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Statement of Purpose

Thomas Memorial Library strives to offer exhibit, display, and digital sign content that is of an educational or cultural nature, and that will be of interest to the Cape Elizabeth community. This policy does not apply to the Community Information Area (please see the Community Information Area Policy.) In addition to those general criteria, the library staff, under the supervision of the Library Director, reserves the right to select or design content that:

  • Aligns with the librarys mission, vision, values, goals, and/or strategic plan
  • Aligns with the Town of Cape Elizabeths mission, vision, values, and/or strategic plan
  • Is logistically appropriate for the desired space

The library does not display content that relates to commercial activity (such as sales or fundraisers), partisan political activity, or recruitment for paid or volunteer work.

In keeping with the Library Bill of Rights and the library professions Code of Ethics, the Thomas Memorial Library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of opinion and a variety of viewpoints. Content will not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to its creation, nor will content be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. The Thomas Memorial Library does not endorse the beliefs or viewpoints of content that may be the subject of library exhibits, displays, or digital signs. We will not censor or remove an exhibit, display, or digital sign because some members of the community may disagree with its content. Residents with feedback on the content of an exhibit, display, or digital sign may submit comments and/or their own proposal of content, to be evaluated according to these policies. Comments or proposals of additional content may be directed to the Library Director.

Displays of Books and Other Library Materials

Book and other library material displays are curated by library staff in order to highlight portions of the librarys collection.  Items selected for display should follow the same criteria as laid out in the librarys Collection Development Policy regarding quality, diversity, and community interest. Displays will not be used to promote singular opinions or political stances, or to promote a business.

Stier Family Gallery

The Stier Family Gallery (known henceforth as The Gallery”) aims to host exhibitions that offer a great variety of media, topics, and artists that will educate, inform, or entertain the community.  

The Gallery consists of two wall display areas (with a rail/cord hanging system) and a large display case divided into 5 segments.  More detailed space plans are available in the application.


All interested artists are strongly encouraged to make a site visit prior to submitting a proposal.  Artists are able to use part or all of the gallery space available.  Please note, if an artist is only using part of the space (i.e. only the display cases), another artist’s work may be displayed elsewhere in the Gallery.

Any interested party in utilizing the Gallery must submit an application to the Library Director.  Applications are available at the library and on the librarys website.

Applications are accepted any time of year and selected by the Library Director and/or designated individuals.

Given the public viewing of the Gallery, the subject matter of any show must be appropriate for children as well as adults, therefore explicit images are not permitted in gallery shows. The Library Director reserves the right to reject or remove any material(s) that seem incongruent with the public nature of the gallery.  In the event that the Library Director rejects or removes any material(s) for exhibit, that decision is final.

General Guidelines

  1. By signing the Gallery Application, the exhibitor understands and accepts all guidelines and responsibilities listed in this policy, the Gallery Overview, and the Gallery Application.
  2. It is the responsibility of the Exhibitor to install, maintain, and dismantle any exhibits at times coordinated with the Library Director or designated library staff member.
  3. The existing hanging system must be used for any wall hanging art. No other mounting means are allowed.  The library will supply the hanging wires and tools for hanging any artwork, however, will not supply labor.  No works will be hung that require structural changes or could potentially cause damage to the wall.
  4. All art to be displayed must be capable of being securely and safely hung on the wall or fit within existing display cases.
  5. A complete inventory of works on display must be supplied by the artist to the library.


The library will post promotional material provided by the artist in the building, on the librarys website, newsletter, and/or social media outlets. The library will submit promotional materials received from the artist to the Cape Courier with sufficient lead time (however, the library cannot guarantee the Courier will publish submissions).  Any additional promotion or press releases regarding the exhibit is the responsibility of the artist.

In presenting exhibits, the library does not imply endorsement of the opinions or viewpoints of the artist(s).  The library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of opinions and a variety of viewpoints.

Artist Receptions are permitted upon request in accordance with the Gallery Overview document.


The exhibitor may sell items in the exhibit, subject to the following:

  • The exhibitor will display a price list and contact information in the Gallery and submit a copy to the Library Director/designated library staff member.
  • The exhibitor is solely responsible for the sale transaction. Library staff will not negotiate sales, collect payment, deliver an item to a purchaser, or calculate commissions.  
  • Any item sold must remain on display with the show until the removal of the entire exhibit at the end of the month of the show.  No departure from this rule will be permitted without prior approval of the Library Director and shall be subject to any conditions he/she may impose. Artwork may be marked with a red dot in the lower corner of the item to indicate that it has been sold.
  • The exhibitor will inform the Library Director, in writing at the end of an exhibition, of the sale price to be received by the exhibitor for all items sold during or as a result of the display at the library.
  • The exhibitor will pay a 10% commission on the total sale price of items sold during or as a result of the display in the library.  Payment shall be made to the Town of Cape Elizabeth, in the form of a check.  The commission must be paid at the Town Office within one month of the removal of the exhibit.

Request for Withdrawal/Objection Procedure

If a resident objects to an exhibit or to any piece within an exhibit, that complaint will be referred to the Library Director who will discuss the matter with the complainant.  

If the complainant is not satisfied with the Library Directors response, the complainant will be provided with a Request for Reconsideration of Library Exhibit Form. If the complainant wishes to have the exhibit or any piece within an exhibit reconsidered, they must complete the form and return it to the Library Director.  Anonymous forms will not be processed.  

The Reconsideration process will mirror that of the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials.

No challenged exhibit or pieces within an exhibit will be removed from public view during the request for reconsideration process.

Other Display Areas

The library may display items of interest to the community in display cases that are not part of the Stier Family Gallery, on the tops of shelves or other areas in the library. 

These designated exhibit areas serve to further the librarys goals of life-long learning and the enhancement of cultural and leisure activities. Priority for displays is given to library activities, then to exhibitors living or working in the Town.

The Library Director or designee must approve all materials for display or exhibit. The following guidelines apply: 

  • Exhibits by commercial entities are permitted only with prior approval of the Library Director. 
  • Exhibits and displays must be informational and/or cultural in nature.
  • Exhibits in the childrens area must be of interest to, and appropriate for, children. 
  • Partisan or sectarian materials are not permitted. As the library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of ideas and variety of viewpoints, material exhibited does not necessarily represent the view or imply the endorsement of the Town, the library administration, or the staff. 
  • All items exhibited are done so at the owners risk. The library assumes no responsibility for security against theft or damage of any displayed material. 
  • Exhibit space is available for a period of time to be determined by the Library Director. 
  • The exhibitor is responsible for properly displaying their items and is responsible for any damage to library property that may result from their display.
  • The library reserves the right to remove an exhibit if it interferes with the normal operation of the library.

Digital Signage

The library may use digital signage to highlight library programs, collections and services, and to share important information about current events, such as weather or public health, that may affect normal library operations. Content displayed on any library digital signage is subject to the same general guidelines and standards as all other displays within the library.

Revised: January, 2022
Voted for recommendation of approval by the TML Committee on: March 3, 2022
Amended by the Town Council Effective Date: November 14, 2022
Adopted by the Town Council Effective Date: November 15, 2022
Policy Review: This policy shall be reviewed at least every 5 years

Request for Reconsideration of Exhibit