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Displays and Exhibitions

Policy for Displays and Exhibitions in Libraries


Devon County Council supports and encourages access to information for all, enabling individuals to make informed decisions. It welcomes the representation of different points of view even if those views relate to controversial topics such as hunting or nuclear disarmament or are contrary to Devon County Council's official view, eg planning issues.

A notice will be exhibited in all libraries stating "The views expressed in any display, poster or leaflet on library premises do not necessarily reflect those of Devon County Council, nor does the Council endorse any goods or services advertised".


Subject to the availability of space, a reasonable standard of physical presentation, and the conditions detailed below, Devon County Council will accept displays, posters and leaflets in libraries.

Advertising of non Devon County Council goods and services is acceptable only in the fields of education, health facilities, and tourist attractions, or where a contract has been agreed with Devon County Council.

Advertising of job vacancies is permitted for volunteer and Devon County Council posts and for posts advertised on officially sanctioned Jobcentre boards only.

Displays, posters or leaflets will not be accepted for display if they are:

  • Of a party political nature, produced by official political parties or affiliated organisations or seek to persuade the public to a particular party political view
  • Illegal or offensive to public taste and decency
  • Appealing for money or donations, unless an exception has been granted by the relevant Devon County Council Committee

Devon Library and Information Services reserve the right to refuse displays, posters or leaflets which:

  • Are deemed capable of provoking a breach of the peace
  • Advertise events or campaigns where any of the following apply:
    • A formally constituted group or organisation is not identified as responsible for the event or campaign
    • No contact details for the group or organisation are included
    • Highly emotive, strident or abusive language is used
    • Are of a personal nature
  • No petitions (other than those sanctioned by the appropriate committee of Devon County Council) or canvassing are allowed on library premises.
  • Surveys and questionnaires, other than those generated or specifically sanctioned by Devon County Council, are not normally permitted on library premises, but may be included in the context of a display. Representatives may staff their displays, but may not approach members of the public direct.
  • Posters and leaflets may only be placed on display by members of library staff, except in cases where a specific noticeboard is dedicated to the use of a named organisation. Any posters or leaflets displayed in contravention of this condition may be removed and destroyed by library staff.
  • Posters and leaflets will be displayed for limited periods only, subject to space considerations, with precedence being given to local material. Priorities will be as follows:
    • Local events and information
    • Local educational courses
    • Details of local organisations
    • Health and welfare information
    • Local tourist attractions
    • Literary and cultural events and awards
    • Consumer affairs
    • National educational courses
  • They may be removed by library staff when a reasonable period has elapsed (in the case of posters, normally no longer than 2 weeks), or when an advertised event has taken place.
  • Posters and leaflets sent by email, if acceptable for display, will normally be referred to the sender for printed copies to be supplied. In exceptional circumstances, where the library agrees to print and distribute copies, printing will usually be in black and white only.
  • Donated periodicals will be displayed only if they are such that the Library Service would have considered acquisition or purchase in line with current stock policy and if space allows.
  • Posters, leaflets and periodicals which are not acceptable for display may, at the request of the provider, be placed on file for a limited period and made available to any enquirers.


The following terms and conditions supplement Devon County Council's general policy for displays, posters and leaflets in libraries

Booking terms

The maximum display period is normally two consecutive weeks. Exceptions may be made for displays supported or promoted by Devon County Council.

Each organisation will normally be permitted only one display within the period of a year, plus one as part of an "umbrella" display. Exceptions may be made for Devon County Council departments.

  • Advance bookings will be accepted, normally up to 12 months ahead.
  • All bookings must be made by arrangement with the Librarian in charge of the library in question.
  • Booking or hiring of a display slot does not entitle the booker / hirer to exclusive use of the display space.

While every effort will be made not to cancel bookings, Devon Library and Information Services reserves the right to do so. In such an event any charges paid will be refunded, but the Library Service will not be responsible for any other losses.

Responsibility statement

All displays are required to show details of the person or organisation responsible for mounting it, together with contact details through which the press and public may contact the organiser direct.

Loss and damage

Devon County Council is not responsible for loss of or damage to any exhibit arising from negligence or otherwise, and it is the responsibility of the booker / hirer to effect any necessary insurances.

Bookers / hirers are required to make good any damage not due to fair wear and tear caused to the premises or to its contents by themselves or by anyone assisting them with their display. They will be responsible for and indemnify Devon County Council in respect of all claims arising out of their use of the premises, whether for damage to property or injury to any person, including damage to their own property or injury to themselves.

Health and safety

Bookers / hirers wishing to use their own electrical equipment on library premises are responsible for ensuring that the equipment is safe and is used in a manner which conforms with its operating instructions, and will be required to complete a "Request to use electrical equipment on library premises" form.

While a few libraries have display boards which can be made available for use on the premises, most do not. Bookers / hirers supplying their own boards must ensure that they are suitable for the purpose and do not pose a health and safety risk (see also under Loss and damage above).

Setting up, dismantling and transporting displays

Displays which have not been removed by the agreed time and date may be dismantled by library staff and a charge in compensation for the time incurred may be levied. If they are not collected within a reasonable period, library staff will be at liberty to dispose of them in whatever way thought fit. Any charges incurred for such disposal will be reimbursed by the booker / hirer.

Assistance cannot be given in setting up or dismantling displays or in moving them to, from, or between libraries.


Standard charges will apply for certain categories of display, as detailed below. The rate of charge quoted is that current at the date of adoption of these Terms and Conditions, and will be reviewed annually as part of Devon Library and Information Services' normal Fees and Charges review process. In the case of displays not falling clearly into one of the categories below, the decision of the Head of Library and Information Services is final

A: Exempted categories

No charge will be made for the following, provided there is no advertising or selling of goods:

Displays organised or invited by Devon Library and Information Services

Devon County Council directorates

Official consultation exercises carried out by local or national government

Maintained schools

Local or national clubs, societies and organisations

Amateur art / craft groups not selling goods or accepting orders. Note: because of the requirement for contact details to be displayed (see Responsibility Statement above), an explicit statement is required to the effect that the items are not for sale and orders will not be taken. In the absence of such a statement, the display will be deemed to be chargeable under category B (see below)

Non-commercial art / craft demonstrations with no implicit or overt sales of goods or services

B: Basic charge

The following scale of charges will apply per week or part of a week to the categories detailed below:

Exeter Central Library: £100

Barnstaple Library: £75

Branch libraries: £50

Independent schools

Health centres / groups where any or all of the services promoted are private

Tourist attractions

Individual art / craft workers or amateur art / craft groups selling items or accepting orders.

Art / craft groups and individuals may choose instead to pay 20% commission on all sales / orders plus VAT. In such instances, a refundable deposit of 20% of the above rates may be required before the booking take place.

Where very small display areas are used or where the display is for one or two days only, a proportion of the above charge may be waived at the discretion of the local librarian, subject to a minimum charge of £10. In some libraries a fixed lower rate may apply for small defined areas such as wallcases.

C: Commercial charge

Companies, business, or other organisations selling goods or services, not covered by the definitions above, will be charged double the above rates, without the commission option.


If selling goods or services, the hirer or his / her representative will be wholly responsible for sales and for the securing of any takings.

Payment terms

All hire fees must be paid in advance, within 2 weeks of Devon Library and Information Services' acceptance of the hiring, failing which the hiring may be cancelled. Any required deposit for commission based bookings must be paid before the display takes place, and a written statement of total sales / orders or nil sales / orders sent to the library within four weeks of the end of the display period. The hirer will then be invoiced for 20% commission on sales plus VAT and the deposit returned. If no return is received within four weeks, the deposit will not be refunded.