Meeting Room Policy
Approved February 11, 2020
The Board of Directors of the New Orleans Public Library directs the administration of the New Orleans Public Library to establish procedures governing the reservation and use of community meeting spaces.
The New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) offers all who come to the Library access to information through education, communication, cultural, civic, and recreational enrichment. As part of this service to the community, NOPL maintains community meeting space free-of-charge, on a limited basis, during regular Library hours subject to the regulations below. (After hours meetings are subject to the Director’s discretion. Fees may apply for staffing and security.)
- Meetings must be free and open to the public and media.
- Use of meeting spaces for Library purposes and where applicable, neighborhood, civic, government organization purposes, shall take precedence over all other uses.
- Access shall be provided equitably, regardless of beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups.
- Permission to use the Library facilities does not constitute an endorsement by the Library of the viewpoints expressed by the program or participants in the program. No advertising or announcement implying such endorsement is permitted and all advertisements, mailing, and postings must include the disclaimer, “This event is not endorsed or affiliated with the New Orleans Public Library.”
- Meetings involving politics are permitted ONLY if the meeting is an open forum and all political parties and/or candidates are invited, in writing, to appear. Campaigning is not permissible.
- The Library reserves the right to cancel any event for any reason deemed valid by the Library.
- By reserving a space, users of the meeting spaces agree to the Library’s Community Meeting Space Use policy and Rules of Conduct.
- All organizations or groups shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless the New Orleans Public Library and the City of New Orleans, its officials, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, suits, actions of any kind, arising and resulting and accruing from any negligent act, omission or error of the organization or group resulting in or relating to personal injuries or property damage arising from the organization/groups’ use of the Library meeting room.
- Submitting a Meeting Space application does not guarantee use or date/time requested.
Community Meeting Space Use Rules and Application Process
The New Orleans Public Library maintains program space to promote activities and programs that further its mission, goals and objectives. If a program space is not reserved for Library purposes, governmental agencies and community organizations may schedule meeting space.
A completed Meeting Space Policy Agreement must be filled out online and staff are available to assist with this if needed. The Library may take up to two weeks to approve the group. Submitting an application to use a meeting room does not guarantee use or date/time requested.
Considerations for Approval:
- Non-profit organizations, community groups and individuals with missions similar to the educational and community engagement mission of the New Orleans Public Library.
- Groups and individuals whose proposed usage is not commercial or political promotion.
- Meetings/Programs hosted by the New Orleans Public Library and where applicable, neighborhood organizations associated with a library location, hold first priority.
Rules and Regulations
1. The meeting space must be returned to the condition it was in prior to the meeting. Not doing so will result in the loss of all meeting space use privileges.
2. Groups must obtain permission from the library Manager or designee to post temporary signs or materials on Library property.
3. The Library will not advertise or promote any meeting or event unless it is a co-sponsor.
4. PROHIBITED USES of free community meeting rooms:
- Rallies or campaigns for specific partisan political issues or candidates.
- Religious services.
- Paid ticket events or commercial activities.
- Activities likely to disturb regular library functions.
- Social gatherings such as birthdays, parties, weddings, family reunions, baby
- Fund-raising activities or events, except those sponsored by the library or its funding co-domiciled organizations. (For example: The Friends of the New Orleans Public Library, the New Orleans Public Library Foundation, YMCA Educational Services, the Broadmoor Improvement Association, etc.)
- Any unlawful purposes.
5. Space arrangement shall be the responsibility of the user group and must be left in the same arrangement as found.
6. The group may not tack anything to walls or doors, or use any type of adhesive that will damage the wall surface.
7. The group is responsible for supervision of all children in attendance.
8. Smoking/vaping or open flame of any kind is not permitted in the library.
9. Attendance will be limited to fire code regulations at each location.
10. Meetings may not disrupt the use of the Library by others, and persons attending the meetings are otherwise subject to all Library regulations and policies.
11. Should the group require security, the group is responsible for providing and paying for security. Please contact the Library for the approved security company.
12. Meetings must be scheduled within regular Library business hours including set up and clean up.
13. Once a space is reserved, the group is not permitted to allow a third party to use the space in their place.
14. Community meeting spaces are booked on a first come, first served basis.
15. The Library staff cannot accept deliveries for meetings including catering. A group representative must be on hand to accept deliveries. Deliveries should be planned to occur during library hours of operation.
16. Meetings should be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance. New groups, applying for the first time should be sure to add additional time (up to 4 weeks) for their application to be processed.
17. A group may schedule up to 6 months in advance and a total of 12 meetings per year – systemwide. Meetings cannot be booked online for more than 1 occurrence per week.
18. The Library reserves the right to cancel any event due to unforeseen natural disasters, capital projects, and maintenance problems or for any other reason deemed valid by the Library. Rescheduling is subject to availability.
19. The Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use library meeting space for any reason.
20. Groups are permitted to serve food and drinks at scheduled events but clean-up by the group is required, and if not done, could result in the loss of meeting space privileges.
21. Groups may need to provide their own audio-visual equipment depending on location and availability. Please verify by contacting the library manager at the library where the reservation is being held.
22. Wi-Fi is provided but not guaranteed.
23. The Library is not responsible for materials or equipment brought into the library by individuals or groups. Such materials or equipment may not be stored in the Library.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH REGULATIONS OR ABUSE OF ANY OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PRIVILEGES WILL RESULT IN SUSPENSION OF RIGHT TO USE LIBRARY MEETING SPACES.