Meeting Room Policy

1. Statement of Purpose

The Ferguson Library considers the public use of its meeting rooms to be an extension of the library services it provides to the community. These facilities are available to the Stamford community and their use should be consistent with the educational, cultural, business, social and recreational role the Library plays in the community.

2. Availability and Application for Use

a. There are meeting facilities available for use by outside groups in the Main Library and two of the branches.

b. Generally, meeting rooms are available for use during regular library hours, consistent with Library programming and events. Permission to use the meeting rooms outside regular library hours may be granted in special and limited circumstances.

c. Programs and events conducted by the Library itself are given first priority in the scheduling of meeting rooms for available times. Events co-sponsored by the Library with outside groups shall receive the second priority in such scheduling. The provisions of this policy do not necessarily apply to programs and events conducted or co-sponsored by the Library. Availability of meeting rooms for use by outside groups or individuals at all other times shall be on a first-come, first-served basis.

d. It is intended that meeting rooms shall be available for use by outside groups or individuals on an ad hoc basis. Under special circumstances and with the permission of the President or her designee, an outside group may be allowed to reserve the use of a meeting room on an ongoing basis.

e. Applications for use of a meeting room must be submitted to the President or her designee, in writing, not more than 8 weeks, nor less than fourteen (14) days prior to the event. The requisite application form may be downloaded from the Library’s website. A copy of the application form is attached to this policy as Attachment I.

f. All applications to use a meeting room are subject to approval by the President of the Library or her designee. When an application is granted, a confirmation of reservation will be issued to the applicant, in writing or by e-mail, not later than 72 hours after the application is received. The Library reserves the right to cancel a reservation when unforeseen circumstances or conflicts are revealed, or when an emergency occurs.

g. The fact that an outside group or individual is permitted to use a meeting room in accordance with this policy does not necessarily constitute the Library’s endorsement of the group’s/person’s policies, beliefs or programs.

3. Fees and Charges for Use of Meeting Rooms

a. As a matter of policy, the Library generally does not charge for the use of these meeting facilities by not-for-profit organizations based in Stamford or its neighboring communities in connection with educational, cultural, civic, social or recreational activities which are offered to the public without charge. However, donations to the Library, a 501(c)(3) organization, are welcomed and encouraged. Not-for-profit organizations wishing to charge admission to the meeting, or planning to make sales or solicit donations at or in conjunction with the meeting, shall request permission to do so from the Library on the room request form. If permission is granted, a fee will generally be imposed for use of the meeting room.

b. Business enterprises and other for-profit organizations may apply to use these meeting facilities for business purposes, including internal private meetings/events and training sessions. A fee will generally be charged.

c. When a fee for use of a meeting room is applicable, it must be submitted to the Library in the form of a deposit prior to the event.

d. The Library reserves the right to waive the imposition of fees and charges, on a case-by-case basis.

e. Groups using the meeting rooms are responsible for proper supervision, for restoring the room to the same condition that existed prior to the meeting. Extra charges may be imposed if the Library needs to clean or rearrange the meeting room after its use. Furthermore, the group or individual is responsible for any costs arising out of damage or loss during use.

4. General Rules and Conditions

a. Refreshments, including alcoholic beverages (limited to beer and wine), may be served in connection with a meeting, with the prior written permission of the Library. Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the building.

b. When permission is granted to use a meeting room, the applicant may be required to submit evidence that the organization is covered by general liability and worker’s compensation insurance satisfactory to the Library and that the Library has been named as an additional insured with regard to the use of its meeting room:

  • Such coverage shall be required when the outside organization will serve or sell alcoholic beverages in connection with the event, when the event will be held outside regular library hours, or when, in the judgment of the Library, special circumstances exist in connection with the outside organization’s intention to use the meeting room for its event.
  • The General Liability coverage must be in the general aggregate of not less than $1 million and the Workers Compensation & Employers’ Liability coverage must be in the amount of at least $100,000 for injury and $500,000 for disease.
  • If the Library permits alcoholic beverages to be served, but not sold, in connection with the event, the General Liability insurance coverage must include host liquor liability coverage.
  • If the Library permits alcoholic beverages to be sold in connection with the event, the outside organization must obtain at its own expense liquor liability insurance coverage in addition to the General Liability coverage, in an amount not less than
  • $500,000 for each common cause and not less than $500,000 as an aggregate limit.
  • If in the judgment of the Library there are special circumstances warranting greater insurance coverage than aforesaid, the outside organization shall obtain such coverage as the Library requires.
  • Required insurance certificates must be obtained and submitted to the Library not less than 96 hours prior to the scheduled event.

c. The outside organization must comply with any and all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations, and is also responsible for obtaining all state and municipal permits required for the event, if any, and shall present them to the Library not less than 96 hours prior to the scheduled event.

d. The Library reserves the right to seek and obtain documentation and references on an outside group or individual before a reservation of the meeting room is confirmed. The Library also reserves the right to review any flyers or other promotional materials that the applicant intends to issue in connection with the use of its meeting room. Upon request, copies will be supplied to the Library before they are issued. Unless the event is co-sponsored by the Library, the outside group shall include the following text in any flyers or promotional materials it issues: “This event is not sponsored or conducted by the Ferguson Library.”

e. Violation of these rules may result in cancellation of the reservation or the meeting and/or denial of future use of the facilities.

f. The Ferguson Library and its trustees, officers, agents and employees are not liable for any claims arising out the use of its meeting rooms by outside groups or individuals and they shall be indemnified and held harmless by the outside group or individual applying to use a meeting room in respect to any such claims.

g. The Library reserves the right to amend, add to, modify or delete any of the provisions of this policy at any time, with or without prior notice.

2019: Revised and re-adopted by the Library Board of Trustees.

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