Meeting Room Policy

In keeping with the Library's mission and core values, meeting rooms are available for use by the public when not needed for Library purposes. The Library does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical limitation in making its premises available for use. Use of the Library meeting rooms in no way constitutes endorsement by the Library staff or board of trustees of the viewpoints presented or of the policies or beliefs of those using the meeting rooms.

Branch Library Meeting Rooms Use

Branch Library meeting rooms are available to local educational, cultural, civic, social, political, religious, professional and other non-profit organizations at no charge. Units of government and appointed or elected officials may also use library meeting rooms. Political candidates, political action committees, and other political advocacy groups, either issue-related or candidate, are allowed to use branch library meeting rooms under the following conditions:

  • All meetings are open to the public
  • Only one meeting per month at each location
  • Solicitation or receipt of campaign contributions is prohibited
  • Activities and materials must remain in the meeting room, with no activity in the adjacent parts of the library building or on library grounds.

Limits on Use

  • In branch libraries, all meetings held in Library meeting rooms must be open to the public and free of charge. Any member of the public or Library staff may enter the room at any time during such meetings or events. No entrance fee may be charged, no donations or dues may be solicited, and no purchase may be required of those attending the meeting. Branch meeting rooms may not be used for commercial or private purposes. Examples of purposes for which they may not be used include private consultations, classes, interviews, rehearsals, or celebrations. Meeting rooms may not be reserved in advance for tutoring but tutors may use a branch community or conference room if it is available when needed for a tutoring session. Members of the public who want to project content from a computer or a storage device must provide their own equipment. Availability of other audio/visual equipment, such as televisions and DVD players, varies among the branches and should be confirmed in advance.
  • Except for Friends of the Library events, events that have as their primary purpose the sale or marketing of goods or services are prohibited. Ancillary selling or marketing - such as selling recordings at the end of a concert - is permitted. The Library reserves the right to limit selling or marketing activities.

Food and Beverages

  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in Branch Library meeting rooms. Alcohol is not permitted in any Branch Library. Some Branch Libraries limit the types of food and non-alcoholic beverages permitted.

Main Library Meeting Room Use

Main Library meeting rooms are available to local educational, cultural, civic, social, political, religious, professional and other non-profit organizations. Units of government and appointed or elected officials may also use library meeting rooms. Political candidates, political action committees, and other political advocacy groups, either issue-related or candidate, are allowed to use Main Library meeting rooms without charge under the following conditions:

  • All meetings are open to the public
  • Only one meeting per month at each location
  • Solicitation or receipt of campaign contributions is prohibited
  • Activities and materials must remain in the meeting room, with no activity in the adjacent parts of the library building or on library grounds.

For-profit companies or groups may use Main Library meeting rooms, but must pay the fees specified below. In cases where a group's eligibility for tax exempt, non-profit status under section 501(c)(3)-(11) is not readily apparent, proof of tax-exempt status may be required to establish eligibility for fee waiver. In that case, the group must submit a copy of a current letter of exemption to the Marketing Events staff at the Main Library.

Limits on Use

  • At Main Library, a meeting or event that has been scheduled without payment of a meeting room fee must be open to the public and free of charge. Any member of the public or Library staff may enter the room at any time during such meeting or event. No entrance fee may be charged, no donations or dues may be solicited, and no purchase may be required of those attending the meeting or event. Main Library meeting rooms scheduled without payment of a fee may not be used for commercial or private purposes. Examples of purposes for which they may not be used include private consultations, classes, interviews, rehearsals, or celebrations. Helium balloons are not permitted in Main Library. The maximum number of times any one group may reserve the use of Library meeting facilities is twelve times per year. Meeting rooms may not be reserved in advance for tutoring but tutors may use a Main Library Quiet Study room if it is available when needed for a tutoring session.
  • Except for Friends of the Library events, events that have as their primary purpose the sale or marketing of goods or services are prohibited. Ancillary selling or marketing - such as selling recordings at the end of a concert - is permitted. The Library reserves the right to limit selling or marketing activities.
  • Reservations for the Auditorium are limited to events of 100 or more attendees.
  • Any group that pays a rental fee for the use of a Main Library meeting room may host a private meeting or event and is exempt from the minimum attendee requirement.

Food and Beverages

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in Main Library meeting rooms 1, 2AB, and 3. Only drinks with lids are permitted in the Auditorium and the First Floor Meeting Room. The Library will consider requests to allow alcohol only at Main Library meetings and events that occur when the Library is closed to the general public. Cash bars, the sale of drink tickets, and self-service bars are strictly prohibited. The Library does not permit "BYOB" (bring your own beverage) functions. An organization that wants to provide alcoholic beverages at an event must select from a list of bartender service providers approved by the Library. According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control (DLC), "no liquor permit is required if an organization intends to provide beer, wine, or spirituous liquor at a private function where access is restricted to invited guests only, such as a reception, for which no admission fee is charged or any alcoholic beverages sold."

Non-profit organizations requesting to serve alcoholic beverages at an event other than the above, such as a fund-raising event, must apply for a Temporary Permit from the DLC at least 45 days prior to the date of the event. The original Temporary Permit must be supplied to the Library at least 14 days in advance of the event. The DLC only provides temporary permits to non-profit organizations and verification of that status is required as part of the application process. The DLC provides several types of temporary permits. A list of those permits available for events to be held in the Library and the associated fees is available from the Library's Marketing Events staff. Organizations requesting to hold such an event are responsible for obtaining and paying for the proper permit from the DLC prior to the event. More information and application forms can be found at the DLC's website at http://www.liquorcontrol.ohio.gov.

Any organization approved by the Library to serve alcohol at an event is required to have an Akron police officer present during the hours alcohol is being served. The Library will make arrangements for this security, and the additional cost must be paid by the organization.

Fees for Main Library Meeting Room Use

The Library Board of Trustees approves the fees charged to use Main Library meeting rooms and other facilities. Fees allow the Library to recover the costs associated with usage of the various meeting room facilities. The fees listed below are per hour, or part of an hour. When the Library is closed, a three hour minimum usage fee will be charged.

Space (capacity-chairs only) Library Open Hourly Rate Library Closed Hourly Rate
Meeting Room - small (50) $50 / hour $100 / hour
Meeting Room - large (100) $75 / hour $150 / hour
Auditorium (425) $100 / hour $200 / hour
High Street Atrium (varies) Not Available $200 / hour
Akron Police Officer (if required) Not Available $28 / hour

Appropriate security, as defined by the Library, is required for all after-hours events and will be provided by the Library at the group's expense.

The following audio/visual equipment is provided at no cost to groups reserving the Auditorium: one podium microphone, one wireless handheld microphone, and one LCD projector, DVD/CD player(s) and laptop hookup to LCD projector (laptop not provided by Library). To cover the cost of repairing and replacing audio/visual equipment, a service fee of $50 will be assessed to non-rental paying groups that request additional audio/visual equipment. All requests for audio/visual equipment must be made 14 days prior to the event. We are unable to accommodate last minute equipment requests.

All fees are due fourteen days prior to the meeting or event. All monies paid are refunded if the event is cancelled by the applicant ten or more calendar days prior the day of the event. If the event is cancelled fewer than ten calendar days prior to the day of the event, the Library will refund fifty per cent of monies paid

Meeting/Event Hours

Meeting or event participants using Library meeting rooms must vacate them promptly at the end of the reserved time. Library facilities are not available on days when the Library is closed.

Publicity

All publicity about the meeting or event must clearly state that the Library is merely the site of the meeting or event and not its sponsor. The Library will post public notice of meetings, events, and programs at the location where they are scheduled upon request of the group or individual using the meeting room. Places where public notice may be posted include Library literature racks, community bulletin boards at Branch Libraries, and video monitors at the Main Library.

Responsibilities

All meetings and events held in the Library must be conducted in an orderly manner and in full compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and Library rules. Children's and teen groups must have adult supervision at all times. Failure to comply may result in the meeting or event participants being asked to leave the Library immediately and in the group being prohibited from using Library facilities in the future. Library staff and security personnel reserve the right to remove any person from Library property for failing to follow patron behavior guidelines or other Library policies and procedures.

Meeting room use may be denied to anyone giving false information or failing to comply with this policy. Repeated cancellations may result in future requests being denied. Any group using Library meeting room space must pay for any and all damage to Library property resulting from the group's use. This includes but is not limited to walls, floors, grounds, equipment, and furniture. Damage to Library property may result in the group being prohibited from using Library facilities in the future.

The Library is not responsible for loss of or damage to non-Library property before, during, or after the meeting or event. The Library cannot supervise exhibits or group displays. If the organization engages a speaker, the organization is responsible for all arrangements regarding the speaker.

Gambling, bingo, casinos, or wagering of any kind is prohibited.

Reservations

Reservations for meeting rooms involving Library-sponsored activities receive the first priority. These activities include but are not limited to story hours; lecture, craft and film programs; book review and discussion groups; Library trustee meetings; staff meetings; and other events sponsored by the Library that encourage use of library materials and services. Reservations for meeting rooms made by Friends of the Library groups and other groups closely associated with the Library receive second priority. All others have third priority on all dates. Reservations for meeting rooms in the Main Library and in most Branch Libraries may be made up to three months in advance. Some branches accept reservations only one month in advance.

In reserving a Library meeting room, a group assumes the risk that the Library may need to preempt the space for its own purposes. On the rare occasion that the Library must use its space unexpectedly for its own purposes, the Library will try to provide the group with alternative meeting space in the Library.

Specific procedures and rules related to the use of meeting rooms vary from location to location. These include but are not limited to the nature of refreshments allowed and how far in advance a meeting room can be reserved.

Permission to use a meeting room is not transferable.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees on June 25, 2015