Art Donations Policy

Hennepin County Library Administrative Policy


The purpose of this policy is to provide staff with the necessary guidance to ensure the fair and consistent application of the Hennepin County Library Board Donation Policy as it relates to donated works of art.

Selection Considerations

The Hennepin County Library Board Donation Policy states, “Works of art may be donated to the Hennepin County Library. The selection considerations defined in the Commissioned Public Art Policy will be applied to individual works of art that may be donated.” Those considerations are:

The extent to which the public art:

  • Celebrates and explores the unique histories, cultures, and environment of the community
  • Has broad and timeless appeal
  • Represents artistic excellence and innovation
  • Is designed for a publicly visible and accessible area
  • Is safe, durable and able to withstand theft, vandalism and exposure to the environment
  • Requires low maintenance

Roles and Responsibilities

Staff: Communicate Library Board Donation Policy to potential donor. Prepare background information and route via supervisory channels to the Library Services Division Manager. Information should include:

  • A photo (if possible) of the work of art
  • A memo that includes a brief description of the art (including the artist) that is being considered, donor information, any additional considerations and a recommendation as to whether the donation should be accepted based on the stated criteria above.

Staff maintain communication with the potential donor regarding the status of the potential donation and determine whether or not the donor wants to be recognized by the Library Board.

Library Services Division Manager: Determines whether or not a recommendation should be advanced to the Library Board for acceptance. Communicates decision with local library staff and Library Director. Addresses any initial appeals the potential donor may wish to make.

Library Director: Makes a recommendation of acceptance to the Library Board.

Library Board: Based on the Library Director’s recommendation, the Library Board will take formal action to accept and acknowledge its receipt.

The Library Board, upon request, hears appeals of a Library decision to not accept a piece of donated art. Appeals must be presented in writing to the Library Board at least ten (10) days in advance of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. The final decision on appeals rests with the Library Board and will be taken up at publicly held Board meetings.


Donated art becomes the property of Hennepin County Library, which has the authority on retention, location and disposition. A good faith effort will be made to keep donated art in the library intended by the donor.


This administrative policy is reviewed every five (5) years by the Library Services Division Manager (or designee) in coordination with the Library Board’s review of the Donation Policy. Upon completion of the review, this policy is revised or reaffirmed.

Policy History

Next review: 1/2019
Last reviewed/revised: 10/23/2015
Adopted: 08/25/2011