Denver Public Library Exhibits Policy, Guidelines and Procedures

In support of the Library’s mission, the Library hosts exhibitions.

The Denver Public Library displays materials from its own collections, accepts proposals and also solicits individuals or organizations to provide materials for exhibitions on a variety of topics and interests, appealing to the diverse interests and concerns of the community.

Denver Public Library has sole discretion regarding selection, timeline and in what manner objects loaned are exhibited. The Library retains the right to deny or refuse any exhibit proposal and also has the right to cancel a loan upon reasonable request to the Lender.

Selection Criteria for Exhibits

Aesthetics: Exhibit is pleasing to the perceived public and in keeping with the exhibition space design.

Quality of Exhibit: Art should be in good condition, needing little or no framing or other work to make it viable for display.

Suitability of Exhibit: Exhibit must be suitable for the Denver Public Library’s physical limitations; this may vary from location to location. Art should not require climate control or physical security. Exhibits must be available for a period of three months (some exhibits may last longer). Exhibits should complement Denver Public Library collections and services.

Compliance: Exhibit must comply with all federal, state and local laws, including those pertaining to libel, copyright and pornography. Exhibitors must comply with Denver Public Library Exhibit Guidelines and Procedures below.

Loans of exhibits are subject to all provisions contained within the Colorado Statutes. TITLE 38 PROPERTY – REAL AND PERSONAL/LOANED PROPERTY, Article 14 “Loans to Museums”, paragraphs 38-14-101-38-14-112

Applicable Law

The Library’s exhibit loan agreement shall be construed in accordance with the law of the City and County of Denver, Colorado.

The Denver Public Library observes all federal, state and local laws, including those pertaining to libel, copyright and pornography. The Denver Public Library will exercise reasonable discretion in placement of all exhibits. The Denver Public Library will preserve the public’s right of access and make reasonable efforts to preserve the integrity of an exhibit as a whole.

ALA Library Bill of Rights

The Denver Public Library is dedicated to the concept of intellectual freedom and endorses the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. The Denver Public Library also accepts the Association’s Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights on Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards. These documents were developed to affirm the commitment of libraries to the rights of freedom of speech and expression under the United States Constitution. In selecting and displaying works to exhibit, the Denver Public Library complies with these policies and guidelines.

Exhibit Proposal Process

Exhibit proposals will be assessed for approval by the Library Exhibits Team.
To submit a proposal, please complete the application and submit your proposal to The Exhibits Team reviews proposals and considers future exhibits twice a year in June and December.

Exhibits Policy, Guidelines and Procedures

Exhibitor’s Responsibilities

  • Meet with the Central Operations manager or Branch Senior Librarian to review guidelines and procedures for coordinating the logistical details of the exhibit.
  • Complete and sign Denver Public Library’s Exhibition Agreement and Incoming Loan form, which must be received prior to the exhibition opening.
  • Supply items that are consistent in form, quality and content with original proposal.
  • Assume responsibility for shipping the exhibit. Receiving, installation and removal dates and times must be coordinated with a project manager of the exhibit, designated by the Exhibits Team. Exhibitor is responsible for the cost of installation of the exhibit as well as other fees associated with the installation.
  • Supply titles for items and provide biographical or historical information, as needed. If requested, Exhibitors will provide a representation of exhibit item(s) to be used for publicity purposes.
  • Provide itemized valuation of exhibit works, if applicable, for insurance purposes.


Sales in conjunction with the exhibit are allowed; however, transactions may not be conducted on Library property.

Request for Reconsideration

Persons who object to material exhibited at Denver Public Library may file a Request for Reconsideration. The form is available at any Denver Public Library location.

Reception/Special Event

The Denver Public Library will consider complementary programming and/or space for one two-hour reception, based on available resources and space. If a reception or meeting is scheduled, exhibit organizers will be asked to sign the standard Reservation and Commitment Form provided by DPL.

The event is to be coordinated with the DPL Event Coordinator and must comply with existing guidelines and procedures for events held at the Central Library or Branch Library Location.

To qualify for complimentary event space, the organizer must abide by the following:

  • The event may not be a fundraiser.
  • The event may be held during Library hours only.
  • Alcohol may not be served. If the organizer chooses to serve alcohol, the standard fee for space and security coverage will be charged.

Conditions Covering Loans to Denver Public Library

The conditions set forth apply to all objects loaned to the Denver Public Library and may not be altered, changed, waived or otherwise amended except as agreed upon in writing.

Care, Preservation and Exhibition

Denver Public Library will exercise the same care with respect to loans as it does in the safekeeping of comparable property of its own. Precautions will be taken to protect items from fire, theft, mishandling, insects and extremes of light, temperature and humidity while in the Library’s custody. It is understood by the Lender and the Library that all tangible objects are subject to gradual inherent deterioration for which neither party is responsible.

Evidence of damage at the time of receipt or while in the Library’s custody will be reported to the Lender immediately. It is understood that objects, which in the opinion of the Library show evidence of infestation, may be treated at the discretion of the Library.

The Lender will be requested to provide written authorization for any alteration, restoration or repair. The Library may examine objects by all modern scientific methods.

Denver Public Library has the right to determine which written and interpretive materials will accompany the exhibit.

Transportation, Packing and Related Costs

The Lender certifies that the object(s) loaned are in condition to withstand ordinary strains of packing, transportation and handling. A detailed report of the condition of object(s) must be sent by the Lender to the Denver Public Library prior to the shipment date (unless the object(s) are delivered to the Library by the Lender, at which time the Condition Report will be completed jointly by the Lender and a Library representative).

Arrangements for packing, transportation and scheduling will be the responsibility of the Lender. Lender will assure that the object(s) are adequately and securely packed for the type of shipment agreed upon and will provide the Library with any special instructions for unpacking and repacking. The object(s) will be returned in the same or similar materials as received unless otherwise authorized by the Lender.
If the costs of packing and shipping are the responsibility of the Lender as indicated on page one of the Incoming Loan Agreement, then the Lender will be invoiced for costs. If the costs of packing and shipping are the responsibility of the Library as indicated on page one of the Incoming Loan Agreement, then the Library will pay all related costs directly. If the object(s) are to be returned at the Lender’s request to any address other than indicated on the Incoming Loan Agreement, then the Lender will be liable for any additional costs.


Object(s) will be insured during the period of the loan for the value stated on the Incoming Loan Agreement form under an “all risk” wall-to-wall policy subject to the following standard exclusions: wear and tear, gradual deterioration, insects, vermin or inherent vice, repairing, restoration or retouching processes, hostile or warlike action, insurrection, rebellion, nuclear reaction or radiation, radioactive contamination and terrorism.

If preferred, the Lender may opt to continue his or her own insurance for the period of the loan. However, Denver Public Library will not accept responsibility for any errors or deficiencies in information furnished by the Lender to the insurer or for any lapses in coverage. Prior to the shipment of the object(s) Denver Public Library must be supplied with a Certificate of Insurance naming the Library as an additional insured or waiving rights of subrogation. If the Lender fails to provide said certificate, this failure shall constitute a waiver of insurance by the Lender.

Reproduction and Credit

Unless notified in writing to the contrary, it is understood that object(s) lent to the Denver Public Library may be photographed by the general public. Also, the Denver Public Library may photograph or reproduce the object(s) for educational, catalog and publicity purposes. Unless otherwise notified in writing, the Library will give credit to the Lender as specified in the “Credit” section of the Incoming Loan Agreement in any publications.

Change in Ownership and/or Address

It is the responsibility of the Lender or their agent to notify the Denver Public Library in writing, promptly, if there is any change in ownership of the object(s) or if there is a change in the identity or address of the Lender. The Library assumes no responsibility to search for a Lender or owner who cannot be reached at the address of record.

Return of Loan

Unless agreed otherwise in writing, a loan terminates on the date specified in the Incoming Loan Agreement. Objects will be returned only to the Lender of record or to a location mutually agreed upon in writing by the Library and the Lender of record. In case of uncertainty, the Denver Public Library reserves the right to require a Lender/claimant to establish their legal right to an object in a manner satisfactory to the Library.

If a Condition Report was completed at the beginning of the Loan period it must be completed again at the end of the loan period before items can be returned to the Lender.

Upon termination of a loan the Library will send the Lender a receipt form. This form should be signed and returned within 30 days, indicating any damage or loss. After this period the Denver Public Library is not responsible for any damage or loss claimed by the Lender.

Incoming Loan Agreement

Approved by the Denver Public Library Commission August 2022