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Meeting Room Policy

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Norfolk Public Library Meeting Room Policy

Policy Statement

The Norfolk Public Library’s meeting rooms, besides being used for staff events, are available for public gatherings in the public interest.

Definition

The Library’s meeting rooms are the large rooms listed below which hold a minimum of 40 persons at a time. Smaller conference and group study rooms are available at some Library agencies, and use of these rooms is addressed in a separate policy.

Regulations

  1. The Library’s meeting rooms are used for Library staff training, for Library programming, and for Library-sponsored events. Priority for meeting room use is given for these purposes, and accordingly, if a meeting room conflict arises where a library staff may ask existing groups with a reservation to reschedule to another meeting day, time, or location. However, the existing group is under no obligation to make the change and library staff will honor the reservation if the group is unable or unwilling to do so.
  2. Additionally, the meeting rooms are available for use by non-Library groups for non-profit public gatherings of a civic, cultural, or educational nature. A non-profit public gathering is one which entails no profit of any kind either during the meeting or afterward to any party involved, and which is authentically open to any members of the public who care to attend.
  3. The meeting rooms are not available for group membership meetings that are closed to the public, business meetings, fund-raising or commercial events, religious services or political campaigns, or events for which a fee is charged. Planning meetings by civic and cultural groups that are authentically open to the public are permitted.
  4. All gatherings must be free and open to the general public.
  5. No admission fee may be charged, nor may a collection be taken up. Items may not be sold, with the exception that, with the Director’s approval, Library sponsored groups may sell items when the proceeds benefit the Library, as with the NPL Friends of the Library book sales, and authors and other media creators may sell their books or media in connection with Library-sponsored book signings, media presentations, or speeches.
  6. The first attendee(s) to arrive must check in at the circulation desk upon arrival.
  7. A group arriving more than 15 minutes late may forfeit its reservation.
  8. Groups may not enter the Library before the official opening hour, not even to set up for their program. Groups are required to end meetings and vacate the room 15 minutes before closing time to give staff time to secure the building for closing.
  9. The Library strives to maximize use of the meeting rooms for the community; it therefore reserves the right to limit the frequency of meetings by any organization, based on demand, or to reschedule with 48 hours notice or in the case of an emergency.
  10. Meeting rooms may not be reserved more than (3) months ahead of time.
  11. A group may reserve the meeting room no more than two (2) times in a given month, up to a total of twenty-four (24) times per calendar year.
  12. Refreshments may be served, providing the group cleans up after the meeting. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Arrangements to use library appliances must be made 48 hours in advance. Vending machines are available in the lobby at Pretlow. No other cooking is permitted.
  13. The group must make its own arrangements for a projectionist and audiovisual equipment not available in the Library, and is responsible for any library equipment used.
  14. Neither the name nor address of the Library may be used as the official address or headquarters of an organization. The Library cannot be listed as the sponsoring organization for public relations purposes, but only as the "location site."
  15. If it is necessary to cancel a meeting, the group is responsible for notifying participants and the Library. In case of inclement weather, the group is responsible for calling the Library for obtaining a closing schedule, or checking the Library’s website.
  16. The Library’s Code of Conduct is posted at each agency and must be observed by all attendees. Library supervisory staff may enter meeting room during meetings to ensure compliance with Meeting Room Policy and other Library Policies and Procedures.
  17. The Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use the meeting room in the case of non-compliance with Library Policies and Procedures.
  18. The door to the meeting room may be required to remain open at the discretion of the building manager. Locking meeting room doors or covering windows is prohibited and may result in the revocation of meeting room privileges for the group.
  19. All applications must be made on the form provided by the Library, at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. The name and phone number of a person in charge or responsible for the organization must be given when the room is reserved. A new form is not required each time the group meets, but the completion of a new form is required every three months.
  20. Groups agree to be responsible for the costs of any and all security measures required to ensure the protection of program attendees, the public and Library assets or staff. These costs will include but are not limited to security personnel or other measures necessary for the protection of the Library. The type and amount of security required will be determined solely by the Library Director, and may be determined before, during or after the program. If the Library Director determines that additional security is required prior to the event, the applicant may be required to prepay the estimated security costs. If the scheduled event appears to be controversial in nature, the applicant may be requested to provide the Library with an additional security bond.

            Maximum Meeting Room Capacities

NPL Branch

Capacity

 

NPL Branch

Capacity

Barron F. Black

50

 

Lafayette

50

Blyden

80

 

Larchmont

42

Horace C. Downing

75

 

Little Creek

40

Janaf

85

 

*Slover Memorial

 

Jordan-Newby

65

 

**Pretlow

100

 

*Slover Memorial Library is under construction. Meeting rooms will be available upon opening in January 2015.

**The meeting room at the Pretlow Anchor Branch can be divided into two 50-person rooms.

The Park Place Branch and Van Wyck Branch do not have meeting rooms.