Collecting art has historically been part of Memorial Hall Library's mission. The original building served as both a public library and as a memorial to those from Andover who were veterans of the Civil War. Among the items collected by the Library have been portraits, maps, and historical memorabilia from the Civil War period, including a portrait of Lincoln by Charles Barry.
The library's art collection was significantly enhanced in 1987 when the building was added to and renovated. At that time, money was raised from the community for artwork and a number of pieces of sculpture and a quilt were added.
The library's long range plan includes the goal "To create and maintain a library climate that enhances the satisfaction of those who use the building and enables the director and staff to best serve the public." A specific activity of that goal is to "Evaluate the library's art collection and its placement in the library and enhance the collection with additional pieces."
II. Selection Process
Works of art will be sought by the library's Art Committee. The committee will consist of library trustees, the library director, and two members of the Andover community who have some expertise in art and art collecting. Art pieces may be considered when there are sufficient funds available and specific pieces may be brought to the attention of the committee. Funds are expected to be provided from the proceeds of the Board of Library Trustees' Fund.
Final responsibility for acceptance of a work of art resides with the Board of Library Trustees.
III. Criteria for selection
The library seeks art that was carried created local Andover artists. Works of art not carried out by local artists will be considered, particularly if they are intended as special gifts to the library.
The library does have a collection of Civil War materials and items related to that period of history. Items related to that period, especially those items with a connection to items already owned, will be considered for purchased.
Any items commissioned or purchased outright will enhance the library and be intended for public viewing.
See also the Library's Gifts and Donations Policy
Items given to the library will be presented to the Board of Library Trustees for final acceptance. Items given to the library which have not been accepted by the Board of Library Trustees are left at the owner's risk. Library insurance does not cover the item until it is formally accepted. If the Board decides not to accept an item, the owner may reclaim the item within thirty days.
Items that are accepted by the Board are considered unconditional and outright gifts to be displayed, loaned, retained, reproduced, sold or disposed in the best interest of the Library. Donors will be asked to read and sign a copy of the library's "Gift Agreement."
Gifts to the Library may be deductible from taxable income in accordance with the provisions of the federal income tax law.
Obtaining appraisal value for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor. The library is not able to place monetary value on items nor can it pay for an appraisal.
See gift agreement.
IV. Display and Maintenance
Memorial Hall Library's art collection will be regularly inventoried and the results of the inventory will be reported to the Board of Library Trustees on an annual basis. Maintenance and conservation considerations will be noted and a member of the library's art committee will have the responsibility of working with an assigned library staff member to assure proper care of the collection.
A copy of the inventory will be sent to the Town's Insurance representative annually and any new items will be added to the insurance policy immediately upon acceptance.
Occasionally, a request may be received to display a work of art in the library's collection at some other location. All such requests will be presented to the Board of Library Trustees for approval.
V. Withdrawal or Sale of Art
The Board of Library Trustees will be responsible for any decisions regarding the removal of a work of art. Any art withdrawn from the collection may be donated to an appropriate public organization or sold at public auction. The proceeds from the sale of a work of art will go to the Board's Trust Funds for the purpose of acquiring new art or maintaining the collection.
(This would have to be reviewed by the Town Lawyer or Accountant.)
Any objections about items in the library's permanent art collection will be put in writing and presented to the Board of Library Trustees. The board has final authority regarding the inclusion or exclusion of a piece of art from the library.