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Conference Room Facilities Policy and Procedures

As part of the Homewood Public Library's program of services, the Library provides meeting room facilities for individuals, organizations, and groups.   In keeping with the American Library Association's LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS, Article VI, the meeting facilities are available to the public "on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use."

A.         Facilities

The Library has two kinds of meeting room facilities -- auditoriums and conference rooms. There are two auditoriums on the main level. The larger auditorium has access to a kitchen facility with a refrigerator, stove with oven, microwave, ice maker, dishwasher and sink. The smaller auditorium is    round and has access to a kitchen facility with a refrigerator, stove with oven, and microwave. On the Lower Level there are six (6) conference rooms: one (1) large meeting room that has a serving counter; two (2) medium-sized meeting rooms - one with a serving counter and sink; two (2) small meeting rooms - suitable for 8-12 people seated around a rectangular conference table; one (1) small room suitable for 2-3 people.

B.         Facility Capacity

The capacity for each room has been established by the City of Homewood Fire Marshal. Fire code requires that no group exceed the capacity specified for the particular room arrangement chosen by the group. (Check the Homewood Library website at www.homewoodpubliclibrary.org/reserve for room capacity and availability.)

C.       Seating Styles

 Auditoriums and meeting rooms will be set up auditorium style for all meetings.  Any request for a set- up other than auditorium style must be made at the time the reservation is made. A special set-up can be done by library personnel only and will require payment of an additional fee of $15.00 for     conference rooms and $25.00 for auditoriums. Optional seating arrangements for each room may be viewed online at www.homewoodpubliclibrary.org/reserve.

II.        RESERVATIONS

A.         How are reservations for a room made?

Reservations for the use of a room must be made on the application form provided by the Library (the “Application"). Anyone who wishes to make a reservation must sign, or have signed within the past  year, an agreement expressing intent to comply with all policies, rules, regulations, and conditions           regarding responsible use of a meeting room (the "Use Agreement").

Reservations will be booked on a first-come, first-serve basis according to the date the Library receives the Application.  No reservation is final until:

  • Library receives a signed Application and Use Agreement.  An Application and Use Agreement must be on file for each calendar year.
  • Fees for one time meetings should be paid in full when the room is booked.
  • For after hours social events, the Library receives a deposit equal to 10 percent (10%) of the rental fee (the "Reservation Deposit") for the reserved room. The balance of the room rental fee and any cleaning fee, special seating set-up fee, or Security Deposit must be paid on or before the scheduled event. The Library reserves the right to deny access to a reserved room if all fees are not paid by the required deadline.
  • Group and Club meetings that occur on a regularly scheduled basis will be invoiced annually.
  • Library approves the Application.

B.         How far in advance may reservations be made?

Individuals, organizations, or groups that wish to reserve a lower level Conference Room for a series of meetings over a period of time should fill out only one Application, and include a schedule of meeting dates, times, and other requested information. When reserving a room, be sure to include sufficient time before and after the meeting for set-up and clean up.

  • Meeting rooms may be reserved up to 12 months in advance for either an individual meeting or a series of meetings. To reserve a meeting for a series of meetings throughout the year, fees for the entire year must be paid in advance. Each December the Library will annually invoice groups and clubs that meet regularly. When room fees are invoiced, payment is due by the 31st of January. If the invoice for room rental fees is not paid by January 31st, all reservations will be canceled. Rescheduling will be based on availability of meeting room space.
  • 2. Auditoriums may be reserved up to twelve (12) months in advance for an individual meeting.   Auditoriums may not be reserved for a series of meetings. (1) Only the Library Board or Director has the authority to approve the use of the auditoriums for a series of meetings.

C.         Who can make reservations?

Reservations must be made by an individual at least twenty-one (21) years old

D.         When can reservations be made?

  • Advance Reservation:   All requests for use of any room must be made through the Library during the Library's hours of operation by calling the Meeting Room Coordinator at 332-6610 or by completing the online registration forms.  If the Meeting Room Coordinator is not available, you may leave a message on the Meeting Room Coordinator’s answering machine.
  • Same Day Reservation: If a room is available, the Library will make a same day reservation provided the group, organization or individual has a Use Agreement on file prior to completing an Application for the room.  After 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends, the Supervisor On Duty may authorize the use of a room. As with all other reservations, payment of the room rental fee must be made before the room will be opened. Online requests may not be made for the same day reservations.
    (1)With the exception of the Homewood/Oxmoor Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Club.

E.         Who makes the facility assignment?

The Library reserves the right to make schedule or room assignments. In general, the   Library allows groups to reserve its rooms on a first-come, first-served basis.

F.            Online Reservations

The Library offers patrons the ability to make room reservations online through the library’s website. All Library policies and guidelines must be followed and adhered to with the following additions and changes:

  • The Online Application and Use Agreement will be used in place of the original paper agreements. The Online Application and Use Agreement must be read and acknowledged by the applicant. Agreement to this online acknowledgement will serve and act as a digital signature by the applicant. By filling out the online application and use agreement the renter has stated that they have read, and understood the policies and procedures that govern the library’s meeting rooms. 
  • Filling out an online application does not guarantee a room reservation. Once an online application request is received, it will be reviewed by the Meeting Room Coordinator. If the room is available and the renter has met all of the requirements associated with the library’s meeting room policies, the Meeting Room Coordinator will reply via email with a confirmation. AT THIS POINT THE FINAL STEP WILL BE FOR THE RENTER TO PAY FOR THE ROOM. Payments will be made through the library’s secure online credit card processing. Please note that the room will not be reserved or finalized until payment is made in full.
  • Meeting rooms cannot be reserved online for the same day. Any same day room reservations must be handled in person by the Meeting Room Coordinator at the library. Multiple day / week / month requests must be made by contacting the meeting room coordinator. 

III.      ELIGIBILITY FOR USE OF FACILITIES

A.         Is there an age restriction for use of the meeting room facilities?

Groups or individuals under the age of twenty-one (21) must have an adult sponsor in attendance at their meetings at all times.

B.         Who is eligible to use the facilities?

Any individual, organization, or group, whether governmental, commercial, or noncommercial, may use the Library's auditoriums and meeting rooms, subject to this policy. The Library reserves the right to refuse a reservation to any group, organization or individual who has failed to comply with the rules and regulations for use of meeting room space established by the Homewood Public Library Board of Trustees.

Granting permission to use Library facilities does not constitute endorsement by the Library of the group or its beliefs.
 

IV.      PURPOSES FOR WHICH MEETINGS MAY BE USED

Auditoriums and meeting rooms may be used for the following purposes: (I) commercial meetings; (II) noncommercial meetings; (III) parties, receptions and ceremonies ("Social Events"), or (IV) Club or Group meetings whether or not held in connection with commercial enterprises.

  • A meeting is considered to have a commercial purpose if: (i) any charges or fees are required in order to attend the meeting; (ii) goods or services are sold at or offered for sale at the meeting; or (iii) the meeting promotes a commercial enterprise.
  •   A meeting will be considered a noncommercial meeting if the parties who are renting / sponsoring the room do not financially profit from the use of the Library’s meeting room facilities.
  •  Any meeting that occurs at the Library on a one-time basis can be classified as a social event. An example of these would be: birthday party, baby shower, anniversary.
  •  Any meeting that occurs at the Library on a regular basis, meeting either weekly or monthly can be classified as a group or club.

Only the Library Board or Director has the authority to approve the use of the Library facility for Social Events.  Requests for such use will be considered upon the Library's receipt of a written Application.

 

V.       MEETING HOURS

Commercial and noncommercial meetings may be held in the Library’s meeting room facilities between the following hours on days the Library is open.

DAY: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - HOURS: 9:00 a.m. - 8:45 p.m.

DAY: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday - HOURS: 9:00 a.m. - 5:45 p.m.

DAY: Sunday - HOURS: 2:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

If approved, Social Events in the auditoriums and/or meeting rooms may only be held after hours.

The meeting room facilities may be used after Library hours for any purpose, but only with permission from Library Administration.  An increased fee is charged for after hours events to cover the cost of using the Library beyond normal budgeted hours. A security guard or a member of the Library staff must be on duty for all after hours meetings. The fee of $25 per hour should be paid directly to the security guard or Library staff member on duty.

VI.      FEE SCHEDULE

The following are exempt from auditorium and meeting room rental fees:

  1. Library-sponsored meetings or programs
  2. Friends of the Library meetings or programs
  3. City Department meetings or programs
  4. Municipal meetings and functions
  5. Homewood Board of Education meetings or programs
  6. Employees and trustees of the Homewood Library

(Employees and trustees may use the Conference Rooms and/or Auditoriums twice (2) per calendar year at no charge. Employee/trustee must attend the program if they are using their free usage. Standard meeting room fees will apply to any meetings scheduled after the two (2) free meetings.)

A fee is charged to cover the costs of utilities, building maintenance, general wear and tear, and, when applicable, the cost of keeping the Library open beyond normally budgeted hours.

Special Set-up Fee

Auditorium and conference rooms are set-up auditorium (theater) style.  Groups requesting a set-up other than auditorium will be charged a set-up fee.

Special Set-Up.......................................................... $15.00 Conference Room; $25.00 Auditorium

  1. Fees for Use During Operating Hours
    1. During business hours:
      1. Social Events are NOT allowed during operating hours.
      2. Alcohol may NOT be served at any meeting.
    2.  For Non-Commercial Meetings the following fees apply:
      1. Conference Room rental fee .................................................................................... $15.00 per 4hrs, or part thereof
      2. Auditorium rental fee .................................................................................... $35.00 per 4hrs, or part thereo
    3. For all Commercial Meetings the following fees apply:
      1. Conference Room rental fee .................................................................................... $20.00 per 4hrs, or part thereof
      2. Auditorium rental fee .................................................................................. $100.00 per 4hrs, or part thereof
  2.  Fees for Use Before/After Operating Hours
    1. For Non-Commercial meetings the following fees apply:
      1. Conference Room rental fee .....................................................................................$25.00 per 4hrs, or part thereof
      2. Auditorium rental fee .................................................................................. $100.00 per 4hrs, or part thereof
      3. Any event serving alcohol will require:
        1. Payment  of  a  $200  cash  or  money  order  deposit  (the "Security Deposit") at time of reservation, which deposit will be refunded if the meeting room facility is found to be in satisfactory condition following the event. If the facility is found to be in unsatisfactory condition, the deposit will be forfeited.   Unsatisfactory conditions include but are not limited to: stains, gum and/or burns on carpets, damaged walls or ceiling tiles, broken furniture and/or appliances, etc.
        2. The services of two off-duty uniformed Homewood police officer(s).  The Library will arrange for a police officer (s) with the renter paying the police officer (s) directly.
    2. For Commercial Meetings the following fees apply:
      1. Meeting Room rental fee .................................................................................. $100.00 per day, or part thereof
      2. Auditorium rental fee .................................................................................. $350.00 per day, or part thereof
      3. Security Deposit ................................................................................. $200.00
  3. For Social Events (which must be approved by the Director), the following fees apply:
    1. Conference Room rental fee .................................................................................. $350.00 per day, or part thereof
      1. Security Deposit ................................................................................. $500.00 (Cash  or  Money  Order  deposit  will  be  refunded  if  the meeting room  facility   is found to be in satisfactory condition following the event. If the facility is found to be in unsatisfactory condition, the deposit will be forfeited.  Unsatisfactory conditions include but are not limited to: stains, gum and/or burns on carpets, damaged walls, doors, or ceiling tiles, broken furniture and/or appliances, etc.)
    2. Auditorium rental fee ...............................................................................$ 1,000.00 per day, or part thereof
      1. Security Deposit............................................................................... $1,000.00 (Cash or Cashier Check deposit will be refunded if the meeting room facility   is found to be in satisfactory condition following the event. If the facility is found to be in   unsatisfactory condition, the deposit will be forfeited.  Unsatisfactory conditions include but are not limited to: stains, gum and/or burns on carpets, damaged walls, doors, or ceiling tiles, broken furniture and/or appliances, etc.)

AND

(Cash or Money Order deposit will be refunded if the meeting room facility is found to be in satisfactory condition following the event.  If the facility is found to be in unsatisfactory condition, the deposit will be forfeited. Unsatisfactory conditions include but are not limited to: stains, gum and/or burns on carpets, damaged walls or ceiling tiles, broken furniture and/or appliances, etc.)

AND

-Any event serving alcohol will require:

The service of two (2) off-duty uniformed Homewood police officers. The Library will arrange for a police officers with the renter paying the police officers directly.

 AND

Before Library Opens:  A $25.00 fee will be charged for any meeting that requires a staff member to provide access to the Library before it is scheduled to open.

 After Operating Hours: The following fees will be charged any time a room will be used after the Library has closed. No meeting may last past 11:00 p.m., at which time all parking lot lights are turned off.  Everyone, including caterers, musicians and guests, must be out of the building by 11:00 p.m.

 

VII.     CANCELLATIONS

 

The Library should be notified immediately if any reserved room will not be used as scheduled.  Notice of cancellation must be provided to the Meeting Room Coordinator, personally, either in writing or by telephone. Room rental fees and Reservation Deposits will be refunded or credited as follows:

  • Reservation Deposit will be refunded if cancellation notice is provided to the Meeting Room Coordinator at least one week before the scheduled event.
  • Any room rental fees paid in advance will be refunded if cancellation notice is provided to the Meeting Room Coordinator at least 1 week before the scheduled meeting.  Otherwise, all reservation deposits and room rental fees will be forfeited
  • For meeting rooms reserved and paid for in advance, if the group will no longer meet at the Library, a refund of unused room rental fees will be issued as soon as the library receives written notification of the cancellation.
  • If one-time events in the auditoriums or meeting rooms are canceled due to inclement weather, events will be rescheduled for another date or a full refund will be provided.
  • If any regularly scheduled meeting is canceled due to inclement weather, the group will be given an opportunity to reschedule its meeting or a credit will be applied to its next year’s fees.

 

VIII.    GENERAL GUIDELINES

1. City Ordinance prohibits smoking in any public facility within the City limits of Homewood.

2. Alcoholic beverages may NOT be served during Library hours. Only wines, champagnes and beers may be served at events held after the Library has closed.

3. Kitchen facilities include: microwave, refrigerator, oven, coffee pot, dishwasher, and ice maker.  They are available for meetings booked in the Auditoriums.  Some Meeting Rooms include microwaves.

4. The Library does not provide users with coffee, condiments, paper cups/plates, napkins etc.

5. No food preparation, other than warming in microwave or oven, shall be allowed in the auditoriums and meeting rooms.  However, covered dishes and catered meals shall be allowed.

6. No food or beverages may be served in the lobby or corridors outside conference rooms or auditoriums.

7. Seating may NOT exceed room capacity. Additional furniture items to be brought in must be approved by the Library Director before they are set up in any room.

8. Advance notice is required for assistance with the Library audio visual equipment.  

9. The Library does not provide porter services for groups meeting in the facility nor storage space for their property. The Library does not accept responsibility for materials that are lost or damaged.

10.  Library staff will not accept calls or relay messages to people attending meetings except in emergencies.  A pay phone is available in the Library Cafe.

11.  Groups may not use the Library as their mailing address nor may they state or imply that the Library sponsors or endorses their meeting.

12.  The Library will give the name and phone number of the person and group making the reservation to anyone inquiring about the meeting.

13. Admission charges and sales are permitted.  Any meeting generating revenue and open to the public must meet in the Auditorium and pay the commercial meeting rate. Generating revenues includes proceeds from sales, admission or attendance charges or fees, or tuition.  Also included are meetings where a sales presentation is made, regardless of whether goods or services are sold at the meeting.  Groups must obtain a City of Homewood sales tax license and comply with all applicable City and State laws.

14.  Children ages 6 and under must remain with a parent, guardian, or caregiver at all times. If the parent, guardian, or caregiver is attending a meeting, the child must be in the meeting room as well.  The Library is not responsible for children left unattended in the Library while their parent, guardian, or caregiver is in a meeting at the Library.

15.    Excessive noise or disruptions to the functions of the Library are not permitted.  Music and noise must be kept to a reasonable level, and in accordance with the City's noise ordinance.

16.  No pets are allowed in the Library facility except those used by physically impaired persons.

17.  When a tornado warning is issued, the Library will follow evacuation procedures outlined in its emergency procedures manual.

18.  Permission to use the facility may be withheld from anyone who fails to comply with this Meeting Room Policy.

19.  The Homewood Public Library Board reserves the right to alter this policy without prior notice.

 

IX.  CARE AND USE OF THE FACILITY

1. Individuals, organizations and groups using the Library are responsible for leaving the facility in good order with doors locked, lights turned out and windows shut.  Abuse of Library property will result in charges for the repair or replacement of damaged property and/or the loss of permission to use the meeting rooms.

2.  All small appliances (i.e., coffee pot) and equipment used should be turned off/unplugged.

3.  All trash, including trash resulting from the serving of refreshments, must be placed in the receptacles provided.

4.  By order of the City of Homewood Fire Marshal, attendance at meetings is limited to the capacity of the room. Seating and/or supplementary furniture is not allowed in corridors outside rooms.

5. Furniture and/or equipment from the main area of the Library or lobby may not be brought into the Auditorium.

6. Nothing may be attached to the painted walls, furniture, doors or the ceiling tiles.  Fire code prohibits any open flames, including such things as incense or candles.

7. The use of pens, paints, crayons, dyes, markers, or other materials will not be permitted. The individual signing the Application will be charged for the cost of repairing any damage to Library furnishings caused by these materials.

8. Do not use confetti for decorations in any meeting room facility.

9. DO NOT use any sort of tack, nail or screw ANYPLACE in any meeting room facility.

10. Signs, posters, etc. may NOT be taped to the walls or doors of any meeting room facility.

11. Use of any appliance, equipment or extension cord not provided by the Library is prohibited unless approved in advance.

12. No fundraisers may be held at the Library.