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Meeting Rooms and Application Form
The Board of Library Trustees welcomes the use of the meeting rooms by established non-profit organizations having a substantial relationship to the Falmouth community for civic, educational, and recreational purposes. Use of meeting rooms for Library purposes shall take precedence over all other uses.
Reservations for use of the meeting rooms are made on the Library’s application form, and must be completed and submitted prior to the requested use date. The application form must be signed by an officer of the organization wishing to use Library space, and signifies agreement to adhere to all stated policies. Signing the meeting room reservation form does not imply a permanent obligation on the part of the Library to provide space for any organization.
To ensure the rooms are available to all groups, regular monthly meetings can only be scheduled one month in advance. Organizations may use meeting room space up to twelve times annually. At the Librarian’s discretion, exceptions may be made for educational programs that benefit the community. Library programs may preempt use of the space. Reservations shall be accepted, subject to the provisions of this policy, in the order received. Failure to notify the Library of cancellations may result in forfeiture of future bookings. All meeting room reservations are subject to the discretion of the Library Administration.
Due to the high level of regular weekly programs and story hours, the Children’s Program Room is available for library use only, and is not available for booking.
Rules for Use
All meetings shall be open and free of charge to the public. No person shall be excluded from attendance except in order to comply with the occupancy limit applicable to the meeting room or because their presence may tend to negatively impact the health, welfare, and/or safety of others.
The occupancy limits are as follows: 194 people for the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room; and 35 people for the Bay Room; and 16 persons for the Trustees’ Conference Room.
Users may not engage in commerce of any sort. It is understood that meeting rooms shall not be used for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for the solicitation of business, for profit or for fundraising. Meeting rooms shall also not be used for political campaigns or rallies. No goods or services shall be sold, exchanged, or promoted by sample, pictures, or descriptions upon the premises, nor shall there be any requests for donations.
Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Board of Library Trustees if determined to be in the best interest of the Library and the community. The Friends of the Falmouth Public Library book sales are considered a valid exception, as are Falmouth Public Library Trustee-sponsored events. Authors and performers who have been invited to speak, may sell materials that directly relate to their presentation. Please refer to the Sales Policy.
Organizations shall, at their own expense, procure any license or permit necessary for the conduct of their meetings.
All persons attending a meeting in a meeting room shall comply with all requests by Library staff and, if applicable, the Falmouth Police and Fire Departments. Failure to comply with the above will result in loss of meeting room privileges.
Users will handle their own exhibits and other materials needed in the meeting rooms. It is up to the group to set up furniture and chairs. Groups assume responsibility for any loss or damage to Library property and must leave the facilities in order.
Light refreshment (i.e. coffee and finger foods) may be served in the meeting rooms, no cooking or food preparation is allowed on site. The group is obliged to collect and bag all trash.
No smoking is allowed.
No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
Hours, Fees, and Special Equipment
The meeting rooms are available during regular Library hours; availability on Monday through Friday until 10PM, and after hours on Saturday and Sunday, is at the discretion of the Trustees. Organization members may set up for meetings when the Library opens at 9:30 AM.
If a meeting is held after hours, when the Library is not open, a person leaving the meeting rooms to enter the Library will set off the alarm, upon which there will be a Police and Fire Department response; if this occurs, the organization holding the meeting will be held responsible for any costs incurred.
If an organization wants to use the rooms after hours, a representative may check out a key on his or her library card, and return the key via the Book Drop that night after the meeting. Failure to return the key will incur replacement costs as well as loss of future meeting room privileges.
There is no charge for meeting room use. However, a donation to the Library Board of Trustees or the Friends of the Library is appreciated.
Reservations are to be made in advance for use of audiovisual or specialized equipment, and all equipment must be operated by a qualified person.
If an organization plans to use the library audio-visual equipment, please contact the Information Systems Librarian, at 508-457-2555 ext. 2941. A meeting with the Information Systems Librarian in advance of the meeting is advised.
In allowing an organization to use a meeting room, the Board of Library Trustees and Library staff does not imply any endorsement of the group’s beliefs, policies or program. No organization shall in any of its publicity state or suggest that the Falmouth Public Library, the Board of Library Trustees, the Town of Falmouth or the Library staff sponsors or endorses the meeting, the group or any particular set of ideas.
Organizations may identify the Library and provide its address in their publicity for the meeting, but may not give out the Library’s telephone number or invite potential attendees to contact the Library. Failure to comply may result in forfeiture of approval to use the meeting rooms.
There is limited on-street parking and limited parking at nearby municipal lots, both subject to posted limits.
Indemnification and Insurance
The Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to require that the applicant supplies a certificate of insurance from an insurer licensed to do business in Massachusetts, in such amount and in such form as the Board may reasonably deem appropriate, naming the Board as additional insured, and covering damage to the library building, grounds, and collections, and injury to persons arising from the event.
Requirements for Room Reservations
All organizations using any meeting room shall complete, submit and, at the request of the Library staff, update an application on a form approved by the Board of Library Trustees. Such a form shall incorporate by reference this policy and shall document that the applicant group has received a copy of this policy and agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy.
Reservations shall be made through the office of the Library Director, or its designee. No group may reserve or use any meeting room unless it complies in all respects with the provisions of this policy and submits, in fully executed form, the application and indemnification agreement called for in this policy, and any insurance certificate request pursuant hereto. No meeting room reservation shall be deemed complete until the Library staff receives a complete, signed original form (together, if requested, with an original insurance certificate). The application form must be signed by an officer or principal of the organization wishing to use meeting room space.
Any false, misleading or incomplete statement on the application form shall be grounds to forbid the use of meeting rooms by the applicant group.
The Board of Library Trustees and the Library staff reserve 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. No use of meeting rooms will be allowed which is likely to disturb Library patrons in their customary use of Library facilities, impede Library staff in the performance of their duties, or endanger the Library building or collection. In determining whether such a likelihood exists, the Board of Library Trustees and/or the Library staff may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s meeting room use in the Library, the history of the group’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and such other information as they may deem appropriate.
The Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to determine, in its reasonable discretion, whether any proposed use of a meeting room will require a police detail or other extraordinary police protection, and if so the anticipated cost thereof. In making this determination, the Board of Library Trustee may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s meeting room use in the Library, the history of the group’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and such other information as such Board may deem appropriate, and may consult with the Chief of Police or his designee. If the Board of Library Trustees determines that such police protection will be reasonably necessary, the group seeking to reserve the use of a meeting room shall be required, as a condition of such a reservation, to pay for the police detail directly.
The North and East Branches of the Falmouth Public Library do not have public meeting spaces available.
Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Board of Trustees. If an organization wishes any exceptions to this policy, they must arrange to meet with the Board of Trustees.
The Falmouth Public Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to alter, amend, or terminate this policy.
Accepted and voted by the Board of Library Trustees on December 14, 2010 and Revised in June 2014.