The purpose of this policy is to govern the reservations and use of library meeting rooms, conference rooms and other public gathering places defined in this policy.


  • We support free gathering places in libraries throughout Hennepin County where groups can come together in a commercial free environment to learn and exchange information and ideas.
  • We support Minneapolis Central Library’s role as a rental venue for meetings, workshops, events, conferences, receptions and programs.
  • We designate spaces that are available to be reserved by the public and make those spaces available on a fair and equitable basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
  • We serve the community as a whole; we strive to make limited resources available to all.

Available Gathering Places

  • The spaces that are available for reservation by the public are posted on the public homepage.
  • Reservations for most spaces are limited to open library hours.
  • Reservations for the Brookdale, Ridgedale, and Southdale meeting rooms are available during open building hours.
  • Reservations for the rental venues at Minneapolis Central Library may be available beyond normal building hours.


  • Free gathering spaces are available in libraries throughout Hennepin County.
  • Fees are assessed for additional services provided and for the rental venues at Minneapolis Central Library. See the Hennepin County Library Board Fee and Fine Policy for more information.
  • Pending room availability, fees may be waived for tax-supported organizations, the Hennepin County Library Board, the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, and local Friends of the Library groups. These organizations may be relocated to alternate locations if fee-paying bookings intervene.


  • Permission to use a public gathering place does not constitute an endorsement by the Library of the program or point of view expressed.
  • The name of the Library may not be used in any publicity for non-library sponsored or co-sponsored meeting except to designate the meeting location.

Priorities for Use

  • Priority for using gathering places will be given in the following order:
    1. Library sponsored and co-sponsored programs and activities
    2. Use by Hennepin County departments and units
    3. Programs and activities conducted by library partners
    4. All other groups; availability is on a first come first-served basis
  • The Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use a space by other entities if the room is needed for Library or County use. Alternate locations will be sought as needed.

Reservations and Limitations

  • To ensure accessibility to a wide variety of groups, the Library may limit the frequency of meetings for any group to no more than once per month.
  • The Library does not automatically book recurring meetings.
  • The Library will define and post when booking periods are open to the public.
  • Confirmed room reservations are posted on site and/or via the public homepage.
  • Use of library gathering places for commercial purposes is prohibited. There will be no collection of admission fees or tuition, sales of products or services or other direct fund raising activities. Exceptions may be made for library-sponsored groups, programs, or events.
  • A private events management and catering firm, contracted by the Library, will provide events management and exclusive catering services at Minneapolis Central’s rental venues.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • In order to ensure the fair and consistent application of this policy, the Library Director (or designee) will post the administrative policy that defines the regulations for using public gathering places, including those regulations that are specific to the rental venues at Minneapolis Central.
  • Patrons are responsible for using library facilities in accordance with the published regulations; future reservations may be denied if regulations are not met.
  • The contact person for the reservation is liable for any damages to facilities and furnishings.
  • All groups shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Hennepin County, its officers, agents, and employees from and against any and all claims, suits, actions of any kind, arising and resulting and accruing from an negligent act, omission or error of the group resulting in or relating to personal injuries or property damage arising from the group’s use of the library.
  • In the case of any disputes over use of meeting rooms, the Library Board will be the final authority in granting or refusing permission for use of library meeting rooms, per Minnesota Statutes 383B.239.
  • Patrons will comply with all Federal, state, and local laws.
  • Patrons will follow all Hennepin County and Library policies including the Patron Use of Library Spaces.

Associated Policies and Laws


This policy is reviewed by the Library Director (or designee) and the Library’s legal counsel every three years. The Library Director (or designee) makes recommendations to the Library Board Program/Policy Committee. The Committee reviews and revises as necessary, endorses and advances to the full Library Board for approval.

Policy History

Next Review Date: 11/2015
Last Date Approved: 11/28/2012
Date Adopted: 11/18/2009