Policy for Use of Library Meeting Facilities
- To inquire about meeting room bookings, please contact library administration, 704-868-2164, option 5.
- To inquire about study room availability, please call 704-868-2164, option 2.
Effective date: July 1, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Trustees: March 24, 2023
The Gaston County Public Library provides meeting rooms for use by the library and its affiliates, for government agencies, and for lawful public use as a public service. Use of these facilities will not be denied or abridged because of race, color, religion, age, sex, gender, national origin, disability, 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 available at the Gaston County Public Library.
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, completed 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. If you need to cancel, kindly provide a 48-hour notice.
Library Meeting Rooms - Fee Schedule
Meeting room users are assessed fees for each hour a meeting room is reserved and/or occupied. Meetings cannot continue beyond the reserved time without permission from the library staff and at additional cost.
|Kind of Meeting / Fee||Gaston County Resident||Out-of-County|
|Government||No Charge||No Charge|
|Friends of the Gaston County Public Library||No Charge||No Charge|
|Non-Profit Organizations (must present 501[c])||$10 per hour||$50 per hour|
|For-Profit Organizations||$25 per hour||$50 per hour|
|Social Gatherings||$25 per hour||$50 per hour|
|Returned Check Fee||$25||$25|
Please note: This fee schedule is subject to yearly review by the Gaston County Board of Commissioners, and any changes will be reviewed by the Library Board of Trustees as needed.
Reservations & Equitable Use
Meeting rooms are available for use during the public service operating hours of the library facility. Reservations are taken in person, by telephone or submission of the online reservation request. Rooms are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis with a minimum of three days' notice and up to three months in advance. The Gaston County Public Library cannot guarantee a regular weekly or monthly meeting reservation for any individual or group endeavor.
Reservations for rooms that will not be used should be canceled 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 Main Library's conference room is limited to government and business use. This room cannot be reserved for social gatherings.
All events must end, and rooms vacated 30 minutes prior to library closing. Library hours of operation may be found on the Gaston County Public Library's website.
The authorized adult representative who completes the Meeting Room Application as well as the authorized adult representative who signs the Policy for Use of Library Meeting Facilities 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 completes the Meeting Room Application 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.
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.
No fees or dues may be charged, and no sales or donations may be solicited on library premises. All Gaston County Public Library programs, meetings, and social gatherings are free and open to the public.
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 designee 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 Conduct Policy.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
No person's right to use a library meeting room may be denied or abridged because of a disability, whether actual or perceived.
Seating capacity is specified by order of the local Fire Marshal and further limited when tables are used. Use of an open flame is prohibited. Fire exits are clearly identified and are to be used only in case of emergency. Fire exits or doorways cannot be blocked by furniture or other equipment items.
Furnishings & Equipment
The library provides chairs and tables. Some facilities may have a sink available for public use.
Special equipment such as a projector, sound system, extension cord, podcasting equipment, etc. are available for checkout. You may reserve items through the library's Public Access Catalog or by asking a staff member for assistance.
Meeting room users are responsible for setting up and cleaning meeting rooms and returning tables and chairs to their proper place. Nothing may 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. Crock pots, hot plates/warmers, and open flames as well as alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited. On-site cooking is not permitted. Users must provide all plates, cups, eating utensils, etc. All food items and refuse must be removed, and tables and chairs cleaned.
There is a $50 refreshment fee for any event providing refreshments in the Library's meeting spaces.
Meeting room users and attendees may not park in restricted areas-handicapped spaces (unless placarded), 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 advertisements clear and provide a telephone number and address for the sponsoring agent or group in their publicity and/or advertisement. Publicity materials must include this statement: The Gaston County Public Library is not a sponsor, nor does it endorse any practices or points of view of the sponsors of the program. Publicity or advertising indicating the Library as a sponsor or co-sponsor requires written permission granted by the Library Director. The Library staff is not responsible for providing information about any scheduled meeting or event. Any user who repeatedly fails to properly inform its target audience may have meeting room privileges revoked.
Responsibility for the enforcement and interpretation of this Policy is delegated to the Library Director or 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 decision must be made to the Library Board of Trustees within seven days.