Facilities Use Policy

Purpose

The Acton Memorial Library Board of Trustees (hereinafter referred to as “Board”) welcomes use of the Meeting and Conference Rooms (hereinafter referred to as “rooms”) for civic, cultural, educational and philanthropic purposes of a non-profit, non-commercial nature having a substantial connection to the Acton community.  In support of the rights granted by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Board and library administration consider it a responsibility of the Library to provide the widest and least restrictive forum for discussion.  The Board will be guided by this responsibility in allocating use of these rooms. Such use shall not interfere with normal library activities, and those who use the meeting rooms are expected to behave in a manner that acknowledges the rights of others to a safe, peaceful and respectful environment in which to read and study.  No use of the rooms will be allowed that is likely to disturb library patrons in their customary use of library facilities, impede staff in the performance of their duties or endanger the building or collection.

Use of the rooms for library purposes and meetings of Town of Acton (hereinafter referred to as “Town”) boards and committees shall take precedence over other uses.  The library is not available for private functions such as birthday parties, family events or celebrations, etc.  Fundraising activities are prohibited, except those that have received prior approval of the Board.

Authority for approval or denial of requests for the scheduled use of the facility lies with the Board, who may delegate that authority to the Library Director.  Appeals may be made to the Board should any applicant be dissatisfied with the Library Director’s decision.

To be considered non-profit and non-commercial, an event must not be intended to result in either direct sale of services or goods, or promotion that would be reasonably expected to result in their sale.

Notwithstanding the above, individual artists and authors may indicate that their works are for sale and may display the prices of such works.  Sales shall not be transacted by library staff.

The interpretation of and exceptions to this policy shall be at the sole discretion of the Board, who reserve the right to amend this policy from time to time.

Requirements for Room Reservations

All groups seeking to use a room shall complete and submit a Preliminary Application Form at least once a year.  In addition, a Room Reservation Form must be completed for each requested use of a room.  These forms have been approved by the Board and are incorporated into this policy.  All groups must provide a sponsor who resides in Acton, Massachusetts and signs the Preliminary Application Form.

Reservations shall be made through the Library Director, or his/her designee and will be considered on a first come, first served basis.  Any group wishing to reserve any room must comply in all respects with the provisions of this policy and submit, in fully executed form, a Preliminary Application Form, which includes the indemnification agreement and release called for in this policy, along with any insurance certificate required.  Reservations are considered tentative until all completed forms are returned to the library and examined by library administration.  Any false, misleading or incomplete statement on the preliminary application and room reservation forms shall be grounds to deny the use of the rooms by the group submitting the application.

The Board and the library administration reserve the right to reject a room reservation if the anticipated meeting is likely to be unreasonably disruptive to regular library functions, too large for the applicable room capacity, disorderly, dangerous to persons or property, or in any other way inconsistent with or in contravention of any of the terms and conditions of this policy.  In determining whether such likelihood exists, the Board and/or the library administration may take into consideration the contents of the Preliminary Application Form, the history of the group’s use of meeting facilities, and such other information as they may deem appropriate.

The Board reserves the right to determine whether any proposed use of a room will require a police detail or other extraordinary police protection, and if so, the anticipated cost thereof.  In making this determination, the Board may consider the contents of the Preliminary Application Form and such other information as the Board may deem appropriate, and may consult with the Chief of Police or his/her designee.  If the Board determines that police protection will reasonably be necessary, the groups seeking to reserve the room shall be required to pay to the Board by such date in advance of the meeting as the Board reasonably sets the anticipated cost of such police protection, and such sum shall be applied thereto, with any surplus returned to the group after the meeting.  The group shall be liable to the Board and/or Town for any deficiency.

Requests to reserve space for periods on more than two days of any two consecutive weeks shall be granted only upon approval by the Trustees.

Failure to notify the library of cancellations may result in forfeiture of future bookings.

Minors may not reserve a meeting room or serve as sponsors.

Rules for Use

All meetings shall be open to the public, including library staff, and free of charge.  No person shall be excluded from attendance, except in order to comply with the occupancy limit applicable to the room being used.

Occupancy limits are:  Conference Room (second floor) 27; Meeting Room 70; Meeting Room Section A only 35; Meeting Room Section B only 35.

Groups shall, at their own expense, procure any license or permit necessary for the conduct of their meetings.

Groups using rooms may arrange the tables and chairs as they choose, providing they do not block marked fire exits.  Light refreshments are permitted, provided the group cleans up.  No food is allowed outside of the rooms or to be left on the premises, and alcohol is not permitted.  Intrusion of any group activities into areas not reserved in advance is not allowed.  Rooms should be left clean.

Adequate adult supervision must be provided by the group to assure proper conduct of attendees.  The individual in charge, as indicated on the Room Reservation Form, must be present during room use.

The library is not responsible for the group’s equipment if it is lost, stolen or damaged.

All persons using a room shall comply with all reasonable and lawful requests by library staff and the Acton Police Department.  Individuals who fail to comply will be required to leave the library.  Groups who fail to comply, or whose leaders fail to comply, will be prohibited from using the rooms.

Any special arrangements will be the sole responsibility of the person or group in whose name the reservation is made.

Indemnification, Release and Insurance

All groups using any of the rooms shall execute and deliver a written undertaking on the Preliminary Application Form prescribed by the Board, and made a part of this policy.  This undertaking shall, as stated on the Preliminary Application Form, indemnify and release from responsibility for any claims the Board, the Board members individually, the Town and the library staff.

The Board reserves the right to require any applicant group to supply a certificate of insurance, from an insurer licensed to do business in Massachusetts, in such amount and in such form as the Board may reasonably deem appropriate, such amount not to exceed $1 million, naming the Board and the Board members individually, the Town and the library staff, as additional insured, and covering damage to the library building, grounds and collection and injury to persons occasioned by the meeting.  Such certificate shall evidence that the insurance it represents is not cancelable except on at least ten (10) days’ written notice to the Board.  In the event of such cancellation, the meeting reservation shall be canceled unless the group forthwith substitutes a new insurance certificate meeting the aforementioned requirements.

Publicity

In allowing a group to use a room, the Board and library staff do not imply any endorsement of the group’s beliefs, policy or program.  No group shall, in any of its publicity, state or suggest that Acton Memorial Library, the Board, the Board members individually, the Town or the library staff sponsors or endorses the meeting, the group or any particular set of ideas.

Parking

Groups expecting over 15 attendees are asked to carpool.

Hours and Fees

There is no charge for room use during the library’s regular hours of operation.  Contributions to the library’s Gift Fund are always appreciated.

Any statements made by library staff contrary to this policy are not valid unless they are in writing and signed by the Library Director.

Approved by the Board of Trustees of Acton Memorial Library this 21st day of June, 2004.