Use of Meeting Rooms/Library Facilities

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on 5/17/2016

    Statement of Principle:

    The Dauphin County Library System is a limited public forum and provides meeting room space for library system programs and for other meetings and programs of an informational, educational, entertainment, cultural, business or civic nature. All groups, not-for-profit, for-profit, and community members are invited to apply for use of the library system’s meeting rooms.

    Dauphin County Library System subscribes to the principles set forth in the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights as reaffirmed January 23, 1996. 

    The Dauphin County Library System provides meeting room space as a public service and does not endorse the views or opinions of groups utilizing these facilities.

    Meetings held in the libraries are considered public meetings and open to all wishing to attend, and subject to health and safety requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry for public gatherings.  Library meeting rooms may not be used for any activity that is illegal, incompatible with the library environment or interferes with its operations or is considered dangerous to people, property. A schedule of meeting room bookings is posted publicly at dcls.org.  

    Meeting Room Privileges:

    Organizations, groups, and individuals not fulfilling their obligations as stated in this and other library system policies and procedures may be denied use of the library’s meeting room facilities until such time as these obligations have been met to the library system’s satisfaction.

    Available Meeting Rooms and Maximum Occupancy Listed

    Maximum occupancy is reflective of the number of people that can be in a room at any one time without the addition of tables, chairs, or other furnishings. If you are planning on furniture during your meeting, then the occupancy level decreases.

    Meeting Rooms
    Maximum Occupancy

    East Shore Area Library

    Room A
    Room B
    Room A & B

    Elizabethville Area Branch Library


    Kline Branch


    Northern Dauphin Library

    John P. Nestor Community Room

    Madeline L. Olewine Memorial Library

    H. B. & Grace Alexander Community Room

    McCormick Riverfront Library


    William H. & Marion C. Alexander Family Library

    Anna M. Rintz Community Room (Room A)
    Anna M. Rintz Community Room (Room B)
    Anna M. Rintz Community Room (Room A & B)
    The Solarium
    Conference Room

    Meeting Room Use Hours:

    The time of the program/meeting must correspond to the open hours of the library up to a half an hour before closing. The organization, group or individual must vacate the meeting room at the designated time or the individual responsible for the room will be billed a $40 fee. An exception may be made for programs directly related to the library (Friends meetings, library committee meetings, etc.). To request an exception a request to the library manager must be made at least 2 weeks prior to the event.  Library staff is required to be in the building for such exceptions.

    Eligible Meeting Room Users:

    In general, groups are given priority in the following order when there are conflicting requests for rooms:  


    1. Library and Friends of Library Programs – which involve library staff 
    2. Local Government Meetings/Programs – official meetings or programs of the Commonwealth, Dauphin County or county municipal government agencies/departments. 
    3. Programs of an Educational, Cultural, Civic, or Social Organization – prepared for the public. 
    4. Community Members
    5. Activities of Profit-Making Organizations/Businesses, including classes, workshops, and meetings held with the intention of generating revenue for an organization/business. 
    6. Sales Activities


    Meeting Room Fees and Sales in a Meeting Room:

    The use of meeting rooms is free of charge as long as the meetings or programs are free of charge and do not generate revenue.  If revenue is generated, the fee for each meeting room used or reserved is $40/ hour per room (at the East Shore Area Library, Rooms A & B combined have a fee of $60 per hour.  At the William H. & Marion C. Alexander Family Library Room A & B combined have a fee of $60 per hour).  Revenue is defined as proceeds from sales, admission or attendance fees, or tuition by a non-profit, for-profit, or governmental organization, group, or agency.  This includes “free” educational programs which intend to generate future revenues for the presenter(s). 

    An exception is made for profit-making endeavors held for the benefit of the library.  An organization or individual wishing to charge a fee or to sell items or services for the benefit of the library must obtain written permission from the Executive Director before such an event occurs.

    No reservation is final until payment is received.  Payment is requested one week prior to use of room.

    The East Shore Area Library and the William H. & Marion C. Alexander Family Library have kitchens available for use by meeting room users for a $10 fee. Kitchens are supplied with an oven, stove, refrigerator, sink, and microwave (coffee pot at AFL). Groups serving food and/or beverages must provide their own dishes, cups, utensils, and napkins. All groups using library kitchens are responsible for leaving the kitchen and appliance clean.

    Scheduling a Meeting Room:

    The group or individual desiring to use the meeting rooms must complete a Meeting Room Registration Form annually. Forms are available online or at your local library. Applicants must be age 18 or older, be a resident within the Dauphin County service area (excluding Hershey and Middletown service areas), and have a Dauphin County Library System library card in good standing. The Meeting Room Registration form needs to contain complete information about the nature and specific content of the program. The library reserves the right to turn down incomplete applications and programs that are not in keeping with the policies of the library. Organizations and community groups are required to provide a Certificate of Insurance demonstrating general liability insurance, listing the Dauphin County Library as a certificate holder and additional insured.  OR sign a copy of the Meeting Room Agreement (indemnifying agreement) prior to using a meeting room.

    Meeting Room Use:

    1. If a meeting room is unavailable, a small group may meet elsewhere in the library, provided it does not interfere with general library business or programs. 

    2. Use of meeting room and library facilities is limited to twice a month, to allow all members of the community the opportunity to use the facilities. Written permission from the Public Services Director is required for use of the facilities with greater frequency or for consecutive days.

    3. Meetings may be scheduled up to four months at a time, in trimesters from January 1 to April 30, May 1 to August 31, and from September 1 through December 30 of each calendar year. Applications and room requests are taken one month before the start of the trimester.  After the initial booking period, organizations, groups, and individuals may reserve meeting rooms for times still available on a first-come, first-served basis.  The Library typically contacts the group within 7 working days confirming or denying the request.

    4. A limited number of laptop computers and other technology may be reserved when making the room reservation. Please reference the M&T Bank Mobile Computer Lab Equipment Policy prior to requesting equipment.


    1. All advertisements, announcements, press releases, flyers, etc. relating to meetings must clearly state the meeting is NOT sponsored by the Dauphin County Library System.

    2. Use of meeting room and library facilities is limited to twice a month, to allow all members of the community the opportunity to use the facilities. Written permission from the Public Services Director is required for use of the facilities with greater frequency or for consecutive days.

    3. The use of the name, address, logo, or telephone number of the Dauphin County Library System or any of its library locations as the address or headquarters of any group using the library for meetings is prohibited.

    Meeting Room Cancelations:

    1. In the event a meeting is canceled, the meeting organizer must notify the Library Manager 24 hours in advance or earlier so that the space may be made available to others.  If the group or individual wishes to use a different room at the East Shore Area Library or the William H. & Marion C. Alexander Family Library than the one assigned, they must request a change from staff.

    2. The library system reserves the right to schedule and alter room assignments according to the library system’s needs.  If the library cancels or changes the use of a meeting room, the library staff will notify the group or individual as soon as possible.  

    Guidelines For Meeting Room Use:

    1. An adult 18 or over must be present for all meetings.

    2. Persons responsible for the meeting room are required to sign-in at the front desk prior to using the room and sign-out after the room is inspected by library staff.

    3. All meetings and events are open to the public

    4. Individuals are responsible for the actions of those attending the meeting, including enforcing the DCLS Children's Safety Policy

      1. Children ages 8 through 10 must be accompanied by a caregiver in the library or library grounds.
      2. Children ages 5 – 7 must have a caregiver in the immediate vicinity and the caregiver must be in visual contact with the children at all times.
      3. Children ages birth through 4 must be in the presence of a caregiver at all times.
      4. Students 11 or older may use the library without a guardian when school is in session with approval by the library manager or library supervisor.

    5. Displays, decorations, and signs may not be affixed directly to the walls, doors, flooring, furniture, ceiling, etc. in a manner that will leave a residue, stain, scratch, or otherwise mar these surfaces. Library property may not be removed from the room or walls. Decorations used at meetings/events cannot obscure exit signs, library information, or doors. 

    6. Meeting room users are responsible for carrying their own supplies and operating equipment they use.  

    7. The library is not responsible for equipment or materials owned by a community group and used in the library. No storage space is available. 

    8. Due to insurance considerations and the safety of the public and staff, candles, incense or any other smoke or flame-producing devices are not permitted to be used in any area of the library. In addition, exercise programs and classes may not be held in library meeting rooms.  

    Furniture Arrangement:

    The library has chairs and tables available for use.  Groups and individuals are responsible for room setup and may arrange furnishings as needed, as long as the furnishing, library property, and individuals are not at risk.  Rooms must be rearranged prior to leaving according to posted instructions.  

    Clean Up and Damage:

    The group, organization or individual making application for use of facilities assumes all responsibility for damage to library property and for leaving the premises in the condition in which it was found, including the arrangement of furnishings and the cleanup of trash.  Meeting rooms will be inspected after each meeting.  A minimum fee of $40 will be assessed for cleanup, repair or damage to library property, or for special cleaning as determined by DCLS staff. A minimum fee of $40 will be assessed if a room is not vacated by the scheduled time.  Damage to the facility will be billed to the group or individual responsible for the room. Damage caused to the room or leaving the room in poor condition could result in restriction from further use.  

    Smoking and Alcoholic Beverages:

    Tobacco use, including use of electronic cigarettes or any derivative, is prohibited in all DCLS buildings.  The consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted in library buildings or on library property.

    Questions and Appeals:

    Questions and appeals regarding meeting-related policies and procedures may be resolved by the East Shore Library Administrator, appropriate Library Manager or Library Services Administrator.   The Public Services Director and Executive Director may also resolve serious issues as warranted.

    A patron may appeal a meeting room decision by appealing the action or denial via written request to the Executive Director within fourteen (14) days of the denial of library use of facilities. 

    The Dauphin County Library System Board of Trustees shall be the final authority in granting or refusing permission for the use of library facilities.


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