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.
Availability and Application for Use
- There are meeting facilities available for use by outside groups in the Main Library and two of the branches.
- 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.
- 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 at all other times shall be on a first-come, first-served basis. It is intended that meeting rooms shall be available for use by outside groups on an ad hoc basis.
- It is expected that applications by an outside group for use of a meeting room will be submitted, in writing, not more than 8 weeks, nor less than seven (7) 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 Appendix A .
- All applications by an outside group to use a meeting room are subject to approval by the President of the Library or his 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 arise, or when an emergency occurs.
- The fact that an outside group is permitted to use a meeting room in accordance with this policy does not constitute the Library’s endorsement of the group’s policies, beliefs or programs.
Fees and Charges for Use of Meeting Rooms
- As a matter of policy, the Library generally does not charge for the use of these meeting facilities by not-for-profit community-based organizations in connection with educational, cultural, civic, social or recreational activities which are open to the public without charge or in connection with their internal meetings attended only by their directors, officers, trustees, employees and/or agents. However, donations to the Library, a 501(c)(3) organization, are welcomed and encouraged. Exceptions to this policy may be imposed under the following circumstances:
- A fee will generally be imposed when and if permission is granted to use these meeting facilities outside regular library hours.
- 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 application form. If permission is granted, a fee will generally be imposed for use of the meeting room.
- Business enterprises and other for-profit organizations may apply to use these meeting facilities for business purposes, including internal meetings and training sessions. A fee will generally be charged.
- In the case of any of the foregoing uses of the Library’s meeting rooms, charges may be imposed to reimburse the Library for any extra or unusual expenses it incurs in connection with use of a meeting room by an outside group. These charges may include, but are not limited to, the use of audio/visual equipment supplied by the Library, refreshments that the Library is asked to supply, and special maintenance or security coverage requested by the outside group or required by the Library.
- 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. Charges described in (c) above or in 4(a) below will be billed after the event.
- The current schedule of fees and charges is attached hereto as Appendix B .
- The Library reserves the right to waive any of the conditions attached to the use of its meeting rooms, including the imposition of fees and charges, on a case-by-case basis.
General Rules and Conditions
- Groups using the meeting rooms are responsible for proper supervision, for restoring the room to the same condition that existed prior to the meeting, and for any costs arising out of damage or loss during use.
- 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.
- When permission is granted to use a meeting room, the outside organization may be required to submit evidence that the organization is covered by general liability and workers 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.
- 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.
- The Library reserves the right to seek and obtain documentation and references on an outside group 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 outside group 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.”
- Violation of these rules may result in cancellation of the reservation or the meeting and/or denial of future use of the facilities.
- 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 and they shall be indemnified and held harmless by the outside group applying to use a meeting room in respect to any such claims.
- 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.
Revised and re-adopted by the Library Board of Trustees, this 24th day of February, 2009.