A RESOLUTION OF THE FULTON COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO CREATE A POLICY CONTAINING GUIDELINES FOR SELECTION, SCHEDULING AND PRESENTATION OF LIBRARY PROGRAMS, TO ENSURE THAT ITS FACILITIES SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC ON AN EQUITABLE BASIS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
WHEREAS, the purpose of library programming is to support the Library’s goal of connecting people to the world of information, and programming is offered as a Library resource that provides information, education, and recreation to Library users, as well as promoting the services, collections, and other resources of the Fulton County Library System, and this policy reflects the Library’s philosophy regarding free and open access to information and ideas, and
WHEREAS, programs complement other Library services by providing an opportunity to highlight collections, promote services and share knowledge and expertise. Programs stimulate outreach and promotion of the Library by allowing the Library to forge partnerships with a wide variety of groups and individuals and to attract both regular and new users of all ages and backgrounds. Programs raise the Library’s profile in the community and have a positive impact on library use; and
WHEREAS, this policy is to provide Library staff, Friends of the Library, volunteers, and other groups and agencies working with the library guidance to assist them in the development of Library programs and to inform the public about the principles and criteria by which programs are selected; and
WHEREAS, the Library System draws upon community resources and partners with various organizations, educational and cultural institutions and individuals to develop programs for presentation at libraries, and
WHEREAS, the Library Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association in 1939 and reaffirmed in 1996 provides that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and that libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment, and
WHEREAS, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE FOLLOWING POLICY IS HEREBY ADOPTED BY THE FULTON COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
SECTION 1. AUTHORITY
The ultimate responsibility for programming policy lies with the Board of Trustees of the Fulton County Library System, which delegates to the Library Director the details of planning and promotion of library programs, and staff members shall implement these programs under the direction of the Library Director. Implementation of programs includes selection of topics for programming based on the interest and needs of library users in the community.
All Managers must receive approval from their assigned Library Administrator before scheduling programs involving non-library presenters in order to ensure compliance with this policy.
SECTION 2. USE OF FACILITIES FOR PROGRAMS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE ON AN EQUITABLE BASIS
The policy of the Fulton County Library System shall require that its facilities be made available to the public on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Neither speakers nor materials nor programs shall be excluded because of the origin, race, color, age, sex, religion, background, or views, sexual orientation, or disability of themselves or of those contributing to their creation.
SECTION 3. SELECTION AND PRESENTATION OF PROGRAMS
Guidelines for the selection and presentation of programs shall be as follows:
All programs are intended to further the mission of the Library. They should address one or more of the following educational, recreational, and civic needs;
(a) To increase awareness and use of library resources
(b) To provide opportunity to widen horizons, stimulate imagination and reflection, and enlarge experiences
(c) To provide programs for various age groups, cultures, and interests
(d) To meet popular demand, both existing and anticipated
(e) To promote reading and lifelong learning
(f) To increase library use by underserved populations
(g) To educate and inform about a variety of topics usually with a focus on one or more of the following;
- Literature and cultural heritage
- Social awareness
iii. Health and well-being
- Information technology
- Current events and high interest topics
The Library shall strive to provide a broad variety of programs to meet the needs of a diverse community. If a program is controversial in nature, the Library will seek to present as many sides of the issue as possible. Beliefs and opinions expressed in the programs do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the library and the presentation of a program does not indicate endorsement of any of its elements by the Library System.
SECTION 4. ATTENDANCE, CHARGES AND FEES
All programs shall be open to the public. Most will be targeted toward a particular audience such as adults, teens, children, or a general audience. In instances where attendance exceeds capacity, patrons may be denied admission, however, every attempt shall be made to permit as many as possible to attend in accordance with capacity mandates. In such cases, attendance will be based on a first come, first served basis. Advance registration or distribution of free tickets may be used if attendance is expected to exceed capacity.
No admission fees shall be charged for library programs, other than fees for art, crafts, and makerspace materials (3-D Printing and basic electronics supplies), but purchase shall not be made a condition of attending such programs.
Charges for programs or events or book sales shall be permissible for library fundraising only if conducted by Library Friends Groups or the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation. However, the sale of books, CDs and artwork shall be permissible to promote literature, literacy and culture if consistent with the Library’s mission.
SECTION 5. RULES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A library card shall not be required to attend programs. A library card shall be required of at least one member of any non-Library group presenting a program. Non-Library groups presenting programs must agree to leave Library space the way they find it. Failure to comply with Library program rules may result in denial of future requests to present programs.
Non-Library Program presenters must meet all applicable requirements contained in Fulton County’s liability insurance, and must also comply with the Library System’s Meeting Room Policy.
The Library may partner with other agencies or community organizations when joint programs are within the Library mission. The Library may participate in joint programs by furnishing space, aiding with promotion and presentation, and offering related book lists and related displays.
Unsolicited offers from individuals or organizations to present programs will be evaluated by the standards set out in this policy. Programs which are exclusively commercial in nature shall not be permitted.
This policy shall be reviewed every three years from the date of adoption by the Fulton County Library System Board of Trustees.
ADOPTED BY THE FULTON COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM BOARD OF TRUSTEES
This 23rd day of September, 2020.
Chair, Fulton County Library System Board of Trustees