Programming Policy

Duluth Public Library supports its mission of strengthening our community by promoting the love of reading and life-long discovery through developing and presenting interactive programs that provide opportunities for information, enrichment, and entertainment.

Programming is a vital element of library service that:

  • Expands the library’s role as a community resource
  • Supports community-building and outreach
  • Honors diversity
  • Works with current trends
  • Improves visibility of the library and its resources
  • Provides useful, timely information
  • Uses resources effectively
  • Promotes literacy & lifelong learning

Programming Responsibilities

Staff responsibility for programming rests with the Library Manager, who operates within the framework of this programming policy. The Manager delegates to staff members authority to interpret and apply this policy in daily operation. 

The community has a role in shaping library programming by participating in events and/or providing suggestions and feedback.  Community partnerships are encouraged to enhance the program experience and reach out to new and diverse community members.


Intellectual Freedom

A democracy presupposes an informed citizenry, and the public library has an integral role in achieving that goal. The library provides an impartial environment in which individuals can attend programs representing many different points of view on a variety of topics. The American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Library-Initiated Programs and Displays as a Resource  guide the library’s development of programs and can be accessed through the library’s website.

Programming decisions follow the library's mission and its ability to meet the expressed or anticipated needs and interests of the community. Decisions are not made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval of the program. The views and opinions presented during events do not constitute an endorsement from the Duluth Public Library.  

The library recognizes that some topics may be controversial and may offend some people. Only individuals can determine what is most appropriate for their needs and can define what event or information is consistent with their personal or family values. Individuals can apply those values to the attendance of library programs only for themselves. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for their children's attendance at programs.

Suggestions for Programming

The Duluth Public Library welcomes input from the Duluth community concerning its programming. Individuals and community groups interested in partnering with library staff to provide library programs can Submit an Event Proposal.

All suggestions for programming are subject to the same selection criteria as other programs.

Reconsideration of Library Programs

Individuals may request reconsideration of a library program by filling out a written "Statement of Concern" form, available at any Duluth Public Library location. The library manager will respond in writing to an individual's written request.

The Duluth Public Library Board, upon request, will hear appeals of the manager's written response. Appeals must be presented in writing to the library board at least ten days in advance of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the board. Decisions on appeals are based on careful review of the objection, the resource, and DPL policies, including this policy, the Library Bill of Rights, Library-Initiated Programs and Displays as a Resource, and the American Library Association's guidelines on intellectual freedom. The final decision on appeals rests with the Duluth Public Library Board.

This policy refers to programs sponsored by the Duluth Public Library, not to programs held at the Library by community groups.

The Duluth Public Library's policies are subject to change without notice.



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Adopted August 23, 2022

Duluth Public Library Board