Exhibitions Policy

The Rutgers University Libraries (the Libraries) organize exhibitions of 1) scholarly and historic resources from the library collections, possibly supplemented by objects from personal collections of guest curators or other collaborators, and 2) art and related materials. Exhibitions serve the Libraries mission to support and enrich the instructional, research, and public service missions of the University.

The Libraries faculty and staff organize exhibitions based on university events, curricular offerings, and topics of interest to the university community, broadly conceived. The exhibitions organized by the Libraries do not have an open submission process

Items borrowed for exhibitions and display are given the same care as comparable library property. In the event that an object is damaged in any way while in the custody of the Libraries, the Libraries agree that they are solely responsible for providing insurance for such damage. A loan agreement that specifies the details of responsibility and insurance must be executed by the owner and the Libraries.

The Libraries support the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association (ALA), which recognizes the importance of the free expression of ideas, as well as the ALA Code of Ethics and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Principles 7 and 8 directly apply to exhibitions and art:

  1. Freedom of information and of creative expression should be reflected in library exhibits and in all relevant library policy documents.
  2. Library meeting rooms, research carrels, exhibit spaces, and other facilities should be available to the academic community regardless of research being pursued or subject being discussed. Any restrictions made necessary because of limited availability of space should be based on need, as reflected in library policy, rather than on content of research or discussion.

Exhibitions are organized in the following venues:

  • Camden: Robeson Library
  • New Brunswick/Piscataway: Alexander Library, Art Library, Chang Science Library, Douglass Library, East Asian Library, Kilmer Library, Library of Science and Medicine, Special Collections and University Archives
  • Newark: Dana Library, Smith Library

Comments or concerns about the art works, exhibit themes, or other items on display may be submitted in writing to:

  • Camden: Director, Paul Robeson Library
  • New Brunswick/Piscataway: Director, New Brunswick Libraries
  • Newark: Director, John Cotton Dana Library; Director, Health Sciences Libraries (includes George F.  Smith Library)

The Libraries will acknowledge in writing all concerns, offer the opportunity for discussion, and undertake a review of all such concerns. No changes will be made to the display of the exhibition or art work in question during the review. At the conclusion of the review, a written response will be sent. An appeal of the outcome may be made to the Associate University Librarian for Planning and Organizational Research.

Approved by the University Librarian’s Cabinet, March 12, 2013