Exhibits and Displays

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Adopted by Board Action 4/19/2022

It is the policy of the West Des Moines Public Library that display spaces in library locations, including but not limited to enclosed display cabinets, bulletin boards and pamphlet racks are solely under the care and control of library staff. These spaces are intended primarily for displays and exhibits created or selected by library staff. Where appropriate, such displays or exhibits may reflect various viewpoints on a given subject. Groups, organizations and individuals may be solicited to display materials.

As in the case of collection development and materials selection, the final decision on the suitability of displayed material and exhibits will be made by the library director, subject to review by the Library Board of Trustees.

Exhibits and displays for library events will always and necessarily take precedence over exhibits and displays by outside groups and/or for non-library events.

As the display spaces are in public areas of the library building and accessible and viewable by patrons of all ages, materials or exhibits must be such that they would be considered suitable for viewing by a general audience congruent with the standards of the community served by the library. Commercial advertisements for products, businesses or services will not be displayed unless in the capacity of sponsor of a library event or exhibit.

Selection criteria for items to be displayed:

  1. Items should be neat, legible and pertinent to cultural or educational matters.
  2. Items should be informational in nature and should not seek to persuade individuals to a particular belief, opinion or candidate.
  3. Items should include all relevant information and should be of reasonable size and format as determined by the library staff.
  4. Items from local organizations with limited opportunities for promotion should be given priority over items from larger organizations with greater promotional resources.
  5. Items regarding the sale, advertising, solicitation or promotion of products, services and/or personal items are not displayed. (Exceptions may be made for library and City of West Des Moines activities, and for informational publications inserted into the pamphlet racks that contain advertising.)


Groups, organizations and individuals may request to use the display cabinets subject to review by staff and administration. Those leaving materials for display will complete and sign a Display Case Consideration and Waiver Form stating that they understand and agree that the library will be held harmless in case of theft or loss of or damage to materials left in any display space.


The library utilizes bulletin boards and pamphlet racks to publicize library and City of West Des Moines events, activities and programs. The library selects additional information for display when space permits.

  1. Library staff review all materials submitted for display and shall have final determination as to questions of posting. Items selected are posted by library staff and displayed as time and space allows.
  2. Materials submitted to the library for display become the property of the library. Disposition of the materials is determined by library staff.
  3. Materials posted on the bulletin board and/or inserted into pamphlet display racks without approval by library staff may be discarded.
  4. Posting of a notice on a bulletin board or placement of materials in a pamphlet rack does not imply endorsement by the library staff, by the Library Board of Trustees or by the City of West Des Moines.

Groups, organizations and individuals may request to have items displayed in the lobby pamphlet racks or on the Community bulletin board located in the Library Living Room subject to review by staff and administration. Those leaving materials will complete and sign a Display Materials Consideration Form.

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