Reserving and Using Library Rooms Policy
Hennepin County Library Board Policy
The Library Board is “responsible for the use of library meeting rooms” per Minnesota Statute 383B.239. This policy guides the reservations and use of Hennepin County Library’s (the Library) meeting rooms, conference rooms, study rooms, and other library spaces defined in this policy. The Meeting Room Public Use Agreement, on the Library’s website, outlines patrons’ responsibilities when using library spaces.
- We, the Library Board, are committed to making spaces available to the public on a fair and equitable basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
- We support free reservable spaces in libraries throughout Hennepin County where groups can come together to learn and exchange information and ideas in a commercial free environment.
The following definitions are applied to the spaces that may be reserved by the public. Use regulations may vary depending on the type of space that is reserved.
Meeting Rooms: Meeting rooms can be configured in different ways to meet the needs of different types of groups. Best suited for programs and events. Room sizes vary. Maximum room capacities range from 21-195.
Conference Rooms: Conference rooms have less flexibility than meeting rooms. Room configuration may be fixed. Room sizes vary. Maximum room capacities range from 10-20.
Study Rooms: Study rooms have fixed room configurations and are designed for small group conversations and study. Room sizes vary. Maximum room capacities range from 4-10.
Piano Room: Created for the musical enjoyment of patrons who wish to play the piano. Available at Minneapolis Central Library.
Rental Venues: Five specific spaces at Minneapolis Central Library that may be reserved for a fee. These spaces offer additional services and more available hours than any of the other reservable places. Events management and exclusive catering services are offered by a contract vendor.
Rooms in libraries throughout Hennepin County may be reserved free of charge. Fees are assessed for additional services provided and for the rental venues at Minneapolis Central Library. See the Fee and Fine Schedule for more information.
Pending room availability, fees may be waived for government entities, 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 reserve and use a space does not constitute an endorsement by the Library of the group, 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. The Library may not be identified as a co-sponsor of a meeting without prior written approval.
Reservations and Use Limitations
The public website describes the specific spaces and times that are reservable. Reservable times typically coincide with open library hours. Reservations for the rental venues at Minneapolis Central Library may extend beyond normal hours. The Meeting Room Public Use Agreement defines how far in advance rooms may be reserved.
Priority for reserving rooms will be given in the following order:
- Library sponsored and co-sponsored programs and activities
- Hennepin County departments and units
- General public
The Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use a space by other entities if the room is needed for Library or Hennepin County use. Alternate locations will be sought as needed.
Patrons must review and agree to the Meeting Room Public Use Agreement before a reservation request can be approved.
In order to provide access to a wide audience of users, the Library may limit the number of confirmed reservations for any individual or group to no more than once per month. The Library does not automatically book recurring meetings.
Reserved spaces may not be used for the purpose of transacting commercial activities. This includes the provision of fee-based services. No entrance fees may be charged to meeting attendees.
The Library, the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, local library Friends’ groups, and library co-sponsors may sell books and other products if the activity supplements the meeting and is not a requirement for attendance. Co-sponsorship must be confirmed in writing.
Direct fundraising activities may be conducted only by the Friends of the Hennepin County Library and the local Friends of the Library groups.
The person reserving the space determines the intended audience for the gathering. Scheduled reservations are posted at the location and/or via the public website.
Patrons will comply with all federal, state, and local laws and policies. Patrons are responsible for using library spaces in accordance with the established public use agreement. Future reservations may be denied if the patron does not comply with the Meeting Room Public Use Agreement.
The contact person for the reservation is liable for any damages to facilities and furnishings. The contact person 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 use of library spaces.
Library staff are responsible for interpreting and applying this and the associated library administrative policy in daily practice. The Library Services Division Manager (or designee) is responsible for working to resolve disputes that may arise over the reservation and use of library rooms.
The Library Board is the final authority in granting or refusing permission for use of library meeting rooms, per Minnesota Statutes 383B.239.
Associated Policies and Laws
This policy is reviewed every three (3) years by the Library Director (or designee), the Library’s legal counsel, and the Library Board Policy Committee. The Committee revises as needed, endorses, and advances to the full Library Board for approval.
Next Review Date: 2020
Last Date Approved: 2017
Previous Policy Named: Reserving and Using Public Gathering Places Policy