Meeting Room Policy

 

The Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) welcomes the use of its meeting rooms for public gatherings by groups who agree to observe library rules and whose activities do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability. Rooms are available to groups regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of their members. The library reserves the right to revoke permission to use the meeting rooms.

Limitations: Meeting rooms are not available for social gatherings (such as parties or entertainment), fundraising efforts, religious ceremonies or services, for an individual’s political campaign or when, in the judgment of the Library Chief Executive Officer, the use poses a threat to the life, safety or property of any individual.

 Fees

Nonprofit and not-for-profit groups may use meeting rooms free of charge. Verification of nonprofit status may be required.

AACPL, library affiliated groups, local, state and federal government offices/departments and their elected officials and the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council tutors do not pay a fee in order to use meeting rooms. For-profit groups must pay a fee by cash, check or credit card at the branch at the time of the booking. In-kind contributions, in lieu of a fee, are permissible with the approval of the Chief Executive Officer.

Meetings may be closed to the public pursuant to the Maryland Open Meetings Act.

FEES

TIME

 

Type of Room

Less than five hours

Five or more hours

Meeting Room

$50

$75

Small conference room or partitioned Meeting Room

$25

$35

Reservations

Meeting room reservations are made on a yearly basis. Reservations for the next calendar year are accepted beginning on the first Monday of October of the current year. Additional availability of meeting rooms for weekdays during the summer months will be determined in early spring. Reservations for these dates can be made beginning the first Monday of April. A new application must be completed any time that the contact for the organization changes. Meeting rooms are only available during library operating hours and all groups must vacate the room 15 minutes prior to closing time. Groups may book only one room for no more than once every other week at any individual branch location.

Cancellations

Organizations should notify the library as soon as possible if a meeting is canceled.

Nonprofits: Repeated “no shows” will result in termination of meeting room privileges.

For-profits: Refunds will be made only if the group cancels its meeting at least 48 hours in advance or if the library is not open due to emergency. Payment by cash or check will be reimbursed by check and will be mailed to the person/address on the application. Payment by credit card will only be reimbursed to the same credit card upon presentation of the original receipt.

Policy - Regulations

Accommodations: The number of chairs and tables that are available is based on room capacity. Meeting rooms are equipped with screens. Audio visual equipment may be available, depending on the branch location. All meeting rooms have sinks and trash containers.

Admission Fees: No money may be collected by a nonprofit group, including charities, using a library meeting room, with the exception of dues, fees/materials for education courses or registration fees for conferences and/or other events held in cooperation with AACPL. If a group has not arrived within 30 minutes of their scheduled time, the room may be available to walk-ins. Admission fees may be charged and products or services may be sold by a for-profit organization that has paid a fee to use the meeting room.

Emergency Closings: When AACPL or a specific branch closes because of weather or building emergencies, every effort will be made to notify organizations scheduled to use the meeting room(s). During adverse weather conditions, group representatives should call the branch and listen to the recorded message or go to the AACPL website for more information.

Food and Drink: Light refreshments may be served. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted without AACPL Board of Trustee approval. Organizations are required to provide their own utensils and are responsible for cleanup.

Publicity: Organizations may not identify AACPL as a sponsor or use the library phone number/mailing address as the contact information for the organization. AACPL posts a monthly meeting room schedule for the public. Organizations wishing to display their own sign may do so one hour before their meeting and must remove their signage immediately following the meeting. No program in the library may be broadcast or televised without permission from the AACPL Chief Executive Officer.

All printed materials such as fliers or posters publicizing meetings at the library must contain the following disclaimer: “Use of library meeting space does not constitute endorsement of program/meeting or its content by Anne Arundel County Public Library.”

Responsibilities: Organizations are responsible for setting up the rooms according to their needs and should include time for set-up and clean-up into their reservation time. Janitorial services are not available. Members of the organization are expected to leave the room at the end of the reserved time period. Rooms must be left in the same condition as they are found.

Groups are responsible for making their meeting accessible to individuals with disabilities. Federal regulations require groups using the meeting room to provide a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired if one is requested. AACPL will assist with identifying a sign language interpreter if the request is made at least one week in advance.

Safety: At the beginning of each meeting, the person in charge of the meeting must make sure all interior doors leading from the meeting room are unlocked and call attention to the number and location of exits from the room. Smoking is not permitted. Open fire is not permitted in the library, including the use of candles. If children under the age of 18 are in attendance, there must be at least two adults (age 18 or older) present in the meeting room at all times.

Exceptions to these policies are possible only by permission of the Chief Executive Officer and/or by the Board of Trustees.

Waiver: User knows, understands and acknowledges the risks and hazards associated with using the library’s meeting rooms and hereby assumes any and all risks and hazards associated therewith. User hereby irrevocably waives any and all claims against the Anne Arundel County Public Library, the local government or any of its officials, employees or agents for any bodily injury (including death), loss or property damage incurred by the user as a result of using the library’s meeting rooms and hereby irrevocably releases and discharges the library, the local government and any of its officials, employees or agents from any and all claims of liability arising out of or associated with the use of the library’s meeting rooms.

Indemnification: User shall indemnify and hold harmless the library, local government and its officials, employees and agents from and against any and all liabilities, judgments, settlements, losses, costs or charges (including attorneys’ fees) incurred by the library, local government or any of its officials, employees or agents as a result of any claim, demand, action or suit relating to any bodily injury (including death), loss of property damage caused by, arising out of, related to or associated with the use of the library’s meeting rooms by the user or by the user’s members, employees, agents or invitees.

Property Damage: User shall pay the library and/or the local government for any and all physical loss or damage to the property (including the cost to repair or replace the property) caused by, arising out of, related to or associated with the use of the library’s meeting rooms by the user or by the user’s members, employees, agents or invitees.

APPROVED BY THE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES – REVISED: February 2017