Use of Meeting Rooms/Library Facilities
Approved by the Board of Trustees on 9/21/2010
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, cultural, business or civic nature. All groups, not-for-profit and for-profit, 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 but does not endorse the view or opinions of groups utilizing these facilities.
Meetings held in the libraries are considered public meetings and open to all wishing to attend, subject to health and safety requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry for public gatherings. A schedule of meeting room bookings is posted publicly.
Meeting Room Privileges:
Organizations 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
Scheduling a Meeting Room:
1. The group or individual desiring to use the meeting rooms must complete an application form available online or in the library. Applicants must be adults age 18 and over, be a resident within the Dauphin County service area (excluding Hershey and Middletown service areas), and have a library card with the Dauphin County Library System. The application should 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.
2. A group composed of minors (less than eighteen years of age) must have an adult chaperone attend the meeting.
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 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. In the event that a meeting is cancelled, the library must be notified 24 hours in advance or as soon as possible 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.
5. 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.
6. Repeated use of meeting room and library facilities is limited to twice a month system-wide, 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.
7. Displays may not be affixed directly to the walls of the meeting room without prior consent. Library fixtures may not be removed from the walls.
8. Meeting room users are responsible for carrying their own supplies and operating equipment they use.
9. The library is not responsible for equipment or materials owned by a community group and used in the library. No storage space is available.
10. All advertisements, announcements, press releases, flyers, etc. relating to meetings must clearly state the meeting is not sponsored by the Dauphin County Library System.
11. Displays, posters, and literature connected with a meeting may not be placed anywhere in the Library except in the Meeting Room while the meeting is taking place except with written permission of the library manager. With the permission of the Library manager, a flyer advertising the meeting may be placed on a community bulletin board.
12. The use of the name, address, 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.
The time of the program must correspond to the hours the library is open to the public, and the group or individual must vacate the meeting room by the library’s closing time. An exception is made for programs directly related to the library (Friends meetings, library committee meetings, etc.). Library staff must be in the building for such exceptions.
Eligible Meeting Room Users:
In general, groups are prioritized in the following order when there are conflicting requests for rooms:
1. Library and Friends of Library Programs – which involve efforts of library staff.
Due to insurance considerations, exercise programs and classes may not be held in library meeting rooms. An adult 18 or over must be present for all meetings.
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 open to the public, are free of charge, and do not generate revenue. If revenue is generated, the fee for each meeting room used or reserved is $40 per 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 kitchenettes available for use by organization for a $10 fee. Kitchenettes 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 kitchen equipment are responsible for cleaning it up.
The library has chairs and tables available. The organization handles its own room setup and may arrange furnishings as needed, as long as the furnishings are not at risk of damage. Rooms must be rearranged prior to leaving according to posted instructions. Walls may not be used for mounting or hanging pictures, displays, posters, etc.
A limited number of audiovisual devices, such as video players and overhead projectors, may be available from the library. They must be reserved at least two weeks ahead of the meeting. Contact the library for details.
Clean Up and Damage:
The sponsoring group 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 they were found, including the arrangement of furnishings and the cleanup of trash. A minimum $30 fee will be assessed for excessive cleanup as determined by DCLS staff or 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 and could result in restriction from further use.
For and in consideration of the use of the meeting room and library facilities, any person or group using same hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Dauphin County Library System from any and all actions or suits relating to its use of such rooms and facilities. Further, such person or group agrees to reimburse the Dauphin County Library System for any and all costs for repair of any and all damage as may be caused directly or indirectly to the room and/or facilities by such use thereof. If any organization refuses to pay for the damage, the matter maybe referred for legal action.
Smoking and Alcoholic Beverages:
Smoking is not permitted in library buildings, and 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.
1. East Shore Area Library