Meeting Room Use Policy
The primary purpose of the meeting rooms at all Portsmouth Public Library locations is to provide facilities for library related activities. Needs of the library for the use of the meeting rooms take precedence over use by outside groups.
As a community service, the Library makes its meeting rooms available for use by nonprofit community groups when they are not being used for library related activities. Meeting rooms are available to the public for civic, cultural, or educational programs or meetings. Trade or professional associations are interpreted to be educational groups. All meetings and programs must be non-soliciting in nature and open to the public and free of charge. Groups using the meeting rooms must not disrupt the normal functions of the Library. Meeting rooms are available only when the Library is open.
Meeting rooms are not available for for-profit programs and organizations. Meetings that promote, advertise, or lead directly or indirectly to the sale of products or services are not permitted. Library meeting rooms may not be used for private social functions such as parties and receptions.
The Library will provide tables and chairs for use by groups using the meeting rooms. Each group is required to set up tables and chairs for its meeting and is required to return these items to their original position at the conclusion of the meeting. A group may request that Library staff set up tables and chairs for meetings for a fee of $10.00 per meeting. The fee must be paid at the time of application.
The Library may provide the following equipment for use in the meeting rooms: overhead projector, lectern, TV & DVD player, and chalkboard. Equipment may not be available at all locations. Arrangements for using this equipment must be made at the time of application.
A. Refreshments and Meeting Room Fees
- Kitchen facilities are not available.
- Refreshments may be served but no alcoholic beverages are allowed.
- Waste should be placed in the proper receptacles. A fee may be charged if the group’s use of a room results in the need for repair to Library furnishings or equipment or if excessive clean-up is required by Library staff. Imposition of this fee with be at the discretion of the Library Director.
- Smoking is prohibited.
- To reserve a meeting room, the person in charge must be over 18 years of age.
- The rooms must be reserved in advance. Applications for Meeting Room Use are available at the Youth Services Reference Desk at the Main Library, at the Public Service Desk of branch locations, and on the Library’s web site.
- Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis. Reservations for meeting room use may not be made more than three (3) months in advance.
- Groups are not permitted to use the meeting rooms until the request has been formally approved.
- Meeting space may be reserved for use only during normal hours of operation. Meetings may not be scheduled before the Library opens nor may they be scheduled on holidays. Programs or meetings must end at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to Library closing time.
C. Meeting Room Rules
- Reservations for a regular meeting by the same group will be accepted no more than three (3) months in advance. Conditional reservations may be accepted farther in advance under extenuating circumstances, with the understanding that the needs of the Library may result in rescheduling or canceling the tentative booking. With the exception of an emergency closing, the Library will attempt to notify groups at least 48 hours in advance when a meeting must be canceled or rescheduled.
- In general, a meeting room may be used no more than once a month for meetings of any single organization, chapter, division, or branch of a group.
- A Library sponsored program will take precedence over community groups for use of a tentatively scheduled room. An attempt will be made to provide an alternative date or time for the group.
- The name, address, or telephone number of any Portsmouth Public Library location may not be used as a contact for information about a group or meeting.
- The use of a meeting room by a non-library group shall not be publicized in such a way as to imply Library sponsorship of the group’s activities unless the activity is being co-sponsored by the Library.
- If refreshments are served, attendees are to be clearly advised by the group leader that food and/or beverages are not to be taken into other library areas.
- If a group cancels its meeting for any reason, it must immediately notify the Library of the cancellation. It is the group leader’s responsibility to notify its members/audience if the meeting or program is to be canceled. The Library does not post signs about such cancellations.
- The Library is required to report statistics on the use of its meeting rooms and groups using the meeting rooms must provide a count of attendance for each meeting.
- An adult leader shall be present at all times and be responsible for the supervision of any groups of children under the age of eighteen (18) using the meeting rooms.
- The meeting/program must be held within the confines of the meeting room and shall not cause disturbance to those using the Library’s public areas.
- No decorations, posters, or any other materials may be installed or displayed in the meeting rooms without prior Library approval.
- Alcoholic beverages and smoking are not permitted on library premises.
- No admission fees or donation requests are permitted. No items may be sold unless for the profit of the Library or approved author visit.
- The Library may, on occasion, sponsor classes offering instruction in skills. Tuition fees to cover costs of supplies may be charged. The Library may also allow its meeting rooms to be used by local schools or universities. In such cases, tuition fees may be charged.
- The Library does not endorse the views expressed by any group or individual using its meeting rooms, but does endorse the right of those individuals to express their views so long as they abide by the policies and rules governing the use of the Library meeting rooms.
- Failure to abide by these rules for meeting room use may be justification for denying the group further use of the meeting rooms.
- The Library is not liable for injuries to people, damage to their property, or loss of property belonging to individuals or groups using the meeting rooms.
- The group using the meeting room is responsible for setting up tables, chairs, etc. and for returning these items to their original position at the conclusion of the meeting.
- Any person making a reservation to use a meeting room must agree to assume full responsibility for any damages to the facility or equipment which may occur as a result of the group’s activities.
- The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend these regulations at any time. For good cause, the Library Director may waive any meeting room regulation and may deny or cancel any application for reservation of meeting room space.