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Events and Programs Policy

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Allegany County Library System

PURPOSE:

The Allegany County Library System recognizes the need to provide quality programs for all ages in keeping with the mission, vision and goals of its strategic plan. A policy is needed to set guidelines for the types of events and programs that are presented at the library and community events. 

STATEMENT OF POLICY:

Library events and programs are an integral part of advancing our strategic goals.   The Allegany County Library System is an agent of positive change for our community.  Events and programs  promote the use of library materials, services and/or offers the community informational, entertaining or cultural experiences. Events and programs are planned with consideration for the principles of accessibility, equity and inclusiveness, community interests and enlightenment, and contribution to the library’s welcoming environment.  The library strives to offer a variety of programs that support the emerging as well as existing interests of our evolving and diverse population.  Events and programs may be held at any library facility or off site. 

Library events and programs shall generally be voluntary, free, and open to the public. However, at the discretion of the Library Executive Director, a fee may be permissible for certain types of library initiated programs. The library’s philosophy of open access to information extends to library programming.  Registration may be required for planning purposes or when space is limited.  The library does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristics protected by local, state, and federal law.

Library events and programs must be non-commercial in nature. Although a professional expert may present a program, the information should always be generic in nature. Library events and programs must have a special educational, informational, or cultural value to the community. No individual or organization shall use a program at the library to advertise or recruit members or customers. Programs are not used for commercial, religious, or partisan purposes or the solicitation of business.  Library programs may address religious themes to educate or inform, but not to promote a particular religious conviction. Holiday programs may be offered for the entertainment of library users. 

The library actively draws upon community resources and agencies when developing programs. Co-sponsorship or partnering for a program does not constitute a library endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants.  

The library and its employees will not be liable for the content of any program presented by a third party. Professional performers or presenters will be permitted to sell their creative products (CDs, books) only if the Library Executive Director has agreed in advance to such an arrangement.   

Individuals and/or organizations looking to have an event or program with the Allegany County Library System should fill out the Public Program Proposal Form. Unsolicited offers will be considered and evaluated based on how they may further the mission, views, and values of the Allegany County Library System. Unsolicited offers will not be excluded from consideration because of their origin, background, or views. The library may conduct reference checks in advance to ensure quality standards. Use of library meeting and study rooms by outside organizations will fall under the library Meeting Room Policies. 

Timely and adequate public announcement shall be made of all events and programs within promotional deadlines. Organizations or individuals partnering or co-sponsoring events with the library must coordinate marketing efforts with the Coordinator of Events and Programming and the Director of Marketing & Outreach. Press releases, public notifications, and marketing publicities must be approved by the Director of Marketing & Outreach or Library Executive Director.

Registration may be required for planning purposes and when space is limited. When pre-registration is required, it must be handled by the library unless other arrangements are made with the Coordinator of Events and Programming. In some cases, the nature and success of a program may limit attendance.

For most programs evaluation forms are to be distributed to the participants so that staff may know what has been successful and receive ideas for new programs from users. Recurring programs such as story times, book discussions and regularly scheduled programs with repeat attendees should receive a program evaluation at least once per quarter.

The library will endeavor to offer an equitable number of programs throughout the community. However, factors such as staffing levels, space, budget concerns, and other demands upon the staff will influence the number and types of programs able to be offered. Library staff who present programs do so as part of their regular job and are not hired as outside contractors for programming.

The library affirms and supports user’s freedom and responsibility to choose library events and programs according to their needs, individual tastes, or family values.  Users apply those values to library events and programs only for themselves and may not restrict nor interfere in any way with other users freedom to view or attend events and programs.  

Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.  The library does not assume parental responsibility for children’s choices of library events and programs.   Programs designed for specific audiences will be publicized as such. All event and program participants must comply with Allegany County Library System’s Code of Conduct. 

The library reserves the right to use video or photographs taken of program participants for internal use, publication, use in library promotional materials, and evaluation purposes. 

Ultimate responsibility for events and programming at the library rests with the Library Executive Director, who administers under the authority of the Board of Trustees. The Library Executive Director, in turn, delegates the authority for program management to the Coordinator of Events and Programming, who coordinates this responsibility by working in partnership with the Event or Program Lead Person and/or designated staff. It is the responsibility of the Coordinator of Events and Programming to keep the Executive Director informed of the status of all programs.

The library welcomes expressions of opinion from any library user concerning events or programs.  If a user questions a library event or program, they should first address the concern with a library staff member. Users who wish to continue their request for review of library events and programs must submit the Request for Reconsideration of Library Events and Programs form. Completed forms are reviewed by the Library’s Event Reconsideration Committee which consists of staff from various branches and is chaired by the Coordinator of Events and Programming.    The committee reviews the specific event in the context of the Library’s overall mission and objectives, the ACLS Events Policy, the ACLS Freedom to Read and View Statement, and the Library Bill of Rights.  The chair of the committee relays the committee’s recommendation to the Library Director who has authority over all library events and programs. 

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the Programming Department at 301-777-1200.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees

Allegany County Library System- January 10, 2023