Meeting Room Policy

MEETING ROOM POLICY

When not in use for library sponsored events, the Beaufort County Library welcomes the public use of its handicapped accessible meeting facilities in keeping with the Library’s mission to “supply the materials and expertise to answer the needs of people for sound information, personal growth, and leisurely pursuits”. 

Meeting rooms are made available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups. Permission to use a Library meeting room does not advocate or endorse viewpoints of meetings or meeting room users. Meetings and programs must be open to the public.

PURPOSE OF USE

The meeting rooms of the Beaufort County Library are available for the following uses:

• Library sponsored or co-sponsored programs;

• Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Library events;

• County and other government agency meetings and programs;

• Non-profit community groups with a cultural, educational, or community welfare emphasis;

• Commercial entities or professional practitioners that provide an educational opportunity related to his or her field of experience. In such a case, an educational opportunity offered by an expert provides benefit to the participant. However, no attempt to sell a specific product or service is permitted nor is solicitation of personal information;

The meeting room will not be considered scheduled until the application is approved.

The meeting rooms will not be approved and are not available for the following groups, entities or functions:

• Groups charging admission fees or asking for donations.

• Classes conducted by instructors for their profit.

• Non-library related groups soliciting or actively selling items for services.

• Social gatherings, social clubs or social activities, unless sponsored by the library.

• Library facilities may not be used for commercial purposes; no fund-raising activities may be held except by the Library, the Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation.

• Religious services, however, religious study groups are permitted.

• Any group whose beliefs espouse racial discrimination by reason of gender, race, ethnicity or other socially unacceptable philosophies, groups who espouse hate philosophies or political agendas, which are not in accord with the orderly decorum in the safe operation of the Beaufort County Library System.

• The Library facilities are not available for political meetings and other campaign-related purposes during the election year of the individual requesting such meeting, including appropriate timeframes for special election candidates or elected officials.

• At any time ninety (90) days before any election, political party primary event, or presidential preference primary event: political parties, political action committees, political movements or any political group who may engage in endorsing candidates or any other group or organization, whether non-profit or charitable organization or not, who may engage in a political agenda by endorsing candidates or causes which may be on election ballots in an upcoming election.

REGULATIONS

Reservations:

A. Meeting rooms may be reserved during regular business hours up to one year in advance of the desired date by a responsible adult on a first-come, first-served basis.

B. An application form is completed when the reservation is made. The person who will be responsible for the room and the meeting must make an appointment to come to the library and have an orientation tour at the time of the first reservation.

C. At least one week’s notice is preferred for reservations. Last minute requests will be considered based on a 24 hour notice, as well as time and space availability.

D. Standing appointments are only for Library and Friends of the Library events.

E. Groups may make up to two reservations at one time; no additional reservations may be made until after the dates of the initial reservations have past. This regulation may be waived for groups acting in partnership with the Library.

F. Reservations may be made for a limited series of events with the Branch Manager’s approval.

G. Reservations are not transferable and immediate notification should be made of any cancellations. After 30 minutes, a group may forfeit its reservation if it fails to appear as scheduled.

H. Library staff may attend or observe any meeting or program at any time.

Denial of Meeting Room Use

A. An individual, group, or organization may appeal the denial of a meeting room reservation request.

B. A completed Meeting Room Usage Reconsideration Request Form must be submitted to the Library Director within ten days of notification of the denial.

C. The Library Director’s decision will be submitted in writing within ten days of notification of the decision to the Chair of the Library Board of Trustees. The appeal will be considered at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. The decision of the Board of Trustees will be the final decision.

Meeting Room Use Arrangements may be made for programs held by the Library and Friends of the Library, which feature an author, artist, musician, etc. Their works may be sold and autographing held. Publicity concerning meetings or programs should state the correct name and address of the Library and make it clear that the Library is not the sponsor.

Meeting rooms may be used only during regular operating hours and terminate at least 15 minutes before closing time. Reservation times need to include set-up, breakdown, and clean-up of the room.

A $50.00 deposit is required and will be refunded once the room has been restored to its original state. Prior to vacating a meeting space, a member of the group must complete and return to a staff member the checklist provided with the application at which time the $50.00 will be refunded.

Provisions for adequate protection of exhibits should be made by the exhibitor as the Library cannot be responsible for the security of an exhibit nor provide staff to attend such exhibits.

Light refreshments only are permitted in the meeting rooms. Refreshment preparation facilities, with limited equipment are available in some facilities. Supplies, such as coffee, napkins, etc. are not provided. If food is served, excess food must be removed from the premises, liquids must be poured into the sink, garbage placed in covered trashcans, sinks, counters and kitchen floor cleaned and carpet vacuumed before the deposit is returned. Paper and litter should be put in a large covered trash can.

Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the buildings.

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the premises.

Neither tape nor adhesive of any kind may be posted directly on the walls of the meeting room or in the halls.

Equipment, supplies, or personal effects cannot be stored or left in the meeting space.

Staff is not available to assist with set-up and break-down. Some furniture and basic equipment such as a microphone, podium, screen, may be available. Any exceptions are by special arrangement with the library staff and with approval of the Director.

Telephone service is not available. Cell phones may be used in the foyer.

Noncompliance with these requirements may result in denial of future requests for use of meeting spaces.

Revised September 2008 Approved 9/8/08 Revised June 2009 Revised April 2012 Approved 5/9/12