Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
Policy on Naming of Spaces in Libraries
Adopted 9 July 2013
The purpose of this policy is to establish the authority and process for naming and renaming Prince George’s County Memorial Library System interior and exterior spaces associated with the branches and major programs and collections. Consistent with this policy the specific recognition given to donors may include named spaces, furnishings or fixtures within the Library, placement on a donor wall, and other items that commemorate a gift.
All commemorative naming proposals shall be reviewed by the Library Director prior to discussing the proposal with a prospective donor. The Library Director will refer naming proposals for a significant area or collection within the Library System or major system-wide programs to the Board of Trustees for its consideration and approval.
Criteria for Naming Interior/Exterior Spaces
A significant area within a library branch may be named for individuals, families or entities meeting one or more of the following criteria:
- Extraordinary service to the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System as a staff member;
- Distinguished person who has provided extraordinary service to the Library or who otherwise merits special recognition;
- Donors who have made a significant financial contribution to the Library including donors who have made a significant contribution toward the construction or operational support of a new Branch or major renovation of an existing Branch or other facility, an endowment for maintenance and operating costs of a Branch, or other program or activity at the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System.
Except for naming a significant area within the Library System in honor of individuals designated by donors qualifying as stated above, significant areas within the Library System shall not be named for individuals currently employed by the Library, Prince George’s County or elected officials. A significant area within the Library System shall not be named for an individual not otherwise qualifying under the donor exceptions as stated above, earlier than five years following the departure, death or retirement of the person from the Library, Prince George’s County or the State of Maryland or the end of an elected official’s service in office.
There shall be a due diligence review of each naming proposal to carefully consider the overall benefit of such naming to the Library, including whether the name is and will continue to be a positive reflection on the Library. Such due diligence shall include the following:
- Review of any possible conflict of interest issues affecting the Library;
- Evaluation of the impact on future giving by the donor and others;
- Any other factors that could reflect on the Library.
In order to avoid any appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest, or any other potentially adverse consequence, additional due diligence shall be undertaken before recommending the naming opportunities that includes a commercial enterprise. Naming opportunities may be assigned that include a commercial enterprise only if the proposed name is appropriate in the public setting of the Library and will not detract from the Library’s use or the Library’s reputation as a public entity.
Duration of Names and Name Changes
Naming rights in honor of an individual or individuals, family or non-commercial entity are generally expected to last for the useful life of the interior/exterior space or program.
Naming in honor of a commercial enterprise will have a set number of years attached to the naming, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis and included in a signed gift agreement associated with the naming opportunity. The duration of a commercial enterprise name shall normally remain the same notwithstanding future changes in the commercial enterprise name; provided, however, in the event of a name change in the commercial enterprise, the Library Board of Trustees may in the exercise of its sole discretion elect to remove the established commercial enterprise name or to change the name, if either such action is determined to be in the best interest of the Library.
If an area within the Library System is substantially renovated (providing new useful life equivalent to a new building), it may be renamed, subject to the terms, conditions or restrictions set forth in any gift agreement related to prior naming action.
Prior Procedures and Named Spaces
Names of interior/exterior spaces in existence at the time of the adoption of this policy shall remain in effect, subject to future renaming consistent with this policy and subject to restrictions in any gift agreements related to prior naming action.
Removal of Change of Name
Naming recognition is provided to individuals, families and entities that exemplify the attributes of integrity and civic leadership. If an individual, family or entity for whom a naming commitment has been made violates these standards, the Library may elect to remove the individual, family or entities name from the naming opportunity. Before taking such action, the Library shall undertake due diligence, including consultation with counsel, as to any legal ramifications that the Library may have under any pre-existing agreement(s) related to naming opportunities or in regard to any other matter that may have legal bearing upon a proposed change in name. Any naming authorized by the Library Board of Trustees can only be revoked by a vote of that body.
Alternatively, unforeseen circumstances may make it impossible for a donor to complete a gift commitment after that commitment has been recognized by placing a name on an interior/exterior space or major program. The Board of Trustees will make reasonable efforts to work with the donor to create a plan for completion of the commitment. However, in certain circumstances it may be necessary in the best interests of the Library to remove the donor’s name from the naming opportunity.
The Board of Trustees may recognize individuals, families and entities that exemplify the attributes of integrity and civic leadership by placing a plaque in a library branch honoring them.
Before taking such action, the Library shall undertake due diligence, including consultation with counsel, as to any legal ramifications that the Library may have under any pre-existing agreement(s) in regard to any other matter that may have legal bearing upon a proposed installation of a plaque.
- Extraordinary service to the Prince George’s County Memorial Library as a staff member;
- Distinguished person or civic group or entity who has provided extraordinary service to the Library or who otherwise merits special recognition;
- Donors who have made a significant financial contribution to the Library.
PCGMLS Naming Policy