4.13 - Art Acquisition Policy

It is the intent of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Oak Public Library to create a library environment which is comfortable, functional and aesthetically pleasing.  To that end, works of art may be accepted as gifts under the conditions established by this policy.  Occasionally the library, after consulting with the Arts Advisory Committee, may purchase a work of art to enhance the facility.

The Arts Advisory Committee advises the Board of Trustees on the purchase and/or the acceptance of gifts of art for the permanent non-circulating collection of the Royal Oak Public Library.  The Arts Advisory Committee is not intended to govern temporary art displays or materials selected and purchased by the library as a part of its regular collection.

The Arts Advisory Committee will be appointed by the President of the Library’s Board of Trustees. The committee may be composed of a combination of persons with an interest in art and persons who know and understand the library environment.  The committee may include library staff, Board of Trustees members, members of Friends of the Library, working professional artists or other community members knowledgeable about art. The Library Director will be a permanent member of the committee. The committee will be convened on an as needed basis.


  1. The Arts Advisory Committee will apply the acquisition guidelines to all works of art falling under the definition stated above considered for purchase or offered as gifts to the Royal Oak Public Library, regardless of funding source.
  2. The Arts Advisory Committee will represent the Board of Trustees in preliminary contacts with potential donors of either objects of art or monetary donations intended for art acquisition and serve as a liaison between potential donors and the Board of Trustees. The Arts Advisory Committee is not empowered to finalize proposals or decisions regarding acceptance unless specifically authorized by action of the Board of Trustees. 
  3. The library will maintain a file of art works owned by the library indicating the artist, a short artist biography, brief description of the work, cost or appraised value and provenance.  The file will include any decisions about display, location, storage, maintenance and disposition.

Acquisition Guidelines
When accepting a work of art the Royal Oak Public Library Board reserves the right to—

  1. Refuse any work of art offered for sale or as a gift.
  2. Exhibit any donated object in a manner that is consistent with the library policies, needs, and available space.  Acceptance of an object does not imply that it will be on permanent public display.
  3. Move and relocate art work for any reason it deems necessary.
  4. De-access, dispose and sell a work of art upon approval of the Board of Trustees.

Selection Criteria

  1. The piece should have a standard of quality suitable for long term display in a public building.
  2. The art should be appropriate in scale, material, form and content for the library environment.
  3. The Royal Oak Library must be able to provide proper care-including conservation, maintenance, security, insurance, and storage for all objects.
  4. The provenance of the object must be satisfactory to the Library Board of Trustees.  Outside counseling and expertise can be used if necessary.
  5. The November 14, 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property shall be observed.
  6. All objects acquired in accordance with this policy by the Royal Oak Public Library will become the sole property of the Royal Oak Public Library without encumbrances or restrictions.

Adopted 01/23/07; 9/23/08; reviewed 7/27/10; reviewed 7/26/11; reaffirmed 6/24/14, reviewed 07/26/16; reaffirmed 06/28/22.