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Large Meeting Room and Study Room Policy

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A. PURPOSE

The purpose of the large meeting room and study room policy is to provide a basis for equitable service to all customers who request to use the library’s facilities and to clarify the responsibilities of both the library and its customers with regard to the use of the library’s meeting and study rooms.

B. DEFINITIONS

LARGE MEETING ROOM – Large meeting room refers to any room(s) within library locations that can accommodate a minimum of 9 persons per library regulations, and that must be booked in advance and approved by authorized library staff. The availability and number of large meeting rooms may vary based on the size and space needs.

STUDY ROOM: Study room refers to any room(s) within library locations that can accommodate up to 8 persons per fire code regulations, and that can be reserved by the customer without prior approval by library staff. Study rooms are available on an equal basis if available and once a customer has booked a study room, it is available for their private use. The availability and number of Study Rooms may vary based on the size and needs of the library.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – Any gatherings that occur in large meeting rooms must be open for any member of the community to attend and participate. Gatherings cannot be private meetings, events, or programs. All must be welcome to attend.

C. POLICY STATEMENT

Durham County Library makes its large meeting room and study room facilities available to local groups and organizations for lawful public use on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. All meetings, programs and events held in large meeting rooms must be free and open to the public. No fees, dues or donations may be charged to or solicited from those attending meetings held in library facilities, including large meeting rooms. Permission by the library to use its facilities does not constitute an endorsement by the library staff, the Library Board of Trustees, or the Durham County Board of Commissioners.

The library’s meeting rooms and study rooms are not available for private events such as graduations, weddings, birthday or anniversary parties. Large meeting rooms are not available for individual use or for use by groups of 8 or less. Study rooms can be for individual or private use. Large meeting rooms and study rooms are not to be used as a base of operations for any club, business, or organization. Meetings cannot exceed room capacity. While the maximum capacity of a room is nominally set by the Fire Marshal, a room’s actual capacity may be more limited due to configuration and set-up, or health and safety concerns. Durham County Library staff reserve the right to decline use of large meeting rooms or to ask customers to leave if the number of persons in the room exceeds the room capacity. The Library reserves the right to decline any reservation for any reason. Some meeting room spaces at Main Library will follow the Durham County Facility Use Policy regarding fees and availability.

A valid, full privileges Durham County Library card is required to reserve a meeting room or study room. Large meeting rooms and study rooms may be reserved online (durhamcountylibrary.org), by phone or in person. Customers may only access large meeting rooms and study rooms during library operating hours. Customers may not access library buildings before opening or after closing to set up or prepare for gatherings. Rooms are not available if the library buildings must close due to inclement weather, or other circumstances. Access to large meeting rooms and study rooms is only given during the hours of reservation, reservation time must include set up and take down. Customers reserving large meeting rooms are responsible for their own event set up, clean up and take down. Customers must return large meeting rooms and study rooms to the posted set up. Customers must notify the library of cancellation prior to the meeting date so the room may be made available to other customers. Large meeting room and study room reservations will terminate, and customers must conclude gatherings and exit rooms, 30 minutes prior to the close of the library. Abuse of the Meeting Room and Study Room Policy may result in loss of room use privileges.

D. STIPULATIONS

Large Meeting Rooms

  • There is a maximum of one (1) reservation per 30-day period per customer or group at any time across the library system.
  • Reservation requests must include the customer’s name, phone number, email address, the name of the group or organization, and a detailed description of purpose of meeting.
  • Reservations must be made 3 days in advance to allow for approval.
  • Customers must abide by guidelines posted in rooms.
  • Customers must be responsible for set up, take down, and clean up; returning rooms to posted set ups.
  • Reservations may not be made for times outside of library hours. Customers may not have access to rooms to set up or clean up before or after their reservation times.
  • Large meeting rooms must be for groups of a minimum of 9 persons.

Study Rooms

  • Reservations may be made no more than 30 days in advance.
  • Reservations are for 30-minute increments.
  • There is a maximum of two one-hour or four 30-minute reservations per day, per location. The reservations may be for two consecutive hours.
  • Customers must abide by guidelines posted in rooms.
  • Customers must be responsible for set up, take down, and clean up; retiring rooms to posted set ups.
  • Reservations may not be made for times outside of library hours. Customers may not have access to rooms to set up or clean up before or after their reservation times.
  • Study rooms accommodate up to 8 persons.

While every effort will be made to honor reservations, Durham County reserves the right to cancel a reservation for violations of this policy, other misconduct, or because Durham County needs to use these facilities for official business.

E. REFRESHMENTS AND ROOM FEE STRUCTURE

Large Meeting Rooms

  • Nonprofits: Free, unless refreshments are served, in which case there is a $25 fee
  • Commercial/for profit: Meetings of up to four hours: $100; Meetings of more than four hours: $200
  • All meeting room fees are due before obtaining access to the room.
  • Meeting room fees are not refundable.
  • Customers who book a large meeting room accept responsibility for costs, including refreshment fees (when applicable), for-profit fees, and costs for additional cleaning and/or repairs due to damage done to library property.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be served.
  • Any unpaid food, damage or room use fees will be assessed to the library card number associated with the reservation.

Study Rooms

  • Free. No food allowed.
  • Customers who book a study room accept responsibility for costs for additional cleaning and/or repairs due to damage done to library property.

E. RESPONSIBILITY

It is the responsibility of all staff and facility supervisors to understand this policy fully to ensure fair and equitable application. It is the responsibility of the Deputy Director and the Assistant Director for Planning and Facilities, with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor and recommend updates to this policy. The Library Director is the final authority with regard to restrictions on the use of the library.

Effective July 2020