Meeting Room Policy
The Watertown Regional Library, by and through its Library Board, in accordance with its mission statement of “Connecting people to the joy of reading, information, and lifelong learning,” reaffirms that the Library is an appropriate forum for information and ideas. As such an appropriate forum, and recognizing that the Library meeting rooms are an essential component in achieving its mission, the Library’s meeting rooms are available to individuals, groups, businesses, or organizations (hereafter "group") pursuant to the following rules and regulations when a meeting room is reserved:
Priorities and Reservations
Reservations for the rooms will be made on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to programs sponsored by the Watertown Regional Library or government entities. Reservations can be made no more than 90 days in advance of the meeting. Online reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. All rooms are first-come first-served if not reserved.
Groups may not require or charge a fee for attendance. Groups may charge a fee to offset the costs of materials distributed. No party may be required to take such materials as a condition of attendance. For profit organizations and businesses will be assessed a fee of $20/hour. A minimum of $25 fee for cleaning and/or damage may be assessed if the room is damaged or not clean when vacated.
Meetings and materials shall be contained in the room. Materials from the meeting must be removed at the end of the meeting. Room setup requests will be honored depending upon staff availability. Patrons are welcome to rearrange tables and chairs, but must return the room to its original state. Fundraising, promotion of fee-based products or services, or sale of items on the premises is not permitted unless specifically allowed for library sponsored programs.
Regular Meeting Site
The Library is not to be used as a location for regularly (monthly or more frequently) scheduled meetings of a group to conduct its business, except in the instance where the group's purpose is for the betterment of the community in accordance with the Library’s mission statement. Subject to the approval of the Librarian or designee, exceptions may be made due to the unavailability of a group's regular meeting space.
Conduct of Meetings
The start and end times of each meeting are subject to the approval of the Librarian or designee. Social events are allowed, but the conduct of the meeting is subject to reasonable limitations placed by the Librarian or designee on noise level, numbers of attendees, use of utilities, use of other library facilities, and such other limitations as the Librarian or designee deems prudent and desirable for the safe, efficient and quiet operation of the Library. Group members are responsible for the supervision of their children while using the meeting rooms. Decorations are allowed, but burning candles, incense, or any type of open flame are prohibited. Items may not be taped, stapled, tacked, nailed, or otherwise attached to the walls or doors of the room without the permission of the Library Director.
Designation of Representative
Prior to each meeting, a group must designate in writing with the Librarian or designee the name, email address and telephone number of the member of the group responsible for the conduct of the meeting and the use of the facilities.
Preemption of Previously Scheduled Meeting
At the discretion of the Librarian or designee, a previously scheduled meeting may be rescheduled to a mutually agreeable time.
Exceptions Approved by Library Board
This policy may be suspended from time to time, on case by case basis, upon motion, and approval by a majority of the members of the Library Board.
Consequences for Violation
Failure to adhere to any of the above policies may result in a group’s privilege to use the meeting rooms being revoked, either permanently or for a certain period of time, at the discretion of the Library Board.
The use of the Watertown Regional Library meeting rooms does not constitute an endorsement by the Library, the Library Board, or the City of Watertown of a group's policies or beliefs.
Adopted: April 26,1994
Revised: January 4, 2011;
February 2, 2017; December 3, 2019; October 3, 2023