Use of Meeting Rooms Policy (4.501)

This policy replaces Public Use of Community Rooms Policy, beginning April 1, 2018.

Scope

This policy applies to all meeting rooms managed by Bellingham Public Library and all staff, individuals and groups who use them.

Definitions

Commercial use: Meeting room use by groups or individuals that receive a commercial benefit. This includes selling products or services, active solicitation of donations, fundraising activities, charging admission fees, offering money-making activities, holding sales, training or staff meetings for a for-profit organization, or promoting a commercial business.

City government use: Meeting room use by departments of the City of Bellingham municipal government. Includes programs and activities open to the public, as well as staff meetings, training sessions and other invitation-only uses that may not be open to the public.

Library use: Meeting room use by the library. Library has the discretion to charge entrance fees or allow fundraising or sales of products. Includes library programs and activities open to the public, public programs co-sponsored with other organizations, and staff meetings, training sessions and other invitation-only uses that may not be open to the public.

Non-commercial use: Uses by not-for-profit groups receiving no commercial benefit by using a library meeting room, including non-profit and governmental organizations. Meetings or programs must not require payment to enter, but passive solicitation of paid memberships or donations is acceptable. Meetings or programs may or may not be open to the public.

Private events: Groups or individuals gathering for private or personal purposes, such as birthday parties, weddings, memorial services, baby showers and similar events.

Policy/Conditions

  1. Library follows best practices and standard procedures to provide safe, welcoming meeting rooms for library and other uses.
    • Library Director or designee identifies uses for all library meeting rooms and gathering spaces.
    • Library Director or designee establishes procedures for approving, scheduling, security, user access and other meeting room use needs, consistent with all applicable library policies, city policies and state law.
    • Library Director may collaborate with other city departments on meeting room management within library facilities. Such agreements are subject to Board of Trustees approval.
    • Any requests for use of library spaces are considered according to equitable procedures, regardless of the beliefs, affiliations or viewpoints of the groups or individuals requesting their use.
  2. Library and city government have priority for meeting room use in library facilities.
    • The Library and Bellingham city government have priority for meeting rooms use in library facilities.
  3. Library offers meeting rooms for use by community groups free of charge for non-commercial uses.
    • As an extension of its mission, the Library offers use of designated meeting rooms for non-commercial informational, cultural or civic meetings and programs.
    • Meeting rooms managed by the library are not available for commercial uses.
    • Meeting rooms managed by the library are not available for personal or private uses.
    • In accordance with the Washington State Constitution, meeting rooms are not available for religious worship.
    • Library requires completed registration for all non-library, non-city uses, including a signed agreement that the user will abide by all applicable library policies, city policies and state law.
  4. Library does not endorse the activities or viewpoints of those using its meeting rooms.
    • Publicity for any meetings held in library spaces that are not hosted by the library shall clearly state the organization responsible for the event, and shall note that the library does not endorse the activities or viewpoints of the user.
  5. Library Board reviews this policy.
    • This policy is periodically reviewed, revised, or reaffirmed by the Library Board of Trustees.

References

Title: (4.501) USE OF MEETING ROOMS POLICY
Code: 4 Public Services
Chapter: 4.500 Public Use of Facilities and Equipment
Type of Policy: Departmental
Date Revised: December 19, 2017
Developed by: Janice Keller, Nancy Kerr
Approved By: Library Board of Trustees
Cancels: Public Use of Community Rooms Policy (4.501)
See Also: Codes and Laws:
Washington State Constitution Article 1, Section 11 Religious Freedom