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Public Service Policy

Section 6: Library Programs

6.1 What is a library program?

A program is defined as an event sponsored or co-sponsored by CRCPL, which introduces a group attending to any of the broad range of library services or activities for children or adults, or which directly provides information to participants. A program can be a single event or a series of events that take place at the library, somewhere other than the library, or online. Programming furthers the mission, vision and values of CRCPL.

Programming is a fundamental component of library service that:

  • Introduces attendees to library resources and materials;
  • Provides learning and entertainment opportunities to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of those attending the program;
  • Raises awareness and visibility of the library to the community;
  • Supports and responds to emerging community interests as well as established interests and demands;
  • Expands the library’s role as a cultural and community center; and/or
  • Extends outreach for underserved populations.

CRCPL uses partnerships with non-profit and civic organizations, government and commercial entities in order to reach new audiences and to create opportunities to meet the goals of programming. CRCPL staff may also be available to provide presentations or performances that support other organizations by presenting information about library resources and services on or off-site. This includes scheduled visits to schools, community events, and library tours, among others.

Library programming will align with the Library Bill of Rights (PHI-004) and Library-Initiated Programs as a Resource: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (PHI-004.1).

6.1.1 Attending library programs

Programs will be developed with consideration for the principles of accessibility, equity and inclusiveness, and will contribute to CRCPL’s welcoming environment. Reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that programs are accessible to all who wish to attend and participate.

The library’s philosophy of open access to information and ideas extends to programming. Most programs are free and open to the public; however, some programs or classes may require a nominal materials fee. Optional items may also be available to purchase during a library program, such as books at an author event. Registration may be required for planning purposes or when space is limited.

Some programs may be developed for a particular audience, in which case attendees should be within the appropriate age group such as adults, children or teens, or may require an accompanying adult. CRCPL prioritizes customer safety in the delivery of its services, and reserves the right to set age limits or recommendations for programs. In determining appropriate age recommendations, staff will consider the relevance and suitability of the program’s topic, format and presenter. Programs designed for specific audiences will be publicized as such. All program participants must comply with the Patron Code of Conduct. 

6.1.2 Program selection and scheduling

Library programs must have an educational, informational or cultural value to the community. Programs of a purely commercial nature or those designed for the solicitation of business will not be offered by the library. Examples of programs that would be considered of a commercial nature include, but are not limited to, presentations offered for free but with the intention of soliciting future business.

Library selection of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by presenters. Decisions to provide programs will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the program in serving the interests of CRCPL patrons.

Programs that support or oppose any political candidate or ballot measure will not be approved or offered by the library. However, educational programs, such as candidate forums that include invitations to all recognized candidates may be offered.

Decision criteria: Library staff uses many criteria when making decisions about program topics, speakers and accompanying resources, including:

  • Community needs and interests
  • Relation to library collections, resources, services and events
  • Connections to other community programs, exhibits or events
  • Historical or educational significance
  • Treatment of content for intended audience
  • Presenter expertise and/or public performance experience
  • Popular appeal
  • Library resources (budget, staff time, available space) to support the program

6.1.3 Partnerships and performers

CRCPL may draw upon other community resources when developing programs and may actively partner with other community agencies, organizations, educational and cultural institutions or individuals to develop and present co-sponsored public programs.

Professional performers and presenters that reflect specialized or unique expertise may be hired for programs. Performers and presenters will not be excluded from consideration because of their origin, background or views, or because of possible controversy.

Unsolicited offers from individuals and organizations to present programs may be considered, based on library needs. Programming staff will evaluate the topic and format of the proposed program, and the presenter’s qualifications, based on the decision criteria above. 

6.1.4 Miscellaneous

On-going assessments of the effectiveness of programs are based on attendance, audience satisfaction, and other outcomes.

The Library reserves the right to use video or photographs taken of program participants for internal use, publication, use in library promotional outlets, and evaluation purposes.

The Library Board of Directors delegates development and presentation of programs to the Executive Director and designated department staff.