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Meeting Rooms Policy

FAIRFIELD COUNTY DISTRICT LIBRARY

Board of Trustees Policy: Meeting Rooms
Passed by Resolution Number: 22-12
Date: February 21, 2012

The Fairfield County District Library maintains meeting room facilities in the Main Library and most library branches. Meeting rooms are intended to further the library’s mission by facilitating the exchange of diverse information and ideas.

The primary purpose of meeting rooms is to promote library services through programs, meetings and other library activities presented by library staff, the Friends of the Library or other organizations affiliated with the library. When a meeting room is not being used for a library activity, the space will be made available to the public for governmental, non-profit, civic, cultural or educational programs or meetings. Access will be provided on equal terms, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting use. The library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of any group or individual. Trade or professional associations are interpreted to be educational groups. Artistic performances by individuals will be permitted only when co-sponsored by the Library.

The terms for public use of meeting rooms are as follows:

Types of Meetings

All meetings must be free and open to the general public. Organizations conducting business meetings or presenting programs may wish to restrict or limit public comments during all or part of their meeting or programs. Any such restrictions should in no way interfere with the public’s ability to attend, observe or listen to the program.

No products or services may be advertised, solicited or sold in library meeting rooms or on library property. No collections may be taken. Educational courses conducted by non-profit agencies may charge fees for learning materials or course credits, but the program must be open for observation to members of the general public who do not pay fees.

For the purpose of fundraising or book signings, only events sponsored by the library, the Friends of the Library or other organizations affiliated with the library are permitted.

Meeting room programs must not interfere with library operations or cause a disturbance in the library.

The use of the library premises for private social functions such as parties or receptions is not permitted.

Liability

The library assumes no liability for theft or damage to property brought onto library property or for injuries which occur as a result of actions of sponsors or participants during activities taking place in meeting rooms.

The individual or group reserving a meeting room will be held responsible for the order and conduct of the group and for any loss or damage to library property. Young children accompanying adult users of the meeting room shall not be left unattended in the library. Minors are not permitted to use meeting rooms without adult supervision.

Any abuse or misuse of facilities will be sufficient cause to deny the use of library meeting rooms in the future.

Usage

Meeting rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Library sponsored or co-sponsored programs take precedence over other groups at all times. The library reserves the right to cancel a reservation if the space is required for use by the library or a library related organization. Except in an emergency, two (2) weeks notice will be given for any cancellation made by the Library. The Library will make every effort to avoid a cancellation but does reserve the right.

With the exception of library sponsored programs, meeting room space may be reserved no earlier than twelve (12) weeks in advance. Library meeting room use is limited to once a month for outside groups and cannot be booked for regularly scheduled weekly/monthly/quarterly meetings. On a contingency basis, organizations or groups may call a day or two ahead in the current week to see if meeting space is available. Such requests will be considered and space made available if possible.

All organizations or groups must complete a Meeting Room Contract each time they reserve space. Confirmation from the library must be received before the request is formally approved.

Meeting rooms are available during public service hours. Meeting room reservations are scheduled for specific prearranged times. All meetings and events including time to set up and clean up must take place within the prearranged times. All attendees must be gone and the space cleaned up at least fifteen (15) minutes before the library closes.

At the sole discretion of the Library, meeting space may be reserved outside of normal Library public service hours. The Library will not approve overtime or compensatory time for Library employees to accommodate meetings which are held outside of normal public service hours. Library facilities may not be used unless one or more Library staff is in attendance at the meeting or working in the building during the meeting.

There is no charge for ordinary use of a meeting room which includes a standard set up of tables and chairs. Additional chairs and tables may be requested at a nominal fee. Use of other equipment must be requested in advance and may incur fees. The library does not guarantee staff assistance available at the time of the meeting to modify the room arrangement or instruct in the use of equipment. To avoid being charged for damage, please report any problems or deficiencies immediately.

As per the local Fire Marshall, occupancy is limited as follows:

Main Library 200
Main Library Boardroom 25
Baltimore Branch Library 50
Bremen Branch Library 50

Refreshments and light catered meals may be served. Cooking is not permitted. Food and beverages must be consumed in the meeting room only. Groups must supply their own serving supplies. Any leftover food or beverages will be disposed of at the discretion of the library. Users are responsible for cleaning up and restoring the room to its original condition before leaving. A minimum $25.00 fee for janitorial service will be assessed if the meeting space and/or kitchen are not left in their original condition.

Burning candles, Sterno or other flammable substances are prohibited.

Without prior approval from the Library Director, live animals are prohibited unless they are needed to assist a visitor with a disability.

No smoking or alcoholic beverages are allowed in the library.

Cancellations should be made as soon as possible in order to make the space available for others. See refund section below.

The library retains the right to deny the space to any user whose planned use of the space does not comply with these terms.

Most Fairfield County District Library branch locations offer meeting room space. Meetings at these locations must follow the same rules as set forth for the Main Library. Organizations or groups must contact the Branch Manager or his/her designee to setup a meeting. Once approved, a Meeting Room Contract (Branch Library) must be completed.

Contracts, Fees and Refunds

The required Meeting Room Contract must be submitted at least ten (10) days before the event. The reservation is not confirmed until the form has been approved.

For non-library sponsored meetings or events, a fee will be charged for a setup other than one of the standard conference style setups shown on the Meeting Room Contract form.

All fees are due when the application is submitted. All monies paid will be refunded if the library, for whatever reason, is unable to provide space. If there is a cancellation by the group itself, notification must be received by the Library at least ten (10) calendar days in advance of the event for a refund to be issued.

Information Materials and Endorsements

Use of meeting rooms does not constitute Library sponsorship and/or endorsement. No individual or group may state or imply Library endorsement or sponsorship of events in the library meeting rooms without written approval from the Library Director. To establish the fact that the Fairfield County District Library is not sponsoring the event, all publicity which uses the name of the library must include the statement: “Sponsored by…” (the name of the organization reserving the room).Announcements or publicity must include an address or telephone number other than the Library as a contact for information.

Material such as pamphlets and flyers may be posted or distributed within the guidelines of the Library’s Policy on the Distribution of Informational Materials.

Failure to comply with meeting room policy or rules may result in loss of meeting room privileges including immediate termination of a meeting by appropriate library personnel.