The primary function of the meeting rooms is to provide space for St. Mary’s County Library sponsored and co-sponsored programs. When not in use by the Library, the Library also welcomes use of its meeting rooms by individuals, organizations, and businesses (collectively referred to as group(s), organization(s), or user(s) in the following policy) who agree to observe the rules and whose activities inside the rooms will not adversely affect normal Library operations. The Library welcomes the use of its meeting rooms for public gatherings including those of civic, cultural, educational, or charitable service to the community. Meeting rooms may be used for free by for-profit businesses or private celebrations within the limits set out below. All users must abide by Library and meeting room policies. Meeting room activities may not discriminate on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, or other class protected by law.
Meeting room reservations are available on a first come, first served basis, regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of the users. Permission to use a room does not constitute nor imply a statement of support by the Library or the Board of Library Trustees for the program’s sponsors, content, presenters, or subject matter.
There is no fee for use of Library meeting rooms, but individuals or groups that cause damage are liable for the charges for repairs, replacements, and restoration of the rooms.
Gatherings that pertain to internal St. Mary’s County Library or county or state government activities may not always be open to the public but will abide by the St. Mary’s County Open Meetings Act, if the act applies to the meeting. All other gatherings will be open to the public. Disruption of meetings is prohibited and may be subject to law enforcement penalties as well as Library policy restrictions. The Library encourages all meeting room users to act with civility, respect, compassion, empathy, and inclusiveness.
The meeting rooms are not available for fundraising programs, except by the Library, the St. Mary’s County Library Foundation, and the Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library. There will be no sales of products or services and no collection of admission fees, except for continuing education programs in which admission fees cover the cost of supplies and materials. Charges for speaker fees are not allowed. The Library has the right to allow admission charges and/or the sale of products by any entity presenting a program sponsored by or in cooperation with the Library.
The Library reserves the right to attend any events and meetings held in its facilities (except lawful executive sessions of government bodies) to verify that no illegal or impermissible activities are taking place on the Library’s premises and to ensure that Library policies are being followed.
Groups may be limited on the number of times they may reserve the rooms to allow equitable use for all members of the community. The Library has the right to cancel existing reservations and to refuse future reservations to users who fail to abide by the meeting room policies and regulations.
Groups are responsible for making meetings accessible to individuals with disabilities. Federal regulations require groups using the meeting rooms to provide a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired if one is requested. The Library will assist with identifying a sign language interpreter if the request is made at least two weeks in advance.
Rooms are not available when, in the judgement of the Branch Manager or Library Administration, the use poses a threat to life, safety, or property, or if activities in the meeting room may disrupt or impede the normal operations of the Library.
Regulations for all Non-Library Programs
- Meeting rooms are available Monday through Thursday beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 7:45 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at all branches. Sunday meeting rooms at Lexington Park only are available from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Groups must leave the building by Library closing and observe the closing procedure outlined by the Branch Librarian. Meeting rooms are not available on days the Library is closed. Exceptions for St. Mary’s County Government departments and officials may be requested.
- Rooms must be reserved through the Library’s online reservation system. Exceptions for St. Mary’s County government departments and officials may be requested.
- Reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance on a daily rolling basis.
- Users may reserve a room for a maximum of 8 hours per day.
- Users should include enough time to set-up, take down (including returning furniture to designated location), and clean the room. Rooms will not be available prior to the user’s scheduled start time and/or after the scheduled end time.
- All information provided when groups reserve a meeting room may be given by the Library to individuals inquiring about the meetings or the organizations sponsoring the meetings.
- Any applicant signing the meeting room reservation must be at least 18 years of age. An adult (18 years old or over) must be present at all times when a youth group is using the meeting room, and must be responsible for the conduct of attendees while at the Library.
- The size of the group may not exceed the capacity of the room as defined by fire regulations.
- If a user has not checked into the room within 30 minutes of the reserved start time and has not informed the library of a possible delay in their arrival, the reservation will be considered abandoned and the reservation will be cancelled.
- The organization using the meeting room will be responsible for its set-up. After the meeting, the organization or individual(s) using the meeting room must properly stack the chairs and fold and stack the tables. Property of the organization or individual(s) may not be left in the Library. No items are to be removed from, attached to, or hung on the walls.
- Refreshments may be served if the room is left in an orderly and clean condition. Organizations or individual(s) must provide all utensils and dispose of debris by placement in the Library’s dumpster or take it home. Further clarification can be obtained from Library staff. No alcoholic beverages may be served.
- No open flames or ignitable materials are permitted.
- All Publicity for non-Library events held at a St. Mary’s County Library location must adhere to the following conditions:
- Should carry this statement: “The Library and the Library Board of Trustees do not promote or endorse the views of the program sponsors, program content or presenters.”
- Must not use the Library’s phone number or contact information as the official contact for the sponsoring entity.
- Must carry the name and contact information of the sponsoring entity.
- May not use the St. Mary’s County Library logo or images without express permission.
- Publicity on Library property is limited to designated areas and as space allows. All meeting room activity (including tables, banners, persons, etc.) must be contained within the meeting room, unless the Library provides permission in advance.
- The Library may, upon request, provide the equipment listed in the meeting room descriptions. Users are responsible for bringing any additional items needed. Meeting room users are solely responsible for their personal equipment.
- Library meeting rooms are self-service. The Library staff may help in limited ways:
- Library staff are available to set up Library audiovisual equipment but will not otherwise provide setup or cleanup assistance.
- Library staff will not manage RSVPs from guests.
- If the kitchen or tables will need cleaning at the end of an event, customers are required to bring their own cleaning supplies. A floor vacuum and extra trash bags will be provided upon request.
- Upon request, staff will inspect the meeting room at the end of an event to assess its condition. The Library is not responsible for lost or stolen articles.
- Groups who book, but do not use the meeting rooms, are requested to cancel through the cancellation link in their confirmation email 48 hours in advance of the reservation. If cancellation via the link is not possible, the person who reserved the meeting room is requested to give written notice 48 hours in advance of the cancellation via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups who repeatedly fail to do so will have their privileges revoked.
- In case of inclement weather, meeting room users are responsible for calling the Library, checking the Library’s website, or checking announcements on local radio stations regarding Library closings. The Library will not contact individuals or organizations who have a reservation if the Library is closed for a weather event.
- The Library reserves the right to change or cancel a reservation to accommodate a Library function, renovation or construction, power failure, or emergency closure. In such situations, the Library will make every effort to provide adequate notice and will attempt to find the most convenient alternate date or suggest another location.
User knows, understands and acknowledges the risks and hazards associated with using the Library’s meeting rooms and hereby assumes any and all risks and hazards associated therewith. User hereby irrevocably waives any and all claims against the St. Mary’s County Library, the Local Government or any of its officials, employees or agents for any bodily injury (including death), loss or property damage incurred by the User as a result of using the Library’s meeting rooms and hereby irrevocably releases and discharges the Library, the Local Government and any of its officials, employees or agents from any and all claims of liability arising out of or associated with the use of the Library’s meeting rooms.
User shall indemnify and hold harmless the Library, its trustees, Local Government and its officials, employees, and agents from and against any and all liabilities, judgments, settlements, losses, costs, or charges (including attorney’s fees) incurred by the Library, its Trustees, Local Government or any of its officials, employees, or agents as a result of any claim, demand, action, or suit relating to any bodily injury (including death), loss or damage of property, or any other basis for action against the Library, its Trustees, Local Government and its officials, and agents caused by, arising out of, related to or associated with the use of the Library’s meeting rooms by the User or by the User’s members, employees, agents or invitees.
User shall assume responsibility and pay the Library and/or the Local Government for any and all physical loss or damage to the Property (including the cost to repair or replace the property) caused by, arising out of, relating to or associated with the use of the Library’s meeting rooms by the User or by the User’s members, employees, agents or invitees.