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Meeting Room Policy


The primary purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to provide space for library activities.  When meeting rooms are not reserved, or otherwise in use for this purpose, the library may permit their use by groups and organizations sponsoring social, civic, cultural, and educational events.

Meeting rooms may not be reserved for an individual or for a private event, with the exception of music recitals, which may be rented at the current for-profit rate.

Applications for exceptions to the Meeting Room Policy (e.g., meetings at Hills Branch during open hours; rentals of the Hills Branch by individuals not representing a group or organization; requests for multiple meetings per month) will be considered by the Board of Library Trustees on a case by case basis.

The fact that an organization is permitted to meet at the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement by the Library of the content of that program/meeting or of that organization’s policies or beliefs.

“Meeting Rooms,” for the purpose of this policy, include: the Wakelin Meeting Room, Arnold Conference Room, Hills Branch Library, and Small Conference Rooms.  Rental of the Hills Branch as a Meeting Room may be permitted when it is not in use as a library.  Exceptions may be considered by the Library Director.  The High School Study Room may be considered a “Meeting Room” for the limited purpose of holding meetings of a Town Board or its staff when there is no other available public space in Town.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Requests to use the meeting rooms must be made in writing using the applicable Meeting Room Request Form available from the WFL Administration office. Reservation requests will be reviewed in the order in which they are received, with priority given to the Library and Town officials. The Library shall reserve the right to transfer a group or organization to an area other than that requested, or to cancel a reservation, if the Library, in its Director’s discretion, considers either such action necessary.
  2. All events held in the Wakelin Room must be open to the public.
  3. Meeting Room organizers may not charge an admission fee for any meeting or event. Notwithstanding, event organizers may offer attendees the opportunity to donate to a specific charity, duly organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  In such case, any and all notices about such events must state that the event is free, open to the public, and that any such charitable contribution is voluntary.
  4. The Arnold Conference Room and the Small Conference Rooms may be used for government groups that need to hold lawful executive sessions; for private staff meetings of a Town department, for private staff meetings of a public library agency; or for private organizations that have “reasonable cause” for confidentiality. “Reasonable cause” shall be determined at the discretion of the Library Director.
  5. In the event of unforeseen or unusual circumstances, the Library Director reserves the right to cancel the use of a Meeting Room for good cause and shall promptly notify the event organizer of such cancellation. “Good cause” shall include, but not be limited to, new information about actual public safety concerns, unforeseen library closings, etc.   The Library is not responsible for cancellations due to emergencies (e.g. inclement weather, power failure).
  6. The Library does not charge a fee for use of a Meeting Room by Town of Wellesley boards and departments, or public library boards and agencies. All other groups will be charged a fee as stated on the applicable Request Form.  Notwithstanding the above, all groups serving food, including Town departments, will be charged a cleaning fee as stated on the Request Form.
  7. The Meeting Rooms will be available for use by the applicant only during the hours (the “Rental Period”) stated on the Request Form. Unauthorized use beyond the Rental Period may result in additional charges.
  8. Permission to use the lobby adjacent to the Wakelin Meeting Room must be specifically requested in writing and shall be considered on a case by case basis. However, the areas adjacent to the Arnold Room and Small Conference rooms are not available for use and are therefore not subject to special use permission.
  9. The Library will not publicize non-Library sponsored events.
  10. Meeting Rooms may be used by “for-profit” organizations when the purpose of the meeting is informational only. Further, if such an organization intends to use an attendance or program registration form for the collection of names, that form must clearly state the intended use of the list, specifically whether such list is intended to be used for sales calls, and/or whether the list is intended for dissemination to a third party.   In any case, the form shall include a clear option for attendees to decline adding their names to such list and/or to remove their names from any said list compiled.
  11. Groups that wish to sell goods or services must obtain the prior permission of the Board of Library Trustees. Such goods or services must be described on the Meeting Room Request Form.
  12. Non-profit groups shall be asked to provide evidence of their legal non-profit status.
  13. Permission to use a Meeting Room will not be granted if more than the permitted maximum number of people are expected at an event. The maximum number of people permitted per room are: Wakelin Meeting Room, 185 people; Arnold Conference Room, 41 people; Hills Branch Library, 50 people, Small Conference Room, 8 people.
  14. Specific requests for attendance beyond the maximum permitted (stated above) will be evaluated by Board of Library Trustees on a case by case basis. Consideration will be given to the event’s timing and duration, anticipated attendance, type of activity, and other factors, including, but not limited to, parking considerations. The Library Director has the authority to deny Meeting Room requests that s/he determines are not appropriate for a particular rental space.
  15. Anyone wishing to appeal a decision regarding the use a Meeting Room shall appeal in writing to the Library Board of Trustees with a copy to the Library Director for inclusion on the agenda of a regularly scheduled Board of Trustee’s meeting.

Reservation and Procedures

  1. Any Meeting Room may be booked up to six (6) months in advance, beginning on the first of the month of the proposed event date.
  2. No more than one (1) meeting per month is permitted to any one organization.
  3. Reservations will not be confirmed until full payment is received. An unconfirmed reservation will be held for 14 days. If payment is not received within that time, the proposed reservation will be automatically rescinded. For reservations with less than 21 days’ notice, payment in full must be made at the time of application.
  4. In the event of cancellation of a meeting or event by the applicant, the applicant must provide at least two weeks (14 days) prior notice to the Library in order to receive a refund.There will be no refunds when fewer than 14 days cancellation notice is given. In the event of the cancellation of an event or meeting by the Library for good cause or emergency (see above), the Library will work with the applicant to find a mutually acceptable new date. If the event can be rescheduled at a mutually agreeable time and date, there will be no additional application fee charged, but all other terms of this policy shall be applicable. If however, a new date cannot be determined, and the cancellation was not the fault of the applicant, all deposits will be returned to the applicant
  5. The Request Form must be signed by an adult (18 years of age or older), who, jointly and severally with his or her organization and its members, assumes full responsibility for the event and conduct of its participants. This responsibility extends to liability for damage to property or equipment of the Library and any third parties. It further extends to responsibility for any extra costs, including, but not limited to, police protection that the Library, in its sole discretion, considers necessary to protect the safety of its staff and patrons. The Library Trustees and the Town are not responsible for any financial loss or injury to any person or organization arising out of a reservation or room use.

Rules of Use

  1. Renters agree to abide by this policy and the Rules of Conduct of the Wellesley Free Library (attached). Failure to adhere to these policies will be cause for suspension of an event or meeting and/or cancellation of future meetings without refund. Renters shall acknowledge receipt of the Rules of Conduct for the particular Meeting Room when completing the Request Form.
  2. Firearms, alcoholic beverages, smoking, lit candles and other open flames are not permitted anywhere in the building, including the Meeting Rooms.
  3. Refreshments may be served only inside the Meeting Rooms but not in adjacent areas. A cleaning fee will be charged when refreshments are served. The Renter is responsible for cleanup of napkins, cups and other items used to serve refreshments.
  4. Decorations and/or displays shall be limited to tables or easels. No materials may be posted or attached to the walls.  Materials currently on display in a Meeting Room shall not be moved, covered, or rearranged.

Interpretation and Authority

The Board of Library Trustees establishes policies regarding use of all library buildings and its Meeting Rooms. The Library Director has authority for assigning use of Meeting Rooms as delegated by the Board of Trustees and is authorized to terminate or deny permission to any group whose policies violate these policies and regulations. In any dispute this policy and its rules, the Library Director’s interpretation shall prevail, subject to the final and binding decision of the Board of Library Trustees.

This policy will be reviewed regularly by the Board of Library Trustees.

Approved 6/29/15; revised 5/14/18.