Art in Public Spaces Policy

Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees Policy


To provide direction on the purchase or commission and placement of art in public spaces in Sno-Isle Libraries (Library District) that reflect the ever-evolving needs and interests of the communities served by the Library District.


The Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees (Board of Trustees) recognizes that art in libraries contributes to the Library District’s vision, mission, values, and goals. Art enhances the library experience by creating positive public environments as well as reflecting our legacy, and the diversity of our communities. The presence of art in public spaces contributes to the vitality of the communities we serve and stimulates creativity, imagination, and interest.

The Board of Trustees supports the placement of works of art in buildings and on library property throughout the Library District. The purchase or commission of all forms of original art or copies of original art may be considered. The Library District supports fundraising for art in public spaces by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and / or local Friends of the Library groups.

The Library District adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom, adopted by the American Library Association, as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements.



The Executive Director (or designee) together with the Director of Community Libraries (or designee) may establish Art Selection Panels for capital building projects to consider prospective purchases or commissions of artwork. The Art Selection Panel will include members of the community and reflect its diversity. Commissioned or purchased art will be selected based on criteria in the Library District’s Public Art Guidelines which include the following considerations:

  • The quality and elements of design celebrate, explore, and include the diverse histories and cultures of the community. The art complements and enhances the building and its purpose. The art is designed for a publicly visible and accessible area and may establish a focal point, modify, or enhance a space or identify a building function.
  • The style, nature, and durability of the art shall be appropriate in scale, material, form, and content for the library environment. The art shall be able to withstand theft, vandalism, and exposure to the environment.
  • The cost of installation and maintenance, including both start-up and ongoing cleaning and maintenance, as well as any security issues.
  • Art that creates unsafe conditions or contains other factors that may bear on public liability will not be purchased or commissioned.

Artwork is purchased or commissioned by the Library District with the understanding that it may not be permanent additions to the Library District and may be decommissioned or moved in the future. The surplus of works of art shall be approved by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Library District’s Capitalized Asset / Small and Attractive Asset Management policy. Works that are not able to be removed from a library may be destroyed by deconstructing or painting over the item.

Associated Policies and Laws


This policy is reviewed every four (4) years by the Executive Director (or designee), who makes recommendations to the appropriate Board committee. The committee reviews the recommendations, revises the policy as necessary and appropriate, endorses, and advances the policy to the full Board for approval.

Policy History

Date approved: September 18, 2023
Next review date: 2027
Adopted: September 18, 2023

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