Hosted Exhibit Policy

Exhibits are a valuable part of Clemson Libraries’ public services outreach and education program. Exhibits inform and promote library information resources and services. Hosted exhibits provide an excellent opportunity for the Libraries to engage in collaborative projects with faculty members, student organizations, and others in the Clemson University community.

This policy covers hosted exhibits in all spaces managed by Clemson Libraries. Hosted exhibits are defined as exhibits created by non-Libraries personnel involving items contributed for a set, temporary period of time by an individual or group, or on tour from an agency, museum or association. Hosted exhibits may include traveling exhibits of artifacts, photographs, documents, and books from external partners. Hosted exhibits may also incorporate appropriate Libraries’ materials, in collaboration with Libraries staff and collections management policies. Clemson Libraries are not to be considered a venue for uninvited exhibits of original artworks by individuals or organizations not affiliated with Clemson University. The overarching requirements for consideration of a hosted exhibit are that it be clearly tied to the Libraries’ mission, adhere to Libraries’ policies, and enhance the Libraries’ support of research, pedagogy, and intellectual inquiry at Clemson University.

Clemson University Libraries requires that all exhibitors commit to upholding the Libraries’ policy on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and agree to support a climate of mutual respect within the Libraries. Additionally, hosted exhibits will meet one or more of the following goals:

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

In addition, all hosted exhibits must adhere to the following requirements:

  • The exhibit does not promote the financial profit of any individual, organization, or commercial enterprise and does not display items for sale.
  • The exhibit does not promote personal or political positions.
  • The mounting of the exhibit satisfies public safety considerations.
  • The exhibit must contain a label stating the name(s) of the sponsoring individual or group and that materials displayed do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Library and/or University.
  • The exhibit content is accessible and displayed with full ADA compliance.
  • The exhibit is well prepared, well organized, and aesthetically pleasing.

Other factors that will be used in evaluating hosted exhibit proposals are listed below. This list is not exhaustive, and not all exhibits will meet all criteria.

  • Educational content ranging from advanced scholarly contributions to general informational value
  • Relevance to library collections
  • 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 community
  • Representation of an influential movement, genre, trend, or cultures
  • Vitality, originality, artistic expression, and experimentation
  • Incorporation of or coordination with appropriate educational programming
  • Incorporation of meaningful feedback mechanisms
  • Ease and cost of installation

Clemson Libraries reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to approve or deny an external exhibit request, to have final approval for the layout of an approved exhibit, and to make all decisions regarding exhibit duration and placement of the exhibit within a library-managed space. The Libraries has final editorial approval of all publicity and supplemental materials.  Any Libraries staff involved in organizing, curating, and/or mounting exhibits or displays are deemed to be acting within the course of official duties and under the authority of Clemson University Libraries.

Permission to exhibit in Libraries-managed spaces entails an approval process and requires a signed hosted exhibition agreement. All hosted exhibit proposals must be vetted by the Libraries Hosted Exhibits Team. Once a proposal is approved, the Hosted Exhibits Team will liaise with the exhibitor(s) on behalf of the Libraries for the duration of the exhibit. The Libraries provides limited security measures, such as locked display cases when available, but is not responsible for the security or welfare of exhibits or their contents at any time, including during transport, installation, or dismantling.  Special insurance or security requirements should be discussed with the Libraries prior to the decision to host an exhibit. Exhibitors from off-campus are encouraged to insure their exhibit through their own agent.

Exhibits in spaces managed by Clemson Libraries should build on the principles outlined in the Library Bill of Rights (American Library Association), the Freedom to Read Statement (American Library Association and Association of American Publishers), the Freedom to View Statement (American Film and Video Association), and An Affirmation to the Right to Information (Montana Library Association) and the best practices outlined by the Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy.

The Libraries 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 in a Libraries-managed space may submit their complaint and/or their own exhibit proposal to be considered in accordance with the policies established by the Libraries. The Dean of Libraries has the final say on all matters related to Libraries policies.