Meeting Room Policy
The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library maintains meeting room facilities in the Main Library and most library branches. Meeting rooms are intended to further the library’s mission by facilitating the exchange of diverse information and ideas.
The primary purpose of meeting rooms is to promote library services through programs, meetings and other library activities presented by library staff, the Friends of the Library or other organizations affiliated with the library. When a meeting room is not being used for a library activity, the space will be made available for non-profit, civic, cultural, educational, governmental, political, professional and religious organizations or groups. Access will be provided on equal terms, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting use. The library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of any group or individual. Trade or professional associations are interpreted to be educational groups. Artistic performances by individuals will be permitted only when co-sponsored by the Library.
- No products or services may be advertised, solicited or sold in library meeting rooms or on library property. No collections may be taken. Educational courses conducted by non-profit agencies may charge fees for learning materials or course credits.
- For the purpose of fundraising or book signings, only events sponsored by the library, the Friends of the Library or other organizations affiliated with the library are permitted.
- Meeting room programs must not interfere with library operations or cause a disturbance in the library.
- The use of the library premises for private social functions such as parties or receptions is not permitted*.
The library assumes no liability for theft or damage to property brought onto library property or for injuries that occur as a result of actions of sponsors or participants during activities taking place in meeting rooms.
The individual or group reserving a meeting room will be held responsible for the order and conduct of the group and for any loss or damage to library property. Young children accompanying adult users of the meeting room shall not be left unattended in the library. Minors are not permitted to use meeting rooms without adult supervision.
Any abuse or misuse of facilities will be sufficient cause to deny the use of library meeting rooms in the future.
Each organization using the meeting rooms must observe all library rules and policies and the following Conditions of Use. Library staff has the authority to ensure compliance with these Conditions. If there is non-compliance, the library reserves the right to refuse future meeting room requests.
- Meeting rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Library sponsored or co-sponsored programs take precedence over other groups at all times. The library reserves the right to cancel a reservation if the space is required for use by the library or a library related organization. Except in an emergency, two (2) weeks notice will be given for any cancellation made by the Library. The Library will make every effort to avoid a cancellation but does reserve the right.
- With the exception of library-sponsored programs, meeting room space may be reserved no earlier than ten (10) weeks in advance. Main Library meeting rooms cannot be booked for regularly scheduled weekly/monthly/quarterly meetings. Branch managers may use discretion in booking regular meetings in their meeting spaces, based on usage by the library and requests from the community. On a contingency basis, organizations or groups may call a day or two ahead in the current week to see if meeting space is available. Such requests will be considered and space made available if possible. Any given organization or group is limited to three (3) meetings per year in the Main Library Community Room.
- All organizations or groups must complete a Meeting Room Contract the first time they reserve space. Confirmation from the library must be received before the request is formally approved. The Library will send a confirmation email or postcard that will include the requested set-up. If the set-up is incorrect or changes are desired, the Library must be contacted at least one week in advance. Instructions for set-up are required when booking the room; last minute changes are not guaranteed.
- The Library does not provide audio-visual equipment (LED projector, laptop, audio equipment, etc.) for use by external groups. Groups may bring their own equipment; this will be discussed when booking the room.
- Meeting rooms are available during public service hours. Meeting room reservations are scheduled for specific prearranged times. All meetings and events including time to set up and clean up must take place within the prearranged times. All attendees must be gone and the space cleaned up at least fifteen (15) minutes before the library closes.
- The Library reserves the right to reserve meeting rooms outside of normal Library public service hours.
- There is no charge for use of a meeting room. The library does not guarantee staff assistance available at the time of the meeting to modify the room arrangement or assist in the setting up of equipment. To avoid being charged for damage, please report any problems or deficiencies immediately.
- As per the local Fire Marshall, occupancy is limited as follows:
Main Library: Community Room - 150; Conference Room - 15
Bellville Branch - 60
Lexington Branch - 50
Ontario Branch" Community Room - 100; Conference Room - 15
Plymouth Branch - 100
- Refreshments and light catered meals may be served. Cooking is not permitted. Food and beverages must be consumed in the meeting room only. Groups must supply their own serving supplies. Any food or beverages left behind at the library will be disposed of at the discretion of the library. Users are responsible for cleaning up and restoring the room to its original condition before leaving.
- Burning candles or other flammable substances are prohibited.
- Without prior approval from the Library Director, live animals are prohibited unless they are needed to assist a visitor with a disability.
- No smoking or alcoholic beverages are allowed in the library.
- Cancellations should be made as soon as possible in order to make the space available for others.
- The library retains the right to deny the space to any user whose planned use of the space does not comply with these terms.
Some Mansfield/Richland County Public Library branch locations (Butler, Bellville, Lexington, Ontario and Plymouth) offer meeting room space. Meetings at these locations follow the same general rules as set forth for the Main Library, with the exception of the Butler Branch*. Organizations or groups must contact the Branch Manager or his/her designee to set up a meeting. Once approved, a Meeting Room Contract (Branch Library) must be completed.
Use of meeting rooms does not constitute Library sponsorship and/or endorsement. No individual or group may state or imply Library endorsement or sponsorship of events in the library meeting rooms without written approval from the Library Director. To establish the fact that the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library is not sponsoring the event, all publicity which uses the name of the library must include the statement: “Sponsored by…” (the name of the organization reserving the room). Announcements or publicity must include an address or telephone number other than the Library as a contact for information.
Material such as pamphlets and flyers must be approved and/or distributed by the M/RCPL Communications Office.
*The meeting room at the Butler Branch is intended for use by the residents of Butler. Its policy is more extensive than policies for the rest of the Library’s meeting rooms. Please contact the Butler Branch for details.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, May 15, 2018.
Meeting Room Contracts:
Main Library • Bellville Branch • Lexington Branch • Ontario Branch • Plymouth Branch