PASCO COUNTY LIBRARY COOPERATIVE POLICY MANUAL
SECTION: PUBLIC SERVICES
POLICY TITLE: MEETING ROOM POLICY
EFFECTIVE DATE: JANUARY 1990
REVISED: JANUARY 1997
The Pasco County Public Library System (Library) maintains meeting rooms in several library facilities. The meeting rooms are designed primarily to meet the operational needs of the Library. When meeting rooms are not being used by the library or library-related organizations, such as the Friends of the Library, they will be available to other eligible groups, regardless of the beliefs or affiliation of those requesting their use.
Library meeting rooms are available, free of charge, for lawful use by non-profit educational, cultural, civic, charitable, political, religious, or professional organizations. A non-profit group is defined here as any group or organization formed for the purposes of serving a public or mutual benefit other than the pursuit or accumulation of profits for owners or investors. For-profit interests may lawfully use meeting rooms free of charge as well. A for-profit interest is defined as any group or organization formed for the purpose of creating a profit.
Permission to use a meeting room does not constitute endorsement of the organization using the room, the subject matter of the meeting, or endorsement by the Library, the Pasco County Library Cooperative, the Friends of the Library, or Pasco County of viewpoints expressed by participants in programs. Advertisement or announcement implying such County endorsement is not permitted.
Library meeting rooms are not available:
- For personal use such as birthday or anniversary parties, weddings, funerals, or other private events,
- For gambling activities, including, but not limited to, bingo, raffles, and games of chance for monetary prizes or other things of value for which a price is required to be paid for a chance to win,
- As a headquarters for any organization,
- For use as the sole or primary location to conduct regular business operations, or
- When the proposed use of the room(s) will result in the disruption of Library services, endangerment of public safety, civil disorder, or public unrest.
Meeting rooms are available during regular library operating hours, unless specifically approved by the Library Branch Manager. Upon notice, the Library may pre-empt the scheduled use of a meeting room if it is needed for use by the Library, the Friends of the Library, or County Government.
The Library may impose time, place, manner, or quantity restrictions on the use of the meeting rooms to ensure that all patrons may use the Library to the maximum extent possible and maintain the library environment.
Use and scheduling of the meeting rooms are subject to the following priority:
- Voting and Early voting,
- Programs or meetings sponsored by the Pasco County Public Library System or the respective Friends of the Library organizations,
- Programs or meetings sponsored by official governmental boards, committees, and agencies,
- Programs or meetings sponsored by local educational institutions,
- Programs or meetings sponsored by local non-profit organizations,
- Programs or meetings sponsored by local for-profit
Library meeting rooms may be used for regular, consecutive meetings to the extent that such use does not prohibit general availability to the public.
Juvenile or young adult groups may use the rooms with adequate adult supervision (one adult over the age of 18 for each 20 persons in attendance). An adult must sponsor and supervise a juvenile or youth group and must be in attendance for the entire time the room is in use. Adults may not leave children or young adults unsupervised at any time.
Use of the premises may be terminated at any time if the conduct of the group, or any member of the group, is disruptive to library services or violates library policy.
Other Pasco County Public Library facilities and grounds may be made available for public use at the discretion of the Library Branch Manager.
Basic meeting room use includes the use of the meeting room with tables and chairs, subject to availability. Availability of audiovisual equipment may vary by library location.
The Library is not responsible for any equipment malfunction or operator error, which might cause damage to computer software or other audiovisual material. The Library is not responsible for any malfunction or operator error, which might result in the loss of information or data in any media format. In addition, the Library is not liable for technical failures or operator errors, which might inhibit the quality, delay, or otherwise cause ineffective presentations and/or room use.
A meeting room request form must be completed, submitted, and approved to reserve a meeting room. No group may reserve the meeting room more than 60 days in advance, or more than once per week. In some circumstances, the Branch Manager may grant an exception.
Groups using the library meeting room agree to indemnify and hold harmless Pasco County and the Pasco County Public Library, its agents, and its representatives from any and all suits, actions, claims, or demands of any character or nature arising out of, or brought on by, any injuries or damages sustained by any person as a consequence, or result of the use of the room, its furnishings or equipment.
The Library should be notified of cancellations as soon as possible in order to make the room available for other uses. Repeated failure to do so may result in the loss of reservation privileges.
Meeting room occupancy may not exceed that set forth by the Fire Marshal. Meeting room use may not disrupt normal Library services and operations. Library meeting room users, including program attendees, are expected to follow the Library’s posted rules for appropriate Library behavior.
Activities in the Library's meeting rooms must be open to the general public. No person’s right to attend a meeting or program will be denied or abridged because of origin, age, race, sex, background, views, religion, sexual orientation, disability, membership or lack of membership in an organization or group, or for any other reason.
Non-Library sponsored groups using the meeting rooms may not charge or collect admission or registration fees nor exchange any funds on the premises. No contracts for goods or services may be signed in the meeting room.
Groups holding meetings or events in the Library meeting rooms are responsible for accommodating individuals with disabilities if an interpreter is needed. Sponsoring groups should be aware that any person requiring accommodation must contact the group in advance to provide the notice of need.
Users of the Library meeting rooms may use the Library’s name and address only to designate the location of their meeting. Users of the Library meeting rooms may not use the Library for their mailing address or telephone number. Further, it is not permitted to place the Library’s telephone number on publicity as the place to call for more information about a meeting room user’s meeting. The Library may not be identified or implied as a sponsor.
Meeting room users may not post signs inside or outside the library except in places specifically designated for that purpose by Library staff. Signs must be removed at the conclusion of the event.
The Library reserves the right to attend any meetings held in its facilities.
All activities and programs conducted in Library buildings must comply with all federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations and are subject to the general rules and regulations of the Library.
Each group is responsible for making sure any exhibition of copyrighted material in the library complies with U.S. Copyright Laws, which include Public Performance Rights.
Failure to comply with meeting room guidelines and all library policies or to cooperate with library staff or damage to the library facility may result in the loss of meeting room privileges.
Use and Care of Facilities and Equipment
Room Configuration /Set-up/Take-down
- The use of chairs and tables, when available, is included in library meeting room use.
- Groups are responsible for their own room set-up and take-down. When a room reservation is made, sufficient time should be reserved for room set-up and take-down. When a room reservation is made, sufficient time should be reserved for room set-up and take down.
- Pasco County and the Pasco County Public Library are not responsible for accidents or injury caused by re-configuration of the furniture set-up.
- At the conclusion of a meeting room use, the room must be left in good, clean condition and in the original configuration.
- Egress routes may not be obstructed in any way and exit signs must remain clearly visible. Decorations, displays, furniture, and /or equipment cannot obscure exit signs or doors.
- Staff assistance is not available to set up materials, make coffee, provide office supplies or photocopies or to carry items in or out of the building. All groups must provide their own support for preparation and clean up.
Cleaning and Maintenance
- The Library will provide basic housekeeping service (i.e., trash removal, regularly scheduled cleaning) as part of the regular meeting room use.
- Damage to the facility will be billed to the group responsible for the room and may result in restriction from further use.
- Walls may not be used for mounting or hanging pictures, displays, posters, etc.
- Open fire, including the use of candles, incense, pyrotechnics, or any type of open flame is not permitted.
- Serving food or beverages of any kind requires the approval of the Library Branch Manager.
- Food may not be cooked or prepared in the Library, except by Library-sponsored programs.
- Equipment, supplies, or personal effects belonging to groups or meeting participants cannot be stored or left in the meeting rooms or in the Library before or after use.
- Allowing sufficient time for this to occur, at the conclusion of the meeting, meeting room users are expected to:
- Leave the meeting room as clean and as orderly as possible.
- Place all trash in receptacles provided by the Library.
- Report any spills immediately to the Library staff member in charge.
- Remove all personal effects, equipment, and decorations.
- Leave, or return to a staff member, any library equipment which has been provided.
- Report any equipment problems or failures.
- After a scheduled meeting room use, the responsible party must check-out with Library staff or volunteers prior to leaving to make sure that there is no damage or extra clean-up required.
The Library is not responsible for equipment, supplies, exhibit material, or other items owned by a group and used in the library.
Pasco County Administration and Library Administration may establish additional guidelines, regulations, and procedures for the implementation of this policy including, but not limited to, scheduling and cancellations, application for use form, damage deposit, publicity, special arrangements, and conditions of use.