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Meeting Room Policy
To book a meeting room please call the library at 617-846-1703

Purpose
The Board of Library Trustees allows the use of meeting rooms for civic, educational, philanthropic, and recreational purposes having a substantial nexus to the Winthrop community. At a minimum, such a nexus requires that any group seeking to use a meeting room provide a sponsor who resides in Winthrop, Massachusetts and signs the reservation form prescribed below. In allocating the use of meeting rooms, the Board of Trustees and library staff shall not discriminate on the basis of the political or religious beliefs of applicant groups, or on any other constitutionally or statutorily prohibited basis. However, the provision of meeting room space is not the primary mission of the library, and must always be subordinate to the paramount need to provide a safe, peaceful, and respectful environment in which to read and study. No use of meeting rooms will be allowed that is likely to disturb library patrons in their customary use of library facilities, impede library staff in the performance of their duties, or endanger the library building or collection. Use of meeting rooms for library purposes shall take precedence over all other uses.

Meeting rooms shall not be used for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for the solicitation of business, for profit or for fundraising. No goods or services shall be promoted, sold, or exchanged upon the premises or by sample, pictures, or descriptions.

Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Board of Library Trustees as it deems in the best interest of the library and the community.

Requirements for Room Reservations
All groups using any meeting room shall complete, submit and, at the request of the library staff, update an application on a form approved by the Board of Library Trustees. Such a form shall incorporate by reference this policy and shall recite that the applicant group has received a copy of this policy and agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy.

Reservations shall be made through the office of the Library Director, or its designee. No group may reserve or use any meeting room unless it complies in all respects with the provisions of this policy and submits, in fully executed form, the application and indemnification agreement called for in this policy, and any insurance certificate requested pursuant hereto. No meeting room reservation shall be deemed complete until the library staff receives a complete, signed original form (together, if applicable, with an original insurance certificate).

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

The Board of Library Trustees and the library staff reserve the right to reject a reservation request if the anticipated meeting 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 or in contravention of any of the  terms and conditions of this policy. In determining whether such a likelihood exists, the Board of Library Trustees and/or the library staff 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 may deem appropriate.

The Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to determine, in its reasonable discretion, whether any proposed use of a meeting room will require a police detail or other extraordinary police protection, and if so the anticipated cost thereof. In making this determination, the Board of Library Trustees 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 such Board may deem appropriate, and may consult with the Chief of Police or his designee. If the Board of Library Trustees determines that such police protection will be reasonably necessary, the group seeking to reserve the use of a meeting room shall be required, as a condition of such reservation, to pay to the Board of Library Trustees by such date in advance of the meeting as the Board of Library Trustees reasonably sets, the anticipated cost of such police protection, and such sum shall be applied thereto, with any surplus being returned to the group after the meeting. The group shall be liable to the Board of Library Trustees and/or the Town of Winthrop for any deficiency.

Reservations shall be accepted, subject to the provisions of this policy, in the order received.

Failure to notify the library of cancellations may result in forfeiture of future bookings.

Minors may not reserve a meeting room, nor can they serve as sponsors.

Rules for Use
All meetings shall be open and free of charge to the public. No person shall be excluded from attendance except in order to comply with the occupancy limit applicable to the meeting room in question.

The occupancy limits are as follows: sixty (60) persons for the Hazlett Room and thirty (30) persons for the Quiet Study Room*. Groups shall, at their own expense, procure any license or permit necessary for the conduct of their meetings.

Groups using meeting rooms may arrange the available tables and chairs as they choose, provided that all pieces of furniture are returned to their original positions at the close of the meeting. Because the library is unable to set up and break down rooms, groups requiring this service should ask at the Reference Desk for alternate sites in the Winthrop area.

Smoking and alcohol are prohibited. A small kitchenette is adjacent to the Hazlett Room and may be used with approval of the library administration for light refreshments.

* Subject to repair and renovation.

All food must be removed from both the Hazlett Room and the kitchenette at the end of the meeting.

Each group using a meeting room shall be responsible to ensure that the meeting room is returned to the same condition after the meeting as it was prior to the meeting. Failure to restore the meeting room to such prior condition shall render the group liable to the Board of Library Trustees for the cost of repair and clean up and may result in forfeiture of future bookings.

Under no circumstances may use of the meeting rooms interfere with the use of the library by other patrons, the work of the library staff or any other aspect of normal library operation.

All persons attending a meeting in a meeting room shall comply with all requests by library staff and, if applicable, the Winthrop Police Department. Individuals who fail to comply will be required to leave the library building. Groups who fail to comply, or whose leaders fail to comply, will be prohibited from using the meeting rooms.

Indemnification and Insurance
All groups using any of the meeting rooms shall execute and deliver a written undertaking in a form to be prescribed by the Board of Library Trustees by which such groups shall agree to hold the Board of Library Trustees, and the Town of Winthrop, and all library staff, 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 of Library Trustees, the Town of Winthrop, and/or any library staff on account of any alleged injury causally related to the meeting, together with defense costs including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

The said written undertaking shall also constitute a release by the group and each and all of its members of any claim against the Board of Library Trustees, the Town of Winthrop and the library staff 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 of Library Trustees, the town government of the Town of Winthrop or the library staff.

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

Publicity
In allowing a group to use a meeting room, the Board of Library Trustees 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 Winthrop Public Library & Museum, the Board of Library Trustees, the Town of Winthrop or the library staff sponsors or endorses 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.

Parking
There is limited on-street parking and limited parking at the back of the library and in a municipal lot across the street from the front entrance of the library.

Hours and Fees
There is no charge for meeting room. aA donation to the Friends of the Library is strongly recommended, however. All groups must end their use of the meeting room fifteen (15) minutes before closing time so that everyone can safely vacate the premises. No person/group may use any room in the library after hours.

 Adopted June 18, 2003--Board of Library Trustees

 
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Winthrop Town Hall 1 Metcalf Square, Winthrop, MA 02152
Phone: 617.846.1852    webmaster@town.winthrop.ma.us
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