Art Collection Development Policy


Randall Library strives to provide an aesthetically pleasing environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors – one that is conducive to the pursuit of intellectual study and cultural enrichment. To that end, Randall Library welcomes opportunities to accession pieces of art for display within the public areas in its facility.  

This public art policy covers gifts of art to Randall Library or art purchased by the Library as well as art displayed in the Library. The policy also covers art loaned to the Library for display from a University of North Carolina Wilmington department or unit, or an individual. Specific guidelines for the exhibition of artwork are detailed in the Art Display and Hosted Exhibits Policy.  

Collecting Areas and Criteria  

Randall Library will consider accepting as gifts such pieces of art as paintings, sculpture, wall hangings, photographs, and other original works in various media. Gifts of works of art will be accepted without limitations or conditions placed on the Library by the donor or artist unless those limitations or conditions are approved by the Associate Director for Library Specialized Collections and/or Dean of the Library.  

Selection Criteria for Artworks  

Provenance: Randall Library primarily accepts gifts and loans from artists from or based in North Carolina. The library also accepts artwork that depicts scenes or subjects related to North Carolina. 

Style and Nature: The art should be appropriate in scale, material, form and content for the library environment.  

Quality and Elements of Design: Public art may have other functions in addition to aesthetic enjoyment. For example, a work of art may establish a focal point, modify or enhance a space, or identify a building function. As far as possible, the work of art should complement the building and its purpose. The reputation of the artist may be a factor in the decision.  

Durability: Works of art will be examined for durability, taking the library environment and the condition of the piece into consideration. Extremely fragile items or those that are potential targets for vandalism are not appropriate for the library setting.  

Installation/Maintenance Costs: When selecting a work of art to purchase or determining if a gift may be accepted, the Library will take into consideration any security issues, the cost of installation, and the cost of maintaining the work over its lifetime. Start-up and ongoing costs for cleaning and mounting will also be considered.  

Public Liability: Works will that create unsafe conditions or contain other factors that may bear on public liability will not be accepted. 

Conditions of Acceptance: In the case of gifts or donations, the donor’s conditions may affect whether or not the gift will be accepted.  

Libraries Discretion: Randall Library, in its sole discretion, will determine whether to review and accept or reject any gift or proposed artwork.  

Acceptance Policy and Procedures  

The decision to accept artwork for display in the Library – whether as a donation or on loan – rests with the Library Public Art Committee in consultation with the Dean of Libraries. When accepting a work of art, Randall Library reserves the right to:  

  • Exhibit any donated object in a manner that is consistent with Randall Library’s policies, needs, and available space. Acceptance of a work of art does not imply that it will be on permanent public display.  
  • Return loaned art to the owning University department upon recommendation by the Library Public Art Committee and approval of the Associate Director for Library Specialized Collections.  
  • Move and relocate art work for any reason it deems necessary.  
  • Deselect owned or abandoned pieces no longer desired or needed. 
The Library Public Art Committee  

The Library Public Art Committee (LPAC) is composed of the Special Collections Librarian (chair), Liaison to the Art and Art History Department, and the Building Operations Manager. The LPAC is charged with providing advice and counsel regarding the addition, location and installation, physical welfare, and security of all donated and purchased artwork displayed in public areas and within general working spaces such as hallways, entrances, conference rooms, and other common areas within Randall Library. The decision to relocate existing art and where to display or store pieces designated for relocation, as well as all special projects related to the library art collection, also fall under the purview of the LPAC.  

Gifts of Artwork  

Title to all gifts of art will pass to the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Randall Library. Gifts to the Library remain outright and unrestricted donations to be used according to the sole discretion of the Library.  

Donors who wish to receive a tax credit are responsible for obtaining an appraisal. By law, Randall Library cannot provide value estimates on gift material. The Associate Director for Library Specialized Collections will determine the appropriate process of receipt and acknowledgment for gifts of art. The documentation will identify and acknowledge the gift without appraising the work of art.  

Long-term Temporary Loan of Artwork  

In addition to gifts of art or art purchased for the Library by donors, the LAPC will also evaluate the long-term temporary loan of art pieces for display from a University department or unit, or from an individual.  

Long-term loans of art pieces for display will be covered by a written agreement that includes the details for duration, placement, security, and return of the item when the loan is over. Title of loaned materials will remain with the lending department or person. The care, security, and preservation of artwork that is loaned for display in the Library will be the responsibility of the owner, whether that entity is a department or an individual.  

Acceptance Procedures  

When the library or a library unit is offered a piece of visual art to add to the library collection, the library employee who receives the offer will contact the LPAC with a brief description of the art and any special needs or special circumstances related to the gift or long-term loan. The LPAC will determine whether to accept the offered piece. During its discussion and information-gathering process, the LPAC will at its discretion consult with appropriate parties including but not limited to liaison librarians and teaching faculty. 

Deaccessioning Policy:  

The Special Collections Librarian in conjunction with the Associate Director for Library Specialized Collections may deaccession materials that do not fall within the current collecting areas, subject to the terms of acquisition, University regulations, and state and federal laws.  

Review of Collection Development Guidelines:  

The Library Art collection development policy will be reviewed in June 2026 and revised as needed to continue to meet the goals of the department and Randall Library.