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About the Library

Art Policy

It is the intent of the Parkside Library to provide an aesthetically pleasing gathering space where users interact with ideas and information in physical and virtual environments to enhance learning and facilitate the creation of knowledge. To that end the Parkside Library welcomes opportunities to display art within its public areas.

This public art policy covers gifts of art to the Library or art purchased for the Library by donors as well as art currently on display in the Library. The policy also covers the temporary, long-term loan to the Library of art owned by an individual or a UW-P department or unit. This policy does not cover art accessioned as part of the Library’s collections and not intended for public display. The short-term display of artwork, including UW-P student artwork, is covered in the Art Exhibit Protection Memorandum and Art in the UW-Parkside Library Consent Form.


When the library is offered a piece of fine art for display in a public area, the Space Usage and Planning Committee (SUP) and the Art in the UW-Parkside Library Committee will be notified.

During its discussion and information-gathering process, SUP will consult with appropriate parties. SUP will summarize the recommendations and forward them to the Parkside Library Director. In addition to making a recommendation on acceptance, SUP will recommend the most appropriate location for the art piece in question. SUP also may advise on the style of framing (in the case of a painting or photograph, etc.) or the style of a pedestal base that might be required for a piece of sculpture. SUP will work with Facilities staff on security and/or display issues.


Display of public art is an important part of providing welcoming and amenable facilities and is an enriching aspect of the Library’s service, educational, and outreach programs.

The decision to accept artwork for display in the Library rests entirely with the Library. Upon acceptance, the Library will make all decisions regarding placement, length of time of the display, publicity, and display removal.

When accepting a work of art, the Parkside Library reserves the right to:

  • Exhibit any donated object in a manner that is consistent with Parkside Library’s policies, needs, and available space. Acceptance of a work of art does not imply that it will be on permanent public display.
  • Return loaned art upon SUP’s recommendation and approval of the Library Director.
  • Move and relocate art work for any reason it deems necessary.

Gifts of Artwork

The Parkside Library will consider for acceptance as gifts such pieces of fine art as paintings, sculpture, wall hangings, photographs, and other original works in various media. Gifts of works of art will be accepted without limitations or conditions placed on the Library by the donor or artist unless those limitations or conditions are approved by SUP or the Library Director.

Title to all gifts of art will pass to the Parkside Library. Gifts to the Library remain outright and unrestricted donations to be used according to the sole discretion of the Library.

Donors who wish to receive a tax credit are responsible for getting an appraisal. By law, the Parkside Library cannot provide value estimates on gift material. Donors will receive documentation that will identify and acknowledge the gift without appraising the work of art.

Long-term Temporary Loan of Artwork

In addition to gifts of art or art purchased for the Library by donors, SUP also will evaluate the long-term temporary loan of art owned by an individual or University department or unit. The Art in the UW-Parkside Library Committee may also be consulted.

A written agreement that includes the details for duration, placement, security, and return of the item will cover long-term loans of art works for display. Title of loaned materials will remain with the lending department or person. The care, security, and preservation of artwork that is loaned for display in the Library will be the responsibility of the owner, whether that entity is a department, unit, or individual.

Selection Criteria for Artworks

Overall, the Parkside Library has limited space for the display of art, and therefore it is important to consider very carefully the acceptance of a piece of art for long-term loan or as a gift.

  • Style and nature: The art should be appropriate in scale, material, form, and content for the library environment.
  • Quality and Elements of design: Public art may have other functions in addition to aesthetic enjoyment. For example, a work of art may establish a focal point, modify or enhance a space, or identify a building function. As far as possible, the work of art should complement and enhance the building and its purpose. The reputation of the artist may be a factor in the decision.
  • Durability: Works of art will be examined for durability, taking the library environment and the condition of the piece into consideration. Extremely fragile items or those that are potential targets for vandalism are not appropriate for the library setting.
  • Installation/Maintenance costs: The Library will consider any security issues, the cost of installation, and the cost of maintaining the work over its lifetime. Start-up and ongoing costs for cleaning and mounting will also be considered.
  • Public liability: Works will not be selected or accepted that create unsafe conditions or contain other factors that may bear on public liability.
  • Conditions of acceptance: In the case of gifts or donations, the donor's conditions may affect whether or not the gift will be accepted.
  • Library Discretion: The Library, in its sole discretion, will determine whether to review and accept or reject any gift or proposed artwork.

This policy was adapted from the Public Art Policy of the University of Washington University Libraries.

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