Meeting Room Policy
As a public institution, the Sadie Pope Dowdell Library of South Amboy is dedicated to free access to information and ideas on all points of view concerning the problems and issues of interest to residents. The meeting room is available for meetings and programs open to the public that are sponsored by non-profit organizations, community interest groups, boards and agencies of the library, City government, and schools for informational, educational or recreational uses. Preference is given to South Amboy organizations, but regional and statewide groups are accommodated. Permission to use the meeting room does not imply sponsorship or endorsement of the aims, policies, programs or public statements of any group or organization. Such permission is revocable and does not constitute a lease.
The use of the meeting room must be consistent with the provisions of this policy and may be denied: (a) where use is inconsistent with policy and/or regulation, (b) where there is likelihood of physical hazard to participants or audience, (c) when there has been misuse of premises or equipment or violation of this policy by the organization in the past.
Application forms must be submitted for use of the meeting room. Applications falling within provisions of this policy and regulation are approved by the Library Director. The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to review all applications and shall review applications not approved by the Director if requested by the applicant.
- Requests for the use of the room are to be submitted in writing to the Library Director byfilling out the required application form. All reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The Library Board reserves the right to approve or deny any application for use of the meeting room.
- The Library reserves right to request a copy of the by-laws, constitution or other governing rules or regulations of the group requesting use of the room.
- The application is not transferable.
- The application shall be reviewed and approved or denied by the Library Director within the policies as established.
- The Library reserves the right to cancel a meeting providing advance notification is given to the organization reserving the room.
- Library programs shall receive priority.
- The meeting room is available for regular meetings or other activities open to the general public for which no admission is made or any contributions solicited or accepted unless the Library co-sponsors the program. Prior written approval by the Director is required.
- The Library does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, nationality, or religious affiliation.
- Programs presented by non-profit groups must be open to the public free of charge. Donations to the library’s gift fund are accepted with pleasure.
- Meetings sponsored by or for a commercial organization or purpose; or at which goods or services are advertised or sold whether for profit or to raise funds for non-profit organizations are prohibited unless the program is a library- sponsored event. Prior written approval by the Director is required.
- For-profit groups presenting educational seminars are subject to a $50 Half Day/$100 Full Day rental fee unless the program is being presented at the direct invitation of the library, its boards and committees. Payment must be made at the time of reservation.
- Groups shall, at their own expense, procure any license or permit necessary for the conduct of the meeting.
- Organizations utilizing the meeting room are considered a public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are therefore responsible for providing auxiliary aids and services in compliance with ADA. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request.
- The library cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items, nor items left in the room.
- The Library Board reserves the right to take any action necessary to preserve order or to protect the property and facilities within its jurisdiction at the expense of the offender.
- Groups using the meeting room shall agree to hold the Library Trustees, the City of South Amboy, and all library staff, harmless from and to indemnify them against all costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, as a result of such group’s use of the room.
- In the event of an emergency closing of the Library, every effort will be made to notify the contact person listed on the meeting room application form. However, the Library cannot guarantee that the organization will be notified. It is recommended that the meeting room applicant call the Library should there be a possibility that an emergency closing will be necessary.
- In the event of any dispute or controversy regarding the true interpretation or meaning of anything contained in this policy statement, the judgment of the Library Board concerning such controversy or dispute shall be final.
RULES OF CONDUCT
- Use of the building shall be restricted to the meeting room and public restrooms unless prior permission is given.
- The meeting room occupancy limit is 16 people.
- Hours for use of the room are limited to the hours that the library is open. All programs must conclude fifteen (15) minutes prior to the closing of the building.
- There must be one adult for every 7 children under 13. With the Director’s permission, minors 13 and older can use the Meeting Room for quiet study or an after school meeting if the period of time involved is two hours or less; children’s behavior must conform to accepted library behavior.
- The user shall be responsible for returning furniture to its former position. All trash resulting from the serving of refreshments must be cleaned up and removed by the organization.
- Smoking is not permitted in the library, or on library grounds.
- The consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly forbidden in the meeting room or anywhere on the library grounds.
- Light refreshments and serving equipment must be provided by the reserving organization.
- Banners, literature, photographs or signage may not be placed anywhere in the library without the permission of the Library Director.
- No tacks, nails or adhesive tape are to be placed in or on doors, walls, or furniture. Lighted candles or flames, because of fire hazard, are not to be used. All paper and decorations used in decorating must be flame proof.
- The Dowdell Library name and address may not be used as the official location or address for any organization.
- The applicant using the meeting room shall be held responsible for all damages which are caused by or result from its activity and shall make reparation to the Library Board for the full amount of any and all such damages. The cost must be paid before the applicant or group can use the meeting room again.
- It is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization to make certain that noise or physical activities are not disturbing to other people in the library; window blinds must remain in the open position. Failure to obey this requirement will result in being asked to vacate the meeting room.
Any and all violation of these policies and rules by any group or organization shall be reported in detail by the Library Director to the Board of Trustees which shall take action as it may deem necessary. Failure to abide by these policies may result in withdrawal of meeting room privileges. The forgoing policy may be amended or changed at the discretion of the Library Board.
WAIVER OF REGULATIONS
Exceptions from specific regulations of this policy may be authorized in writing for the Friends of the Dowdell Library, all Boards and Agencies of the City of South Amboy and on behalf of the City of South Amboy, South Amboy Board of Education and the Dowdell Library Staff.
Revised May 2008
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