21/2013, 08/21/2014, 09/17/2015, 03/23/2017, 09/17/2020


Ames Public Library offers display and exhibit spaces to connect Library visitors to the world of ideas. Display space will be made available regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individual or group requesting its use.



Materials displayed or distributed in the Library do not constitute Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or events promoted by those materials. The Library reserves the right to accept, reject, or request modifications to any materials displayed or exhibited.

Political campaign signs cannot be displayed, per Iowa Code.


Fees and Liability

There is no charge for the use of display space and no fees may be charged to view displays in the Library.

Ames Public Library assumes no responsibility for the protection, damage, or theft of displayed materials, exhibits, or loaned works of art.

Repair of any damage to Library property caused by the installation, removal, or presentation of a display or exhibit will be the sole responsibility of the sponsor.



The scheduling of displays and exhibit spaces for Ames Public Library, City of Ames, and Ames Public Library Friends Foundation takes priority over scheduling for others.



Spaces within the Library may be provided for items of an informational, educational, cultural, civic, or recreational nature.


General Guidelines:

  • Items must be submitted to the Welcome Desk for consideration. Only one item may be posted per event.
  • All posting and placement of materials will be done by Ames Public Library personnel.
  • Preference will be given to items no larger than 8½”x 11.” Larger items will be considered as space allows.
  • Preference will be given to items with the broadest community interest.
  • Items will remain posted until the event has occurred or for a maximum of 30 days as space allows.
  • Materials will not be returned.
  • Materials NOT accepted for posting include:
  • items that omit essential information such as date, place and time
  • items so large in size that they exclude posting of other items
  • petitions


Wall-Mounted Display Cases:

Specific display cases have been designated for flyers and posters that provide information about community events such as programs, meetings, performances, leisure activities, and educational opportunities. All items must be identified with the name of sponsoring person or organization, time, and date of event.


Literary Grounds Bulletin Board:

Some materials will not be posted in the display cases, but may be submitted for posting on a bulletin board in Literary Grounds, including:

  • items promoting a continuing service
  • miscellaneous postings that include, but are not limited to:
    • items for sale
    • roommate wanted
    • advertisements for lessons (music, martial arts, tutoring, etc.) or services (babysitting, painting, lawn care, etc.)


Brochure Racks:

Library-provided display racks hold multi-copy informational handouts.


Free-Standing Display Cases/ Electronic Display Monitors:

Library-provided free-standing display cases/ electronic display monitors may be utilized exclusively by the Ames Public Library, City of Ames, and Ames Public Library Friends Foundation.


Floor Space:

Floor spaces may be utilized for temporary free-standing displays exclusively by the Ames Public Library, City of Ames, and Ames Public Library Friends Foundation.



Exhibits in designated spaces provide an opportunity for artists and designers to display their work within the limits of the space, with an understanding that the space is used regularly by people of all ages.


General Guidelines:

  • Applications for exhibits may be submitted to Ames Public Library’s Administration Office.
  • Applications will be approved by the Library Director, based on availability of space and suitability of the exhibit for the space and audience.
  • Preference may be given to exhibits with:
    • overall community interest
    • local artists and designers
    • a connection to libraries, items in the Library’s collection, Ames Public Library programs or strategic initiatives
    • Ames, Iowa, or current events
  • The Library will not engage in selling or negotiating for the sale of work on behalf of an artist or designer. However, the artist’s or designer’s name and contact information may be displayed with the artwork.
  • Exceptions to the above may be made at the discretion of the Library Director.


Expressions of Concern

The Ames Public Library Director and the Board of Trustees welcome feedback from customers. Any customer concerns will be handled promptly and courteously as detailed in the Expressions of Concern Policy.



American Library Association guidance documents:

Library Bill of Rights

Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards, An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights”


Iowa Code §68A.406 Campaign Signs – Yard Signs

2. a.  Campaign signs shall not be placed on any of the following:

         (1)  Any property owned by the state or the governing body of a county, city, or other political subdivision of the state, including all property considered the public right-of-way. (…)

         (3)  On any property without the permission of the property owner or lessee.