Oconee County Library Meeting Rooms Policy

The meeting rooms in the Oconee County Library are designed to advance the ideas expressed in the Library's mission statements, i.e. that they should serve as a community resource by providing access to library and other programs for educational, informational, cultural, and civic function of the communities in our region. These meeting rooms are available on equal terms to all groups in the community regardless of the beliefs and/or affiliations of their members, provided that the meetings are free and open to the public.

Priorities

  1. Educational, informational, cultural, and civic programs sponsored or cosponsored by the Library relating to its collections and services, such as lectures, exhibits, panel discussions, informal seminars, film presentations, etc.
  2. Meetings sponsored by the libraries.
  3. Meetings of the agencies of local government which fund the Library.
  4. Meeting rooms may not be used for private gatherings or commercial gatherings which advertise a product or service.
  5. All other meetings on a first come, first served basis.

Endorsement

Use of the meeting rooms by outside agencies does not constitute the Library's endorsement of the viewpoints expressed by the participants in programs. No advertisement or announcement implying endorsement will be permitted.

Equal Opportunity

All activities taking place in the meeting rooms must not be closed to any person regardless of age, gender, race, religion, national origin, ability, or any other legally protected category.

Reservation and Scheduling

  • Reservations for use of the Meeting Room(s) may be made in-person or by telephone. A Meeting Rooms Form must be completed prior to use of the room(s), not necessarily making the reservation. Those who sign the Meeting Rooms Form agree to be responsible for conforming to the conditions set forth on the form and in this policy.
  • Meeting room reservations shall require that a group representative (applicant) complete a Meeting Rooms Form annually. This form shall require that the applicant give the name of the organization, the full name and address of the applicant, and the phone number of the person responsible for the meeting. This form shall be signed by the applicant before the meeting room(s) shall be opened.
  • Reservations must be made by an adult over the age of 18. The applicant shall be the contact person, unless otherwise specified, and shall be the only person authorized to make changes to the reservation. Groups younger than 18 years old must have an adult who assumes responsibility for the groups' activities and for the care of Library property and facilities.
  • Requests will be honored on a first come, first served basis as stated in the priorities above.
  • Groups should schedule the reservation to include set-up and clean-up times.
  • Meetings may be held before or after regularly scheduled Library hours only when prior arrangement has been made and approval has been given for the hours requested. Groups who need to use the room before or after Library hours should check out a Library key in advance and then return the key in the envelope provided either to the front desk or by placing it in the outside book drop.
  • Space for a meeting should be requested as far in advance as possible.

Restrictions

  • Rulings of the local county Fire Marshall as to the capacity of people in the rooms and other matters of safety shall be observed at all meetings.
    • Room Occupancy Limits:
      • Auditorium = 100 maximum
      • ESP Room = 25 maximum
      • Glass Room = 10 maximum
  • All meetings must be open to staff, public, and the press.
  • No admission charges may be attached to the meeting rooms, no collection may be taken, no purchase may be required, and no registration of attendance required except for those activities which benefit the Library directly, such as those sponsored by the Oconee County Library Friends.
  • Fees for participation in workshops, study groups, discussion series, conferences, and similar meetings may be collected ONLY if it is to defray cost of the materials to be used in a program.
  • In the event of a Library building emergency or weather-related emergency, meetings may be canceled and any fees paid will be refunded. Library staff will attempt to inform applicant, or contact person if otherwise noted, of the closing.
  • The meeting cannot disrupt the ability of the Library to conduct its business in a normal or orderly manner because of noise or other factors which will not be permitted.
  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the meeting room or any area of the Library.
  • No group may assign its reservation to another group.
  • No group meeting at the Library shall use the Library as its official address.
  • Any group wishing to meet on a repeating basis must make separate arrangements prior to each need. The Library will not accept multiple reservations at any time from any groups, unless the group is library sponsored.
  • The Library has a limited supply of various kinds of audiovisual equipment which may be used within the meeting rooms. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their personal equipment, such as laptop computers, is compatible with the Library's audiovisual equipment.
  • Light refreshments may be served. All refreshments must remain in the meeting area. Refreshment supplies such as cups, containers, paper goods, tea and coffee, and kitchen utensils, towels, etc., are not provided by the Library. All trash must be removed from the Library by the group.
  • The group is responsible for setting up chairs and tables for its members and putting them away when the meeting is finished.
  • Any damage to the premises or Library furnishings as a result of the meeting will be paid by the group.
  • The Library does not provide storage space for property or supplies of groups or organizations using the meeting rooms. No advance deliveries of equipment or supplies will be accepted by the Library for groups using the meeting rooms. The Library assumes no responsibility for private property brought into the building.
  • Library staff will not take or deliver messages for meeting participants.
  • The applicant or contact person for each group's meeting is responsible for ensuring that each member of his/her group is aware of and abides by these regulations.
  • Patron Conduct and Responsibilities Policy will apply at all times while using the meeting rooms.
  • Future use of the meeting rooms may be restricted or denied for any violation of these rules.

Review Process

  • Issues regarding both the Meeting Rooms Policy and/or the content of programs or events in the meeting rooms should be addressed in writing to the Branch Manager or the Director of the Athens Regional Library System for local review, who should respond within 10 days.
  • An appeal shall be filed in writing with the Director of the Athens Regional Library System within 10 days after notice of a decision is given to the user.
  • In the event of such an appeal, the Board of Trustees shall hold a hearing for the purpose of hearing evidence relevant to the appeal.
  • Within 30 days after conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Trustees shall make a written recommendation regarding the matter. The written recommendation will be the final decision concerning an appeal.

Available Technology

  • Auditorium:
    • Digital projector (VGA connection)
    • Audio system (microphone)
  • ESP Room:
    • Digital projector (VGA connection)
  • Glass Room:
    • None
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