Library Premises, Expression of Opinion On, Policy

The existence of the public library is dependent upon a legal and social climate which supports the First Amendment right to free speech. Part of the Mission of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District is to provide individuals with the information necessary to participate in self-government. Therefore, it is the policy of the Library to make designated areas on Library premises available for the public expression of opinions and ideas where feasible.

The space will be available to the public on equal terms, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting its use.

The terms for public use of library premises are:

  • The activity shall be conducted in a manner that does not restrict or inhibit patron access to or use of the Library. This may be outside the facility, or, space permitting, in a lobby area. The determination of whether or not the activity or location is restricting or inhibiting access rests with the Library. The judgment shall be made by the person in charge of the branch.
  • Furniture (tables, etc.) may be utilized if it does not act as a barrier to free access to the Library, create a safety hazard, and/or incorrectly imply that it is a Library activity. This judgment shall be made by the person in charge of the branch.
  • Each participant shall wear an organizational or name badge that clearly identifies him or her as other than a Library employee. It shall be clear that the activity is not affiliated with or sponsored by Fort Vancouver Regional Library District.
  • If more than one advocate or advocacy group wants to conduct a survey or distribute information, it is up to the person in charge of the branch to provide an orderly process for allowing fair access to the premises without disrupting service.
  • The provision of library premises for the public expression of opinion does not constitute Library endorsement of the opinions or ideas of those individuals and organizations using the space.

 

The Executive Director is responsible for the administration of this policy, for establishing administrative procedures for its implementation and for making the policy available for the public at each branch and via the Library's web site.

Board Approved:
Original Policy May 6, 1991
Policy name revised for easier indexing, 2/10/03 (formerly titled Public Use of Library Premises for Expression of Opinion)
Revised June 14, 2004