Exhibit Space Policy


Exhibitions in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library are designed to highlight significant library, university, local, or national events, art, or scholarship and may also relate to the library’s resources or the general interest of its patrons. As such, displays serve to foster debate and discussion on a wide range of issues, and some displays may be discomfiting to the viewer.

Library exhibitions will be informative, educational, or aesthetic. The subject matter will be appropriate to the interests of the general academic community, and presented on a level appropriate for a university library. The Library will ensure that the physical presentation of the intellectual content presents narratives in a visually compelling way.

In accordance with the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, the Z. Smith Reynolds Library will not exclude exhibitions “because of origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.” Likewise, exhibition material will not be “proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” The library makes exhibition spaces available “on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs, affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.”

The following criteria apply as exhibit proposals are considered, although not all exhibits will meet all criteria:

  • Educational content ranging from advanced scholarly contributions to general informational value
  • Relevance to WFU campus activities, events, and climate
  • Appropriateness of subject, technique, and style for intended location and audience
  • Relation to other events or exhibits in the community
  • Representation of an influential movement, genre, trend, or national culture
  • When the topic is controversial, an objective presentation representing multiple/varied perspectives is included
  • Does not promote the partisan political, religious, or social doctrines of any single person or group
  • Reflects vitality, originality, artistic expression, and experimentation
  • Does not promote the financial profit of any individual, organization, or commercial enterprise
  • Ease and cost of installation

The Library reserves the right to approve or disapprove all exhibit requests, to have final approval for the layout of the exhibit, and to make all decisions regarding length of exhibit duration, placement of the exhibit within a library, and content of publicity.


All requests for exhibit spaces will be made through our exhibit request form wherein we identify the scope of the exhibit, any existing linkage to other programs (library, campus, local, or national), the size of the exhibit, any environmental conditions necessary to support it, and the date and duration that the exhibit is requested to be on display. Once received, the exhibit request will be reviewed by the Exhibition Review Committee. Photos or examples of the exhibit material may also be requested for review. Acceptance of an exhibit request will be determined within 4 weeks of submission. Exhibition proposals submitted at least 6 months in advance are more likely to be successful due to space and scheduling constraints.

The Committee welcomes exhibition proposals in these formats: photography, painting, drawing, sculpture and research projects. The expectation of the Committee is that applicants will have a clear proposal that includes a compelling and feasible project that will fit appropriately in dedicated exhibit space in the library. Exhibits that require electricity cannot be supported at this time. The Committee also expects that the exhibitor will ensure necessary labels and signage will provide context. If support is needed for labels, signage, installation materials, etc, please explicitly include that information in the request. Exhibitors should also be prepared to assist in the installation and de-installation of their exhibit.

Those who wish to display a banner on the front of the library will submit a banner request form on DeaconSpace. Approved banners will meet these guidelines:

  • Promotes WFU academic life
  • Promotes university events
  • Publicizes university programming with campus impact
  • Font size large enough to be seen from 50 feet away