Program Policy

In keeping with our mission to be an open forum promoting knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment, Santa Clara County Library District (“Library”) staff develops and presents programs that provide information, learning, and entertainment. The Library may create and offer programs by staff or with community partners or presenters. Programming is an integral component of library service that:

  • Expands the Library’s role as a community resource
  • Introduces community members to library and other community resources
  • Fosters lifelong learning, promotes cultural enrichment and supports education
  • Expands the visibility of the Library
  • Provides entertainment and recreation

Library staff uses many criteria in making decisions about program topics, speakers, and accompanying resources, including:

  • Community needs and interests
  • Relation to Library collections, resources, exhibits and programs
  • Connection to other community programs, exhibits or events
  • Historical or educational significance
  • Availability of program space
  • Treatment of content for intended audience
  • Presentation quality
  • Presenter background/qualifications in content area
  • Budget

Unsolicited offers from individuals or organizations to present programs will be evaluated by the same standards used by Library staff when planning Library programming.

In addition, the Library draws upon other community resources in developing programs and actively partners with other community agencies, organizations, educational and cultural institutions, or individuals to develop and present co-sponsored public programs.  The Library may partner with an agency or hire a speaker who is a professional or who has expertise in a particular area.

Library programs must be non-commercial.  Presenters may not promote or solicit particular existing or future products or services during presentations or during the presenter’s time in the library. Presenters are not allowed to require signups or collect contact information from program attendees. Presenters may provide their contact information so that attendees can voluntarily contact them after the program has concluded.  Librarians who present programs do so as part of their regular job and are not hired as outside contractors for programming.

At events sponsored by the Library, such as author talks and musical performances, pertinent items (i.e. books, musical recordings, etc.) may be sold. Friends of the Library and other Library support groups may also conduct fundraisers, including book sales in the rooms.

The effectiveness of a Library program will be based on attendance and/or audience satisfaction.  Other evaluation criteria include attraction of new patrons to the Library, the promotion of other Library goals, and addressing the needs of a specific target audience.

The Library’s philosophy of open access to information and ideas extends to Library programming, and the Library does not knowingly discriminate through its programming. Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants, and program topics, speakers and resources are not excluded from programs because of possible controversy.

All Library programs are free and open to the public. Registration may be required for planning purposes or when space is limited. Programs directed towards particular audiences, e.g. children’s programs, will be publicized as such.  Programs may be held on site at any Library, online, or off site. Additional information may be found in the Library’s Community Room Policy.

Groups may not use the Library’s logo, website or phone number in their publicity, nor may they indicate in publicity that the Library is a partner or sponsor unless approved by the Community Librarian or his or her designee.

Ultimate responsibility for programming at the Library rests with the County Librarian. The County Librarian, in turn, delegates the authority for program management to the Community Librarian at each library and to Library Service Managers. The Library welcomes feedback from members of the public concerning programming.

Santa Clara County Library District Policy #13.22
updated 12/16/2014
Back to Top