Policy for Use of Library Meeting Facilities
Effective date: July 1, 2012
Adopted by the Board of Trustees: June 19, 2012
The Gaston County Public Library provides meeting rooms for use by the library and its affiliates, for government agencies, and for lawful public use by the citizens of Gaston County as a public service. These facilities are made available on an equitable basis and use is not denied or abridged because of race, religion, age, gender, national origin, handicapping condition, beliefs, affiliations, or social and/or political views. The Library subscribes in principle to the statements of policy on library philosophy expressed in the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and its official interpretations as adopted by the American Library Association, and it should be considered as an integral part of this policy. Copies of this document can be found in the INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM MANUAL, EIGHTH EDITION, compiled by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association in 2010, located in the reference section (R 025.213 INT) at each Gaston County Public Library facility.
The granting of permission to use library meeting facilities does not constitute an endorsement of the beliefs, viewpoints, policies, or affiliations of meeting room users by the library staff, the Board of Trustees of the Gaston County Public Library, or the Gaston County Board of Commissioners.
A MEETING ROOM APPLICATION, signed by an authorized adult representative of the individual or organization requesting to use Library meeting facilities, must be submitted to establish user fee status before reservations can be accepted. A separate application is required for each library branch location.
Users are assessed fees, as per the current FEE SCHEDULE, for each hour, or fraction thereof, a meeting room is reserved and/or occupied. Ample time for set-up and clean-up should be included in a reservation. Refunds will not be issued when rooms are vacated early. Fees must be paid in full prior to meeting room use.
RESERVATIONS & EQUITABLE USE
Meeting rooms are available for use during the public service operating hours of the library facility. Reservations are taken in person or by telephone. Rooms are booked first-come, first-serve with a minimum of three (3) days’ notice and up to three (3) months in advance. The Library cannot serve as a regular weekly or monthly meeting place for any individual or group endeavor.
Reservations for rooms that will not be used should be cancelled so that they may be made available to others. Repeated cancellations, with or without notification, may result in the loss of meeting room privileges.
The authorized adult representative who signs the MEETING ROOM APPLICATION FORM and the authorized adult representative who signs the MEETING ROOM ACCEPTANCE FORM are jointly and individually liable for policy violations and for any damages sustained by the County during the use of library meeting facilities.
The authorized adult representative who signs the MEETING ROOM ACCEPTANCE FORM is responsible for the proper conduct of attendees, for clearing the room at the conclusion of the meeting, and for providing an attendance count to the library staff. He/she should also stay for room inspection by a designated library employee.
The Library cannot be held liable for personal injuries sustained while using meeting rooms. Also, the Library is not responsible for materials, equipment, or personal belongings left in meeting rooms.
The Library Director, designated library employees, and appropriate local government officials are authorized to have access to any meeting solely to determine that it is lawful and in compliance with Library, County, and/or City policies.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in library buildings do not have adjustable room temperature controls.
The meeting rooms at the Main Library in Gastonia are in close proximity to one another and the walls are not soundproof. The Meeting rooms in branch library facilities are in close proximity to library study areas. Library lobbies and restrooms are shared public areas. Therefore, meeting room users should be mindful of the needs of other library users.
The Director or designated library employee is authorized to deny or to terminate use of the library meeting rooms to individuals or groups who violate this POLICY FOR USE OF LIBRARY MEETING FACILITIES and/or the Library’s DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR POLICY.
Seating capacity is specified by order of the local Fire Marshall and further limited when tables are used. Use of open flame is prohibited. Fire exits are clearly identified and are to be used only in case of emergency. Fire exits cannot be blocked by furniture or other equipment items.
FURNISHINGS AND EQUIPMENT
Chairs and tables are provided by the library. Some facilities also have a kitchenette and audiovisual equipment available for public use. Meeting room users should confirm furniture and equipment set-up arrangements at least three (3) days prior to the reservation date.
The library staff will gladly provide instruction for the use of library equipment as time permits.
Activities that may exceed reasonable wear and tear, ie. craft classes utilizing paint, require Library approval. Posters, banners, etc. cannot be affixed to walls, ceilings, and doors without Library permission or otherwise displayed on Library property.
Light refreshments and packaged foods may be served in the meeting rooms. The Library is not equipped to accommodate sizeable meal functions and events. Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited. On-site cooking is prohibited. All plates, cups, eating utensils, etc. must be furnished by the user. All food items and refuse must be removed, electrical equipment turned off, and tables and chairs cleaned.
Requests to use the library's business telephone for either incoming or outgoing messages should be strictly limited to emergencies. A telephone for local calls can be installed in a meeting room at the Main Library upon request.
Meeting room users and attendees may not park in restricted areas--handicapped spaces, loading zones, fire lanes, assigned staff parking spaces, lawns, in front of dumpsters, in driveways--or in any other place or manner that impedes safe and free flow of vehicles.
All meeting room users--especially those who wish to distribute publicity for a meeting to be held at the library--must make meeting or program sponsorship clear and provide a telephone number and address for the sponsoring agent or group in their publicity and/or advertisement. Publicity or advertising indicating library sponsorship or co-sponsorship requires permission granted by the Library Director. The library staff is not responsible for providing information about any scheduled meeting. Any user who repeatedly fails to properly inform its target audience may have meeting room privileges denied.
Responsibility for the enforcement and interpretation of this policy is delegated to the Library Director or his/her designee. Complaints must be submitted in writing to the Library Director on the STATEMENT OF CONCERN ABOUT LIBRARY EXHIBITS/DISPLAYS/MEETINGS form. Appeal of the Library Director’s decisions is made to the Library Board of Trustees.
LIBRARY MEETING ROOMS – FEE SCHEDULE
Meeting room users are assessed fees for each hour, or fraction thereof, a meeting room is reserved and/or occupied. Ample time for set-up and clean-up must be included in a reservation. Refunds will not be issued when rooms are vacated early. Meetings cannot continue beyond the reserved time without permission from the Library staff.
The reservation fee must be paid in full prior to meeting room use. Cleaning and damage fees may be assessed.
- No Charge - Departments of Gaston County government. All state, federal, and/or city government agencies.
- $10 per hour - Gaston County based "non-profit" groups and/or individuals.
- $25 per hour - Gaston County based "for profit" groups and/or individuals.
- $50 per hour - Out-of-county (non-residents of Gaston County) "for profit" or "non-profit" groups and/or individuals.
If serving any type of refreshments, a $100 cash deposit must be left with staff at the desk during the meeting.
This fee schedule is subject to yearly review by the Library Board of Trustees.
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