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Public Meeting Room Use Policy
The library encourages public use of meeting rooms as gathering places to exchange ideas; access and share information and participate in programs created for public enjoyment, public education and civic engagement. The meeting rooms will be available on an equitable basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Permission to meet at the Library does not in any way constitute or imply endorsement of the users’ policies, beliefs or programs by the Library staff or Board of Trustees.
Priority will be given to: Library sponsored and co-sponsored activities and events. All other groups will be given consideration on a first-come/first-served basis. The Library reserves the right to reschedule confirmed meeting room reservations to accommodate library meetings or events. In such rare instances, the Library will make every reasonable effort to give ample notice and to assist the group in reserving another date or library meeting room.
Meeting rooms are available for non-commercial use by local not-for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and educational entities.
Local refers to non-profit organizations based in or serving residents of the Lake County Public Library district.
Groups are considered not-for-profit when their mission serves an educational, cultural, charitable, political or civic purpose. Not-for-profits include 501(c)3, 501(c)4, 501(c)5, 501(c)6, 501(c)7, 501(c)8 corporations. Meeting room reservations requests by not-for-profit organizations must include a copy of the 501(c) certificate. This requirement may be waived by the Director in the case of local, organized, small not-for-profit unincorporated associations that provide other supporting documentation.
The person filling out a meeting room reservation request on behalf of the group must have a Full Access library card in good standing from Lake County Public Library and be at least 18 years old. Exceptions to this requirement may be made for representatives of federal, Indiana, or local agencies or political subdivisions.
First time users must submit an application for use. The Library reserves the right to review each prospective meeting room request and determine whether the group qualifies and the planned use fits within the guidelines and terms of Library policies and this Meeting Room Agreement.
Meeting Room Fees
Eligible groups may reserve and use library meeting rooms for non-commercial activities without charge under the following conditions:
The group is a local not-for-profit organization, governmental agency, or educational entity
The meeting is open to all people who wish to attend.
No fees or donations are collected or solicited for admission or participation in the meeting or event. No fundraising takes place during the meeting.
A local not-for-profit organization, governmental agency, or educational entity using the room for non-commercial activities will be charged the rental fees* listed under the following conditions:
Meetings are not open to and advertised to the general public, e.g., board meetings, committee meetings, training sessions, and the like.
A group has restricted attendance to a limited or designated audience.
The group requires an exchange of money, goods, or services for attendance (regardless of the exchange being on or off our premises). This includes meetings held by federal tax exempt organizations as well as governmental agencies.
Merrillville - Meeting Rm A
Lake Station-New Chicago
Dyer-Schererville - Whole
Merrillville - Meeting Rm B
Dyer-Schererville - Half
Merrillville - Meeting Rm C
Merrillville - Meeting Rm D
Cleaning Fees: Hourly Rate
To insure and promote the accessibility of library meeting rooms to a wide variety of community groups eligible groups may:
book three consecutive meetings system-wide at a time on a rolling basis.
reserve meeting rooms up to 6 months in advance, as available, up to 20 times a year.
only use rooms during normal library operational hours, Monday – Saturday.
Acceptable Use Guidelines
No sale of goods or services, fundraising, or solicitation for future sales or services will be permitted without prior Library Administration approval. “Solicitation” is any act or attempt to advertise, market, or sell any product or service; to seek membership in any organization; or to obtain a donation/contribution. This includes the collection of “free-will” offerings. Public property, such as Library buildings, facilities, parking lots, grounds and other real property, is held in trust for the public. It is to be used for governmental and public purposes and governmental property is not to be used for private gain.
Library meeting rooms are designed to meet general, non-commercial, informational, educational, cultural and civic needs. Excluded are purely social events which include but are not limited to parties or entertainment and meetings for the benefit of private individuals.
The meeting room kitchens are not intended for cooking, but to provide a convenient space for the preparation of light refreshments. No meals may be served unless prior approval is given in writing by Library Administration.
All activities and programs conducted in library buildings must comply with federal, state, and local laws and are subject to the rules, regulations, and policies of the Library.
Meeting rooms are not available if the Library is closed due to an emergency or inclement weather.
Library personnel have free access to enter any meeting room at any time. The Library Board has vested in Library personnel the authority to supervise meeting room use and to interpret policy; however, final authority rests with the Library Director.
Responsibility of User
The group must have a signed application on file agreeing to our policies, to be signed on an annual basis by an authorized representative of the group. The individual agrees to be the responsible party. If unavoidable circumstances prevent attendance by the applicant, he/she is still personally responsible for the proper use of the facility and payment for any damage.
Minimum attendance may be required. Groups must stay within the designated maximum seating capacities of assigned rooms.
Cancellations by groups must be received by the Library at least 48 hours in advance. A penalty in room use privileges may be imposed on groups who do not cancel their meetings by the designated deadlines.
Any publicity materials must clearly indicate that the program is under the sponsorship of the group and not the Lake County Public Library.
The Library will provide basic housekeeping service such as regular cleaning as part of meeting room maintenance. Any additional cleaning or repair required beyond normal library maintenance will be billed at an hourly rate. The cost of any materials required for any repair will be billed to the responsible party.
Excessive amounts of garbage (beyond the capacity of trash receptacles provided in the meeting room) must be removed by the room user to outside trash receptacles.
The Library is unable to provide storage space for materials or equipment between meetings.
Children and youth groups are required to use the meeting rooms under adult supervision.
All meetings must be over and the rooms vacated 30 minutes before the library closes.
Meeting Room Amenities
Each meeting room is equipped with a standard number of tables and chairs. A group may change this arrangement for their specific use. Furniture should be left in a clean, neat, and orderly arrangement at the close of the meeting.
Revocation and Refusal of Authorization for Use
Authorization to use library facilities may be revoked. Persons or organizations refused the use of the meeting rooms or persons or organizations whose privileges to use the meeting rooms have been revoked shall have the right to appeal in writing to the Library Director. Such appeals must be submitted in writing within 10 days after notice of the refusal to use the meeting rooms or the revocation of use of the meeting rooms.
The privilege of using Library meeting rooms will not be granted or will be revoked if the activities or intended activities of the meeting room users negatively impact normal operations in any of the following ways:
The meeting is conducted in a noisy, disorderly or inflammatory manner.
The size of the meeting presents personal safety or building security issues, or creates an undue parking demand on library lots or the surrounding neighborhood.
The activities of meeting room users disrupt or will be disruptive to other library patrons’ use of library facilities or distract library staff from the performance of their duties.
The meeting room users neglect to pay all required fees, or neglect to pay for damages to the meeting room.