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Public Use of Library Bulletin Boards and Literature Racks Policy (4.502)

Code:                         4 Public Services
Chapter:                    4.500 Public Use of Facilities and Equipment
Type of Policy:            Departmental
Date Developed:        20 August 2002
Date Revised: 20 September 2005
Revised by: Pam Kiesner
Developed by:           Julie Carterson
Approved by:             Library Board of Trustees

Cancels: Section VI, Public Services Policies, Public Bulletin Board & Literature Rack

See also: Related Library policy 4.503 Public Use of Library Exhibit Areas; Related Library procedures: 4.502.101 Posting on public bulletin boards, 4.502.102 Stocking wooden literature rack, 4.502.103 Stocking reference literature racks; Related resources: Library Bill of Rights, Exhibit spaces and bulletin boards, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.

Codes and lawsRCW 27.12.210 Library trustees – Organization – Bylaws – Powers and duties.


This policy applies to all individuals or groups who give the library materials for posting or free distribution. 


  1. Library provides space on its public bulletin boards and literature racks for community information.
  • As an extension of its mission to provide access to informational and recreational materials the Library welcomes the community’s use of available space   to inform library patrons of announcements of local events, programs, educational opportunities, or social services   of interest to the local community.
  1. Posting and distribution space is made available on an equitable basis.
  • Space is made available to the public on equal terms, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups requesting their use or viewpoints expressed in their material.
  1. Library does not endorse materials donated for posting or distribution.
  • Posting or distribution of donated materials in the library does not indicate library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or events promoted by those materials.
  1. Space is limited, so the library set these priorities for its use:
  • Material from the Library or a Library affiliated group.
  • Material from government agencies
  • Material from individuals or groups whose purpose is to serve the educational, cultural, recreational, intellectual or charitable interests of the local community.
  1. Library restricts the posting and distribution of some material
  • Material must be appropriate for viewers of all ages.

Material that does not enhance the Library’s role as an educational and cultural agency is restricted. This includes:

  • Campaign or political literature. The Library collects single copies of current campaign literature and makes them available as a collection to patrons during the election season. The collection is located in the Reference Department.
  • Material whose primary purpose is for the sale, advertising, solicitation or promotion of commercial products or services.
  • Material which, in the judgement of the Library Administration, represents a threat to the orderly use of the library.

6. Library staff will review all material for posting or distribution.

  • Material that does not meet the criteria of this policy will be declined or discarded.
  • Only library staff will post material.
  • Library staff will place free material in the literature racks. Organizations or individuals may place free material in the literature racks only if they have made previous arrangements with library staff.
  • To ensure equitable access to limited space, library staff may restrict: the size of a poster or quantity of free material, the length of time materials may remain posted or displayed, the frequency with which the same individual or organization may post or distribute material.

7. Library assumes no responsibility or liability for posted or distributed materials.

  • The library is not responsible for the preservation or protection of materials posted or distributed. Materials will not be returned after use.