Meeting Room Use Policy

The primary purpose of the Riverhead Free Library's meeting rooms is to serve as a venue for Library-sponsored services, programs and activities. Library activities receive first consideration and have priority over all other activities. The Library reserves the right to revoke a meeting room use permit or to reschedule a meeting should there be a conflict with Library-related activities, or in the case of an emergency.

Permission to use the Library's meeting room(s) may be granted to community groups and organizations whose aims are educational, cultural, political, religious, civic and/or charitable.

Use of the Library’s meeting room(s) is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations as well as policies promulgated by the Library Board of Trustees. Availability is determined solely by the Library. Such use shall be non-exclusive and open to the general public. Preference shall be given to Library District based organizations and organizations whose membership is primarily comprised of Library District residents.

The meeting room(s) may not be used for religious instruction, for religious worship or for proselytizing. In addition, the meeting room(s) may not be used for the advancement of commercial or profit-making enterprises.

With the exception of Library events, no admission fees may be charged and no donations may be solicited, nor are any items to be sold. Use of the facilities will not be granted for fundraising purposes, except as may be permissible under law and with the explicit consent of the Library. Such permission shall be deemed extraordinary.

Political organizations may use the meeting room(s), provided meetings do not include fundraising. They may include meetings, discussion of issues and candidate forums.

Room capacities are limited by order of the Fire Marshal. These are:

Room Capacity Set-up

The applicant must certify that the meeting room(s) shall be used for the specific activity stated on the application and for no other purpose whatsoever. No activity may disrupt Library operations.

The responsibility for the maintenance of public order is that of the applicant. Adequate responsible adult supervision shall be provided by the applicant. Groups whose membership includes minors must be supervised by responsible adults at a ratio to be determined by the Library Director.

The Library Director or his/her designee is authorized to order the termination of any meeting or activity making use of Library facilities in violation of any law or use regulation. The determination of said official is final. The Library Director or his/her designee is authorized to call upon appropriate law enforcement officials to enforce such action, if in the opinion of the Library official, circumstances warrant such action. Further permission to use Library meeting room(s) may be denied to any group that proves to be disorderly or violates any law or regulation.

Meeting rooms are available for use during regular service hours on the days that the Library is open. Meetings must terminate thirty (30) minutes prior to the closing of the Library. Meeting room users may request, in advance, use outside the Library’s normal hours of operation. Should such permission be granted, the user will incur a charge of $50 for each hour or fraction thereof that the user intends to use the meeting room. Checks payable to the Library for this use must accompany the application.

The meeting room(s) must be left in a neat and orderly fashion. If not, the Library reserves the right to charge the applicant for the cost of custodial staff overtime to clean the meeting room(s) in question. Meeting room users may not move, remove or rearrange Library furniture or equipment.

Use of Library facilities does not imply the Library or anyone connected with the Library endorses an organization’s beliefs or program. All publicity and/or media coverage for events in the Library, whatever the source, must be submitted to and approved by the Library Director before issuance or coverage. In all announcements or publicity relating to a meeting room event, the Library may only be mentioned as a location, not as a sponsor of an event or as the headquarters of an organization. Any literature or other items to be distributed at a meeting must be submitted to the Library Director at least 48 hours prior to intended distribution. If items intended for distribution are in violation of law or regulation, distribution of same is prohibited.

Whenever the Library is used, there is the possibility that persons may be injured and may bring legal action against the Library Board of Trustees, Library employees, and/or the contracting organization, group, or individual for personal liability. It is possible that organizations, groups, or individuals using the property may be sued for personal injury. The applicant must execute a hold-harmless/indemnification agreement in favor of the Riverhead Free Library, its Board of Trustees, and its employees from any liability or claim action or loss arising from the applicant’s use of the meeting room to include the cost of legal fees and the costs or expenses incurred by the Library in connection with defending any claim arising from the applicant’s use. The signature of the applicant on the meeting room use application indicates acceptance by the organization, group, or individual of the indemnification responsibility.

The Library is not responsible for the safeguarding of any supplies, equipment, or other items owned by the user or by persons attending the user’s activity. The Library will not store materials for any user. Items left in the Library will be considered abandoned property and will be disposed of in accordance with standard practice.

Smoking and the use of alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the Library meeting rooms. Burning of any materials, including incense and candles, is prohibited.

Applicants should not request use of the meeting room(s) more than twice per month. If demand for the Library’s facilities compels it, this frequency of use may be reduced to equitably apportion the facilities.

Meeting room(s) cannot be booked more than 90 days in advance. Meeting room applications must be made at least one (1) week in advance of intended use, and must be approved by the Library Director or his/her designee. No application shall be considered officially approved until it has been signed by the Library Director or his/her designee and a signed copy has been returned to the applicant.

Meeting room use applications are available at the Library's Public Information Desk. Applications must be made in accordance with the procedures developed by Library staff.
Interpretations of and exceptions to this policy may be made in the best interest of the Library at the discretion of the Library Director on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Any group denied use of the meeting room may appeal within ten days of denial, in writing, to the Board of Trustees, which will decide the matter at their next regularly scheduled meeting.