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Community Meeting Rooms

Administrative Policy: #10.18

February 17, 2010

Tacoma Public Library

 The Tacoma Public Library provides meeting rooms to the community as a public service.  Groups using library meeting rooms must not use advertising and publicity which implies that their programs are sponsored, co-sponsored or approved by the library, unless written permission to do so has been previously given by the Community Relations Officer.  Use of these meeting rooms does not constitute an endorsement by the Library of a program or point of view expressed.

The Library's meeting rooms are available without charge.  All activities in the Library’s meeting rooms must be open to the public at no charge, with the exception of certain City, County, State, or Federal Government meetings.  Organizations using the Library’s meeting rooms are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in reasonably accommodating persons with disabilities.

Permission to use Library meeting rooms will be denied to any organization and/or meeting:

  •  Whose purpose is illegal;
  • Who charge a fee to attend the meeting, workshop, or training.  This includes tuition or registration fees.  Organizations that are supported by dues or fees may use meeting rooms; however such dues cannot be collected at the meeting and anyone wishing to attend and/or participate in the meeting must be allowed to do so without cost
  • Whose conduct would interfere with the proper functioning of the Library.  Examples of such conduct would include activities that produce excess noise or that would require the use of a significant portion of available public parking.
  • Whose primary purpose is social.  Examples include birthday, office & retirement parties, weddings, and receptions.
  • Who engage in commercial activities (buying or selling), or the direct promotion of commercial services as part of the meeting for monetary gain.  No commercial use of the meeting room will be allowed, including such business-related functions as staff meetings, the training or motivation of employees, market research, job applications and interviewing and direct marketing.  No products, services, or memberships may be directly or indirectly advertised, solicited or sold.
  • Informational meetings representing the product or services of one (1) company.
  • Whose primary purpose involves physical activity or exercise,
  • Whose activity does not have the sponsorship of a legally responsible adult.

The laws of the State of Washington RCW 42.17.130 prohibit the use of public facilities for the purpose of assisting the campaign for election of any person to any office; or for the promotion or opposition of any ballot issue.  Library meeting rooms are available on a non-discriminatory, equal access basis in compliance with state law.  Public facilities may be used for general political purposes, such as: information sharing, organizational meetings, or non-partisan community forums.

The following is permissible at library-sponsored programs:  (1) fundraising to benefit the library and sponsored by the library or other library-related group, and (2) the sale of books or other items by authors or artists as part of a library program.

1.  Reservations
Library-sponsored programs will be given preference in scheduling.  The Library reserves the right to reschedule or cancel meeting room reservations at any time in order to use the space for programs or events sponsored by the Library.  As much notice as possible will be provided to the group(s) affected by the change and suggestions for other space will be made when possible.

The Library Manager and/or designated staff members have the authority to accept or reject requests for use of meeting rooms based on the Library's Administrative Policy 10.18: Meeting Rooms.  Reservations for meeting room space are on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Library reserves the right to determine the minimum capacities of its meeting rooms. These minimum capacities may vary from facility to facility.

Meetings may be booked a maximum of four months in advance of meeting date. 

Meeting rooms may not be reserved by one group more than once a week.  No group may consider the library its permanent meeting place or use the library as its mailing address. 

With exception, meeting rooms can be reserved more than once per week.  For example, Census training or IRS-sponsored tax preparation.  Meeting room reservations for literacy and tutoring programs may be made on an ongoing basis as determined by the Library Manager.   If permission to make a meeting reservation is denied, the applicant may appeal to the Community Relations Officer. If the Community Relations Officer denies permission and the applicant is dissatisfied with the reasons offered, he or she may appeal, in writing, to the Library Director.

2. Food and beverages.
Food and beverages are not allowed with the exception of bottled water in the meeting rooms only.

3. Facilities and Equipment
Meeting rooms are available during normal operating hours as currently scheduled.
Access to the meeting rooms prior to the time the library is open to the public is not possible. All meetings rooms must be vacated at least 15 minutes prior to the Library’s closing time. 

The Library will provide a standard meeting room set-up.  The group may change the arrangement of furniture prior to or during the meeting.  However, at the conclusion of the meeting the room must be returned to its original set-up.  Failure to do so may result in the loss of future meeting room privileges.

The Library will not provide audiovisual, computer or other technical equipment.  Any group requiring such equipment or professional assistance in the use of such equipment must supply the equipment and services at their own initiation and expense.

All library property must be left clean and the meeting room must be left free of all items brought into the room by the group. The signing applicant is responsible for reasonable care of the room including the removal of any signs, handouts, and equipment as well as the appropriate disposal of any unwanted items in the trash receptacles located in the room.  The signing applicant will be held liable for all costs incurred by the Library to have a meeting room cleaned or for damage to Library property. Groups damaging Library property will lose the privilege to future use of the meeting rooms.

When there is a meeting of any group scheduled or being held in the library which potentially threatens the health and welfare of the library patrons and/or staff, an administrative officer of the Library has the authority to cancel the meeting or suspend the meeting if already ongoing until such time as the threat is abated, and said administrative officer is authorized to make such determination.

Nothing may be affixed or mounted in any way to the walls, distributed throughout the library, or posted on library property with the exception of the community bulletin board where prior posting approval has been made by the Library Manager or his/her designee.

The Library is not responsible for the theft or damage to property brought onto Library property.

The Library will not provide storage for any purpose to any group.

Children under the age of six accompanying an adult to a meeting must remain with the adult at all times.

Meetings of groups whose members are under age 18 must be supervised and attended by a legally responsible adult at all times.

The maximum capacity for each room, as determined by the Fire Marshall and posted in each room, must be observed at all times.

Library entrances and exits for all meeting room users will be through the front doors of all library facilities.  No entrances or exits through staff doors or emergency exit doors will be allowed.

Meeting room users must abide by all rules of behavior governing the use of Tacoma Public Library facilities. Smoking is prohibited within twenty-five feet of any opening, door, or window. No food or drink items are allowed inside the facilities.  Persons attending meetings at the Main Library must adhere to the public restroom use procedures in place.

4. Cancellation
If a scheduled meeting is not to be held, the applicant must inform the Library as soon as possible in advance of the meeting. Failure to use the room on two consecutive occasions without advance notification will result in the loss of meeting room privileges for a period of six months.

 For more information about the Tacoma Public Libraries community meeting rooms, please contact the library at (253) 292-2001.

Last Updated 14.02.2012