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Naming Rights & Limits Policy



The Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees (the Board) considers the naming of a room in honor or memory of a living or deceased individual, corporation, foundation or organization to be one of the highest distinctions it can bestow.


The Harris-Elmore Public Library (the Library) seeks to recognize persons who have supported the Library through substantial financial contributions that benefit the programs, projects, and services of the Harris-Elmore Public Library.


The naming or name recognition of library facilities, rooms, special use areas, specialized collections and endowments is set forth in this policy to insure that such naming is consistent with the mission of the Harris-Elmore Public Library and its reputation as a public entity. Other items may be recommended for naming only after consultation with the Library Director.

General Definitions


  • Financial Contributions: For the purposes of this policy, this includes all cash contributions for the benefit of the Harris-Elmore Public Library. Contributions of securities will be liquidated upon receipt and the donor will be acknowledged for the cash value at the time the donation is made. 


  • Endowment: A permanently secured fund, in which the principal remains intact, to which an annualized portion may be distributed for library programs, facilities, services, or collection development.


  • Deferred Gifts: Those gifts that are committed for Library use in the present but received by the Library in the future. There may be many forms of such gifts. Deferred gift assets become available for investment by the Library when a donor transfers cash or assets to the Harris-Elmore Public Library and obtains, in exchange, a life income based on the value of donated assets. The forms in which gifts may currently be established include, but are not limited to: charitable gift annuity (no trust); charitable remainder unitrust; charitable remainder annuity trust; pooled income fund (pooled trust); and charitable lead trust. 


  • Name Recognition: Acknowledges a substantial philanthropic contribution for a building or facility, room, special use area, or specialized collection with a conspicuously placed placard. Placards shall be of standard size and appearance. 

       Standard inscription shall be: “(Room Name) made possible by a generous contribution from (Donor Name).”


  • Naming: Refers to titling a building or facility, room, special use area, specialized collection, or a special purpose endowment. The naming shall be considered either by philanthropy or as an honorific. The name of the individual or corporate entity shall preface the title of the room (e.g. “John Smith Meeting Room; Jane Jones Endowment for Youth Services) and shall be used in signage as well as references to the entity in publicity materials and other library documents. 


  • Room: A defined area of the library, such as a meeting room, office, or any room that is partitioned from other sections of the building. 


  • Special Use Area: Any area within the library building that has a distinct and identifiable purpose, such as the Teen Space or Children’s Exploratory Area.  

Guidelines for Naming 


Rooms or Special Use Areas


For naming opportunities due to a financial donation, the room or special use area may be named directly after the benefactor, or it may retain or be given a functional title following which the benefactor will be recorded as its sponsor.


A proposal for naming a room or special use area of the Library in honor of a person will normally be considered when that person is a major benefactor to the Harris-Elmore Public Library that merits recognition.  


The naming of such a space generally requires a contribution of a percentage of the cost of the area in proportion to the total cost of the facility or the project for the facility. The proportion shall be determined at the time of the project by the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees.


Signage for named spaces shall be prominent and readily identifiable. Lettering shall be scaled appropriate to the aesthetics of the room or area so named. A placard shall be featured in such space as well. All references to the named area in promotional materials, directional signage, and library documents shall include the name of the individual, family, or corporation.


  • Naming rights will not extend beyond the normal life of the room or area. 


  • Naming rights will normally remain in place for a period of no longer than twenty (20) years, although a placard will remain in the location in perpetuity, acknowledging the name and the donation. 


  • In the event the room or building is significantly altered in a timeframe less than 50% of the agreed upon time when the gift was made, the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees will roll the name forward in a similar capacity.


  • A proposal for naming a room or outdoor area in honor of a member of the community will also be considered when that person has given distinguished service to the Library that merits recognition in the Library's history.


Proposals for naming facilities should be submitted to the Library Director and should contain specific information in support thereof, including any guidelines on how the donated funds are to be used to support the named room or area.


If endorsed by the Library Director, the proposal will be forwarded to the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees for approval. The Board reserves the right to name the room or area according to what is best for the function of the Library.


Endowment Funds


A minimum of $5,000 is required for library board consideration for a named endowment. A named endowment may be requested by the donor or proposed by the library board with permission of the person or corporation to be named. The request shall be evaluated by the library board for approval.


Deferred Gifts with Naming Rights


Each deferred gift plan will have a mutually signed agreement that specifies the type of plan, amount of the income payments, and the purpose and use of the deferred gift. People interested in developing this type of gift are encouraged to contact the Library Director to discuss their options. All plans for Deferred Gifts shall contain a written statement of intent with full details of the gift. The Library Director shall submit his/her recommendation to the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees for final acceptance. Once a deferred gift has received formal acceptance by the Board, the gift will be considered as irrevocable.


Library Building 


As determined at the sole discretion of the library board, the naming of the library building may be considered in the event of an extraordinary contribution for a library building project. The entity known as Harris-Elmore Public Library shall not be subject to naming, but the building housing the library may be so named. Such naming shall only be considered for an individual or family.


Guidelines for Honorific Naming 


All naming opportunities, except that of naming the library building or the entity known as Harris-Elmore Public Library, may be afforded to individuals who have given extraordinary service to the Harris-Elmore Public Library, the public library profession, and the Village of Elmore. The individual must have left the service of the library, either in the capacity of employee, volunteer, supporter, or trustee, for a period of no less than one year unless otherwise excepted by a library board resolution. The library board has final authority for such naming.


Guidelines for Corporate Naming and Name Recognition Eligibility 


Eligibilty: Corporations that are compatible with the library’s mission and purpose and, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, reflect a positive influence on the library and Village of Elmore may be eligible fornaming or name recognition for all naming opportunities, except for the naming of the library building. Such corporations must have a high ethical standard of business practice, as determined at the sole discretion of the library board. 


Corporate Name Recognition: All signage and placards for corporate name recognition will follow the same standards as signs and placards for individuals. Corporate logos will be excluded from such signs and placards to avoid appearance of commercial influence.


Recognition of Donor Contributions


All financial contributions shall be acknowledged by letter or note card as soon as possible upon receipt of the contribution. Such correspondence shall include proper tax information. In the case of a memorial or gift contribution, an acknowledgement shall be sent to the honoree or the family of a memorialized person, if applicable. Unless the donor specifies anonymity, donors may be acknowledged by any of the following means: donor wall, annual reports, newsletter listings, and/or special media advertising.


General Guidelines


To insure the appropriateness of the honor, the Harris-Elmore Public Library will adhere to the following guidelines to make decisions on the merits of each opportunity with regard to naming interior and exterior spaces and collections:


    •    Unless the Library Director determines otherwise, a person’s or corporation's name may be used in naming a library room             only once.


    •    Library furniture, fixtures, or items with specialized uses for the library that were donated or purchased through donated              funds will only remain in the library for the item’s normal lifespan through wear and tear or for as long as the item remains          appropriate to the mission of the library.


    •    In the event that the flow of funds agreed to constitute a naming opportunity ceases before the agreed time, the Library                Director may recommend to the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees that the use of the benefactor's name for              the room be discontinued.


    •    When a major building project is to be undertaken, a tailored naming policy may be proposed for various rooms, or parts               of the building and its environs. Such a policy will require the endorsement of the Library Director for recommendation to t           he Board. (See Addendum A)


    •    If an individual or organization, after which a room or area has been named, comes into disrepute at the Library or in the              community at large, the Library Director may recommend to the Board that the use of the name be discontinued.


Request Procedure


The President of the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees shall charge the Library Director to review and make recommendations to the Board for naming opportunities.  The guidelines for naming rights are as follows:


    •    All requests for naming shall be submitted to the Board in writing. The request shall contain justification compliant with the          criteria and objectives outlined in this policy. The Board will review and research each submitted naming nomination on its            individual merits.


    •    No publicity shall be given the recommendation for naming until it is approved by the Board.


Gift Recognition Replacement/Removal  --Special Considerations


A request to rename, add a second name or remove a name from a room shall conform to the following principles:


    •    Any request to rename, add, or remove a name from a room within the Library should include documentation pertaining              to the original approval and subsequent name change proposal. In the event that donor names must be removed for new            construction, or in the event the Library is destroyed by natural disaster and is rebuilt to be used for its original purpose,              recognition shall be replaced per the original agreement.


    •    In the event a building is drastically altered through construction, the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees shall              reserve the right to add/alter gift recognition, including the room’s naming. Any donor plaques displaced as a result of this            will be rededicated in an alternative location in accordance with the timeframe developed for the original gift.


    •    When a named room has reached the end of its useful life and will be replaced or substantially renovated, the replaced or            renovated space may be renamed in recognition of a new donor or honoree. Appropriate recognition of earlier donors or              honorees shall be included in, or adjacent to, new, renovated or redeveloped facilities.


Dedication Ceremony and Plaque


A plaque will be installed at or near the named area. The Board reserves the right to choose the wording, size, location and style of the plaque.  An appropriate dedication ceremony may be planned and conducted. This policy will be reviewed as needed.


Naming Agreements between Donor and Library Board


All agreements for naming through philanthropic gifts shall be documented in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the donor and library board. MOAs shall detail the terms of the agreement in accordance with the terms of the naming policy and any conditions mutually agreed upon by the donor and the library board.


In the case of pledged donations or deferred gifts, the naming agreement may take effect with the first payment. 


In the case of failure of the donor to uphold the agreement, the library board may withdraw the naming commitment. The library board shall notify the donor regarding the consideration to withdraw the name and provide a reasonable time, as determined at the sole discretion of the library board, to correct the deficiency.


In the event of removal of the naming, funds already collected shall not be returned to the donor.


Addendum A


The Harris-Elmore Public Library Gift Agreement for Naming Rights 

For The [insert name here] Room


In recognition of the efforts being made by the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees to obtain additional funds to develop and renovate the Library, the undersigned intends to establish by a gift of $[insert amount of gift commitment here], [payable over up to [insert number here] years,] as a naming opportunity to be known as

The [insert name here]. It is the donor’s wish that the room or area located [insert with room description] be named The [insert] and marked with an appropriate plaque.


This naming right will remain in place for a period of no longer than twenty (20) years, although a plaque will remain in the location in perpetuity, acknowledging the name and the donation. Naming rights will not extend beyond the normal life of the room. If, as a result of changed conditions in the future, the life of the room does not exceed [insert] years, naming rights will be individually determined each time.

The Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees and donors named in this agreement acknowledge this gift and the terms stated within by the signature of their duly authorized representative on duplicate copies of this agreement.



 Printed Name of Donor



Signature of Donor



Acknowledgment by the President of the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees

Adopted by Board of Trustees

July 2018

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