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Meeting Rooms Policy

Cary Memorial Library welcomes public use of its meeting rooms in keeping with the library’s mission to provide the Lexington community with materials, resources, and services that promote lifelong learning and cultural enrichment. Meetings held at the library must be free of charge and open to the general public.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Meeting rooms are available to civic, cultural, charitable, and educational groups and organizations that have a substantial connection to the Lexington community and are engaged in activities consistent with the library’s mission. The meeting rooms are not available to businesses or to organizations wishing to hold programs for members only.

Priorities for using the library’s meeting rooms have been established in keeping with the library’s mission and service goals:

  1. Library-sponsored programs and those offered by groups and organizations affiliated with the library (CML Foundation and Friends of CML)
  2. Town of Lexington departments and committees
  3. Programs presented by the library’s community partner organizations including Lexington Veterans, League of Women Voters
  4. ​Non-profit neighborhood and community-based groups, civic groups, and non-commercial organizations serving the needs of the Lexington community

Meeting rooms may be used by political groups for meetings of an informational nature that are open to the public. They may be used for public forums, debates, and group candidates’ nights. Rooms may not be used for direct campaign activities for individual candidates. Meeting rooms are not available for private meetings or functions such as parties or play groups. Meeting rooms may not be used for commercial purposes, for the solicitation or development of business, or for profit. Non-profit groups may not ask for contributions or take up collections at meetings held in the library.

Due to demand for library meeting rooms, we limit use of our Large Meeting Room to one meeting/month for approved groups. Room use is also limited to time blocks not to exceed 3 hours.

Public use of the library’s meeting rooms must be subordinate to the need to provide a safe, peaceful, and respectful environment in which to read and study. No use of the meeting rooms will be allowed that is likely to disturb library patrons in their customary use of library facilities, impede library staff in the performance of their duties, or endanger patrons, staff, or the library building or collections.

Groups may not use the hallway spaces outside of the meeting rooms (lower level corridor) without advanced approval from the library administration.

In allocating the use of meeting rooms, the library and its Board of Trustees shall not discriminate on the basis of the political or religious beliefs of applicant groups, or on any other constitutionally or statutorily prohibited basis. The library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints expressed during meetings or by meeting room users.

Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Library Director in consultation with the Board of Trustees as they deem in the best interest of the library and the community.

Meeting rooms are available during regular library hours on those days that the library is regularly scheduled to be open. Meetings should end no later than 15 minutes before closing. Rooms should be clean and all meeting attendees should leave promptly when the building closes for the evening.

MEETING ROOMS

Large Meeting Room - Lower Level

The library’s Large Meeting Room is available to groups wishing to present programs, lectures, workshops, and discussions to a broad public audience.

  • The LMR seats approximately 80 people auditorium style and is equipped with a small kitchen
  • The LMR has the following equipment available for use by groups
    • LCD video projector and screen (groups should plan to provide their own laptop as needed)
    • Podium with microphone
    • Hand-held microphones
    • Assisted listening devices
    • The room is equipped with a cochlear hearing loop for use by individuals with cochlear implants.
  • Groups may request advance training on meeting room equipment prior to the scheduled event. Please be aware that there may not be library staff available to assist with the equipment during a meeting or event. 
  • Groups are responsible for paying for the replacement or repair of lost, stolen, or damaged equipment.

Learning Center – Lower Level

The library’s Learning Center is available for public programs as well as for meetings of civic and non-profit groups, provided those meetings are open to the public. The LC seats up to 20 people and is equipped with a projector and screen.

APPLICATIONS, RESERVATIONS, CANCELLATIONS, AND EMERGENCY CLOSURES

  • Meeting rooms are available to approved groups only. To become an approved group submit an application. The library will generally notify the applicant group of approval status within one week of receipt of the application form.
  • Groups must designate a contact person who will be the library’s point of contact for questions regarding meeting room use. The contact person is the only individual who is allowed to book rooms on behalf of the group. Groups should send the library updated contact information as needed.
  • Once approved, groups may then submit Meeting Room Reservation requests, available online.
  • Rooms may be reserved by adults 18 years or older.
  • Reservations may be made no more than three months and no less than 3 weekdays in advance of an event.
  • Reservations are considered in the order received. Groups will receive a confirmation email from the library once the reservation has been accepted.
  • Reservations may not be transferred or assigned to another group. If an organization has several sub-groups, each of those should register separately for approval to use library meeting rooms.
  • Changes or cancellations must be received at least 3 days in advance of the scheduled event; please call 781-862- 6288 x251 or email caryrooms@minlib.net for meeting room cancellations.
  • Groups that repeatedly cancel without proper notice or fail to use a reserved meeting room may lose their room use privileges.
  • Library staff shall have the right to cancel, reschedule, or transfer meeting room locations or dates that conflict with library sponsored programs and/or special events. In such cases, the library will make its best effort to give advance notice.
  • In case of an unscheduled library closing, such as weather-related closures, the library will make its best effort to notify group contact persons with the contact information on file. Such groups may reschedule another meeting time based on availability.

USE AND CARE OF FACILITIES – GENERAL PRINCIPLES

All meetings, programs, and activities held in library meeting rooms must be free and open to the public.

Groups using library meeting rooms shall not:

  • Charge fees (or accept donations) for program or course registration, admission, refreshments, or supplies
  • Sell or promote any material or service for private profit or gain
  • Engage in fundraising activities, except those groups that have arranged with the library to do so in support of library or Town of Lexington programs and activities, at the discretion of the library Director.

Care of Facilities and Safety Considerations:

  • Groups using meeting rooms may arrange the available tables and chairs as they choose, provided that all pieces of furniture are returned to their original positions at the close of the meeting. Furniture may not be moved into or out of either of the meeting rooms.
  • Food preparation is not allowed in the meeting rooms.
  • All food (previously prepared) and drink must be confined to the Large Meeting Room and adjoining kitchen or the Learning Center. Groups are responsible for cleaning up after use; leftover food must be removed by the organization.
  • Kitchen access is limited to groups using the Large Meeting Room.
  • State law prohibits smoking or use of alcohol or illegal substances in public buildings.
  • Due to safety, environmental and public health concerns, candles, open flames, incense, and similar items are not allowed.
  • Since the Large Meeting Room is also used as a gallery, art work displayed in that space should be treated with care and respect, and not moved or handled in any way. Posting or mounting materials on walls, doors, or equipment is not allowed. Groups may not hang posters or banners on top of artwork.
  • Groups are responsible for paying for the replacement or repair, at the library’s discretion, or lost, stolen, or damaged equipment and furnishings.
  • An appropriate number of adult sponsors must accompany groups of high school age and younger children.
  • Attendance at events should be limited to the maximum seating capacity of the meeting room. Groups using the meeting spaces are in charge of maintaining egress and enforcing capacity limits. The library reserves the right to limit attendance at programs when needed and as appropriate. If a group’s event “outgrows” available library spaces and safety is a concern, the library may not allow the continued use of the space by that group.
  • ​The library’s Rules of Behavior apply to all activities within the library, including meetings, programs, and events held in the meeting rooms.

Other Considerations

  • Groups shall, at their own expense, procure any license or permit necessary for the conduct of their meetings.
  • Groups reserving meeting rooms assume full responsibility for providing and paying for special accommodations that are requested by participants in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • The Library Director and Board of Trustees reserve the right to determine, in their reasonable discretion, whether any proposed use of a meeting room will require a police detail or other extraordinary police protection. In making this determination, the Director and Trustees may consider the contents of the application and such other information as they deem appropriate, such as the history of the group’s meeting room use in the library or the history of the group’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and may consult with the Police Department. If the Director and Board determine that police protection will reasonably be necessary, the group seeking to reserve the room shall be required to pay to the Town in advance of the meeting the anticipated cost of such police protection.
  • The name, address, and/or phone number of Cary Memorial Library may not be used as the official address or headquarters of organizations using library meeting rooms. In issuing posters, press releases, or other publicity, groups should make clear that their programs are not sponsored, co-sponsored or approved by the library. The following language may be added to programs listed in the library’s Calendar of Events: “This program has not been sponsored by Cary Memorial Library.”
  • The Town of Lexington, Cary Memorial Library, its Board of Trustees, the Library Director, or employees assume no responsibility for the loss, theft, or damage of any property of any group, individual, or organization using library facilities.
  • Groups using meeting rooms agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Lexington, Cary Memorial Library, and their employees, officer, agents, and representatives, from any and all suits, actions, claims, or demands of any nature arising out of or brought on account of any injuries or damages sustained by any person by a consequence or result of the use of the room, its furnishings, or its equipment.
  • ​Groups using meeting rooms will periodically be requested to re-register with the library.

Policy approved by the Library Board of Trustees – 10.17.12, updated 7.25.16