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Art and Artifacts Acquisition and Display Policy

The Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees will consider prospective gifts and/or purchases of artwork or artifacts in order to determine the appropriateness for inclusion in the Decatur Public Library collection.

An artifact is defined is a physical item to be accepted by the Library for housing in the collection or display within the building.

Organizations or individuals wishing to donate or support the acquisition of art work or an artifact for the Library are requested to communicate their interest to the City Librarian, who will take the proposal to the Board for action.

Work Criteria

Work will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • Artwork acquired by the Decatur Public Library should be of sufficiently high artistic merit to warrant inclusion in the Library collection. This generally requires that the works be unique pieces created by artists of established reputation or recognized potential.
  • Artwork should be compatible with the character of the Library.
  • Artwork must be durable, sound, non-hazardous, and maintainable in terms of the nature of the materials.
    • An exception to this could be made in the case of works that are specifically time based or of a temporary nature when it is understood that their installation would be of limited duration.

Gifts and Recognition

The Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees will consider all artwork offered as a gift to Decatur Public Library. In addition to the criteria above, the Board will take into account the significance of artwork as it relates to the Library’s presence within the community.

Decatur Public Library will provide recognition to all individuals, groups and/or corporations who donate services, financial support or gifts of art to the Library. Appropriate recognition will be determined through consultation with the donor and will generally be consistent with the recognition given to Library donors. Display of accepted artwork is at the discretion of the Decatur Public Library. There is no obligation for display.


Once a piece of art is accepted into the Library’s collection the work will be owned and insured by Decatur Public Library. Basic upkeep is then the responsibility of Decatur Public Library. Major conservation or repairs are then the responsibility of Decatur Public Library.

The Decatur Public Library will work to retain all works accepted as gifts, but does retain the right to de-acquisition any items if it is seen to be in the best interest of the Library. Any deacquisition would have to be approved by the Decatur Public Library Board.

Artwork Removal

The Library welcomes citizens’ expressions of opinion concerning artwork displayed at the Library. Requests to remove materials will be considered within the context of the policies set forth in this document. Anyone who wishes to request that a specific item be considered for removal in the collection of materials is asked to complete and sign the Request for Removal Form, available at Decatur Public Library. The form will be forwarded to the City Librarian, who will consider the request in a timely fashion, in consultation with the Board of Trustees. The questioned material will be reviewed, in its entirety, and once a decision has been made regarding the retention or removal of the material, a letter will be sent to the person, explaining the decision. If the person indicates dissatisfaction with the resolution, he/she may appeal to the Board of Trustees. The Board will reconsider the decision based on whether or not the particular title conforms to the Board-approved Art and Artifacts Policy, as outlined above.

Approved by Board of Trustees February 17, 2000, Reviewed September 18, 2014, Amended November 16, 2017, Reviewed January 21, 2021