Oglethorpe County Library Meeting Rooms
- The library has one meeting room with a maximum capacity of 100 seats without tables, and 50 seats with tables.
- Reservations can be acepted by phone or in person, but the reservation form must be filled out and turned in prior to the meeting.
- Rates are $5 for 1-4 hours, $10 for 5-8 hours.
- All meetings should be scheduled during regular library hours.
- Meetings MUST be FREE and Open to Everyone.
- Personal registration or information cannot be required of attendees.
- Please read the Meeting Room policy below for a full explanation of rules and regulations.
Meeting Room Policy
The public meeting room (multi-purpose rooms, study rooms and/or conference rooms) of the Oglethorpe County Library, a branch of Athens Regional Library System (ARLS), are designed to advance the ideas and purposes expressed in the libraries' mission statements. The facilities should serve as a community resource by providing access to library and other programs for educational, informational, cultural and civic functions of the communities throughout the Region. These meeting rooms are available on equal terms to all groups in the communities, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the groups' members.
- Meetings and events sponsored by the libraries, which are allowed precedence over all outside groups or individuals.
- Events cosponsored by the libraries.
- Meetings of the agencies of local government which fund the libraries.
- All other meetings on a first come, first served basis.
- The library reserves the right to revise any schedule of meetings if necessary and to preempt established reservations upon reasonable notification of the group(s) involved.
- All meetings held in public library facilities must be free of charge and open to the public, staff and the press.
- No activities taking place in the meeting rooms can be closed to any person regardless of age, gender, race, religion, national origin, disabling condition or any other legally protected category.
Use of the meeting rooms by outside agencies does not constitute an endorsement by the library, library staff or Board of Trustees of the viewpoints expressed by the participants in programs or meetings. Advertisements for programs held in the library should carry notice of sponsorship. No advertisement or announcement implying endorsement by the library will be permitted. The group may post a flyer in the library about the upcoming event or program (following Exhibit and Displays Policy).
Guidelines for Use of Meeting Rooms
- All elements of the Athens Regional Library System Patron Responsibilities and Conduct policy apply to use of all library facilities, including all meeting rooms. No smoking or alcoholic beverages are allowed in library buildings.
- The contact person for each meeting is responsible for ensuring that each member of his or her group is aware of and abides by all library regulations.
- Government and quasi-government entities using the library are bound by the same policies and regulations that apply to other organizations.
- All groups or organizations using the meeting rooms are responsible for setting up chairs and tables for its members and putting them away when the meeting is finished.
- Meeting rooms may not be used for private gatherings, confidential meetings, parties or celebrations.
- Meeting rooms may not be used for commercial gatherings which advertise a product or service.
- Events sponsored by the Library may include vending or fund-raising, others may not.
- Admission fees, solicitations of memberships, payment of dues and registration of attendance are not permitted; no purchases may be required for attendance.
- Fees for participation in workshops, study groups, discussion series, conferences, and similar meetings may be collected only if it is to defray direct cost of the materials to be used in that program.
- Rulings of the local county Fire Marshall as to the capacity of people in the rooms and other matters of safety must be observed at all meetings.
- 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 and any area of the library.
- No group meeting at the library shall use the library as its official address.
- The library will not accept reservations for a series of meetings which will designate the library as a regular meeting place for any organization. Up to three dates may be reserved at one time (see Reservations & Scheduling below).
- No group may assign its reservation to another group.
- 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 the contact person of the closing.
- Any group wishing to meet upon a repeating basis must make separate arrangements prior to each meeting. The library will not accept multiple reservations at any time from any groups, excluding library-sponsored meetings and events.
- Restrictions on the serving of food:
- Light refreshments may be served under the regular reservation/use fee.
- Meetings hosting or sharing meals (ex.: catered meals, “pot-luck” meals, pizza, sandwiches, or other entrées) must pay an additional food service fee.
- 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 garbage from refreshments should be carried away from the library for disposal.
- The kitchenette must be left clean and in order.
- All tables should be cleaned when refreshments have been served.
- Any damage to the premises or library furnishings as a result of the meeting will be paid by the group. This may include repairs or cleaning costs.
- The library does not provide storage space for property or supplies of groups or organizations using the meeting room. No advance deliveries of equipment or supplies will be accepted by the library for groups using the meeting room. Anything left in the meeting room will be disposed of as the library sees fit.
- Library staff will not take or deliver messages for meeting participants and the library's telephone will not be available for use by meeting participants.
- The library has a limited supply of various kinds of audio-visual equipment which may be used within the meeting rooms; patrons should check with individual branch libraries for local availability. These items must be scheduled when the room is reserved. Amplified sound volume must be controlled so it cannot be heard more than 10 feet from the entrance to the meeting room.
- The Library Board and staff do not assume any liability on or for groups or individuals attending a meeting in the library and assumes no responsibility or liability for private property brought into the building or onto the library campus.
- Future use of the meeting room may be restricted or denied for any violation of library policy.
Reservations and Scheduling
- Reservations for use of a meeting room are made by completing a reservation form or, in some cases, by telephone, mail or electronic mail.
- Reservations for meeting rooms must be made with library staff during library hours in advance of the meeting.
- A meeting room form must be completed and signed prior to use of the room. Up to three dates may be reserved at one time, but separate non-refundable fees are required for each date.
- The signee is responsible for compliance with conditions set forth on the form and in library policy.
- Meeting room reservations require a group representative (applicant) to complete an “Application for Use of Meeting Rooms” form at least annually.
- This form requires the name of the organization, the full name and address of the applicant/signee, the time and date requested, the number of persons expected to attend, and the phone number of the person responsible for the meeting. This form must be signed by the applicant, and the reservation fee must be paid before the meeting room will be made available.
- Reservations must be made by an adult (18 years of age or older). The person making application will be the contact person, unless specified otherwise, and is the only person authorized to make changes in the reservation.
- Groups with participants younger than 18 years of age must have adult supervision. The adult who signs the reservation assumes responsibility for the groups' activities, safety and transportation, as well as for the care of property and facilities. That responsible adult must arrive prior to the beginning of the event, must be present throughout the entire event and remain until the departure from the library campus of all under-age attendees.
- Most meetings should be held during library hours. Rooms will not be opened before the appointed time. Groups should schedule the reservation to include set-up and clean-up times. Groups using the meeting rooms are requested to end programs at least 30 minutes prior to the library's closing time.
- 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. Procedures for borrowing keys for meeting rooms vary by branch library and must be followed as outlined by the Branch Manager in each location. If a key is lost, the person who signed the reservation form and checked out the key is responsible for the cost of having the lock changed and new keys made; fees will be charged for late return of a key.
- Meeting rooms are not available during library holidays.
- If a meeting is postponed or cancelled, the library must be notified.
Meeting Room Fees
- A non-refundable reservation/use fee will be charged to all groups or individuals reserving and using the Multi-purpose Room in the Oglethorpe County Library and must be paid in advance of the meeting.
- Use of the room for one - four hours requires a $5.00 payment
- Use of the room for five - eight hours requires a $10.00 payment
- Oglethorpe County Library, the Library's sponsored groups and entities of the Library's government funding agencies are exempted from the reservation/use fee.
- An additional $20.00 fee will be charged for reservations requesting food beyond (ex.: meals) light refreshments.
- Checks submitted for reservation/use and food service fees should be made out to the Athens Regional Library System; all fees collected will be submitted by the Oglethorpe Library to ARLS to be added to the Oglethorpe County Library annual Operating Budget (Revenues).
- Damage to library property will be the responsibility of the group using the room. The person who signed the reservation and paid the reservation/use fee will be charged with resulting damage or cleaning fees. Damage to library property may also result in the applicant being denied further use of the facilities.
Other Room Considerations
- Small study rooms are available upon request during library hours on a first come, first served basis.
- There may be a time limit imposed on the use of the study rooms.
- The number of individuals who may be in a study room at one time may be limited by the size of the room.
- Any conversation or other noise in study rooms must be quiet enough so other patrons are not disturbed.
- Patron Responsibilities and Conduct Policy applies while using a study room.
- The ARLS Director reserves the right to review any and all requests for use of library meeting rooms and may reject any which he/she deems unsuitable or inappropriate.
- Issues regarding meeting room policy and/or the content of programs or events in the meeting rooms should be addressed in writing to the Branch Manager of the library. A written response from the library should be expected within 10 days of receipt of a review request.
- An appeal may 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 patron requesting review.
- In the event of such an appeal, the local Library Board of Trustees will 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 will make a written recommendation regarding the matter. The written recommendation is be the final decision concerning an appeal.