Home Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Policies Distribution and Display of Community Information Publications

Hillsborough County
Department of Library Services
LS1110
Policies and Procedures Manual

Subject: Distribution and Display of Community Information Publications

Effective: April 28, 2016

Supercedes: 12/2011

  1. Purpose:
    1. Community information publications are distributed and displayed in public areas of Library branches and departments in order to support the library’s mission of promoting lifelong learning, an informed citizenry, individual intellectual freedom, enhanced quality of life and broadened horizons for all residents of Hillsborough County.
  2. Policy:
    1. Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Board Policy Section Number 01.13.00.00 Displays, Posters, Exhibits and Notices at County Facilities states that the only authorized notices, displays, fliers, pamphlets, exhibits or other material for viewing or for dissemination in county facilities shall be those which are owned, produced or sponsored by Hillsborough County Government, or those specifically required by Federal or State Law. However, the policy makes an express exception For Public Libraries: "The County’s Library System may designate a bulletin board at the main library and at each county-operated branch library for posting community meetings, upcoming events, and other community or area-wide activities. These bulletin boards should be clearly labeled Community Bulletin Board." Other applicable guidelines are Administrative Directive CO-03 Displays and Exhibitions in County Center and Other County Facilities, Administrative Directive CO-06 Communication and Public Information, Hillsborough County’s Communications Plan and the American Library Association’s Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards.
    2. BOCC and the County Administrator reserve the right to disapprove placement of any display, exhibit, poster, pamphlet, flier and other material in any county facility, as stated in Hillsborough County BOCC Policy Section Number 01.13.00.00 Displays, Posters, Exhibits and Notices at County Facilities.
    3. Community Information publications that discriminate based on race, gender, age, national origin and/or other classifications protected by the United States and Florida Constitution shall not be displayed or distributed by the Library.
    4. Community Bulletin Boards are not intended as venues for purely commercial activity, financial gain or to serve as advertising space by individuals, groups or organizations.
    5. Community information publications constitute a limited public forum subject to the conditions of this policy regarding time, place and manner of display.
    6. Community information publications of public interest are distributed, displayed and retained on a space available basis. Any excess stock may be discarded at the discretion of library staff.
    7. Community information publications will be displayed or distributed only while timely and discarded when outdated.
    8. No handwritten or handmade community information publications may be displayed or distributed.
    9. Items posted or left for distribution without prior approval from library staff will be discarded.
    10. Publications produced by Library Services are distributed and displayed in accordance with LS1107 Distribution and Display of Library Promotional Publications.
    11. Customer concerns or complaints about community information publications will be handled in the following manner:
      1. The customer should first seek resolution from the branch or department supervisor.
      2. If unsatisfied with the response of the branch or department supervisor, the customer may send a letter to the Library Director. The letter must be received no later than 15 days after the initial complaint to the branch or department supervisor.
      3. The Director or his designee appoints a panel of three managers to address the customer’s complaint. The panel reviews the customer’s letter and any relevant policies and informs the customer in writing of its decision within 15 days of receipt of the customer’s letter of complaint.
      4. Within seven days of receipt of the review panel’s decision, the customer may send a letter of appeal to the Director. The Director has seven days to review the panel’s decision and respond to the customer in writing.
      5. Within seven days of receipt of the Director’s decision, the customer may send a letter of appeal to the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Board. The Library Board reviews the decision at their next regularly scheduled Board meeting and informs the customer of their decision in writing. The decision of the Library Board is final.
    12. Non-profit organizations wishing to use the library as a collection or drop off point for non-monetary donations must submit a written request to Library Administration for consideration.
  3. Procedure:
    1. Community Bulletin Boards
      1. One community bulletin board is provided in each library facility on a space available basis for posting fliers or posters promoting information on community meetings, upcoming events and other community or area-wide activities.
      2. The style of bulletin board selected and its location must be approved by the Regional Manager prior to purchase.
      3. These bulletin boards must be clearly labeled "Community Bulletin Board."
      4. Staff will monitor bulletin boards on a daily basis to ensure that they are properly maintained and that only approved items are posted.
    2. Community Information Kiosks
      1. Community information kiosks or display racks may be provided in each library facility on a space available basis for the purpose of disseminating community information pamphlets, brochures or fliers or other material.
      2. The style of kiosks or display racks selected and their location must be approved by the Regional Manager prior to purchase.
      3. Community information kiosks must be placed in areas with adequate space and may not impede the flow of traffic.
      4. Library publications are not to be displayed on community information kiosks.
      5. Staff will monitor information kiosks on a daily basis to insure that they are neatly maintained, replenished and that only approved items are displayed.
    3. Approval Process for Display or Distribution of Community Information Publications
      1. Groups, organizations, or individuals wishing to display or distribute community information publications must submit a copy of the publication to library staff and provide the following information:
        1. If submitting an item to be displayed on the Community Bulletin Board:
          1. Time period for display
          2. List of library locations where display of the item is requested
        2. If submitting an item to be distributed on Community Information Kiosks:
          1. Frequency of publication
          2. List of library locations where distribution of the item is requested
          3. Quantity to be distributed at each location
      2. Those requesting approval to display or distribute community information publications at a single library location should submit a copy to the branch or department supervisor.
        1. The item will be assessed in accordance with this policy and the Library Guidelines for the Display and Distribution of Community Information Publications chart.
        2. Any questions as to whether an item is to be displayed or distributed will be referred to the Regional Manager.
        3. The requestor will be informed if the item is approved for display or distribution.
        4. If approval to display or distribute the item is granted, the branch or department supervisor will make arrangements with the requestor for delivery of the publication.
        5. Customer concerns or complaints about community information publications will be handled as outlined in section 2.K.
      3. Those requesting permission to display or distribute community information publications at multiple library locations should submit a copy to Library staff.
        1. The item will be assessed in accordance with this policy and the Library Guidelines for the Display and Distribution of Community Information Publications chart.
        2. Any questions as to whether an item is to be displayed or distributed will be referred to the Regional Manager.
        3. The requestor will be informed if the item is approved for display or distribution.
        4. If approval to display or distribute the item is granted, staff will make arrangements with the requestor for delivery of the publications.
        5. Staff will inform branches or departments that the publication has been approved for display or distribution and will coordinate delivery of the items to all library locations for posting.
        6. Customer concerns or complaints about community information publications will be handled as outlined in section 2.K.
      4. Sample publications will not be returned.
  4. Authority:

    Pursuant to Section 5(1) of Chapter 84-443, Laws of Florida, the Library Board has the duty and the responsibility, among others, to serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the public library.