Des Moines Public Library Programming Policy

The purpose of library programs is to support our mission as the bridge to a world of information and ideas for personal enjoyment and community growth.

Programs complement other library services by providing an opportunity to highlight collections, promote services and share knowledge and expertise.  Programs stimulate outreach and promotion of the library allowing the library to offer a wide variety of programs to groups and individuals and to attract both regular and new users of all ages and backgrounds.  Programs raise the library’s profile in the community and have a positive impact on library use.

Guidelines for the selection and presentation of programs:

All programs are intended to further the mission of the Library.  They should address one or more of the following educational, recreational and/or civic needs:

  • To increase awareness and the use of library resources
  • To provide opportunity to widen horizons, stimulate imagination and reflection, and enlarge experiences
  • To provide programs for various age groups, cultures, and interests
  • To meet popular demand, both existing and anticipated
  • To promote reading and lifelong learning
  • To increase library use by under-served populations
  • To educate and inform on a variety of topics usually with a focus on one or several of the following areas:
    • Literature and cultural heritage
    • Social awareness
    • Health and well-being
    • Information technology
    • Literacy
    • Current events and high interest topics

Library programs are open to the public. Registration may be required for planning purposes or when space is limited. Programs may be targeted towards a particular audience, such as children, teen or adults and will be advertised as such.  Patrons with special accommodation requests are encouraged to reach out to library staff prior to the event so accommodations can be made ahead of time.

Library staff may work with individuals or groups in the community to bring in presenters on a topic. Presenters and library staff will work together to develop, promote and deliver programs per the needs of both parties. The library is not obligated to represent multiple and/or opposing viewpoints within any one program or series. A program held at the library does not constitute an endorsement of the views expressed by participants and programs must be non-commercial. The sale of products at a library program is not allowed, however authors and artists may obtain library approval to sell their work following a library program in which the author participated with 10% of sales being retained by the library.

The Library reserves the right to deny attendance to anyone becoming disruptive to audience members or the program facilitator, and to anyone in violation of the Library’s Customer Behavior Policy.

Program participants should expect that photographs/video will be taken at events and used on the Library’s social internet sites and/or website.

This policy has been developed in concert with the following American Library Association Guidance Documents:

Libraries: An American Value  

Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights: “Library-initiated Programs as a Resource

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees March 19, 2019