FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP PUBLIC LIBRARY
Meeting Rooms Policy & Regulations
Meeting rooms are available in the Franklin Township Public Library to support library programs and functions that further the goals of the library. When not being used by the library, the rooms may be made available to established, not-for-profit groups consisting of more than two people, based in Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey that are engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, or charitable activities. In cases where a non-profit designation is not reasonably apparent, proof of tax-exempt status may be required to establish eligibility to use the room. The rooms may not be used by organizations for commercial purposes or for private social events for individuals. In accordance with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and its interpretation pertaining to meeting rooms, the library does not limit use of the meeting room based on the subject matter or content of the meeting or on the beliefs or affiliations of the meeting's sponsors. Use of the meeting rooms does not constitute an endorsement of the views of the users of the room by the library.
Application for Use
Reservations for meeting room space are on a first-come, first-served basis. Library programs will have preference.
A completed and signed application must be returned to the Reference Desk in person or by mail. An authorized representative of the group, who resides in Franklin Township with a valid Franklin Township Public Library card and who shall attend the meeting(s) and be personally responsible for the conduct of the meeting and for any damages to facilities, must sign the application. Groups holding regularly scheduled meetings need submit only one application per year, but cannot schedule meetings for more than three months at a time.
Specific meeting dates and times must be requested via the online reservation system at www.franklintwp.org. Each application will be reviewed and the contact person will receive confirmation by email. The meeting room will not be considered scheduled until confirmation is sent.
Applications must be submitted at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting date, to allow sufficient time to process the application and to notify the contact person. Applications will be accepted no earlier than three (3) months before the desired meeting date.
To make the meeting rooms accessible to as many people as possible, the following restrictions apply:
- Use of library rooms by an organization is limited to one meeting per week.
- Limited series of daily meetings may be scheduled at the discretion of the library director.
Meetings must be scheduled for hours that the library is open. Meetings must adjourn, the room be put in order, and the participants vacate the room and begin to leave the building at least 15 minutes before the library closes.
It is the responsibility of applicants to provide any equipment necessary to conduct their meetings. For the Community Rooms only, the library may provide groups with an easel and/or podium. For the Community Room A+B only, the library may provide groups with a screen and a projection and sound system if advance arrangements are made. The library cannot provide consumable supplies (pens, paper, coffee, sugar, etc.). The library will not provide storage for any group. Exceptions may be made for library groups on approval of library administration.
Capacity and Facilities
It is library policy that the maximum number of persons that may use each meeting room is as follows: 25 for the Children's Programming Room; 12 for the Historical Room; 30 for Community Room A, 70 for Community Room B, and 100 for Community Room A+B. Under no circumstances may attendance exceed the posted capacity of the meeting room. Chairs and tables are available for groups to set up to meet their needs. The library does not assume responsibility for setting up the room, although usually at least one table and chairs may already be set up. When the meeting is concluded, the room must be cleaned up and all furniture returned to its original position.
For the Community Room A and Community Room A+B only, kitchen facilities with a sink, small refrigerator and microwave are available; however, edible supplies are not provided. The organization is required to clean the kitchen and leave the room in order after use. Responsible parties will be billed for any extra carpet or other cleaning required as a result of the use of food or beverages in the Community Room.
Library use of meeting rooms is the first priority. The library reserves the right to cancel a reservation if a room is needed for library use. Whenever possible, a twenty-four hour notice will be given and every effort will be made to find another location in the building. This right will not be exercised except in emergency situations.
Meeting Rooms may not be used for:
- Any purpose which, in the opinion of the Director and/or the Library Board, may interfere with the normal use of the library.
- A return engagement by a group that has abused or damaged the facility in its earlier use or that has violated any of the regulations set forth in this policy.
- The furthering of private business interests by for-profit organizations.
Organizations that wish to continue to use library facilities must abide by the following regulations.
- All advertisements, announcements, press releases, flyers, etc. relating to meetings must clearly state the meeting is not sponsored by the Franklin Township Public Library.
- Displays, posters, and literature connected with a meeting may not be placed anywhere in the Library except in the meeting room while the meeting is taking place. A flyer advertising the meeting may be given to the librarian at the Reference Desk for posting on a library bulletin board. Due to tight schedules, each organization will be admitted to, and must vacate, the room at the appointed time.
- Groups using the meeting rooms are not permitted to charge registration or admission fees or to require the purchase of an item as a condition of attending a meeting. No selling, solicitation, or taking of orders may occur. No money may be collected from the participants during the meeting. The participants may not make donations during the meeting. Fundraising events for the library are exempt.
- The use of the name, address, or telephone number of the Franklin Township Public Library as the address or headquarters of any group using the library for meetings is strictly prohibited.
- Library staff may attend or observe any meeting or program at any time.
- For the Community Meeting Rooms only, beverages and light snacks are permitted if prior approval is obtained. No food or beverage may be taken outside of the Community Meeting Rooms.
- Smoking and/or use of alcohol or malt beverages are not permitted.
- A group composed of minors (under eighteen years of age) must have an adult chaperone attend the meeting. This person must also sign the meeting room application form. Children aged 10 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- Displays may not be affixed directly to the walls of the meeting rooms. Library fixtures may not be removed from the walls. Groups using the Children's Programming Room and the Historical Room are prohibited from touching library items stored in those rooms (i.e. dollhouse, puppet theatre items and historical artifacts).
- Meeting room users are responsible for carrying their own supplies and operating equipment they use.
- The library is not responsible for equipment or materials owned by a community group and used in the library. No storage space is available.
- The library is not responsible for setting up furniture for groups using the meeting rooms.
- A podium, a screen, a sound and projection system, and an easel may be available for use during meetings in the Community Room only. Anyone wishing to use this equipment must make arrangements in advance. Please consult room descriptions in the online reservation system at www.franklintwp.org for details.
- The library reserves the right to deny use of this equipment to anyone who cannot demonstrate due competence and proper care in the use of the equipment. It may not always be possible for the library to accommodate requests for staff assistance with equipment at the time of the meeting.
- Anything being taken into meeting rooms by the public may be subject to examination at the request of the library.
- The library reserves the right to limit or prohibit any use of the meeting room that represents a threat to the health or safety of library patrons or to the orderly use of the library.
- For, and in consideration of, the use of the meeting rooms and library facilities, any person or group using same hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Franklin Township Public Library from any and all actions or suits relating to its use of such rooms and facilities. Further, such person or group agrees to reimburse the Franklin Township Public Library for any and all costs for repair of any and all damage as may be caused directly or indirectly to the room and/or facilities by such use thereof. If any organization refuses to pay for the damage, the matter will be referred to the board's attorney for legal action.
- Activity and noise levels in the meeting rooms during meetings must not disrupt or disturb regular library activities.
- Users of the meeting rooms must abide by all local, state, and federal laws, ordinances, and regulations.
- The library reserves the right to make accommodation for meeting room use by other Franklin Township Departments.
- Any violation of these rules and regulations may result in an order to vacate the premises immediately and/or suspension of the privilege of using the meeting room.
- The library reserves the right to determine which meeting room may be used by any group.
- Organizations may be required to submit a Certificate of Insurance naming the library as an additional insured as part of the application process.
Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance
The Library Board expects that any group utilizing the meeting rooms will comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act that require that a meeting or materials at a meeting be provided in an accessible format in response to a request.
Approved by the Board of Trustees on October 25, 2006.
Appeals and/or comments can be made to the Library Board in writing. Address such communications to:
Franklin Township Public Library Board of Trustees
485 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873