Library Mission: The mission of Manitowoc Public Library (MPL) is to promote a culture of reading and to provide access to information. Through services, we strive to foster an environment that meets the educational, recreational and cultural needs of the community.
Purpose: This policy reflects the Library's philosophy regarding free and open access to information and ideas for all groups and ages. A person’s right to attend a program, view a display or have access to brochures, will not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, sex, background, views, sexual orientation, disability, or ability to pay. Attending a program may be prevented to patrons if attendance exceeds the rated capacity of the meeting room or other available programming space.
Responsibility for programming at the Library or offsite library-sponsored programming rests with the Executive Director, under the authority of the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director utilizes library staff, collections, services, and facilities in developing and delivering programming. Library programming shall not exclude topics, materials, speakers, media, or other resources due to possible controversy. Library staff use the following, but are not limited to, criteria for selecting topics for programming. In no particular order:
- Community needs, interests, and relevant issues
- Availability of program space and presenters
- Presentation quality
- Presenter background/qualifications in content area
The fact that programming is sponsored by the Library does not mean the speaker’s view or programming content is endorsed by the Library, its staff, or by the Board of Trustees.
For planning purposes, registration may be required when space is limited.
The Executive Director, or designee, must approve any sales of products at all library programs.
Programming is not meant to be used to further commercial, religious, partisan purposes, or the solicitation of business.
The Library does not provide names or addresses of people attending library programs. Presenters cannot collect a list of names or addresses of attendees. However, the Library will not prevent individual members of the audience from willingly giving a speaker or co-sponsor their names after the program.
Due to limited time, space, and resources, the Library cannot be involved as a sponsor for all worthy program ideas. Individuals, community groups, and businesses may rent or use library meeting rooms to sponsor their own activities in accordance with the Library's meeting room policies. (Meeting Room Policy)
Program proposals and/or suggestions may be submitted through the Library’s website. (Questions and comments)
The Library provides space for the distribution of brochures, magazines, posters and similar materials, which are submitted by the public. Space is also provided in the Library for posters advertising events sponsored by recognized non-profit organizations. Brochures and other printed materials advertising for-profit services will not be accepted. Space is provided based on availability, and is at the discretion of the Executive Director or their designee.
Space for these items is provided on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Materials shall not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation; nor shall they be removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. Although space is provided, the Library does not claim to endorse the viewpoints in displayed materials.
All brochures, posters, magazines, and similar materials must be submitted to staff at a library service desk for approval. The Library will not return items submitted for postings.
- Program(ming): A facilitated or passive activity that takes place in person or virtually and includes, but is not limited to, speakers, instruction, events, presentations, films, concerts, exhibits, displays, artwork, or other formats that support the Library’s mission.
- Sponsor(ship): The Library serves as a partner in facilitating programming through promotion and support, externally and internally, at no charge.