Meeting Room Use Policy

Adopted October 13, 2004
Revised June 17, 2009
Revised January 19, 2011

The primary purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to serve as a venue for Library sponsored services, programs, and activities. Library services, programs and activities shall have priority over all other activities. The Library reserves the right to revoke a meeting room use permit or reschedule a meeting should there be a conflict with Library related services, programs, or activities, or in the case of an emergency. The Library may further cancel one or more previously scheduled dates if demand for meeting room use increases.

Permission to use one of the Library’s meeting rooms may be granted to community groups, organizations, and individuals whose aims are Library connected, educational, cultural, and/or civic. Use of the Library’s meeting rooms is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations as well as policies promulgated by the Library’s Board of Trustees. Scheduling availability is to be solely determined by the Library. Use of meeting rooms shall be non-exclusive and shall be open to the general public. Preference shall be given to School District based organizations and organizations whose membership is primarily comprised of Baldwin Union Free School District residents.

A room may not be utilized by political parties or a representative of political parties when the purpose of such is to promote a political agenda. In addition, the room is not to be utilized for the advancement of commercial or profit-making enterprises.

Application to use one of the Library’s meeting rooms must be made in writing by an adult on the form provided for this purpose at least one week in advance of the date of the intended use. Forms are available from the Library’s Programmer. The meeting room use application must be signed by a bona-fide officer of the organization requesting use of the meeting. No application shall be considered officially approved until it is signed by the Library Director, Assistant Director or other person designated by the Board of Trustees and returned to the applicant. By executing the application, the applicant agrees to the release of the applicant’s name and telephone number to any person requesting information concerning an organization’s activities or program.

The Library meeting rooms may be used during library hours if scheduled sufficiently in advance (at least one week in advance) and subject to availability. In order to provide for fair and equitable access to the meeting rooms by all qualified community groups, the Board reserves the right to not grant permission for the use of meeting rooms on a regularly scheduled basis. No meetings may take place on days when the Library is not open for regular service. Meeting room use may, at the Library’s sole discretion, be regulated as to certain days and hours so as to minimize interference with Library programs, operations and capacities of Library premises. Weekend dates (Saturday and Sunday) are generally reserved for Library programs.Use of Library facilities does not imply endorsement of the beliefs, activities or programs of an organization by the Library or anyone connected with the Library. All publicity and/or media coverage for events in the Library, whatever the source, must be approved by the Library Director, Assistant Director or Librarian-in-Charge prior to issuance or coverage. The Library may only be mentioned as a location, not as the sponsor of an event nor as the headquarters of an organization, in all announcements or publicity relating to a meeting room event. The Library’s telephone number may not be given to obtain further information regarding non-Library sponsored events. Any literature or other items to be distributed at a meeting must be submitted to the Library Director, Assistant Director or Librarian-in-Charge at least 48 hours prior to intended distribution. If items intended for distribution are in violation of law or regulation, distribution of the same is prohibited. The applicant must certify that the meeting room shall be used only for the specific activity stated on the application and for no other purpose whatsoever. No activity may disrupt the Library’s operations.

The responsibility for the maintenance of public order and safety at a meeting is that of the applicant. Adequate responsible adult supervision shall be provided by the applicant. Groups whose membership includes minors must be supervised by responsible adults in a ratio to be determined by the Library Director, Assistant Director or Librarian-in-Charge. All Fire Department regulations and posted meeting room capacity requirements are to be strictly observed.

The Library Director, Assistant Director or Librarian-in-Charge is authorized to order the termination of any meeting or activity making use of Library facilities in violation of any law or use regulation. The determination by said Library official is final. The Library Director, Assistant Director or Librarian-in-Charge is authorized to call upon appropriate law enforcement agencies to enforce such action if, in the opinion of the Library official, circumstances warrant such an action. Further permission to use the meeting room may be denied or withdrawn to any group who violates any law or regulation or whose conduct and activities interfere with or disrupt Library operations or patrons’ quiet use and enjoyment of Library facilities.

The meeting room must be left in a neat and orderly fashion. If not, a written notice will be given to the applicant stating that a second offense will result in denial of further meeting room use. Whenever the Library is used, there is the possibility that persons may be injured and may bring legal action against the Board of Trustees, Library employees, and/or the contracting organization, group or individual for personal liability. It is possible that organizations, groups, or individuals using the property may be sued for personal injury. Each organization, group, or individual should, therefore, protect itself by having an insurance policy insuring it against such legal action. The signature of the applicant on the meeting room application is acknowledgement by the organization, group, or individual that it recognizes this responsibility.

In consideration of the use of the meeting room facilities, each organization or group agrees that it will pay for all damages to any property of the Library, resulting directly or indirectly from the conduct of any member, officer, employee or agent of the organization or group, or by any person in attendance. The applicant is to execute a hold-harmless/indemnification agreement in favor of the Library, its Board of Trustees, and its employees from any liability or claim action or loss arising from the applicant’s use of the meeting room, including the cost of legal fees, costs, or expenses incurred by the Library in connection with defending any claim arising from the applicant’s use. The signature of the applicant on the meeting room use application is acceptance by the organization, group, or individual of the indemnification responsibility.

No admission fees may be charged; no donations may be solicited or accepted; nor may items be sold. Use of the facilities will not be granted for fundraising purposes, except as may be permissible under law and with explicit consent of the Library Board of Trustees. Such permission shall be deemed extraordinary.

The Library is not responsible for the safeguarding of any supplies, equipment, or other items owned by the applicant or by persons attending the applicant’s activity. The Library will not store materials for an applicant. Items left in the Library will be considered abandoned property and will be disposed of in accordance with standard practice. Special meeting room set-up requirements must be requested at the time of application.

Library equipment may be used only by Library personnel or properly trained applicants. When needed, tables must be covered at the group’s expense. Light refreshment (i.e. coffee, tea, cake) may be served only if special authorization is given at time of application. There will be no serving or consuming of meals unless it is a Library sponsored program. Consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking are prohibited on Library premises.

Cancellation notice of at least 48 hours is required if an organization cancels its meeting. A substitute date will be scheduled, if available. Upon emergency closing of the Library, all scheduled meetings are automatically cancelled.

Staff member in charge of booking a particular meeting room will fill out the “Custodial Setup” form (see appendix IX. II.) for that room and forward it to the custodial staff at least 48 hours prior to the event.

The final and sole interpretation of this policy rest with the Library’s Board of Trustees. Implementation and enforcement are delegated to the Library Director, Assistant Director or Librarian-in-Charge.

1. Book Discussion Group
The Library shall permit the use of its meeting rooms for book discussion groups and shall procure, when needed, and pay for, when necessary, a moderator. Although obtaining the book to be discussed is the responsibility of the members of the group, copies will be made available when possible from the Library’s own collection or through interlibrary loan. A staff member will be available at the beginning of each meeting.

2. Other Adult Programs
Programs by residents may be given only once every two years and at no charge. If attendance at any program is expected to exceed capacity, preference will be given to residents of the Baldwin Union Free School District.

3. Children’s Programs
If attendance at any program is expected to exceed capacity, preference will be given to residents of the Baldwin Union Free School District.