Sussex County, Delaware
Meeting Room Policy
The County libraries welcome the use of their meeting rooms for public activities of a civic nature. Library meeting rooms are open to the public and available for public programs and meetings sponsored by non-profit, civic, educational, and cultural groups regardless of the beliefs of their members. The Sussex County Council, Sussex County Department of Libraries, and the Library neither endorse, approve or disapprove the viewpoints of those organizations holding meetings or programs in the library. The rooms are not available for purely social purposes, for the benefit of private individuals, commercial concerns, or where disorder or disruption of regular library services is likely to occur as determined by the Library. There is no charge to nonprofit organizations for use of the rooms, but programs and meetings must be free of registration, admission or other charges and be open to the public. Rooms will be booked according to the following priorities:
- Priority 1: Library programming/use
- Priority 2: Official meetings and programs sponsored by or conducted by Sussex County or other government entities
- Priority 3: All other approved programming by nonprofit, civic, educational, and cultural groups.
- Promotional signage for display in the Library at the time of the program must be approved by the Library management before posting. The display of approved signage is limited to one hour prior to the program and the program’s duration.
- Advanced advertising of a program will be posted according to Library rules concerning such posting. It cannot state or imply that the Library is a program sponsor unless agreed to by the Library.
- Fastenings (tapes, tacks, etc.) cannot be used on any meeting room walls, floors or furniture.
- Materials or equipment belonging to the booking organization are solely the organization’s responsibility. Library does not assume any responsibility or provide storage for private materials and equipment.
- Audiovisual presentations must conform to current copyright law.
- Accidents must be reported immediately to the library staff.
- All facilities must be left clean after use or a cleaning fee may be assessed.
- The organization is responsible for any damage to the facility, including replacement/repair costs.
- The organization must arrange the meeting room for its use and return it to its original arrangement before leaving. The library does not provide custodial assistance for changing room arrangements or moving private materials.
- Programs and meetings must be open to all members of the public. No admission fees or other charges are permitted.
- Program publicity may indicate location and time, but cannot state or imply that the Library is a program sponsor/co-sponsor unless specifically agreed to by the Library.
- The organization cannot use the library’s name or address as its official address, nor shall it appear on any organization’s brochures, etc. as a sponsor.
- Groups or organizations using Library meeting rooms must:
- Ensure that no alcoholic beverages are served by the group or organization or its membership;
- Enforce the tobacco-free and vape-free policy within the building;
- Adhere to posted room capacity limitations;
- Follow fire regulations – exits must remain accessible;
- Ensure that children/teen meetings have adult supervision.
- Respect the fact that the meeting is being held in a library and, as such, noise levels should be kept to a minimum.
- Acknowledge and accept the Sussex County Acceptable Library Use Policy and the statewide Delaware Libraries Internet Acceptable Use Policy and agree to abide by its terms and conditions as it may relate to any internet usage at the meeting on Library premises regardless of whether such usage is through the entity’s own computer brought onto the premises or a Library computer which is already on-site.
- Reservation requests for the meeting room can be made between two weeks and up to six months in advance of the needed date.
- Recognizing that weeknights are high-demand time slots, the library reserves the right to ensure equitable access for as many community groups as possible.
- The library reserves the right to cancel meeting room reservations.
- The organization’s chief officer or other responsible person will file a Reservation Form with the library, available at the Circulation Desk. No reservations will be made or confirmed until the Reservation Forms are returned to the library. Confirmation or denial of the request will be returned to the responsible person by the Library.
- Organization must have general liability insurance in an amount sufficient to cover any property damages that may occur to the Library or personal injuries that may occur on-site.
- Organizations hereby agree to hold harmless and defend Sussex County, the Library, their agents, servants, or employees, from and against any and all losses, claims, actions, damages, liabilities, and expenses, including , but not limited to, those in connection with loss of life, bodily and personal injury or damage to property of whatever kind or nature, including attorney's fees and costs, proximately caused by the negligence of the organization, its agents, or employees, in connection with any meeting or event and the performance of the organization’s agreement with the Library.
- Organization will provide evidence of non-profit status.
- When the responsible person that signs for the group has changes, a new form must be filed with the Library.
- Requests for use of library equipment must be made at the time of booking. The organization must provide a qualified operator and assume financial responsibility for damage to or replacement of equipment.
- Organization shall report attendance numbers to the Library.
- Cancellations should be made as promptly as possible. Organizations that repeatedly do not show or cancel bookings may be denied future use of the room.
Library meeting rooms may not be used for private social purposes; the conduct of regular religious ceremonies or services; political campaign activity relating to any specific candidate; commercial concerns; any illegal activity; or any activity that in the judgment of the Library poses a threat to the life, safety, or property of any individual. The Library reserves the right to deny future meeting room use to:
- Groups or organizations whose previous conduct has not complied with Library meeting room policies and procedures as state; and/or
- Whose conduct has resulted in damage or interfered with the other patrons’ Library use.
Problems or complaints related to this policy should be submitted in writing to the Director of the Department of Libraries.
Draft – 6/1/2009, revised 11/9/2009
Attorney Review – 11/2009
Approved by Library Advisory Board – 11/18/2009 Amended on 7/22/2016