Naming Rights Policy



The East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees (the Board) considers the naming of a room in honor or memory of a living or deceased individual, corporation, foundation or organization to be one of the highest distinctions it can bestow.

East Lansing Public Library (Library) seeks to recognize persons who have supported the Library through substantial financial contributions by naming facilities in their honor.


General Definitions

Naming opportunities due to a financial donation; the room or area may be named directly after the benefactor, or it may retain or be given a functional title following which the benefactor will be recorded as its sponsor. Proposals for naming facilities should be submitted to the Library Director and should contain specific information in support thereof, including any guidelines on how the donated funds are to be used to support the named room or area. If endorsed by the Library Director, the proposal will be forwarded to the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees for approval. The Board reserves the right to name the room or area according to what is best for the function of the Library.

All contract documents must be finalized before the Library issues final approval for a naming opportunity.

The Naming Rights Policy includes internal features, which may be rooms, and outdoor areas, which may be gardens. Other items may be recommended for naming after consultation with the Library Director.


Guidelines for Naming
Rooms or Areas

A proposal for naming a room or area of the Library in honor of a person will normally be considered when that person is a major benefactor to the East Lansing Public Library that merits recognition.

Naming rights will not extend beyond the normal life of the room or area. Generally, naming rights for benefactors would be granted when there is a minimum commitment of five years. Naming rights will normally remain in place for a period of no longer than twenty (20) years, although a plaque will remain in the location in perpetuity, acknowledging the name and the donation. In the event the room or building is significantly altered in a timeframe less than 50% of the agreed upon time when the gift was made, the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees will roll the name forward in a similar capacity.

A proposal for naming a room or outdoor area in honor of a member of the community will also be considered when that person has given distinguished service to the Library that merits recognition in the Library's history.

Deferred Gifts with Naming Rights
Deferred gifts are those gifts that are committed for Library use in the present but received by the Library in the future. There may be many forms of such gifts. Deferred gift assets become available for investment by the Library when a donor transfers cash or assets to the East Lansing Public Library and obtains, in exchange, a life income based on the value of donated assets. The forms in which gifts may currently be established include, but are not limited to: charitable gift annuity (no trust); charitable remainder unitrust; charitable remainder annuity trust; pooled income fund (pooled trust); and charitable lead trust.

Each deferred gift plan will have a mutually signed agreement that specifies the type of plan, amount of the income payments, and the purpose and use of the deferred gift.

People interested in developing this type of gift are encouraged to contact the Library Director to discuss their options. All plans for Deferred Gifts shall contain a written statement of intent with full details of the gift. The Library Director shall submit his/her recommendation to the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees for final acceptance.

Once a deferred gift has received formal acceptance by the Board, the gift will be considered as irrevocable.


General Guidelines

To insure the appropriateness of the honor, the East Lansing Public Library will adhere to the following guidelines to make decisions on the merits of each opportunity with regard to naming interior and exterior spaces and collections:

  • Unless the Library Director determines otherwise, a person’s or corporation's name may be used in naming a library room only once.
  • Negotiations for the naming rights for a particular room may be initiated by the Library Director or with the Attorney by a benefactor or other interested parties.
  • In the event that the flow of funds agreed to constitute a naming opportunity ceases before the agreed time, the Library Director may recommend to the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees that the use of the benefactor's name for the room be discontinued.
  • When a major building project is to be undertaken, a tailored naming policy may be proposed for various rooms, or parts of the building and its environs. Such a policy will require the endorsement of the Library Director for recommendation to the Board. (See Addendum A)
  • If an individual or organization, after which a room or area has been named, comes into disrepute at the Library or in the community at large, the Library Director may recommend to the Board that the use of the name be discontinued.


Request Procedure

The President of the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees shall charge the Library Director to review and make recommendations to the Board for naming opportunities.  The guidelines for naming rights are as follows:

  • All requests for naming shall be submitted to the Board in writing. The request shall contain justification compliant with the criteria and objectives outlined in this policy. The Board will review and research each submitted naming nomination on its individual merits.
  • No publicity shall be given the recommendation for naming until it is approved by the Board.


Gift Recognition Replacement-Special Considerations

A request to rename, add a second name or remove a name from a room shall conform to the following principles:

  • Any request to rename, add, or remove a name from a room within the Library should include documentation pertaining to the original approval and subsequent name change proposal. In the event that donor names must be removed for new construction, or in the event the Library is destroyed by natural disaster and is rebuilt to be used for its original purpose, recognition shall be replaced per the original agreement.
  • In the event a building is drastically altered through construction, the East Lansing Board of Trustees shall reserve the right to add/alter gift recognition, including the room’s naming. Any donor plaques displaced as a result of this will be rededicated in an alternative location in accordance with the timeframe developed for the original gift.
  • When a named room has reached the end of its useful life and will be replaced or substantially renovated, the replaced or renovated space may be renamed in recognition of a new donor or honoree. Appropriate recognition of earlier donors or honorees shall be included in, or adjacent to, new, renovated or redeveloped facilities.


Dedication Ceremony and Plaque

A plaque will be installed at or near the named area. The Board reserves the right to choose the wording, size, location and style of the plaque.  An appropriate dedication ceremony may be planned and conducted.

This policy will be reviewed as needed.


Addendum A

General Room Sponsorship Levels:

A donation in the amount of $15,000 to $249,999 will allow for sponsorship of an area or a room at the East Lansing Public Library.  The Library Board of Trustees will determine which room or area depending on the amount of the donation.

General Room Naming Levels:

A donation in the amount of $250,000 or above will allow for the naming of a room or area at the East Lansing Public Library by the donor.  The Library Board of Trustees will determine which room or area depending on the amount of the donation.

Sponsorship and Naming Levels—Specific Areas During Renovations or Construction:
Donation Amounts:

  • Small Tutor Room                     $15,000
  • Small Conference Room            $20,000
  • Periodical Area                          $50,000
  • Computer Area                          $75,000
  • Tween Area                               $75,000
  • Teen Area                                 $100,000
  • Large Meeting Room                 $200,000
  • Maker Studio (in ELPL)              $200,000
  • Children’s Area                          $400,000
  • Other areas will be determined by the Board according to the amount of donation.

These guidelines will be reviewed as needed.


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