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, 8/18/2022


Ames Public Library offers display and exhibit spaces to connect Library visitors to the world of ideas.

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.

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.

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

Political campaign signs cannot be displayed, per Iowa Code.

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



Spaces within the Library may be provided for posting flyers or notices of an informational, educational, cultural, civic, or recreational nature. Display space for these items will be made available regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individual or group requesting its uses provided they comply with the general guidelines.


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.
  • Materials for posting must include date, sponsoring person or organization, place and time.
  • Petitions are not allowed.
  • 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 events or services in Ames or Story County.
  • Items will remain posted until the event has occurred or for a maximum of 30 days as space allows.
  • Materials will not be returned.


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.


Community Bulletin Board:

Some materials will not be posted in the display cases, but may be submitted for posting on a bulletin board designated for general community information sharing 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.  Preference is given to Ames Public Library, City of Ames, Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, government and non-profit information.


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.



Library exhibits are planned public displays that support the Library’s mission and strategic priorities and are presented by the Library or in partnership with a community group, agency or individual.

Exhibits in designated Library spaces, Bookmobile, or online, 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.

The purpose of Library exhibit space is to:

  • Encourage the use of the Library, its resources and programs.
  • Present information on issues of current interest.
  • Foster cultural awareness, diversity, and equitability.
  • Foster civic engagement and discourse.
  • Facilitate the sharing of local talent, knowledge, and expertise.


General Guidelines:

  • Applications for exhibits may be submitted online.
  • Applications will be reviewed and approved by the Programming & Exhibitions Team.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Ames Public Library Programs Policy

Exhibit Proposal Form