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Statement of Policy

Hartford Public Library’s Programming Department is committed to realizing HPL’s vision by collaboratively working with the community to develop programs for all ages that reflect the interests of Hartford’s diverse community and partnerships that center community priorities, voice and engagement through collective action that helps inspire reading, guide learning, and encourage individual exploration.

HPL programs must be free and open to the public regardless of race, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, color, ancestry, language, creed (religion), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, and will be developed with consideration for the principles of accessibility, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. These include, but are not limited to, access for persons with disabilities, and delivery at times and locations and through channels that maximize convenience for Hartford residents and encourage attendance.

HPL programs will respond to community needs and interests and support the priorities in HPL’s Strategic Plan. Programs may be developed in response to requests from the City of Hartford in support of specific City service goals.

At the discretion of the Library’s President and CEO, a fee may be permissible for certain types of library-initiated programs.

The Library serving as a venue for a program, meeting or gathering does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program, or the views expressed by participants.


HPL as a Co-sponsor, Partner, Venue

HPL as a Co-sponsor

Co-sponsorship is defined as the Library working with another agency, presenter, or business to provide a program for library customers. A co-sponsored program is a one-off program or one time series as well as an ongoing program or series held at an HPL branch or in the community that meets the following criteria.

  • HPL and the external organization are collaborators in the planning of the event/program.
  • There is a present, existing working relationship leading up to the time of the event/program.
  • HPL and organization collaboratively market and deliver the event/program and at times fiscally fund the program.

HPL provides space, promotes the program, and assigns support staff during the program, where appropriate. An HPL staff member is appointed as a liaison to the external organization to coordinate program logistics. There is no fee charged to-co-sponsoring entity.


HPL as a Partner

A partnership is defined as a mutually beneficial agreement between HPL and an external company, organization, enterprise or individual, that meets the following criteria:

  • HPL has partnered with the organization in the past year or has submitted an official program proposal.
  • The partner will include HPL in their promotional materials.
  • The program is in line with the library's mission.
  • Partner plans, organizes, promotes, and conducts the program.
  • The program is free and open to the public.

If partner meets all of the above criteria, partnerships are ultimately up to the discretion of the HPL Programming Department. Fee may be waived at the sole discretion of HPL’s President and CEO or designee.


HPL as a Venue

HPL serves as a venue when space is made available to an individual or organization seeking to reserve space at the Library through HPL’s Meeting Room Policy and Procedures for a meeting, program, or event. In allowing a group to use a meeting room, the library does not imply any endorsement of the group's beliefs, policies, practices, or program. A fee is charged for use.


Developing Programs

Any HPL manager, head of department and division or staff interested in developing programs can work collaboratively with the Programming Department and community partners to plan, coordinate, and deliver programs that reflect the service needs and interests of the local community.

All program developers are accountable for ensuring compliance with the Programming Policy in their respective areas.


HPL Partners and Presenters

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 public programs.

Generally, external presenters delivering programs will not solicit business, customers or volunteers, or market their commercial products or services. Exceptions made in service of strategic objectives must be approved by the Library’s President and CEO or designee.

Program presenters/facilitators must always ensure the dignity and safety of the public and staff in accordance with HPL policies and standards. Misrepresentation of a program, a likelihood of physical hazard to participants or audiences, a likelihood of misuse of premises or equipment, non-compliance with HPL policies, including the Rules of Conduct, may constitute reasons to terminate a program.



Ultimate responsibility for programming at the Library rests with the Library’s President and CEO who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Hartford Public Library Board of Directors. The President and CEO, in turn, delegates the management of programs to the professional staff who use their expertise, knowledge of the Library’s collections, services and facilities in developing and delivering library sponsored programs.

The Library welcomes expressions of opinion from any library customer concerning programming. If a customer questions a library program, they should first address the concern with a library staff member. Customers who wish to continue their request for review of library programs must submit the Request for Reconsideration form. Requests for review of programs will be considered in the same manner as requests for reconsideration of library materials as outlined in the Library's Collection Development Policy.