Reserve a Meeting Room

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Meeting Room Policy

The Library meeting rooms include the following:

Osgood, Lipsky and Chiaramonte Rooms, Main Level (Seats 4-6)

Three meeting rooms are available for public use by reservation only, during regular library hours and do not require a fee. Reservations from 15 minutes to 2 hours may be made up to 7 days in advance.  Patrons may make no more than 2 reservations per day.

 Marblehead Room, 3rd Floor (Seats 10-15)

The Marblehead Room may be made available for private “closed-door” meetings for periods of 15 minutes to 2 hours at the discretion of the Director.  Reservations must be made no less than 7 days and no more than 90 days in advance.  Rental of the Marblehead Room will follow a Fee Schedule that is regularly reviewed and approved by the Library Director and Board of Trustees.

Event Center, Lower Level (Capacity 100-120)

The Event Center may be reserved during regular library hours only, for periods of 1 to 4 hours.  Reservations for the Event Center must be made no less than 7 days and no more than 90 days in advance.   Rental of the Event Center will follow a Room Rental Fee Schedule that is regularly reviewed and approved by the Library Director and Board of Trustees.

Under a separate fee schedule and contract, the Event Center (including the courtyard garden and catering kitchen) is available for rental at the discretion of the Library Director and subject to availability.

1. Purpose:

The primary purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to serve as venues for Library and Town events or activities; however, for the purpose of promoting the usefulness of the Library premises, the Board of Library Trustees (the “Board”) allows groups to use the meeting rooms for civic, cultural, and educational purposes.

In determining who is permitted to use the meeting rooms, the Board and Library staff shall not discriminate on the basis of the political or religious beliefs of applicant groups, or on the basis of any other constitutionally or statutorily prohibited basis.

The Library’s primary purpose is to provide a safe, peaceful, and respectful environment in which to read and study. As such, individuals and groups using the meeting rooms are prohibited from doing so in a manner that is likely to disturb Library patrons in the customary use of Library facilities, impede Library staff in the performance of their duties, or damage the Library building, collections, or other property.

Groups are prohibited from using the meeting rooms for non-Library-related entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for the solicitation or development of business, for profit, or for fundraising. No goods or services shall be sold or exchanged in the meetings rooms.  In addition, except for the Event Center by special arrangement, the meeting rooms may not be used by groups for the purpose of holding private functions such as birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, or other private celebrations.

Meeting rooms may be used for individual study if additional spaces are not available in the library. Meeting rooms are not available for tutoring purposes; however, we ask that all tutors who use our library spaces check in with us when they arrive before setting up. Tutors should note that other patrons are also free to use the areas at the same time.

Groups (“groups” being defined as three or more people) not affiliated with the Library may not reserve the meeting rooms more than twice a month.

2. Meeting Room Requests: 

Abbot Public Library reserves the right to reject a request to use the meeting rooms if the anticipated event/activity is likely to be unreasonably disruptive to regular library functions, too large for the applicable room capacity, disorderly, dangerous to persons or property, or in any other way inconsistent with any of the terms and conditions of this or any other Library policy. In determining whether such a likelihood exists, the Board and/or the Library Director or his/her designee may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s meeting room use in the library, the history of the group’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and such other information as they deems appropriate.

No group may use the Library for any purpose that would directly or indirectly violate the civil rights of others, as set forth in 42 USC 1983; Mass. G.L. c. 151B; and Article 1 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution, as well as any other Federal, State, or local law or regulation.

 3. Publicity:

In allowing a group to use a meeting room, the Board and Library staff do not imply any endorsement of the group’s beliefs, policies, or program. No group shall in any of its publicity state or suggest that the Abbot Public Library, the Board of Library Trustees, the Town of Marblehead, or any of the Library staff or other Town employees sponsor or endorse the meeting, the group, or any particular set of ideas.

Groups may identify the library and provide its address in their publicity for the meeting but may not give out the Library’s telephone number or invite potential attendees to contact the library.

The Library does not assume responsibility for promoting a private program scheduled for a specific meeting room use unless otherwise agreed to. No group may consider the Library its permanent meeting place or use the Library as its mailing address.

No banners, signs, or other materials related to the meeting may be displayed outside of the meeting rooms or the entrances without prior approval from the Library Director. Unauthorized material will be removed at the group’s expense.

4. Special Accommodations:

Groups agree to pay for any special accommodations or security presence required, as determined by the Board and/or the Library Director or his/her designee, and for any damage to the meeting rooms or any other Library property resulting from their use of the meeting rooms.

Groups or individuals reserving meeting rooms assume full responsibility for providing and paying for special accommodations requested by participants in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Board and/or Library Director or his/her designee reserve the right to determine, in their reasonable discretion, whether any proposed use of a meeting room will require a police detail or other police protection, and, if so, the anticipated cost thereof. In making this determination, they may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s or individual’s use of the meeting room, the history of the group’s or individual’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and such other information as the Board may deem appropriate.  The Board and/or Library Director or his/her designee may consult with the Marblehead Police Department in making said determination.

If the Board and/or Library Director or his/her designee determine that said police protection is necessary, the group or individual seeking to use the meeting room will be required, as a condition of doing so, to pay the Board by such date in advance of the meeting as the Board sees fit, the anticipated cost of said police protection, said sum to be applied thereto, with any surplus being returned to the group after the meeting.

5. Reservations:

Order of priority

  • Library programs
  • Board of Trustees, Abbot Public Library Foundation or Friends of Abbot Public Library
  • Town Boards, Committees, and Departments
  • Local non-profit groups and organizations
  • For-profit groups that have a relationship to Marblehead, and groups outside of Marblehead

Rooms are available to Abbot Public Library cardholders. Meeting rooms may be reserved online via the booking system on the Library’s website. Reservation requests are pending until approved by the Library Director or their designee. Rooms may be reserved no more than 90 days in advance. Library programs and events will take precedence in the use of available rooms; reservations for subsequent use will be approved by the Library Director in the order in which the requests are received.

6. Fees:

Fees are listed in the library’s reservation system and reviewed on a regular basis by the Board of Trustees.  Under a separate fee schedule and contract, the Event Center (including the courtyard garden and catering kitchen) is available for rental for concerts, receptions, wedding ceremonies, or charity events at the discretion of the Library Director and subject to availability.

The rental fee will be waived for the following groups:

  • Organizations that are co-sponsoring a program with the Library
  • The Library Board of Trustees, The Abbot Public Library Foundation, and The Friends of Abbot Public Library
  • Official Town Departments and Committees

Payment may be arranged via credit card through the use of a NOBLE library card account.  The fee may also be paid by check (made out to The Town of Marblehead). Full refunds will be provided for cancellations of prepaid reservations. Notice of cancellation of a reservation  is to be given to the Library at least 48 hours in advance. Rental fees collected will only be waived or returned if cancellation occurs at least 48 hours in advance. For contracted rentals, notice of cancellation is to be given to the Library at least 14 days in advance.

Any false, misleading, or incomplete statement on the application form shall be grounds to forbid the use of meeting rooms by the applicant group or individual.

Minors seeking to use the meeting room must have one or more adult supervisors present at all times during said use.

Applicants who are denied use of a meeting room for any reason other than availability may appeal to the Board by submitting a written request to the Library Director.

7. Commercial or fundraising use:

Meeting rooms shall not be used for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for the solicitation of business, for profit or for fundraising other than fundraising that supports the Library, unless specifically permitted by the Library.

 8. Hours of use:

The meeting rooms will be available during the hours the Library is open to the public. No non-Library meetings will be allowed to continue after the Library closes.  Rooms may be reserved for up to 4 hours per day. Meetings that are held at the end of the day (i.e. close to the library’s closing time) must conclude fifteen minutes before the library closes to allow attendees time to gather their items and exit the library and to permit staff to close up the room and library on time.

9. Cancellations and emergency closings:

Room bookings are subject to cancellation or room relocation if the room is needed for Library purposes. Whenever possible, the Library will endeavor to provide at least one week’s notice of the change.

Reservations may be canceled through the reservation system at any time. However, failure of the group or individual to notify the Library of cancellations may result in forfeiture of the right to future use of the meeting room.

The library staff is authorized to cancel reservations at any time in the case of an emergency which results in the closure of the library.  In such an event, all efforts will be made to contact reservation holders with as much advance notice as possible.

If the Library closes for a weather emergency or for any other reason, meetings are automatically canceled, and the Library takes no responsibility for notifying participants.

Groups are advised to orient their members and participants to the exit routes available in case of emergency. The Library shall not be held responsible for loss, injury or damage to persons or property occurring during or as a result of an individual’s or a group’s use of Library facilities.

10. Food and beverages:

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Event Center. No food or drink is permitted in the Marblehead Room, or the meeting rooms on the main floor. It is the responsibility of the party using a room to clean up after each use. (See room condition requirements below.)

11. Attendance:

Attendance is limited to meeting room capacity. (Capacity details are provided in the Library’s online room booking system.) All activities must be confined to the reserved meeting room. Approaching library patrons for the purpose of encouraging participation in the group’s activities is prohibited.

12. Posting and distribution of materials:

Posting or mounting materials on the walls or doors of the room without permission from Library staff is prohibited. Distributing materials on Library property without approval of Library management will not be permitted. Unauthorized material will be removed.

13. Room condition:

Abbot Public Library is a smoke-free facility.

All room use must conclude at least 15 minutes prior to library closing.  All attendees are expected to vacate the room by the end of the reservation time, removing all trash and restoring the room and its furnishings to their starting conditions. Please report any damages, technology issues, or other concerns to the staff at the Main Desk prior to leaving the library.

14. Storage and personal property:

The Library will not provide storage for any group other than the Abbot Public Library Foundation and the Friends of Abbot Public Library. All items used for a meeting must be removed immediately following the meeting.

The Library staff is not responsible for and will not monitor personal items left unattended in the meeting rooms. The Town of Marblehead, the Trustees of Abbot Public Library, and Library employees assume no responsibility for the loss, theft, or damage of any property.

15. Political activity:

All political activity in support of one candidate, groups of candidates, or ballot measures is prohibited. Such activities include, but are not limited to, meetings hosted by candidates or their campaigns, and any other meeting held in furtherance of or in opposition to a political campaign. Political debates in the interest of civic discourse and voter education may, however, be permitted.

16. Indemnification and Insurance:

 All groups or individuals using any of the meeting rooms shall execute and deliver a writing in a form to be prescribed by the Board of Library Trustees by which said groups or individuals shall agree to hold the Board, the Town of Marblehead, and all library staff and other Town employees harmless from and to indemnify them against all costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, as a result of such group’s use of a meeting room. Such costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses shall include, without limitation, any damage to the meeting room or any other part of the library building, grounds or collection; the cost of employee overtime, if occasioned by the use of the meeting room; the cost of police protection, if deemed necessary by the Board of Library Trustees; and any claim asserted by any third person against the Board, the Town of Marblehead, and/or any Library staff or other Town employes on account of any alleged injury causally related to the meeting, together with defense costs including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Said writing shall also constitute a release by the group and each and all of its members or by the individual of any claim against the Board, the Town of Marblehead, or the Library staff or other Town employees for any injury to persons or damage to property suffered by such group or any of its members during or as a result of the use of the meeting room, except insofar as such injury or damage is directly and solely caused by the negligence or intentional misconduct of any person belonging to or acting on behalf of the Board, the Town of Marblehead, or the Library staff or other Town employees.

The Board reserves the right to require any applicant group or individual to supply a certificate of insurance, from an insurer licensed to do business in Massachusetts, in such amount and in such form as the Board may reasonably deem appropriate, such amount not to exceed $1 million, naming the Board as an additional insured, and covering damage to the Library building, grounds and collection and injury to persons occasioned by the meeting. Said certificate shall evidence that the insurance it represents is not cancelable except on at least 10 days’ written notice to the Board. In the event of such cancellation, the meeting reservation shall be canceled unless the group or individual forthwith substitutes a new insurance certificate meeting the aforesaid requirements.

 

17. Violations:

Violations of this policy shall be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Violations may, after a hearing on the matter, result in the loss of meeting room use. Denial of use may be appealed in writing to the Board. Any illegal acts regarding meeting room use are subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

18. Exceptions: 

Exceptions to this Policy may be made at the discretion of the Board of Library Trustees or the Library Director or his/her designee as deemed in the best interest of the Library and the Town.

The Abbot Public Library Foundation and the Friends of Abbot Public Library may charge fees for admittance and collect donations.

Authors, artists, and entertainers presenting at Library-sponsored programs are permitted to sell books, artwork or other materials, as is applicable. For book sales, an arrangement with a local bookstore is preferred.

Commercial entities or professional practitioners may rent a library meeting room to provide an educational program open to the general public that is related to their field of expertise. In such case, an educational opportunity offered by an expert provides benefit to the public and visibility to the presenter. During such a program, no attempt may be made to sell a specific product or service offered by the entity or practitioner or any other commercial interest, at the time of the program or in the future. Therefore, the individual or entity offering the program is asked not to hand out business cards or brochures promoting any business, product, or service. Otherwise, commercial entities are not permitted to hold public programs at the Library unless the program is one that the Library itself has organized.

19. Co Hosting Events

If you would like to host a meeting co-sponsored by the library that would be open and of educational, cultural or civic interest to the general public, please contact the Library Director by filling out this application form  to inquire about the possibility of co-sponsoring the event with the Library. 

Revised and approved by the Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees, August 2021. Revised May 2024.