Usage Policy - Introduction
Westhampton Public Library’s Community Room is primarily for the use of the library, library-related organizations, and library-sponsored programs. When not required for the use of the library or library-related organizations, the Community Room at Westhampton Public Library is provided for the benefit of all Westhampton residents. It may be used by nonprofit organizations and individuals as the space is available.
The use of the Community Room must meet the goals and objectives of the Board of Trustees in providing for the informational, educational, and cultural needs of the community. Westhampton Public Library encourages events that are open to the public free of charge. The Community Room is made available as a public service and booking a room in no way constitutes an endorsement of the program or philosophy of the group or the individuals using the facility. The Trustees of Westhampton Public Library reaffirm the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, which states that facilities should be made available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliation of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Meeting space is not available for purely social functions (functions designed for entertainment with friends or associates). Use of the Community Room for commercial activity is expressly prohibited. Organized community groups, agencies of city, state and federal government, and individual citizens may use the meeting rooms according to the following priorities:
- Library programs.
- Library-related groups, such as Friends of Westhampton Public Library and Trustees.
- Civic, school, and non-profit groups presenting meetings of public interest.
- Other organizations that meet Community Room use criteria as stated above.
Reservations may be made in person or over the telephone with the Director. A completed application and payment of the deposit confirms the reservation. The person signing the application will be held responsible for any damages to the facility. Clean-up charges will be assessed in cases of unusual wear and tear on the room.
A non-Westhampton Public Library sponsored group may use our meeting room no more than twice a month. Space may be reserved up to 3 months in advance. Library staff may reserve the Community Room up to 24 months in advance. Reservations must be made at least 1 week in advance.
Cancellation of a reservation must be reported 5 days (of library operation) in advance. Deposit will be refunded with the previously mentioned five-day notice. Failure to cancel or to appear for a reservation will result in forfeiture of room privileges and deposit. Westhampton Public Library is not responsible for costs incurred if a meeting is canceled due to circumstances beyond the library’s control.
Special prior arrangements must be made with the Library Director to plan a meeting during a time when the library is closed.
Hours Available for Public Use
All events/meetings must begin during normal library hours and may not exceed three hours unless approved in advance by the Library Director. Events must conclude by 9:30 p.m. Events may occur outside of normal library hours with prior approval of the Library Director.
Serving of Refreshments
Light refreshments may be served, with prior approval from the Director. Cups, utensils, cream, sugar, or other equipment and supplies will be the responsibility of the group. There will be no cooking or food preparation on site. The group will be responsible for cleaning the kitchen and removing from the premises all trash generated by the event.
Custodial services are not provided by the library for specific events. Groups using the Community Room are responsible for setup and takedown of chairs, tables, and other equipment, as well as trash removal after the event.
Outdoor signs announcing the event may be displayed on library grounds with prior approval of the Director.
Pets are allowed inside the library only if they are integral to an authorized and approved program occurring in the Community Room.
Exhibitions of artwork in the library are addressed in a separate policy.
Snow Days - Bad Weather Guidelines
Library activities and services will be conducted as usual unless specific announcements are made to the contrary. Signs will be posted at the Library entrance if the library closes early due to inclement weather or other emergency.
The library staff will attempt to contact sponsoring organizations if the library closes forcing cancellation of a program. An attempt will be made to reschedule, based on Community Room availability. Organizations are allowed to reserve "snow dates" at the time of application for room use. However, it is the group's responsibility to ascertain that the Library has not opened for the day by checking the appropriate media sources.
Rules Governing Use of the Community Room
Applicants and users must abide by the following rules:
- Total capacity is 40 persons.
- To protect interior finishes, materials may not be attached to windows or walls.
- The Community Room must be restored to its original clean condition.
- Unlawful activity shall not be permitted in the Community Room and such activity shall be a basis to deny future use of the space by groups or individuals violating this policy.
- Use of alcohol and tobacco products is prohibited.
- Meetings may be terminated by library personnel if the activities are disruptive to library services.
- People aged 17 and under may not reserve the Community Room, and attendees aged 17 and under must be supervised by an adult responsible for the event held in the Community Room.
- Permission to use meeting room is not transferable by any individual or group when application was previously approved.
- Meeting room users agree to pay for any and all damages to library property resulting from their use of the property, including the actions of event attendees.
- Users are requested to bring their own easels, office equipment and supplies.
- Each applicant will receive a copy of the Community Room Usage Policy.
Questions about Community Room Policy
The Library Director is authorized to interpret and implement the Westhampton Public Library’s Community Room policy. Disputes or questions about the Community Room policy may be submitted to the Library Board of Trustees for consideration.