Meeting Room Use Policy Statement
These regulations establish policy and procedures for the use of District of Columbia Public Library meeting room facilities. The library grants permission to use its meeting rooms to members of the public who fulfill the requirements specified in these regulations, in accordance with the library’s mission and to maintain the good order of the library. The District of Columbia Public Library is a vibrant center of activity for residents and visitors in the nation’s capital. The library provides environments that invite reading, learning and community discussion and equips people to learn all their lives, to embrace diversity and to build a thriving city. We are proud to be a recognized force in the community for engaging the mind, expanding opportunities and elevating the quality of life.
Any group or individual, regardless of the affiliations of its members, may use library meeting room(s) as long as the group or individual complies with the policy as stated. The library does not discriminate in making its premises available for use on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, culture or ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, individual lifestyle, political affiliation or physical limitation. There is no fee for the use of individual meeting rooms.
Policies Regarding Library Facility Use
1. Library meeting rooms are maintained primarily for use by the library to accomplish its mission. If a meeting room is not scheduled for a library-related function, a city-sponsored activity or an event by a library programming partner, members of the public may apply to use the room. Each event request is considered on an individual basis according to the overall number of requests pending, staffing implications and library priorities.
2. Reservations will be given consideration on a first-come, first-serve basis. The library provides meeting rooms for members of the public on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting the meeting room (herein noted as applicant or group). To ensure equitable use of library facilities, the library reserves the right to limit the number of hours a meeting room may be used to three (3) consecutive hours by an individual or group and no more than two (2) meetings per month.
3. The Library may deny the use of a meeting room to an applicant if in the library’s opinion
a. the purpose of the meeting or activity is illegal or potentially hazardous,
b. the purpose of the meeting is for commercial or promotional purposes,
c. the meeting presents health or security risks,
d. the conduct of the meeting interferes with the functioning of the Library,
e. the applicant has not provided satisfactory adult sponsorship and supervision for the meeting, or
f. the applicant has failed to comply with these or other library regulations.
4. The library, at its sole discretion, determines the number of events operating simultaneously in its facilities and does not guarantee sole use of a facility.
5. Meeting room accommodations and seating capacity vary throughout the Library System. Library managers at neighborhood libraries and the Associate Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library accept applications and make arrangements for meeting rooms at their respective locations. See application form for location and maximum seating capacity of library meeting rooms as set by District of Columbia Fire Ordinances.
6. Approval to use meeting room facilities does not presume free parking. Parking is on a first come, first serve basis.
7. The use of a neighborhood library meeting room and facilities when the library is normally closed is prohibited.
8. An applicant aggrieved by an administrative decision about the use of a library meeting room may appeal the decision by writing a letter to the Associate Director, Neighborhood Libraries or to the Associate Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library within ten (10) working days of the decision. The applicant, or chosen representative, may schedule a meeting with an Associate Director to state a position. A library manager may present an opposing view at the same meeting, with the Associate Director deciding the matter.
9. It is important that organizations and individuals who use the meeting rooms understand and acknowledge that they are guests of the library, are able to use library facilities at the discretion of the library, and that their use of the facilities reflects that understanding.
10. All persons requesting to use library facilities and meeting rooms must agree to abide by library policies and all applicable local, state and federal laws.
11. It is the responsibility of the person who signs the agreement for meeting room use to serve as the authorized representative of the group and to remain on the premises throughout the period for which it is reserved, ensuring the safety and security of attendees and the library facility, as well as ensuring that attendees observe the regulations set forth in this document.
12. The library requires adult sponsorship for any meetings involving persons of high school age or younger. The applicant and the adult sponsor must expressly agree on the application form that the adult sponsor will attend and supervise the meeting, and that the applicant and the adult sponsor will accept responsibility for, and will reimburse the library for, any damage caused by the group or by members of the group to the meeting room or to the library.
13. The applicant shall leave the meeting room in the same condition as it was at the beginning of the meeting. If damage to the room, its furnishings, or equipment occurs during the meeting, the library may require the applicant to pay for damages. If the applicant is required to pay for damages, the library manager will assess the reasonable cost of repairing the damages caused during the meeting and will notify the applicant of the damage assessment. The applicant shall reimburse the library for the damages by paying the assessed amount to the Business Office of the District of Columbia Public Library within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of the damage assessment. The library shall deny use of meeting rooms until the applicant pays the assessed amount.
14. Designated library staff will conduct a walk-through after each meeting to verify that facilities are left in proper order. The authorized representative of the group must report to the designated library staff member at the end of the meeting. Unless previously scheduled otherwise, meetings must end 15 minutes
before the library’s closing time to allow for cleanup and walk-through.
15. Some large events may require security. The library will determine and provide appropriate security.
16. Permission to meet in the library in no way constitutes endorsement by the District of Columbia Public Library or its Board of Trustees of the policies or beliefs of the organization or individual using the facilities. No advertisement or announcement implying such endorsement is permitted.
17. If use is approved, a designated library staff member will execute a written agreement for facility use with the individual or group. Applicant must agree to abide by the meeting room policies set forth herein.
18. Authorized library staff may enter and remain in a meeting room at any time during a scheduled meeting or event. The library reserves the right to attend any meeting held in its facilities (except executive sessions of governmental bodies) to ensure that no unlawful activities occur on library premises.
19. Approval to serve refreshments or food must be obtained through prior written consent from the library manager in the case of a branch library, or from the Associate Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.
20. Authorization for library facilities and meeting room use does not include the use of staff time other than to provide access to the facility or meeting room. The library may require its staff to be present at some activities to provide appropriate security, technical support, custodial or maintenance services.
21. When library facilities are used by recognized library support groups, partners or other affiliated community organizations, it is the policy that all activities be planned by the group in consultation and cooperation with a library staff member designated as liaison to the group. With this participation, it should be possible to schedule events so that they have minimal impact on normal work schedules. Staff will make a concerted effort to meet the needs of the group within the regular work schedule.