Meeting Room Policy
The Bedford Public Library System provides meeting room space for community, educational, recreational, cultural, civic and charitable groups. Meeting rooms are available on an equitable basis to local groups and organizations engaged in legal activities, regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of their members. Small group study rooms are made available, when not in use by the library, on a first come, first serve basis, to local groups, organizations, and groups of individuals working together.
In allocating the use of the meeting rooms, the Library will not discriminate on the basis of the political or religious beliefs of applicants, or on any other constitutionally prohibited basis.
The Library has a paramount need to provide a safe, peaceful and respectful environment in which patrons may use Library facilities. The Library has the authority to accept, renew, or reject requests for use of the meeting rooms. The Library reserves the right to reject a reservation request if the anticipated meeting is likely to be unreasonably disruptive to regular library functions, too large for the applicable room capacity, disorderly, dangerous to persons or property, or in any other way inconsistent with or in contravention of any of the terms and conditions of this policy. In determining whether such a likelihood exists, the Library may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s meeting room use in the library or elsewhere, and such other information as they may deem appropriate.
Meetings must be free of charge and open to the public, except as provided within this document. Meeting rooms shall not be used for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for solicitation of business, for profit or for fundraising, other than that which supports the BPLS, unless specifically permitted by the Library Director or Board. No goods or services shall be promoted, sold or exchanged upon the premises or by sample, pictures or description.
Permission to use BPLS meeting room facilities does not constitute endorsement of the organization’s beliefs by the library staff or Board, and publicity for the event should not imply BPLS sponsorship or affiliation. No group may consider the Library its permanent meeting place or use the Library as its mailing address, except the Friends of the Library. Use of the meeting rooms for library purposes shall take precedence over all other uses. The Library reserves the right to preempt any scheduled meeting.
No one will be granted permission to schedule the rooms on an ongoing basis except as provided within this document.
Local groups and organizations engaged in legal activities.
An authorized representative, 18 years of age or older, must take responsibility for and be in attendance at the meeting to insure that the Library Appropriate Use policy is followed.
To provide meeting room space for community, educational, recreational, cultural, civic and charitable groups.
Applying for permission to use the meeting rooms:
- Reservations should be made through the Library’s web page by the applicant’s authorized representative or in person at any BPLS Library. The application is tentative until approved by the library manager or designated staff.
- Permission to use meeting rooms will be granted on a first-come basis; however, library-related programs and events will be given priority.
- A group may schedule the meeting room twenty-four (24) times a year, system wide. A reservation canceled within seven (7) days of the scheduled meeting date counts toward the total.
- A group may have no more than 3 meetings scheduled at any one time and may reserve meetings as much as six (6) months in advance.
- With permission of the Library Director or staff designated by the Director, the meeting rooms may be used for depositions, mediations or similar private uses.
- Local businesses, in their role as corporate citizens, may be permitted to use the meeting rooms for employee training purposes or other employee informational sessions.
- Meeting rooms may be used for political forums, but not for political campaigning purposes, such as press conferences.
- Meeting rooms are not intended to be used for private social gatherings, parties, weddings, dances, or for regular church services for any one organization.
- The Library Director will have final approval of applications, and will make all policy decisions and interpretations.
- Any false, misleading or incomplete statement in the application process shall be grounds to deny the use of the room by the applying group.
Room use guidelines:
- The library reserves the right to have a library representative attend any meeting held in its facilities (excepting lawful executive sessions of governmental bodies) to ensure no unlawful activities or activities contrary to this policy are occurring on library premises. The library representative may enter the meeting at any time.
- Groups using the meeting rooms or small group rooms must make provisions to guard against public disturbances, unsafe practices, or excessive noise. The authorized representative is responsible for supervision of all children.
- The BPLS, its Board of Trustees and Library employees assume no responsibility for the loss, theft, or damage of any property of any group, individual or organization using the facilities.
- The group’s authorized representative will be held liable for any damage and the condition of the room after its use. The authorized representative and/or the organization s/he represents agrees to pay for damages, special clean-up and any other damages to the Library property and materials resulting from the meeting.
- Local groups, organizations or individuals may not schedule meeting rooms or small group study rooms to provide fee based services since these facilities are provided as a free service to the community.
- Objects left in the room will be discarded. Meeting rooms shall be left in good order and in the original set-up; chairs and tables put away, dishes washed and floors swept. Failure to do so may result in denial of future use.
- Applicants may not tape or tack anything to the walls or doors without permission.
- All Library buildings are tobacco and vapor free facilities.
- No alcoholic beverages may be distributed or consumed.
- Meeting rooms are to be vacated by 10:00 p.m.
- Small group rooms are to be vacated ten (10) minutes before the library closes.
- Big Island Library meeting room may only be scheduled when the Big Island Library is open to the public or at the discretion of the Library manager.
- Attendance in all meeting rooms is limited by fire code.
- There are no fees charged for use of the meeting rooms; donations are accepted.
- Library staff cannot be responsible for taking registration fees, selling tickets, providing information about, or answering questions about non-library sponsored events.
- Library staff will provide the name and number of the group’s contact person to persons having questions relating to the meeting.
- The Library may provide some equipment in the rooms, such as projectors, or white boards. It is the responsibility of groups to arrange for other equipment needs not provided by the Library.
- No materials may be stored in advance by groups using the meeting rooms without prior approval.
- In those meeting rooms which are set up for meetings to continue after normal business hours, arrangements for security and closing must be made with the library manager.
Previous revision, May 2009. Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees April 2016.