Exhibits Policy and Procedures

General Guidelines

The Board of Library Trustees may allow use of the Billerica Public Library’s exhibit spaces by local individuals, artists, or groups for such civic, educational, philanthropic and recreational purposes it deems in the interest of the community. Permission to use exhibit space requires completion of the application procedures included in this policy as well as adherence to booking procedures and all policy guidelines.

The Billerica Public Library (as represented by the Library Director or his/her designee) will review exhibit applications submitted on an equitable basis, regardless of an individual or group’s beliefs or affiliations. The review will assess if the content of the exhibit is suitable for patrons of all age groups, if there is a sufficient number of items to fill one of the library’s exhibit spaces, and if the items to be exhibited are original, meet general standards of quality in content and format, and demonstrate authority and competence in presentation.

Acceptability of an exhibit is at the discretion of the Library Director, whose decisions may be appealed to the Board of Library Trustees. In approving an exhibit, the Billerica Public Library does not endorse content nor imply agreement or disagreement with beliefs or viewpoints expressed in the exhibit. The Billerica Public Library reserves the right to refuse or remove any material judged unsuitable or to rescind an exhibit’s approval for violation of this policy and/or the required procedures. The Billerica Public Library also reserves the right to limit the number of exhibits that may be showcased at any one time.

The Billerica Public Library has limited exhibit spaces listed below. The Billerica Public Library will make the decision as to which exhibit space may be used based on the application, and availability of any space will be subject to the needs of the library. On occasion, the Billerica Public Library may reserve exhibit space for Billerica school exhibits.

  • Nine (9) mobile gray panels, which are generally placed in the second floor Reference Room, but may be located elsewhere in the building according to library staff’s discretion.
  • Two (2) glass display cases, which are located on the second floor landing.
  • A space in the hallway outside the lower level Children’s Room, which will generally be reserved for the display of children’s work or work intended for children, and which operates on a hanging system.
  • A space inside the hallway of the Concord Road entrance on the main level, which operates on a hanging system.

Exhibit Space Guidelines

  1. Use of exhibit spaces for library purposes takes precedence over other uses.
  2. Exhibit space may not be used for solicitation, direct sales, or on-site fundraising. Further, in accordance with existing library policy, no admission charge or request for donations will be permitted.
  3. Exhibit spaces are mostly suitable for displaying two-dimensional items. In most cases, these items must be framed in order to be displayed properly, and in those cases the exhibitor will be required to frame all display items. Generally, three-dimensional works will only be displayed in the glass display cases on the second floor landing, and so those objects are limited to sizes that will fit those cases.
  4. No exhibited items will be offered for sale through the Billerica Public Library. Further, the Billerica Public Library does not act as a sales agent for the community or exhibitor, and will not engage in selling or negotiating for the sale of exhibit items. It will, however, allow pamphlets, price lists, and/or a citation in the exhibit giving the name, address and or/ phone number of a contact person, should a viewer wish to inquire about a purchase.
  5. Permanent exhibits will not be accepted. Individual items may be gifted to the library and will be reviewed in accordance with the relevant gift policy.
  6. The Billerica Public Library will not charge for the use of exhibit space.
  7. Press releases or other promotion of the exhibit by the Billerica Public Library shall not imply endorsement of the viewpoints put forth in the exhibit. Publicity written by the exhibitor must be approved by the Billerica Public Library.
  8. Exhibits will be for a prescribed time with the owner solely responsible for installation and removal. The library will not provide storage prior to its installation or subsequent to its removal.
  9. The Billerica Public Library does not provide insurance coverage for exhibit items. Exhibitors are responsible for providing coverage for items exhibited or they exhibit at their own risk. The exhibitor agrees to indemnify and hold harmless, the Town of Billerica, the Billerica Public Library, its employees, and the Board of Library Trustees against any theft, damage, or liability as a result of the use of the exhibit space.

Exhibit Application Procedures

  1. Completed applications and accompanying materials must be submitted to the Library Director at least 90 days in advance of the intended booking period to allow a 30 day window for adequate assessment and review.
    1. Email: exhibits@billericalibrary.org (Please limit image size to 1MB per image if emailing samples as attachments).
    2. Mail: Billerica Public Library / Attn: Exhibits / 15 Concord Rd. / Billerica, MA 01821
  2. Applicants should provide samples of the works they plan to include in the exhibit. Samples should be online, in print, or on CD. In the absence of samples, the exhibitor will be asked to meet in-person to showcase their exhibit items. NOTE: Sample materials will only be returned if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included in the submission.
  3. Artists are encouraged to provide a brief Artist’s Statement (250 or less), a short biography, and any relevant career information, which the library may use in any publicity and signage for the exhibit.
  4. Applicants must wait a year from the date of their exhibit before submitting a request for another exhibit.

Exhibit Booking Procedures

The designated exhibit space may be booked through the Library Director on a first come, first served basis after being deemed acceptable through the application review process and depending on the needs of the library. Generally, bookings will not be made in June, July, August, October, November, or December to accommodate library events and commitments. If necessary, when making a booking, priority will be given to Billerica residents.

Exhibits must be booked at least 60 days in advance and may be booked up to one year in advance. The duration of most exhibits will be a month; however, the Billerica Public Library reserves the right to deviate from the one-month rule when deemed appropriate.

Exhibition Requirements

  • Exhibitors must be prepared to hang their exhibits within the first two days of the assigned exhibit time. This time must be scheduled with Library Director or designee. All items included in the exhibit must remain hanging for the entire exhibition period.
  • The Billerica Public Library utilizes a special hanging system in some areas. If displaying in those areas, works must be framed with a wire across the back to accommodate this system. This requirement will not apply to displays of children’s work.
  • Exhibitors (or their representatives) must be prepared to hang their own work without assistance from library staff.
  • The exhibitor must produce a sign, which may include a biography and/or a brief description of the exhibit, which will fit in an 8 ½ x 11 inch display holder. In addition, a notice must be posted with the exhibit stating that: “The material within this exhibit is the presentation of the individual or organization named in the display. The library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of exhibits and exhibitors.”
  • The exhibitor is also responsible for producing cardstock labels (approximately 2” x 3”) for each piece, if labels are desired.
  • The Library Director or designee must approve the exhibit after it is hung, and may require changes in layout for appearance or safety considerations.
  • A complete list of the all the items contained in the exhibit must be left with the Library Director or designee.
  • Exhibits must be removed within the last two (2) days of the exhibit period. This removal time must be scheduled with the Library Director or designee.
  • Damages to the library facility, its equipment, or its furnishings as a result of exhibitor use will be charged to the individual or group responsible.
  • The Billerica Public Library does not provide storage space; all items must be removed from the library building immediately after the exhibit is dismantled. Any items not picked up by the end of the exhibit time may be considered the property of the Billerica Public Library.

Reception Guidelines

  • The exhibitor may schedule a reception during his/her exhibit, using the library’s Meeting Room, subject to the terms and conditions of the library’s Meeting and Conference Room Policy.
  • The reception must be scheduled through the library’s Meeting Room booking system, and should be arranged with the Library Director. The rooms are heavily used throughout the year; hence, a reception should be scheduled as soon as 60 days before the desired date.
  • Responsibility for signage, refreshments, set up, and clean up of a reception rests with the artist. Library staff will not be available for assistance with receptions.

Sale of Exhibit Items

  • The Billerica Public Library will not engage in selling or negotiating for the sale of items on behalf of the exhibitor; however, pamphlets, price lists, business cards, or contact information for the exhibitor may be left in the designated exhibit space. The Billerica Public Library receives no commission for any artwork sold. With the approval of the Library Director, sold works may only be removed from the exhibit if the exhibitor has another similar item to exhibit in its place and an updated exhibit list is provided.

Revised and adopted by vote of the Board of Library Trustees November 2022

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