Public Bulletin Boards and Information Distribution Areas Policy

Printable PDF (English) | Printable PDF (español) | Printable PDF (Русский)

In many of its facilities, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District (FVRL) maintains one or more bulletin boards for the posting of materials, as well as designated areas (such as literature racks and spaces on countertops and tables) for the passive distribution of printed information. This policy provides a guide for the use and regulation of bulletin boards and information distribution areas. Approval of items for posting, display, or exhibit does not constitute or imply FVRL endorsement of the organization submitting the item(s) or its content.

Bulletin Boards and Distribution Areas - Reserved for Use by the Library

In areas reserved for the Library's exclusive use, the Library posts and distributes materials:

  • Related to Library services, programs, and events.
  • Provided by the Friends of the Library and the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries Foundation.
  • Provided by other governmental entities such as the city, county, state and federal governments.

Other Bulletin Boards and Distribution Areas

A limited number of bulletin boards and distribution areas are available within the Library District for the posting and passive distribution of materials provided by nonprofit organizations. In each facility, the branch manager (or designee) may designate specific areas as available for these purposes. The branch manager (or designee) must authorize all posting and distribution before it occurs. Authorization will be based upon the provisions of this policy and will not be based upon the viewpoint, beliefs, or affiliations of the nonprofit group or the viewpoints expressed in the materials. Posting or distribution of any such materials in the Library does not indicate the Library's endorsement of the ideas, issues, or events promoted by those materials.

The amount of bulletin board and distribution area space is limited. In order to provide Library visitors with the opportunity to review materials from nonprofit organizations that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to review, the following rules apply:

Bulletin Boards - Event Announcements

Bulletin board space is provided for announcements of dated local events whose principal sponsors are nonprofit organizations. Individual libraries may give priority to announcements for events scheduled to take place in a geographic area near the library.

Distribution Areas

Nonprofit organizations may provide, for passive distribution only, dated materials related to their nonprofit purpose. These materials may only be displayed in the areas designated for this purpose. Passive distribution means leaving the materials with Library staff for Library visitors, if they so choose, to review and/or take with them. Passive distribution does not include verbally or visually (by means of signs, placards, etc.) encouraging Library visitors to review or take any materials with them.

General Prohibitions

The following items may not be posted on bulletin boards or left in material distribution areas:

  • Materials that support or oppose any current or pending ballot measure or political candidate. The Library is not intended to be a forum for the support or opposition of political candidates or ballot measures.
  • Because it is inconsistent with passive distribution, materials asking Library visitors to sign a petition or letter are not permitted.

Terms of Use

All materials posted or distributed must comply with this policy and any other applicable Library policy, procedure or guideline. No other materials may be posted or distributed.

To ensure equitable access to limited display space available at each facility, a branch manager, or designee, may establish criteria for that facility regarding posting and distribution of materials, including:

  • The maximum size of material to be posted or distributed.
  • The maximum length of time that materials may remain posted or displayed.
  • The maximum amount of time before or after an event a posting may occur.
  • The frequency with which material may be posted or displayed by the same nonprofit organization.
  • Consistent methods for allocating space, should the amount of material exceed the space available for posting or distribution.

All posting and placement of materials in distribution areas shall be done by Library staff. Individuals requesting posting or distribution shall not themselves post or leave materials in distribution areas.

Materials left for posting or distribution without authorization from the Library will be discarded. The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection of materials posted or distributed. Materials will not be returned.

The Executive Director, or designee, is responsible for the administration of this policy on a systemwide basis. Branch managers are responsible for the administration of this policy within their facilities.


This policy applies to all Library facilities, including the District Operations Center and all Library branches.

Adopted: 5/6/1991; Public Use of Meeting Rooms
Revised: 6/11/1992
Revised: renamed Public Use of Exhibit Spaces 2/10/2003
Revised: 6/14/2004
Revised: renamed Public Bulletin Boards, Displays and Exhibit Areas 12/12/2011
Revised: 08/15/16; renamed Public Bulletin Board Policy
Revised: 3/18/2024; renamed Public Bulletin Boards and Information Distribution Areas Policy