Donor Recognition Policy

The Seattle Public Library’s Board of Trustees believes that certain donors deserve specific recognition for their personal support of the Library. In certain circumstances, the Library will recognize donors through the display of commemorative signage and/or by bestowing a donor’s name on a Library space.

Policy Statement

Honoring opportunities may be offered to individuals, foundations, groups or corporations in recognition of substantial funding support for the Library and its programs. Donors seeking such opportunities will have the choice of honoring a leading community figure or requesting that their name or the name of another individual or entity be recognized. Honoring opportunities do not extend beyond the useful life of the spaces or facilities in which they are located.

The Library Board of Trustees authorizes The Seattle Public Library Foundation (“Foundation”) to recognize a major donation through an honoring opportunity. Given the finite number of honoring opportunities, this benefit is used to recognize extraordinary gifts that have long lasting impact such as capital or endowment. The Foundation must inform the Library Board of any and all donors to be recognized in this way.

Within the interior of each branch library, a limited number of honoring opportunities can be made available upon request. These might include the children’s area, the adult reading area, the meeting room (if one exists) and other functional space such as a study room or quiet room. In addition, the Central Library has various interior rooms and spaces appropriate for honoring opportunities.

When a gift or pledge is made to the Foundation that conforms to the established standards and guidelines agreed upon by the Library Board and the Foundation, the Foundation shall notify the Library Board president, and the executive director and chief librarian of its intent to move forward with the naming of the designated space. In the case of an honoring opportunity that is outside the agreed upon guidelines, the Foundation will bring the recommendation to the Library Board for their review and approval.

During the Libraries for All era, the Library Board approved uniform design standards for commemorative signage. The location of signage for commemorative areas will be determined in consultation with the executive director and chief librarian, and the Capital Improvements Program manager.

When there are changes to a named space as a result of reconfiguring a branch or the Central Library, the Foundation will consult with the donor and then reach a mutual agreement between the donor and the Library regarding the new placement of signage. In instances involving changes to a space where a group of donors are recognized, the Foundation and the Library alone will reach mutual agreement on the new placement of signage. 

If a corporation after which a space has been named no longer exists, the Library may remove the signage after one year. The Foundation may then find another sponsor for the space in question. If the corporation has merged with another corporation, the Foundation will ascertain the new entity’s interest in recognition and give the new entity first right of refusal for the space. If the entity chooses to retain its naming rights to the space, the entity would be responsible for the expense of installing new signage.

In some instances, groups of donors will be collectively recognized via a donor wall or comparable permanent display that lists eligible participating donors together when appropriate and possible. Beyond the areas listed above, groups of donors may also be recognized in a functional space such as the foyer or lobby of a Library facility.   

The Library Board reserves the right to revoke any prior grant of named recognition whenever compelling circumstances would justify such action. Nothing herein shall preclude or prevent the Library Board from modifying, changing, renovating or disposing of any Library facility.

This policy directs how the Library may recognize its donors through honoring opportunities in Library facilities.

Related Laws, Policies and Procedures

Board Policy, Naming of Library Facilities

Board Policy, Sponsorships


Previously titled Donor Recognition in Library Buildings

Adopted by the Library Board on Feb. 23, 1999

Revised on Oct. 31, 2012