Some branches of the Somerset County Library System maintain meeting rooms that are available for use by nonprofit community groups for nonprofit, governmental, educational, cultural, artistic or civic purposes, provided this use does not interfere with the regular operation of the library.
The use of a branch’s meeting rooms for library purposes shall have priority over all other uses. Based on library need, each branch will determine the availability of the meeting rooms. The library reserves the right to cancel a previously scheduled reservation and will try to give at least one month’s notice before the meeting date.
Based on community demand, size of the rooms, and library usage, each branch may limit how often a group meets. All meetings must be open to the general public. In order to reserve a room a group must have at least one member who has a valid SCLSNJ library card; a group member must sign the meeting room application and provide his/her library card number. Parents or legal guardians must co-sign meeting room applications submitted by minors.
The Branch Manager or a designated representative will review for approval all initial requests and application renewals. The County Library Administrator reserves the right to review all applications.
Completed applications are required for the initial use of the meeting rooms. Applications should be filed at least two weeks in advance. Reservations will be held pending receipt of the completed Meeting Room Application and Room Set Up forms (if applicable). Once the initial annual application has been filed, future bookings and changes in bookings may be made by phone or email. Equipment needed for meetings should be requested at the time reservations are made. Time for setting and cleaning up for a meeting or program should be included in the time span requested on the reservation form. Applications must be renewed annually.
Permission to use the library’s meeting rooms in no way implies library sponsorship or endorsement of any group or its program. SCLSNJ hereby assumes no responsibility for any loss, theft, injury or damage to persons or property incurred as a result of meeting room use.
All literature distributed at meetings must be clearly marked with the name of the sponsoring group; “SCLSNJ” shall not be included in any such literature. The library’s address may not be used by any organization as its headquarters’ address.
Any fees charged to participants and attendees by the group in connection with the use of the meeting rooms must be approved by the Library Commission or a designated representative.
The use of a branch’s meeting rooms cannot be granted for functions that are designed to benefit financially any individual or organization, except when expressly authorized by the Library Commission or a designated representative. These rooms are not available for use by individuals or groups that are offering seminars in order to solicit customers or business for their organizations.
Food is not allowed, except by permission of the branch manager. The library staff is not responsible for cleaning up after a group. Additional trash bags will be provided when needed. A group’s failure to clean up after its meeting may result in the cancellation of that group’s use of the room for the remainder of the year.
Each branch community’s Fire Marshall has set the room capacity limits for each room; these limits must not be exceeded. Alcohol may not be served by outside groups. No open flames are permitted. The use of tobacco products is not permitted.
In case of cancellation, the library should be notified as far in advance as possible. A group’s failure to notify the library of a cancellation may result in the cancellation of that group’s use of the room for the remainder of the year. In weather emergencies, group members should call the library and/or visit the library website: www.sclsnj.org. If the library is closed, all meetings are automatically canceled.
Branches may designate certain areas or spaces for a particular use (e.g., tutoring, business oriented), and set up procedures for those special uses consistent with this policy. Any such procedures should be approved by the Director of Public Services.