Library Programming FAQ
#Public Programming Policy
Policy Revision: May 20, 2021
Policy Adoption: January 21, 2021
This Programming Policy, approved by the Board of Library Trustees (BOLT) of the Jacksonville Public Library (Library), establishes the standard for the selection and development of all programs presented by and on the behalf of the Jacksonville Public Library, and which support the Library's mission to “enrich lives, build community, and foster success by bringing people, information, and ideas together.”
The presentation of a program by or on behalf of the Library does not constitute BOLT or Library endorsement of the program’s content or the views expressed by any presenter(s) or participants. The Library recognizes that some programs may be controversial and that any given program may offend some customers. As with other Library provided services, minors’ access to programs is the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians.
#Program Definition and Standards
The Jacksonville Public Library defines a program as an intentional activity or event in a group setting developed to meet the needs and/or interests of an anticipated target audience and build relationships between participants and the Library. Programs will be designed and delivered to meet all of the following quality standards:
- Provide outstanding customer experience;
- Promote the Library’s collections and resources;
- Deliver active, developmentally appropriate, and culturally sensitive learning opportunities;
- Ensure that the program is research-based, with clear outcomes and purpose.
Programs will include, but will not be limited to, lectures, community forums, visual and performance art, interactive workshops, continuing education, fairs and conventions, and discussion groups.
The Library provides engaging programs to meet the informational, educational, and cultural interests of Duval County residents. Library programs will be designed and delivered to provide enjoyable learning experiences that meet at least one of the following outcomes:
- Participant gains awareness of the Library’s resources and services;
- Participant gains new knowledge;
- Participant develops a skill; or
- Participant gains exposure to new ideas and/or diverse
The Library is committed to providing inclusive and welcoming programming for the community it serves. Library programs are open to all and there is no charge to attend, however, the Library may require advanced registration to ensure that adequate supplies and resources will be available for all attendees. Additionally, the Library reserves the right to limit attendance based on considerations of the program, such as age of intended audience; resource, supply or space limitations; or status as a cardholder.
All programs may be live-streamed or recorded for later playback, either in person or via web- enabled technologies unless otherwise explicitly agreed to in writing by an external presenter and the Library.
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws, policies, guidelines, directives and procedures. Ultimate responsibility for the selection of all library programs rests with the Library Director, who administers programs under the authority of the BOLT.
Programs developed and delivered by and for the Library will meet strategic priorities and service quality standards established by the BOLT, and will have a written plan that clearly defines goals, intended audiences, descriptions, outcomes, and objectives. Among the criteria considered when making decisions about a specific program, potential topics, presenters, and related resources will be the following:
- Safety and security of customers and staff
- Community needs and interests
- Ability to supplement and extend information found in Library’s collections, resources, and exhibits
- Ability to promote the Library and encourage use of its resources
- Presentation quality
- Presenter background and qualifications in content area
- Historical, cultural, or educational significance
- Age appropriateness content
- Availability of program space
- Availability of necessary budget resources
The Library will not provide:
- Programs of a purely commercial nature or those designed for the solicitation of business for third parties;
- Programs that specifically support or oppose any political party, candidate, or ballot measure; or
- Programs that support or oppose a specific religion. Programs may address religious themes to educate or inform, but will not promote or proselytize a particular religious conviction.
The Library draws upon local and national expertise to assist in program delivery. Professional performers and presenters with specialized or unique expertise may be hired to assist in program design and/or delivery.
The Library will require all onsite presenters (paid or unpaid) to complete a criminal background check, as defined by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) prior to the delivery of any program or presentation. For presenters who live outside the State of Florida, the Library will also perform a comparable criminal background check in the presenter’s state of residence.
The Library may approve the sale of materials as part of a Library-presented program, when the sale is in support of the Library’s programming objectives, the Library’s mission or financially supports the Library.
#Reconsideration of Library Programs
The Library welcomes and encourages expression of customer opinions about its programs, as this information can help identify gaps in offerings. Decisions related to the addition to and deletion from the Library’s catalog of services or program schedule will not be made solely based on customer feedback, but will be considered along with other relevant information gathered about the program and outlined in this policy.
Customers who wish to have a program reconsidered shall submit a signed, written request including rationale to the Library Director following current Library procedure. The request for reconsideration will be reviewed by the Library Director per Library procedure, after which, the Library Director will communicate the result and the reason for it, in writing, to the customer who initiated the request.
In the event that the customer who initiated the request is not satisfied with the decision, the customer must present a written appeal of the Library Director’s decision to the BOLT, which may authorize the Governance Committee to address the appeal. Upon completing its review, the BOLT will authorize the Library Director to communicate in writing the BOLT’s decision and the reason for it. The Library is not obligated to approve any request for reconsideration.
The Board of Library Trustees authorizes the Library Director to establish procedures to administer this policy, and to delegate any and all responsibilities herein to other staff through such procedures.
APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES JANUARY 21, 2021
REVISION APPROVED MAY 20, 2021