[Libs-Or] Policies regarding co-sponsoring programs?

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org
Wed Apr 3 17:32:41 PDT 2013

I'm curious if any of you have specific policies about co-sponsoring programs with local community groups. 
Our policy regarding our meeting space boils down to basically, anyone can use it, and use of the library's space does not constitute library or city endorsement.
We have also co-sponsored events with local community groups such as the AAUW and such: basically, we share costs and advertise the program as "Driftwood Public Library and the AAUW present X Program On X Nifty Thing." We don't have an official policy on this (bad Kirsten!) but the general view has been that we were willing to co-sponsor programs that were aligned with the library's mission -- most often it happens that a community group approaches us an says, "We were planning on doing a program on X, can we have it at the library?" and we say, "We were thinking of doing a program on that, too -- why don't we co-sponsor it?" 
My library's advisory board has recently questioned this, since some of the groups we've partnered with could be considered partisan or religious. Our feeling at the library has tended to be that as long as the program was educational and fit the library's mission, we were willing to work with these groups. I do think my board is right to express concern that in the absence of a policy, we may be setting a bad precedent -- but my instinct is that it has to be all or nothing -- either we're willing to co-sponsor events that fit the library's mission with any group, or we can't co-sponsor at all.
I'm curious about how other libraries have handled this and whether you have written policies to this effect. 
Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney
Library Director
Driftwood Public Library
801 SW HWY 101, #201
Lincoln City, OR 97367
kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org
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