Damascus Visitor Center Display Policy
The Washington County Public Library has partnered with the Virginia Department of Transportation to construct a new facility that will function as a visitor center and library. The 6,500-square-foot building will have approximately 1,000 square feet designated as an area to provide information to visitors coming to the Damascus area. The Washington County Public Library will be responsible for the management of the visitor center and the library.
The focus of the information available at the visitor center will be Washington County and the surrounding counties of Smyth and Grayson and the area referred to as the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Specific focus will be on the towns of Damascus, Glade Spring and Abingdon, the Virginia Creeper Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
Materials on display in the visitor center will be limited to agencies and business that are directly connected with providing services to visitors. The Library has a review process that will determine the eligibility of materials that will be accepted for display. Using criteria set by library administration, staff in the Damascus Branch is authorized to determine what materials are acceptable for display in the visitors center. Information about the criteria used to approve materials for display is at the end of this document.
If time allows, library staff will alert each company or agency that has materials on display that the supply of materials is low. However, each company or agency should also make an effort to keep check on the supply of materials. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information in your materials is accurate. The library assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information on display.
In developing services and creating guidelines for operation of the visitor center, WCPL has conferred with Virginia Department of Tourism. This agency has agreed to provide training for library staff and/or community volunteers so they can more readily provide assistance about the resources in the visitor center.
Library staff will not staff the visitor center. Visitors will be encouraged to seek assistance by coming inside the library during normal operating hours.
The Library will only be responsible for opening and closing the visitor center according to the operating hours of the library. In the future, cooperative arrangements with the Town of Damascus or community groups may enable the hours of operation for the visitor center to extend beyond that of the library.
Display material requirements:
• Library staff must approve materials before being placed on display.
• Content must address services or resources that would directly benefit or be of interest to visitors to the area
• Materials should be at least 4X8 in order to fit within the display units. Maps and items in a magazine format are acceptable, provided items can be placed in double display unit.
• Materials should not contain images or language that would be offensive
• Literature on accommodations, restaurants, outfitter businesses, equipment rental, recreational services, trail maps, educational material, etc.
• Events, festivals, educational gatherings or celebrations targeted at visitors will be included. Examples: Trail Days, Naturalist Rally, Ramp Festival, live music events open to the public, 5K runs, bike rides, fishing tournaments, nature hikes or events that are open to the public.
• Notices from the local police or forestry service regarding safety or security issues related to the use of local recreational areas.
• Material available may include: Maps of the area such as AT, Virginia Creeper, Mount Rogers NRA, bike/hike trails, horse trails, maps of lodging, food and attractions.
• Car wash by local club
• Pressure washing service
• Baby sitting service
• Lawn mowing
• Individual Yard Sales
• Announcements of birthday parties, baby showers or events primarily of a personal nature.
• Unacceptable material is not limited to those listed above.