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William E. Dermody Free Public Library, Carlstadt, NJ

Meeting Room Use Policy

General Principles

Use of the William E. Dermody Free Public Library meeting rooms are primarily for programming sponsored by the Library.  When Library activities are not scheduled, community groups engaged in educational, intellectual, charitable, or social activities may meet in these rooms.  

Library business supersedes any organizations privileged to use these meeting rooms.  The Library reserves the right to cancel a scheduled use of these rooms should they need the space for a Library related function, inclement weather or any other emergency.

The rooms are not available for private social gatherings, fundraising for other organizations, commercial purposes, or the benefit of private individuals or commercial concerns. The rooms are not available to organizations whose primary business is offering classes or workshops for profit or academic credit. Free use of the auditorium is not provided for groups whose meetings are closed to the general public. The sale or promotion of products or services, except in conjunction with a library program, is prohibited. Names of participants may not be collected by program presenters for later financial gain.

The rooms will be available to groups in the community regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of their individual members. The fact that a group is permitted to meet in the Library does not in any way constitute Library endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs.

Unless a restriction is contained in this policy, the Board of Trustees delegates the authority to make a decision to the Library Director. The Board reserves the right to withdraw permission for use by outside organizations after it has been granted.

No use of these rooms is permitted that will interfere with effective use of the Library by the general public or the regular operation of the Library.

Carlstadt residents must make up a majority of the organization’s membership.

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 of the Library, the history of the group’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and such other information as may be deemed appropriate.

The use of the meeting room is a privilege that can be revoked by the Library Board or the Library Director, as its designated representative, for failure to comply with this policy or directives from authorized Library personnel.  At all times the Library Director or supervisor in charge may end a meeting that has become disorderly. 

Anyone wishing to appeal a decision to deny permission must appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees.  Any appeal would be included on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Board Meeting.

Meeting Room Regulations

  1. A Meeting Room Application must be completed and signed by the group requesting use of the Auditorium at least twenty (20) days prior to the date desired. Tentative reservations made by phone will be honored for twenty-four hours prior to the application form being submitted.  
  2. The organization in whose name the reservation has been confirmed shall be the same organization conducting the meeting for which the application is made. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Preference is given to residents and organizations of Carlstadt. 
  3. Reservations may be made no more than six (6) months in advance of the meeting. The Library shall have the right to limit the number of meetings held by any organization in order to make space available to as many groups as possible. Reservations will only be made only for the dates listed on the application. Additional applications must be made for additional times.  If a meeting is cancelled, the Library must be notified as soon as possible.
  4. Neither the name nor the address of the William E. Dermody Free Public Library may be used as the official address or headquarters of any organization. The Library’s name may be used only in reference to location, not sponsorship. No mail or shipments of materials will be accepted for organizations or individuals. The Library’s phone number shall not be used by any group in meeting announcements.
  5. Each group using the auditorium shall be responsible for damage to the room and its contents, including walls, floor coverings, tables, chairs, kitchen equipment and/or fixtures and any other contents of the room. A minimum charge of $30 will be assessed for any special cleaning or repairs made necessary by a group. The full cost of repairs, up to full replacement costs of damaged materials and equipment, will be assessed. After the meeting, a representative of the organization must meet with a library staff member to check the room and record the number of participants at the meeting.
  6. Neither the Library nor its employees shall assume responsibility for any property of groups or organizations. At the end of each meeting, all of an organization’s property must be removed from the Library.
  7. Meetings must end soon enough to ensure that the room is cleaned, restored to its original configuration, and vacated prior to the time that the Library closes to the public (no later than 8:45 PM Monday – Thursday, 4:45 PM Friday, 1:45 PM Saturday). 
  8. Decoration of meeting rooms shall be kept to a minimum. Tacks, nails, glue or tape shall not be used on walls, furnishing, or equipment.
  9. Light refreshments are permitted, but with the exception of coffee and tea, they shall not be prepared on library premises. The serving of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited.
  10. Fire regulations must be observed at all times.  Doors to the rooms must remain unlocked when in use.  Flammable materials may not be used for any purpose. 
  11. Any special table or seating arrangements shall be the responsibility of the group using the auditorium. When scheduling, groups should allow extra time for setting up the room before the meeting is to start and for returning it to its original configuration.
  12. Groups shall not exceed the legal posted capacity of the auditorium. Open aisles must be maintained within the seating arrangement to provide clear access to exits.
  13. All meetings must be supervised by an adult over 21 years of age.  Children’s using the room will need one supervising adult for every 10 children in attendance.  The Library staff is not responsible for the supervision of children while adults are attending meetings

This policy is determined by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the discretion of the Board.  Appeals may be submitted to the Board in writing. 

Adopted by the William E. Dermody Library Board of Trustees:  Nov. 14, 2016