MEETING ROOM POLICY

Recognizing the public meeting rooms as an integral and important part of the community’s library resources, the Long Beach Public Library’s policy is to make these facilities available to local organizations within the Long Beach School District.  Although these rooms are primarily for library programs and library co-sponsored programs, other organized groups wishing to meet for educational, cultural, recreational or civic purposes are encouraged to apply.  Meeting rooms are provided on an equitable basis regardless of beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups. In so doing, the Library affirms its support of the American Library Association’s policy on Meeting Rooms, An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, attached hereto
Meetings of a commercial, fundraising, illegal or private nature, and (those which promote the practice, observance or solicitation of religion), are prohibited. Further, the library cannot be used for religious worship services or as a house of worship. Meetings of political organizations* as defined by Election Law Section 1-104, Subdivision 3 and  (Education Law, Section 414 (1) (e)) and electioneering within the Library are prohibited. Further, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to reject any application by an organization whose proposed meeting poses an imminent danger to the public.

General Guidelines:
        1. Meeting rooms are available only for non-commercial purposes. Meetings must be open to the general public, and be free of any charge and/or solicitations for commercial transactions or membership. The sale, excepting transactions by the Library and the Friends of the Library and/or solicitation of products and/or services is prohibited. Granting use of meeting rooms does not constitute endorsement by the Library of the aims, policies or statements of the organization or its program(s). As such, meetings not cosponsored by the Library may not be publicized in a manner suggesting Library sponsorship. Neither the name nor address of the Long Beach Public Library may be used as the official address or headquarters of an organization. 

            2. All literature and other items to be distributed at a library meeting or program must be submitted to the Director or his/her designee at least five (5) days prior to the event. Presenters’ contact information and fact sheets relevant to the presentation would be acceptable. Solicitations for commercial transactions, electioneering material, and pricing for service lists are unacceptable. If approved, items will be made available upon exiting the meeting space.

            3. Facilities are available during normal library hours; however, all meetings at the main building must be terminated and the building vacated by 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5:45 on Friday and 4:45 on Saturday and Sunday. The latter when the Library is open for service mid September through mid June. Meetings in the branches are subject to approval by the Director. Organizational meetings scheduled outside these hours can be subject to charges based on staff salaries and benefits, supplies needed and utility costs.

          4. Permission can be granted to a group whose members are 18 years of age or under; however, at least one adult for every 10 minors must attend all meetings and be responsible for conduct.  This adult must submit the application and be the authorized representative referred to in the application.

           5. Those utilizing meeting rooms shall submit the Meeting Room Application form at least two weeks prior to their scheduled meeting, restrict activities to areas assigned by the staff, agree to observe all Library regulations, exercise the utmost care in the use of the premises and property, and compensate the Library for any damages arising from use.

          6. Organizations may reserve the facilities for a number of meetings depending on availability and Library programming; however, should the nature of a specific meeting depart (e.g. a speaker invited, a film shown, etc.) from the original application, the Library must be informed in writing at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting in question.  Failure to do so can result in cancellation of said meeting.

          7. Light refreshments, tea, coffee, sandwiches and cake may be set up. While coffee and tea makers are available; dishes, silverware, trays or other utensils will not be provided.  There are no storage facilities and all refuse must be placed in containers supplied by the Library. The Library is not responsible for the theft or damage of any property brought to a meeting. Alcohol, cell phone use and smoking are prohibited.

          8. The Library’s audio and visual equipment is available for use; however, the need for such equipment must be indicated on the application form. Only Library personnel may operate this equipment.  Since staff must be scheduled, the approximate time the equipment is needed must be provided.

          9. For any and all meetings, library staff must be on the premises.  During library hours, the ranking professional or branch clerk shall be in charge; however, after regular hours and absenting a professional, a designated custodian is in charge.

         10. No program in the Library may be broadcast or televised without express written consent of the Director. Organizational materials may not be a mounted or affixed to meeting room walls.

          11. The capacity of each room is established by Fire Regulations and as such shall be strictly enforced.  Limits are as follows:

          Auditorium, undivided                        210 plus 23 standees
          East Section, when divided                 48
          North Section, when divided               96
          West Section, when divided                65

In further compliance with fire codes, seating arrangement must permit clear aisles and unobstructed access to exits.

Application Procedure:

                        1. Organizations meeting within the Library are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.  First time users must submit an application on or before the first Monday of each month for inclusion on the agenda and an organizational representative must attend the Board meeting at which their application shall be considered. Groups having prior approval can submit their Meeting Room Application two months prior to their meeting. All applications will be considered based on the availability of space.

                        2. Organizations may request space for one year and are scheduled in the order the applications are received.  Reservations cannot be made on a permanent basis. All applications must include the name, address, and telephone number of a contact person.

                        3. Groups wishing to make arrangements outside the library’s normal hours must apply at least two (2) months prior to the meeting and can be subject to charges, based on staff salaries and benefits, supplies needed and utility costs. All such meetings are subject to staff availability and may be cancelled absenting sufficient library personnel.

                        4. Library administration may waive any application procedure for organizations having prior approval. However all such meetings must be open to the public and free of the aforementioned solicitations.

Fees:

          1. There are no fees associated with the use of the Library’s meeting rooms; however, space requested and approved outside the Library’s normal schedule may be subject to such charges as staff salaries, utilities and supplies as determined by library administration. Such charges must be paid no later than two (2) weeks prior to the meeting.

            2. The collection of any monies either as admission fees, donations, raffles, or in any other form on library premises is prohibited, except as provided by law (Education Law – Section 414, Paragraph 1-6).  The Library or Friends of the Library may collect donations or fees if the proceeds are utilized for Library purposes.  Organizations are not required to compensate any staff members for services included in room use.

Insurance:  

                        1. The Library assumes no responsibility for an organization’s equipment, supplies or material.  The Library shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to property owned by exhibitors or users of the meeting rooms except as provided by the Library exhibitors insurance.

                        2. The applicant promises and agrees to save the Board of Trustees and staff harmless from any claim, loss or damage by reason of any act or negligence on the part of the applicant, its members, officials, agents, and any other person using the premises on the invitation of the applicant.

Cancellations:

                        1. Anything to the contrary notwithstanding, permission to use the Library’s meeting rooms heretofore granted shall be subject to the right of the Library Board to revoke same at any time at their discretion.  Since the facilities are principally for Library programming, any meeting may be preempted because of such programs. If a meeting is preempted, Library staff will make a reasonable effort to reschedule the date and/or space.

                        2. If for any reason a group is unable to meet at the scheduled time, two (2) weeks written notification of cancellation must be forwarded to the Library Director or designee. Failure to do so can result in the withholding of refunds or the billing of scheduled fees.

* Political organizations means any party which, in the last preceding election for governor polled at least fifty thousand (50,000) votes for its candidate for governor, or any organization affiliated with a subsidiary of a party. A publicly elected official is not a political organization even if he/she is a candidate for re-election or for election to another public office. A candidate for public office shall not be barred from using the Library’s meeting space for a community forum or a political meeting so long as the program is not sponsored by a political organization as defined above.

 

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Revised:     March 2006
Amended:  April 2017