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66 Mountain Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
(973) 376 4930

 

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Meeting Space Policy

I. Purpose

This policy specifies usage guidelines, restrictions and fees associated with the use of the Library’s Meeting Room (located off the front lobby) and the Donald B. Palmer Museum.

II. Policy

The Library’s meeting room and museum shall be open to all groups of a civic, educational, charitable or cultural nature, and not utilized for fund-raising purposes provided that their use does not conflict with library needs which take priority.

The Friends of the Springfield Free Public Library will be granted permission to use either the library’s meeting room or the Palmer Museum for fundraising purposes, but only with advance approval and agreement having been granted by the Library Director.

III. Procedures Governing the Public Use of Library Meeting Room and Museum

A. Priority

The meeting room and museum are intended primarily to support Library programs and functions that further the work of the Library. Library sponsored programs and the programs of the Library’s affiliated organizations, including The Friends of the Springfield Free Public Library, are given priority in the reservation and use of the meeting room and museum. The meeting room and museum are not available for individuals for private use, social gatherings, political meetings or commercial purposes. Specifically, companies or not for profit organizations that market, promote or sell financial services or products including – but not limited to – insurance, annuities, stocks, bonds, banking or brokerage services will not be permitted to rent library meeting space for these purposes. All organizations and groups applying to use library meeting space must sign a written agreement that indicates the applicant’s understanding of the library’s policy. Groups or organizations found to be in willful violation of that policy may be barred from future rental of the library’s meeting space.

The library also prohibits the taking of personal information of people attending programs on the library premises that have been sponsored by outside groups or organizations in the form of advance registration or sign in either before or upon entering the meeting space.

Use of additional library space, including the library’s front lobby, parking lot, or library grounds as an extension of the activity taking place in the library meeting space is strictly forbidden, including for promotional or publicity purposes. Organizations and groups using library meeting space are permitted to leave business cards for attendees to take but may not leave them on seats or formally distribute them to attendees unless specifically requested by an attendee.

When the Library Meeting Room and Museum are not needed for library-related programs, the rooms may be available for official activities of Springfield Township boards, committees and commissions, Springfield public schools, and non-profit or other organizations.

B. Reservations 

Use of the meeting room and museum is by reservation. Groups and organizations wishing to reserve one of the meeting spaces are strongly encouraged to first call the Library Administrative Secretary at 973 376-4930, ext. 226 to check the availability of desired dates before submitting an application. Submission of an application does not imply that the space requested is available.

Reservations are confirmed only when an executed Application to Use Meeting Room form is approved and payment of the fee (if applicable) by cash or check is received along with the duly executed Assumption of Liability Statement. Application forms will be available at the Circulation Desk, on the Library’s web page, or from the Library Administrative Secretary. Every applicant will designate an individual responsible for the supervision of the use of the requested room. The applicant and the designee must be 18 years of age or older.

Use of the meeting room and museum by non-Library affiliated groups does not include the use of Library staff in planning or conducting programs and activities.

C. Scheduling

Room reservations may not be made more than six (6) months in advance of the desired meeting date. Room reservations will not be accepted for any date less than ten (10) business days before the desired meeting date. Groups are limited to two (2) reservations per month. A refund of the usage fee will be made if the Library Director is notified in writing of the cancellation at least two (2) business days before the meeting date.

Barring hazardous weather conditions or a State-declared state of emergency, reservations cancelled less than two (2) business days before the scheduled meeting will not be entitled to a refund of their registration fee. The Library reserves the right to deny meeting space to organizations that frequently cancel meetings.
Groups may not make or accumulate reservations for more than two (2) consecutive days except at the discretion of the Library Director. Library-related boards and committees, library-sponsored series, and the Friends of the Springfield Free Public Library may exceed these limits.

D. Fees

1.  Museum:

Maximum capacity: 75 auditorium-style; up to 50 seated at tables
Includes: basic setup of chairs, tables and podium, and projection screen
Non-profit organizations: Usage fee is $50.00 for 3 hour period
All other organizations: Usage fee is $200.00 for 3 hour period

2.  Meeting Room:

Maximum capacity: 35 auditorium-style; up to 25 seated at tables.
Includes: basic setup of chairs, tables and podium, and projection screen
Non-profit organizations: Usage fee is $25.00 for 3 hour period
All other organizations: Usage fee is $150.00 for 3 hour period

Groups or organizations that require use of the space for longer than a three hour period must make that requirement clear at the time of the initial application. Permission to use the meeting space for a period longer than three hours may be granted at the discretion of the Library Director, based on availability and the needs of the library. Payment for the additional time will be charged on a pro-rated basis as determined by the Library Director.

Room fees will be waived for Library-affiliated organizations and for official activities of Springfield Township boards, committees and commissions, and Springfield public schools.

E. Fee Schedule

Applications will be reviewed and a decision made no later than five (5) business days after receipt of the application by the Library Director or her designee. Notification is by telephone at the number provided by the authorized representative.

After notification of the approved application, a check for all fees and the signed Assumption of Liability Statement must be received by the Library within ten (10) business days.
Checks must be made out to the Springfield Free Public Library, and mailed or delivered to the Library Administration Office between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Applicants who do not remit fees, if applicable, and/or the Assumption of Liability Statement within ten (10) business days of notification will forfeit their reservation.

F. Facilities & Equipment

The Library Director must be consulted before approval is granted for outside equipment to be used. Any additional Library equipment as listed below will be charged an additional fee per each piece of equipment as follows:

1.)  Kitchenette: $25.00
2.)  Projector: $10.00
3.)  Coffeepot: (30 cup capacity) $10.00
      Groups must provide their own coffee, milk, creamer, sweeteners and paper goods.

Groups may use their own equipment provided the Library networks and/or audiovisual systems are not compromised.

The use of the Library’s piano in the Museum is permitted only during Sunday programming. The piano may not be moved from its current location inside the Museum. A group applying to use the Library’s piano may have it tuned by the Library’s piano tuner prior to the meeting date, at the group’s expense and upon prior written approval and arrangement with the Library Director.

G. Room Setup

Directions for room set up that are included in the application process will be followed as closely as possible based on the constraints of the space being utilized and the dimensions of the furniture being requested. Requests for changes in room set up that are made on the same day that the meeting space is being used cannot be accommodated. Room applicants may handle minor changes in set up on their own; library staff members will not be made available for this purpose.

H. Refreshments

Only light refreshments may be served in either the Museum or Meeting Room. No alcoholic beverages may be served. No cooking is permitted. Each group is responsible for providing its own serving equipment and for cleaning up after use.

I. Library Opening and Closing

No group is permitted to enter the Library to set up before the Library’s opening hours. All meetings must conclude at least one-half hour before the Library closes to allow time for cleaning. All participants must vacate the Library by closing time.

J. Smoking

Smoking, including tobacco and electronic cigarettes, in the Library is prohibited.

K. Condition of Room

The room must be left neat and orderly and in the condition in which it was found. If not, notice will be given to the group denying future use of any room. Time for setting up the meeting and cleaning up afterwards must be included in the meeting time requested.

L. Damage

Every applicant will designate an individual, aged 18 years or older, who will be responsible for the supervision of the use of the requested room. That individual will also be responsible for any damage to the room and contents as well as any or all equipment made available, and will also be responsible for any additional cleaning that may be required. No additional furniture or equipment other than that furnished by the Library is to be used without prior approval by the Library Director, excluding laptop computers and projectors. The room must be cleared of any such equipment, as well as any other items used (boxes, brochures, etc.) at the end of the meeting, unless permission to leave the materials has been granted in advance and in writing from the Library Director. A group that has not properly cleaned up after use will be assessed an additional fee to cover any cleaning and/or repair costs that the Library may incur.

M. Admissions Fee

No admission fee for the event taking place in a room, no matter how or where collected, may be charged by any group or individual using Library meeting spaces It is understood that legitimate dues and membership fees do not constitute admission fees. In addition, no fees may be charged to attendees for supplemental materials being used in conjunction with the program taking place in the meeting space. A group found to be violating this rule will be denied future use of the Library meeting spaces. If the person responsible for the group does not agree to return admission fees at that time, the librarian shall be authorized to call the Springfield Township Police to assist in making sure that any fees paid by attendees have been returned and that the group vacates the Library premises without delay.

N. Behavior of Program Attendees

Persons attending the meetings are subject to all Library rules and regulations.

O. Endorsement

Permission to use a Library room does not in any way constitute Library endorsement of the group’s goals, policies or activities. Any publicity (print, digital, social media, etc.) prepared and distributed by the group must include the following statement: “Space for this program is being rented from the Springfield Free Public Library. This does not constitute an endorsement of the content of this program on the part of the Library."

P. Publicity

It the responsibility of the group or organization renting the library’s meeting space to handle any publicity desired for the event in question, including press releases, advertisements, brochures, or mentions on social media. Activities taking place in the library that are sponsored by outside groups will not be publicized on the library’s indoor or outdoor signs or included on the library’s webpage or social media accounts. Print fliers of activities sponsored by outside groups may not be displayed or distributed inside the library.

All publicity, including news releases, advertisements, brochures, Facebook and other social media, radio and television announcements, that is prepared by the group or organization and relates to any program or meeting held in any Library room shall clearly state the name of the sponsoring organization or individual and shall not imply that the program or meeting is sponsored or endorsed by the Library unless the Library has previously agreed in writing to co-sponsorship.

Groups may not use the Library’s name, address or telephone number as their official address or contact information. The statement included in section O (see above), must be included in any publicity prepared for this event by the group or organization sponsoring the event.

Q. Right to Appeal

Within 30 days of any decision relating to this policy, all applicants have the right to appeal the decisions of the Library Director to the Board of Trustees of the Springfield Free Public Library, in writing, at 66 Mountain Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081.

This policy is issued by the Library’s Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Approved November 21, 2019

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