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Events and Exhibits Guidelines

Events and exhibits are a valuable part of the Cardinal Cushing Library’s public services outreach and user education programs. Events and exhibits inform, educate, and promote the Libraries' information resources and services, encourage critical thinking on local and global issues, and, at times, entertain. They also provide an excellent opportunity for the Libraries to engage in collaborative projects, especially with student groups, college departments, and others at Emmanuel College.

The Cardinal Cushing Library hosts a variety of events and exhibits including book talks and poetry readings. Potential event and book display locations include Rare Book Room, the Library Reading Room and other appropriate locations in the Library and on campus.

This policy defines the philosophy and goals for events and exhibits throughout the library, identifies responsibility for these programs, and defines guidelines and general policies. Library staff involved in organizing, curating, and/or mounting exhibits or planning events are deemed to be acting within the course of official duties and under the authority of the Cardinal Cushing Library.

The Associate Dean, Library and Learning Resources, in consultation with others, will be responsible for updating and revising this policy.

Goals for Events and Exhibits

  • Promote the diverse holdings and scholarly value of the library collection.
  • Promote the role of the library, its collections, resources, services, and staff as central to the research and teaching programs of the college
  • Nourish intellectual, aesthetic, and creative growth
  • Educate the college community on a wide variety of topics
  • Enhance the strategic mission and development goals of the library
  • Encourage individuals to contribute to the expansion of knowledge
  • Support College events, programs, symposia, activities, and accomplishments
  • Promote College and community relations
  • Recognize library supporters, friends, and donors

Criteria for Selection
Events and exhibits in the Library will be selected based on the Events and Exhibits Policy and Goals Statements. Events and exhibit spaces are made available, in accordance with these Guidelines, to college departments, groups, and organizations, to student organizations registered with the Emmanuel College Student Affairs, and to those sponsored by the Library. Priority for the space reservations is given to Library-sponsored events except for those in the Library Lecture Hall, which is governed by the Registrar’s office.
All events and exhibits must be approved in advance by the Library including decisions regarding the length of events and exhibit duration, location of the events and exhibit within the library, and content of publicity. This policy does not apply to non-Library sponsored events in the Library Lecture Hall.

The following criteria are considered for event and exhibit proposals, although not all events and exhibits will meet all criteria.

  • Educational content ranging from advanced scholarly contributions to general informational value
  • Relevance to library collections and services
  • Broadness of appeal of the main theme
  • Appropriateness of subject, technique, and style for intended location and audience
  • Appropriateness to special events, anniversaries, holidays, etc.
  • Relation to other events or exhibits in the College community
  • Representation of an influential movement, genre, trend, or national culture
  • When the topic is controversial, an objective presentation is required.
  • Reflects vitality, originality, artistic expression, and experimentation
  • Does not promote the financial profit of any individual, organization, or commercial enterprise
  • Ease and cost of exhibit or event
  • Satisfies public safety considerations, e.g. free-standing displays, hands-on exhibits, etc.

Exhibitor of non-Library materials agrees to sign an exhibit release form  with the Library.

Process for proposing an exhibit in the Cardinal Cushing Library

  1. Exhibitor reads Cardinal Cushing Library’s Events and Exhibits Guidelines
  2. For exhibits not co-sponsored by the Library, contact Karen Storin Linitz, Associate Dean, Library and Learning Resources.
  3. To co-sponsor an exhibit with the Library, contact Diane Zydlewski, Associate Librarian for Reference, Instruction, and Outreach or Karen Storin Linitz, Associate Dean, Library and Learning Resources.
  4. Prior to exhibit installation, the Exhibit Release Form is signed by Library's exhibitor, sponsor and contact.  
  5. Exhibit Proposal and Exhibit Release forms are retained in the approving department's files.


  • Exhibitors of non-Library materials are solely responsible for funding all costs associated with the exhibit, including but not limited to shipping, installation, dismantling, and insurance. Exhibitors are responsible for publicity beyond that provided by the Library. See the Publicity section of this document for more information.
  • Funding for co-sponsored events will be agreed upon prior to the scheduling of event.

Security and Insurance
Exhibits are often located in high traffic areas whose visibility reduces the likelihood of damage or theft of materials; however, the Library takes no responsibility for the security or welfare of exhibits at any time, including during transport, installation, or dismantling.
Before an exhibit is installed, exhibitors and the Library representative must sign a release indemnifying Emmanuel College from any responsibility for loss or damage. The original signed Exhibit Release Form will be retained in the Library.
Insurance coverage, if needed, is the responsibility of the Exhibitor.

Events and exhibits must accommodate physical safety considerations. There cannot be loose cords or cabling; free-standing units must be secure; and ease of egress from events and exhibits for emergency purposes must be assured. The events and exhibits must be set up so as to accommodate disability access.

Best Practices
Both events and exhibits must be well prepared, organized, and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Event time: Events should be held during times that maximize the availability of the attendees, including during activities period and in the evening.
  • Event location: Events should be held in the appropriate size space to accommodate the expected audience. Consideration must be made for how the event will affect those who choose to not attend the event, including the provision of alternative study locations.


  • Exhibit Duration: Exhibits should have specific start and end dates, although the end date may be extended if the schedule allows. As a general rule, exhibits should be on display for one to two months, but shorter exhibit times are permissible.
  • Generally, when circulating Library materials are used in a display, the material location will be changed to reflect the display location in the Library’s online catalog for the duration of the exhibit. Patrons are permitted to check-out circulating materials placed on exhibit.
  • Exhibit Text/Labels: Text should be word processed and printed on a high-quality printer if not professionally designed and/or typeset.
  • Traveling Exhibits will be complemented, if possible, by exhibits of materials from the Library’s collections.
  • Sound, video, or computer displays accompanying exhibits will be installed and removed by the exhibitor in consultation with library staff.


  • Events will  be posted on the College events calendar and also on the Library home page.
  • Flyers, posters, handbills should contain consistent messages. The Associate Librarian for Research, Instruction, and Outreach is available for consultation in the creation of flyers, posters, and handbills.
  • The placement of posters on campus should be in accordance with the College’s official policy.

Receptions & Exhibits Related Activities
Rooms in the Libraries may, on occasion, be available for receptions and other activities (workshops, talks, demonstrations) linked to exhibits. Contact Diane Zydlewski, Associate Librarian for Reference, Instruction, and Outreach or Karen Storin Linitz, Associate Dean, Library and Learning Resources for requests for rooms for receptions.

Dispute Resolution
The Cardinal Cushing Library supports academic freedom and the free expression of opinion. The Library will not censor display materials such as books, images, labels, catalogs, or promotional literature that fall within the Emmanuel College’s Statement of Community Standards and Code of Conduct and the General College Policies and Procedures (in Chapter 7 of the Student Handbook) as well as local, state, and federal laws.

The Cardinal Cushing Library subscribes to the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights as it applies to exhibit spaces and bulletin boards, specifically:
The library should not censor or remove an exhibit because some members of the community may disagree with its content. Those who object to the content of any exhibit held at the library should be able to submit their complaint and/or their own exhibit proposal to be judged according to the policies established by the library.
Concerns regarding an event, display, exhibit, or printed materials posted or displayed in the Cardinal Cushing Library may be sent in writing to the Associate Dean, Library and Learning Resources. The Library will respond to written statements as follows:

  • The individual will be notified that the Library has received his/her written statement of concern.
  • A copy of the statement will be forwarded through the supervisory chain as appropriate.
  • A review process will be conducted in a timely matter by Library Administration in response to an individual's statement of concern.
  • While a concern is being considered, there will be no change in the status of the event, display, exhibit, or printed materials.
  • Upon completion of the review process, the Associate Dean, Library and Learning Resources will notify the individual of the Library's decision.

These guidelines were adapted with permission from the Exhibits Guidelines, University Libraries, University of Washington


Diane Zydlewski
Associate Librarian for Reference, Instruction, and Outreach

Karen Storin Linitz
Associate Dean, Library and Learning Resources

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