Distribution of Free Publications and Community Postings Policy

Hennepin County Library Administrative Policy


The purpose of this policy is to define library practice with regard to the distribution of free publications and community postings in Hennepin County libraries and ensure that this policy is in alignment with the Hennepin County Use of Space by the Public in County Facilities Policy.


As a public service, Hennepin County Library may make limited space available within library buildings to distribute free publications or post community announcements.

Free publications or postings from the community will be made available in a designated space at the discretion of library staff. Priority will be given to Hennepin County Library or other Hennepin County produced publications or postings. In the case of free publications, distributors are expected to deliver publications regularly, place them in designated locations, and discard out of date issues. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the withdrawal of distribution privileges via a Letter of Removal from the Hennepin County Library.

Materials posted or left for free distribution are subject to review by library staff and may be discarded. The library does not endorse nor take a position on any of the views presented in free publications or in items posted for community viewing.

Considerations and Criteria

  • Items for posting should be submitted to library staff.
  • Lobbies, entryways or designated public bulletin board areas are the most appropriate spaces for providing access to free publications and community postings.
  • Priority is given to Hennepin County Library or other Hennepin County produced publications or postings; followed by postings for events and programs in the local community.
  • Some examples of items that may not be posted include: political campaign material, business or profit-making items, rent solicitations and coupon circulars.
  • Postings or materials without event or end dates may be displayed for up to 60 days.
  • The maximum size of items accepted for posting is 11”x 17”.  Items with tear-off tabs will not be posted.
  • Items for distribution or posting will not be returned if they are not approved, or are approved and being removed based on the considerations and criteria listed in this policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

When reviewing items submitted for distribution and posting, staff:

  • Use their professional judgment to critically evaluate the authority, appropriateness, scope, audience, currency and accuracy of items submitted for posting and/or in the distribution of free publications.
  • Be mindful of the Library’s mission, vision and services; and weigh onsite conditions (e.g. available space) when considering items for posting and/or in the distribution of free publications.


This administrative policy is reviewed at least every five (5) years by the Community Engagement Division Manager (or designee). Upon completion of that review, this policy is revised or reaffirmed.

Policy History

Next Review Date: 2027
Date Approved: 2022