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Exhibit Displays Policy 



The Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield (PLJCS) invites local artists to display their artwork within the library.  PLJCS offers display space for the exhibition of artwork, crafts, and collections of unique, interesting, or historically significant items to fulfill its mission of supporting literacy, fostering connections, enriching lives, and increasing public awareness of the library’s resources.  All exhibits are free and open to the public.



PLJCS maintains a reservation calendar to display artwork from the Johnston County Arts Council, area schools, and emerging and experienced artists. The library provides hanging hardware in the designated display area for use in displaying artwork. Also available are two (2) display cases that can be reserved. Neither the library nor the County is liable for any damage to artwork displayed on library property.


Guidelines for Exhibit Displays at PLJCS

Guidelines for displaying artwork are listed below, followed by the library's official Art Display Policy. Please read through these before reserving the Art Display area or Display cases.

  • Artwork must have wire hangers or other applicable hanging fixtures that will work with the library's hanging display system. 

  • Artists must supply their own easels or display stands for free-standing art. 

  • All artwork is to be hung or set up, and taken down by the artist.

  • Pieces to be hung should weigh no more than 15 lbs.

  • Stable enough to withstand handling. The library cannot guarantee the artwork will not be touched.

  • Ladders or stools will be provided by the library for use in hanging or removing pieces.

  • The name and contact information for the group or individual preparing the display must be a part of the display.

Sale of Artwork

The artist may elect to sell their artwork and should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All transactions are between the artist and the buyer, with no commission being sought by the Library.

  • The artist must provide promotional materials, contact information, and pricing information at their expense.

  • The Library will not handle sales of artwork.

Exhibit Policy

The library encourages exhibitions of painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, and more for civic, cultural, educational and recreational purposes. Exhibit space is made available on an equitable basis to individuals or groups with respect to artworks that best meet the standards for acceptance.


Library staff use the following criteria in making decisions about display topics, materials, and accompanying resources:


  • Community needs and interest

  • Availability of display space

  • Historical or educational significance 

  • Connection to other community or national programs, exhibitions, or events

  • Relation to library collections, resources, exhibits, and programs


In addition, the library draws upon other community resources in developing displays and exhibits and may partner with other community agencies, organizations, educational institutions, or individuals to develop displays. 


The following Exhibit Policy guidelines for the Art Display area and Display cases apply:


  • All displays of original art (not including those produced or solicited by the library) must be reviewed and accepted by the Library Director or library staff designee.

  • Artwork displays will be scheduled and reserved for a period of one month.

  • Library use of display areas takes precedence over any other use and the library reserves the right, without notice, to cancel the use of the display area by exhibits if the Director determines that the display space is needed for library purposes.

  • Library-produced or solicited displays (including children's artwork) will have priority over displays proposed by non-library groups or individuals. In addition, preference is given to applicants from Johnston County.

  • The library reserves the right to refuse display space to exhibits that, in its opinion, do not further the mission and philosophy stated above.

  • The library does not accept responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single display. Granting of permission to display materials does not imply staff, Library Director, or Board endorsement of content, nor will the library accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made in such materials. 

  • The library assumes no responsibility for theft, loss, damage or destruction of items left for display.

  • All displays will meet existing State and Federal laws on obscenity, libel, defamation of character or invasion of privacy.

  • All displays must adhere to established guidelines for mounting.

  • The Library Board of Trustees authorizes the Library Director to establish guidelines and procedures to facilitate the use of this policy including those for application for consideration, artist notification, mounting and display, and other necessary processes.


 The Library Director is the final authority with regard to enforcing this policy.



Approved by the Board 9/14/09: Revised on 11/27/2023.

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