Exhibits Policy

Introduction and Purpose

Exhibits reflect the scholarly, historical, social and cultural concerns of Arizona State University and its community.

Their purpose is to promote interest in and use of the collections and services of the ASU Library and closely related organizations. Exhibits focus on topics consistent with the overall scholarly and cultural concerns of the University.

This policy applies to the exhibit spaces in Hayden and Noble libraries including, but not limited to common areas, such as lobbies, foyers, corridors, general traffic and study areas. Individual library departments or units are responsible for any exhibits in their own areas and are encouraged to follow these general guidelines.

I. Exhibit Functions

In general, the functions of exhibits in the ASU Library are to educate, enlighten and enrich and to broaden the Library's and University's appeal to the public and increase awareness and access to the Library's collections through their display.

Attainment of these is not easily measured. The constant flow of viewers may remain reason enough to continue this program.

II. Library Exhibits Committee (hereafter, Exhibits Committee)

The Exhibits Committee is designated to facilitate exhibitions and will review and approve all exhibit proposals. Exhibit proposals will be juried and the Committee may request that changes be made in the interest of aesthetics, content, preservation of materials, and general appropriateness to the Library and the University.

Questions or problems concerning exhibits in the common areas of Hayden and Noble libraries should be directed to the Exhibits Committee. Should the policy need further definition or should exceptions be requested, the University Librarian will exercise final authority regarding interpretation and/or implementation.

III. Exhibit Guidelines

A. Focus of Exhibits

  1. Exhibits will focus on topics consistent with the overall scholarly and cultural concerns of the University. The ASU Library Exhibits Committee will determine if the proposed exhibit is consistent with these concerns.
  2. Exhibits shall not be used to promote personal, commercial or organizational positions. Topics subject to controversy may be presented, provided that they are approved by ASU Library Administration and handled in an objective manner.

B. Application Procedure

  1. Proposal forms may be obtained from http://lib.asu.edu/exhibits/exhibitform
  2. Submitted proposals will be reviewed at the next regular meeting of the Exhibits Committee (2nd Monday of each month)

C. Preservation Guidelines

The ASU Library has a responsibility to exhibit a broad range of library and related materials, including rare and valuable items from its special collections, for the education and pleasure of the University community. At the same time, the ASU Library is responsible to protect and preserve these materials. The following guidelines are intended to allow the Library to fulfill both responsibilities.

  1. Condition of Materials to be exhibited:
    1. The condition of exhibited materials directly reflects upon ASU Library and its curatorial responsibilities. Consequently, exhibited materials should be in good condition as ascertained by the Preservation Unit. Condition Review should be requested as soon as possible to allow the exhibitor to choose alternate materials in better condition, if necessary, or to arrange for conservation treatment prior to the exhibit. A Preservation Unit Representative will compile a priority list for treatment based on condition, usually in consultation with the curator(s).
    2. Very fragile, rare, unique, or otherwise extremely vulnerable materials should not be exhibited unless special arrangements are made in consultation with the Exhibits Committee, the appropriate collections curator, and the Preservation Department. In general, original photographs should not be exhibited unless special arrangements can be made.
  2. Environmental Standards
    1. Light: In general, UV radiation and intensity of visible light should be kept as low as possible. Ideally, lower limits would be a maximum of 50-75 microwatts per lumen of UV radiation and 300 lux. Light levels in exhibit areas should be determined and adjusted by filtering or a reduction in light sources if possible. If materials are to be displayed in an area where light is too intense, the exhibit should be of a proportionately shorter duration. Library materials should never be displayed in cases with internal lighting of any kind. In general, photographs should be evaluated by a representative of the Preservation Dept. for exhibit suitability as relates to lighting.
    2. Heat and relative humidity: Environmental conditions in exhibit areas should be monitored regularly. Temperatures should range from 65-75F and relative humidity (RH) should not fluctuate widely. Extremely hot, dry or humid conditions should be avoided and valuable materials should be removed from exhibits where dangerous levels of heat and humidity cannot be controlled.
    3. Air pollution: Materials should not be placed within exhibit cases that will have the effect of polluting the case micro-environment and/or that might endanger the condition of any of the materials on exhibit within the case.
  3. Manner of Exhibit
    1. Handling and Physical Support: Materials should be handled as little as is necessary in preparation and dismantling of exhibits. Only those trained in handling fragile or valuable materials should be allowed to assist in preparation. Physical supports should be designed and used to avoid damage and stress to fragile materials. These supports should be of acid-free materials and sufficiently strong to provide support for the duration of the exhibit. Book pages should be held open with polyester ribbons. Books should never be forced open or unnaturally restrained and positioned for display. All supports should be as visually and physically unobtrusive as possible and should be clean, well-crafted, and of uniform materials and appearance.
    2. Security: Materials should be protected from vandalism or accidental harm. Display cases must have secure locks and exhibits must be located in areas where they can be monitored by library staff. Use of keys for the display cases is regulated by the Exhibits Committee or designated location librarians.

D. Exhibitor Responsibility

Each exhibit must have a liaison from either the Exhibits Committee or the ASU Library. The Chair of the Exhibits Committee will identify a liaison appropriate for the exhibit being proposed. Each exhibit must have a liaison designated prior to the approval of the exhibit proposal. The liaison will act in the best interest of ASU Library and the Exhibits Committee. The person proposing the exhibit (originator) will assume full responsibility to plan and arrange for installing and dismantling the exhibit. The originator, if outside the ASU Library system, will cover special costs incurred in mounting the exhibit, including the repair of any damage to the building or library property caused in installation or removal of the exhibit. The originator will provide suitable descriptive annotations for the items and materials contained in the exhibit.

Exhibits should be installed within two days of specified start dates. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of the time and space allocated for the exhibit. Materials must be removed promptly at the close of the exhibit period. If the exhibitor cannot meet the schedule agreed upon, the liaison for the exhibit and the Exhibits Committee should be notified immediately to make arrangements for the dismantling of the exhibit.

E. Special Arrangement and Requirements

Security and Insurance: Loaned objects and materials are afforded the same security protection as that of all library materials. Additional security cannot be provided by the Library. If a specific valuation is placed on exhibited items, that dollar amount should be reported to the committee.

Physical Arrangements: Reasonable efforts should be made to make all exhibits accessible to everyone, with special provisions, when possible, to accommodate the disabled. An exhibit must not constitute a physical hazard or impede research or regular library use.