Public Use of the Library's Meeting Room
Individuals interested in using the library's meeting room facilities should review the Library Meeting Room Use Policy. Qualifying groups and organizations may schedule meetings free of charge. Call Administration at 224-543-1451.
Check availability up to 3 months in advance on the Meeting Room calendar.
This policy has been adopted by the Board of Library Trustees to fairly allocate meeting room space among the many community organizations and groups that wish to use the library’s facilities.
4.3 Meeting Room Policy
The Library welcomes use of its meeting rooms by community groups for civic, educational, and cultural activities, and discussion of current public questions. To that end, Library meeting rooms may be made available to qualifying groups as a designated and limited forum for meetings and programs, so long as such use does not interfere with Library activities and functions.
In accordance with the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights, the Library’s meeting rooms are available free of charge on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the groups requesting their use. Permission to use a meeting room does not constitute Library sponsorship or endorsement of an organization or its activities, nor of the viewpoints expressed by the participants in any meeting.
4.31 Meeting Room Availability and Use
A. Priority will be given to Library-sponsored programs and meetings. The Library reserves the right to move or cancel a scheduled meeting if the room is needed for Library use. The Library will provide advance notice when possible if a meeting must be moved or cancelled.
B. Qualifying groups
1. Nonprofit educational, civic, and cultural organizations headquartered within the Vernon Area Public Library District or having a significant number of Vernon Area Public Library District participants.
a) Nonprofit designation is afforded to those groups and organizations eligible for tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. In cases where a group’s eligibility is not readily apparent, proof of tax-exempt status may be required to establish eligibility.
b) Representative signing the Meeting Room Reservation Agreement must be a valid Vernon Area Public Library District cardholder
2. Units of government and elected representatives that provide government services to residents of the Vernon Area Public Library District
C. Limitations and Regulations
1. The Library’s meeting rooms may not be used for:
a) The sale or promotion of commercial products or services, except in conjunction with a Library-sponsored event or program. This includes informational or educational offerings held for the ultimate purpose of soliciting sales of a commercial product or service.
b) Fundraising activities, except for those that result in a direct benefit to the Library and have received prior approval of the Library Director
c) Meetings sponsored by individual candidates seeking elected office. However, events such as a “candidates’ night” where all candidates are invited and that are sponsored by independent civic organizations may be held in the Library.
d) Meetings of religious or sectarian groups for the purpose of preaching or otherwise demonstrating the beliefs of their members
e) Social gatherings or private functions
2. All meetings must be free of charge and open to the general public. Attendees at any meeting shall not be required to be members of the sponsoring organization or group.
3. No fees may be charged, nor sales made, nor collections taken, regardless of whether those collections are designated as voluntary.
4. Meetings may not disrupt Library users or staff. The Library reserves the right to terminate any meeting that disrupts or interferes with normal Library operations.
5. The Library’s name, address, telephone number, or web address may not be used as the address or headquarters for any group using the Library. No announcements or advertisements implying the Library’s endorsement of a group or its activities are permitted. Materials promoting the meeting must contain a prominent disclaimer statement: “This program is offered by [SPONSORING ORGANIZATION] and is not affiliated with the Vernon Area Public Library District.”
6. All Policies and Regulations of the Library apply, including, but not limited to, those that govern Internet access (3.2) and patron behavior (4.2)
1. Library staff will set up the meeting space following instructions given at the time the reservation is made. Library staff will not be available to set up special equipment brought by the group using the space, or to carry supplies to and from the meeting space. The reserving group is responsible for leaving the room clean and orderly.
2. Light refreshments may be served. Kitchenette facilities are available for serving refreshments only; no food preparation or cooking is allowed. Open flames, such as candles or Sterno-type heating devices, are not permitted. The group using the meeting space must provide all dishes, utensils and supplies.
3. Alcoholic beverages, illegal substances, and smoking are not permitted. Violators will be asked to leave the library immediately.
4. The Library may provide the following audiovisual equipment for use: projection screen; TV/DVD player; easels; dry eraser board. The Library will not provide staff to operate or troubleshoot this equipment, nor is the Library responsible for giving instructions in its use. The reserving group is responsible for returning all equipment in good working order.
5. A piano is available in the Community Meeting Room for Library-sponsored programs and for music teachers to hold recitals. The following conditions apply for use of the piano at any non-Library sponsored music programs:
a) A music teacher must be a valid Vernon Area Public Library District cardholder, or a minimum of 50% of the teacher’s students must be residents of the Vernon Area Public Library District
b) A $25 fee for use of the piano is required
c) A deposit of $100 must be received at least one month before the scheduled event. The deposit will be refunded if, after the event, inspection by Library staff determines that the piano is undamaged and the room is in good condition.
d) To protect the piano, food and drink may not be served at recitals
e) The Library tunes the piano on a quarterly basis. If a special tuning is desired prior to a scheduled event, the Library will schedule the tuning at the requestor’s expense.
f) Use of the piano by community organizations may be permitted at the discretion of the Library Director
6. The Library does not provide facilities or personnel for child care at any time. Groups using meeting space are not permitted to use the Library’s facilities for child care, even if they provide their own child care personnel.
7. Any damages to library property will be charged to the person who made the reservation.
1. Space is reserved on a “first come, first served” basis. If an organization or group needs to cancel a reservation, it should notify the Library a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Groups that fail to notify the Library of a cancellation may lose the privilege of scheduling space in the future.
2. Meeting space may be provided for groups of children that are supervised by adults at the ratio of one adult for every seven children. Groups under the age of 18 must have an adult sponsor in attendance at all times during their meetings.
3. Upon the Library’s acceptance of a reservation, an individual representing the organization or group is required to sign a Meeting Room Reservation Agreement, waiving the Library’s liability for any personal injury to persons attending the function while on the Library’s premises, and agreeing to follow the Library’s rules and regulations governing the use of the Library’s facilities. The signing party must be an officially designated representative of the group using the meeting room and must be a Vernon Area Public Library cardholder.
4. Meeting room reservations are not transferable.
5. The Library will not be responsible for any loss, theft or damage to any equipment or to any personal belongings of any group or individual attending the meeting.
6. Meeting space is available during Library operational hours until one-half hour before the Library closes.
7. A given group may reserve space in the Library up to nine times in a calendar year. Additional space reservations may be allowed at the discretion of the Library Director.
8. Requests for room reservations may be made in writing or by telephone. Reservations are confirmed when the event appears on the Library’s online events calendar. It is the responsibility of the requesting group to verify the event on the online calendar. The Library reserves the right to move or cancel a program if necessary.
9. At the discretion of Library Director, future use of the room may be denied to individuals or groups failing to adhere to the requirements outlined in this Policy.
Revised and Readopted 1/1997; 6/2000; 2/2004; 5/2010; 5/2012; 10/2013