Programming Policy

Note: This policy refers to programs sponsored by the Springfield Library Department, not to programs held at the Library by community groups.

The Springfield City Library offers programs intended to further the Library’s mission. The library functions as an information, recreational, and cultural resource for the community. Programs are a means through which the public can share experiences, appreciate special interests, and exchange information.

All programs must be open to the public and offered free of charge. Authors or performers may sell their books or other materials as part of a library program.  The Friends of the Springfield Library, Inc., or the Springfield Library Foundation may fundraise to benefit the Library at a program.

The Library endeavors to include a broad spectrum of opinion and viewpoints in Library-initiated programs and exhibits. Community input strongly influences programming and is collected through surveys, civic associations, and direct conversations with staff. Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute or imply an endorsement of its content by any library personnel or by the Springfield Library Commission.

Program presenters will be selected from local, regional, and national talent in order to prepare programs that reflect the diversity of the city and the world. Requests from individuals to present programs are considered and weighed against the public’s demonstrated interest in the topic, available  budget, and other allocated resources, as well as the presenter’s demonstrated qualifications, expertise, and reputation.  Program decisions ae made by staff program coordinators.

Library programs will be offered at all locations throughout the city and are at times  offered at locations outside the library as well, such as visits to schools, community centers, information fairs, and housing complexes. The Library strives to offer an equitable number of programs throughout the city. Staffing levels and building size may affect the number and types of programs offered at any location.

Every attempt will be made to accommodate all who wish to attend a program. However, when safety or the success of a program requires it, attendance may be limited. When limits must be established, attendance will be determined on a first come, first served basis, either with advanced registration or at the door.

In some cases, the nature and success of a program may require a limited attendance based on age, especially programs intended for children and teens that are geared to their interests and developmental needs. The Library will never limit program attendance due to topic.

The library does not offer programs of a purely commercial nature. Examples of programs that would be considered of a commercial nature include but are not limited to presentations offered for free but with the intention of soliciting future business.

The library does not offer programs that support or oppose any political candidate or ballot measure. However, election information, such as candidates’ forums that include invitations to all recognized candidates, may be offered.

The library does not offer programs that support or oppose specific religious convictions.  Seasonal programs may be offered. The Library will endeavor to provide programs that reflect the community’s diversity.

Approved by the Springfield Library Commission on October 1, 2008
Amended by the Springfield Library Commission on October 6, 2021