Naming of CALS Facilities

The Central Arkansas Library System Board of Directors may choose to name buildings, distinct features of buildings (auditoriums, meeting rooms, etc.), collections, and gardens. This policy applies to property that is maintained by the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS). The Board of Directors is under no obligation to name any property that it maintains, but if the Board decides to take such action, then it shall be guided by the following principles.

1. The final responsibility for selecting any name rests with the Board of Directors.

2. The Library offers two general categories of naming opportunities:

Naming Opportunities as an Honorarium for Service
Naming will be considered for a person who has provided distinguished service to the Library and the community. The depth and breadth of the contributions must be obvious and compelling, reflecting a dedication and beneficence to the Library over a significant span of time.

Philanthropic Naming
Central Arkansas Library System seeks private funds to enhance the Library’s ability to meet the needs of its community. A naming opportunity can be offered to an individual, family, organization, foundation or corporation in recognition of a substantial financial or in-kind contribution to the Library.

3. The name of no living person shall be given to a CALS building. An exception to this rule shall be made if the person under consideration has made:

  • intellectual or public service contributions that are national in scope or
  • contributions to the Central Arkansas Library System that are extraordinarily significant.

The naming of any CALS property after a living person shall require a two-thirds affirmative vote of all members of the Board of Directors. This rule does not apply to features of a building, collections, or gardens – only buildings.

4. The Board of Directors shall encourage public input and comment in any selection process for a building, but not a component thereof, or other feature. That input and comment may be sought by holding public hearings, appointing advisory committees, polling citizens, or by any other similar method approved by the board.

5. The Board of Directors shall make every effort to ensure that the diverse community that the library serves is represented in the buildings, features of buildings, collections, and gardens that it decides to name.

Guidelines for Philanthropic Naming

These guidelines are intended to provide structure and baseline definitions for the Library, which in turn will help ensure equitable, consistent opportunities and a standard of stewardship for gifts received from donors.


  1. Financial contributions include outright gifts of money, securities, real estate, personal property, in-kind donations and endowments.
  2. Naming refers to titling CALS facilities, including libraries, CALS buildings used to support the delivery of Library services, and discrete areas inside or outside library buildings, including special use areas, meeting rooms, study rooms and designated outdoor areas.
  3. Name Recognition acknowledges philanthropic contributions to support vehicles or self- service structures used in the direct delivery of Library services, technology enhancements, fixtures, furnishings and equipment, or general contributions to a library or Foundation campaign.
  4. A CALS facility consists of a permanent, free-standing structure constructed to house library staff and materials and serve as a venue for direct library service, or a permanent, free-standing structure constructed to house library or administrative staff and serve as a venue for administrative support for library services. For purposes of this document, a CALS facility may also be defined as leased space within another facility designed to house library staff and materials and serve as a venue for library service.
  5. A subunit of a facility may include special use areas (i.e., Children’s, Teens, reading areas); meeting and study rooms; and designated outdoor areas.
  6. Furnishings and fixtures may include fixed amenities, such as fireplaces and art walls, as well as shelving, furniture, display walls, and similar articles that are not a fixed part of the building.


The Library Board of Directors is responsible for establishing policies related to naming rights and recognition and may modify such policies from time to time, or as individual circumstances require.

The Executive Director is responsible for developing guidelines to govern the management of naming rights and recognition for CALS, in compliance with Board policies.

CALS staff must immediately inform the Executive Director of any offer of a gift or pledge to the CALS Foundation pursuant to these guidelines. Select members of CALS’s Executive Team and staff may support the CALS Foundation in its efforts to solicit donors, obtain appropriate approvals and develop formal naming rights and name recognition agreements with potential donors. CALS Foundation has sole responsibility for accepting and disbursing financial contributions related to naming and name recognition opportunities and for administering naming rights agreements.

All naming proposals related to Library buildings or subunits of facilities must be approved by the Library Board of Directors and the Executive Director before commitments are made to any prospective donor.

However, for the purposes of the Main Library Capital Campaign launching in February 2024, donors making commitments at board-approved contribution levels may be approved by the Executive Director in consultation with the Executive Team and Main Library Capital Campaign Committee.

General Guidelines

  • All naming and name recognition opportunities must reflect the spirit of CALS’s mission of “providing resources and services to help residents reach their full potential, and to inspire discovery, learning, and cultural expression.”
  • All solicitations for naming rights and opportunities must be coordinated through the CALS Foundation. Cash and in-kind contributions may qualify for tax deductions through the Foundation’s 501(c)(3) status. Tax receipts are not issued for funds, products or in- kind services made directly to the Library.
  • Naming rights for library buildings will be reserved for individuals; library buildings will not be named for corporations, commercial enterprises, religious entities, or other organizations.
  • When one or more donors wish to obtain naming rights to a facility, naming rights will be awarded at the discretion of the Library Board.
  • With approval of the Library Board, sub-units of facilities may be named for individuals, families, organizations, foundations or corporations to recognize philanthropic contributions.
  • Naming rights for leased library buildings are contingent on approval from the leasing entity.
  • When a proposal involves the use of the name of a deceased person, approval is contingent on the agreement of that person’s next of kin.
  • Plaques, signage, and other recognition vehicles will be placed in appropriate locations and will be consistent with the Library’s image and design requirements.
  • Library facilities and subunits of library facilities may not be named for multiple individuals, organizations, or entities.
  • A person’s or organization’s name may not be used on multiple library facilities.

Contribution Levels for Philanthropic Naming and Name Recognition Opportunities

Contribution levels for naming and naming recognition opportunities are established based on library need, industry standards, and area norms. They may be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect changing conditions.

Naming Formats

Naming formats will be defined in the official naming agreement, based on criteria listed below.

Library Facilities and Subunits of Facilities

  • Donors will have the choice of (a) honoring a leading community figure or local hero, or (b) requesting that either they or another individual or entity of their choice be recognized.
  • The name of the donor or honoree may be included in the name of the facility or subunit (e.g. “Jane Smith Meeting Room”) and shall be used in signage as well as references to the entity in publicity materials and other library documents. Alternatively, at the donor’s request, the name will remain the same but include explicit recognition of the donor (e.g. “Teaching Kitchen, made possible through the generous support of The Smith Family.”)
  • Donors who wish to remain anonymous or decline a Naming opportunity or recognition signage may be offered a recognition piece for their home or office, if desired.

Naming Recognition

  • The name of the donor or honoree will be recognized with the following language “This computer provided through the generous support of Dell Computers.” Recognition will be rendered via conspicuously placed plaques, or placement on a donor wall.

Requests for words of recognition other than those recognizing the name of an individual, family foundation, organization or corporation may be considered, subject to review and approval of the Library Board of Directors and Executive Director.

Duration of Naming Rights

The duration of naming rights will be determined at the time of the donation and spelled out in a formal agreement based on the criteria defined below.

For new library facilities, buildings, naming rights will remain in place for the useful life of the building, not to exceed a period of thirty (30) years. Renaming is subject to renewal at the Library Board’s discretion.

For subunits of library facilities, naming rights will remain in place for at least (20) twenty years. Renaming is subject to renewal at the Library Board’s discretion.

For naming recognition opportunities connected to furnishings and fixtures, recognition will remain in place for the earlier of ten years or the useful life of the item, with the option to renew at replacement or end-of-term.

Qualifications and Exclusions

  • 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. The Library Board of Directors reserve the right to accept or reject any naming proposal based on this review.
  • Unless waived by the Library Board of Directors, a library facility or subunits of a library facility shall not be named for 1) individuals currently employed by the Library; 2) political candidates, organizations or elected officials; or, 3) religious leaders, organizations or institutions.
  • In order to avoid any appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest, or any other potentially adverse consequences, additional due diligence shall be undertaken before recommending the naming opportunities that include a commercial enterprise. Naming opportunities may be assigned that include a commercial enterprise only if the proposed name is appropriate to the public setting of the Library and will not detract from the Library’s use or the Library’s reputation as a public entity.
  • Naming recognition is provided to individuals, families and entities that exemplify the attributes of integrity and civic leadership. If an individual or entity for which a naming commitment has been made violates these standards, the Library may elect to remove the individual, family, or entity’s 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 a legal bearing upon a proposed change in name. Any naming authorized by the Library Board can only be revoked by a vote of that body.
  • Naming agreements may be also modified in the event that: 1) the named facility or subunit of a facility is substantially renovated, expanded or designated for another use; 2) the named facility or subunit of a facility is sold, destroyed, removed or abandoned; 3) a named business, organization or entity changes its name and/or focus of operations, or ceases operation.

Policy Information

Board Policy #600
Board Approval: 05/10/90
Revision: 10/09/01, 10/28/92, 3/19/96, 8/22/13, 07/25/19, 02/24/24