Program proposals

Systemwide Programming Guidelines

Programming is a process through which the library meets the informational, cultural, educational, and recreational needs of patrons by providing a wide array of activities designed to meet those needs. The library focuses on programming that is literacy or literature based or that supports or highlights the library's services or collections. Priority is given to programming of an arts, cultural or humanities nature and to programming that encourages civic engagement and community discourse. Occasionally the library also hosts entertainment and community education programs. Library programs provides opportunities, resources and space to enrich, ​enlighten, entertain and engage community members. For low income families, library programs are a critical community resource. For the youngest library user and his or her family, story programs start children on the path to literacy.

If you are interested in presenting a program, please review Multnomah County Library Priorities and the information below. Please submit a program proposal and a library representative will contact you if the program meets our guidelines and fits into our schedule and budget.

Please note: We receive hundreds of suggestions for programs, so we are not able to respond to each submission. If we choose to take the next step with your program, we will be in touch.

Scheduling timeline

Planning and publicity for library programs is done 2–4 months prior to each program cycle.

Program cycle Proposal deadline
January–February September 1
March–April November 1
May–August January 1
September–October May 1
November–December July 1

Program publicity

Programs may appear on the library's website, news releases and branch flyers, and in the library's newsletter, e-mail alert and media advisory.

If you have any non-returnable brochures, photographs, publicity or other materials about your organization or program, please mail them to:

Multnomah County Library
Programming and Community Outreach Division
​PO Box 6997
Portland, OR  97228-6997

Payment policy

Multnomah County Library's terms of payment are net 15 days from the completion date of the program. Your check will be mailed to you within two weeks after the completion of your program, upon receipt of your signed program agreement(s), W-9 form and independent contractor certificate with valid tax ID number.

Program content

The library has been advised that performance of copyrighted works in library programs without the proper licensing is a violation of copyright law. Performers and musicians who use music or other copyrighted materials in library programs should only use music or material for which they have permission to use, however they intend to use it.

The library expects that performers and musicians will obtain any necessary copyright permission and/or license for any non-original works used for any library program. This includes works performed live and/or use of recorded music in library programs.

Communicating with library staff contacts

A copy of your program agreement is sent to your library staff contact at the beginning of each programming cycle. The library staff contact will call you a few days before the program to confirm that you are coming, that you know how to get to the location, what time you are expected to arrive, who you should ask for, that you're aware of any logistical details specific to your location and this program, etc.

If you need to talk to your library staff contact, refer to your program agreement. The name and telephone number are listed.

I have read the above guidelines and am ready to submit a proposal.