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September 30, 2016

About the Library

Library Use Policies : Library Facilities and Meeting Rooms Use

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Library Facilities & Meeting Rooms Use

BACKGROUND                        

The Seattle Public Library welcomes the public use of its facilities and meeting rooms in keeping with the Library's mission to bring "people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community." The Library permits the public to use its facilities and meeting rooms when such use does not interfere with Library-sponsored programs and services.

 

POLICY STATEMENT

The Library allows outside organizations and groups to use its facilities and meeting rooms when they are not needed for administrative use or for activities or programs sponsored in whole or in part by the Library. The permission to use facilities and meeting rooms is revocable and does not constitute a lease. The Library reserves the right to deny applications for use based on the availability of space and staff, frequency of use, or as otherwise outlined in guidelines available on the Library's public website.

 

In accordance with Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 14.06, the Public Accommodations Ordinance, the Library does not discriminate when making its facilities and meeting rooms available for public use. The Library does not discriminate based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, creed, ancestry, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability. The permission to use Library facilities and meeting rooms does not signify that the Library or the city of Seattle endorses the policies or beliefs of the group or organization using the room.

 

The Library has priority use of Library facilities and meeting rooms. The Library reserves the right to pre-empt any scheduled meetings. The Library reserves the right to attend any meeting to ensure that no unlawful activities are occurring on Library premises. The Library does not extend any special privileges to the organizations to which staff members belong.

 

The Seattle Public Library board of trustees authorizes the City Librarian to review and modify permissions to use Library facilities and meeting rooms, including fee adjustments. The Library Board authorizes the City Librarian, or his/her designee, to develop and implement procedures and guidelines in furtherance of this policy.

  

Rental Fees

In fulfillment of its fiduciary responsibility to the Library, the Library Board has delegated authority to Library staff to make changes in the rental fee structure for facilities and meeting rooms. As long as the change is not more than 50% more or less than the current rate, Library staff need not obtain Library Board approval before making the change. Current rental fees for the Central Library are provided on the Library's public website. Any fee change will remain in place for at least one year.

 

Type of Use

At the Central Library, rental fees are charged according to the rental space desired and the type of use, as defined below. Within each use type, reservations are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Class A Use

Class A rates apply to nonprofit groups, government agencies and city of Seattle departments for non-commercial use, (e.g., no admission fee, though vendor fee and/or donation is requested or received). Events may or may not be open to the public and may occur during or outside of regular Library operating hours.

 

The Spiral 6 (capacity 12) and Mixing Chamber (capacity 16) meeting rooms at the Central Library are available at no charge to nonprofit groups for meetings from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. as long as no admission fee, vendor fee and/or donation is requested or received.

 

Class B and C Use

Class B and C rates are the same. Class B rates apply to nonprofit groups whose events or meetings involve admission fees, donations or commercial use. Events may or may not be open to the public and may occur during or outside of regular Library operating hours.

 

Class C rates apply to businesses, private individuals or private groups. Admission or vendor fees may be collected and donations may be received during the event. Events may be held during or outside regular Library operating hours. Examples of Class C use include private parties, receptions, seminars or workshops.

 

Costs and Damage

The Library reserves the right to collect payment for costs incurred through use of its facilities and meeting rooms. The Library may also collect payment if users cause damage to its facilities and meeting rooms.

 

Branch library facilities and meeting rooms are available only for non-commercial use during regular Library operating hours. The Library does not charge rental fees for the use of space at its branch libraries, though costs and/or damage fees may apply.

 

Food and Alcoholic Beverages and Liability Coverage

Food and alcoholic beverages may be served in the Central Library as set forth in the guidelines available on the Library's public website. Depending on the scope of the event, the rental applicant must show proof of liability insurance, in addition to any required permits such as a liquor license and liquor liability insurance. The Library reserves the right to require additional insurance for certain special events.

 

Alcohol use is prohibited at branch libraries.

 

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to the public use of facilities and meeting rooms at the Central Library and all branch libraries. This policy does not apply to events hosted or co-sponsored by the Library or The Seattle Public Library Foundation. Specific provisions regarding rental fees, use classification, and liability coverage apply only to the Central Library.

 

RELATED LAWS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 14.06, Public Accommodations Ordinance.

 

HISTORY

Supersedes Library Meeting Rooms Use adopted Oct. 13, 1982 and revised Sept. 28, 1993, April 20, 2004, and Dec. 6, 2005.

 

ADOPTED:  Jan. 28, 2015

SUPERSEDES POLICY:

Library Meeting Rooms Use last revised Dec. 6, 2005.