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

MaryKay Dahlgreen marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us
Thu Apr 4 09:16:57 PDT 2013

Seaside Public Library was sued over a meeting room request issue recently, I would suggest you contact them for information. It was specifically about meeting room use policies, not co-sponsoring which is also an excellent question.

MaryKay Dahlgreen
State Librarian
Oregon State Library
marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us

From: libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Max Macias
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 8:41 AM
To: Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney
Cc: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] Policies regarding co-sponsoring programs?

Hi Kirsten,

I'm interested to know if you would allow a White-Supremacist group, or a Satanic group to use your facilities for meetings.

Would you allow such usage of library resources?

If not, what would you say, what would be your rationale?

If so, what would your rationale be then?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic--this is a genuine question.

This is an interesting discussion--thank you!

Max Macias

On Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 5:32 PM, Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney <kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org<mailto:kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org>> wrote:
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<mailto:kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org>

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