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Distribution of Nonlibrary Materials Policy

Policy Statement: The Library displays and/or distributes nonlibrary materials as a service to customers who need information about community events and services.

Discussion:

The Fort Worth Public Library recognizes its role as a source for community information. Space limitations require the Library to set limits and priorities for distribution or display of such printed materials within the Library’s facilities. Preference is given to material of interest to the immediate community.

Definition:

Distributed materials: Any brochures, flyers, periodicals, booklets, posters, or similar items not produced or purchased by the Library (“nonlibrary materials”), but made available for Library customers to take and keep.

Regulations:

  1. Display or distribution of nonlibrary materials does not indicate that the Library endorses any cause or activity.
  2. The Library limits the types, quantities, size, and location of nonlibrary materials it distributes in order to make the best use of limited space and avoid unattractive clutter.
  3. The highest priority is given to nonlibrary materials relating to Library and Library-sponsored events, programs, and services. Next in priority are materials produced by the Library’s support groups (The Fort Worth Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library, Inc.), the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the state of Texas, Fort Worth and other Independent School Districts, the U. S. government, and Fort Worth neighborhood organizations, non-profit civic/community groups, local community newspapers, and non-profit arts and educational organizations.
  4. Nonlibrary materials from sources other than the groups and organizations listed above may be distributed at the discretion of the manager in charge. One copy may be kept in a unit for in-house use. Posters for such groups and organizations will not be accepted.
  5. Nonlibrary materials advertising or supporting commercial or profit-making groups, businesses, or organizations will not be distributed.
  6. The Library will not post notices of religious services, religious testimonials and religious information programs unless the information or programs are secular in nature.
  7. Nonlibrary materials of a partisan nature, materials that support, promote, or advance only a singular viewpoint, and materials that are personal expressions of individuals will not be distributed.
  8. Political campaign materials that cover only one or certain candidates or election issues will not be distributed. Materials that cover all candidates or election issues may be distributed.
  9. The Library only distributes materials that solicit donations if the fundraising is directly related to support of the Library, its support groups, or other City of Fort Worth departments.
  10. The Library does not display or promote petitions or other materials that solicit signatures.
  11. Handing out nonlibrary materials on Library property is disruptive to the operations of the Library and is not allowed.
  12. The Library does not attest to the validity of any distributed nonlibrary materials.
  13. Customers wishing to distribute nonlibrary materials should consult the manager in charge of the unit where they wish to distribute the material.
  14. Managers are responsible for approving nonlibrary materials for distribution. At Central, the Central Administrator is responsible for approving nonlibrary materials for distribution. Library staff are responsible for maintaining the appearance of the display area, checking the currency of distributed materials, and disposing of outdated materials.
  15. Requests to display or distribute nonlibrary materials throughout the Library system should be referred to Library Administration. The Library will stipulate quantities and delivery methods of such materials for each branch.
  16. Nonlibrary materials may be displayed as long as they are current, and the space is not required for materials with a higher priority. The Library does not guarantee it will distribute such materials for a certain period of time, and does not guarantee permanent space for any displayed material.
  17. The Library is not responsible for maintaining the supply of nonlibrary materials for distribution. Replenishment is solely the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.
  18. Any unsolicited or unauthorized materials found in any Library location may be disposed of as the Library sees fit. The Library may dispose of authorized nonlibrary materials at any time.
  19. Customer concerns about displayed materials may be directed to the manager in charge. Customers who wish to file a formal complaint about a decision to display or not display materials may use the Library Suggestion Form. Concerns that cannot be handled by the manager in charge should be directed to Library Administration.

Approved by Library Advisory Board December 1, 2005

Last updated: May 13, 2010