404. Meeting Room Policy

Originally adopted March 2002. Current version adopted July 2021. Next review, July 2023.

Purpose:  Meeting rooms are primarily for use by the Library to further its Vision, Mission and Values through targeted programming. After the Library has blocked off dates/times for its own use, the Library offers use of its meeting and study rooms in the Marshall Library as a service for individuals, groups and organizations in accordance with this policy. There are no meeting or study rooms in the Balaton or Cottonwood Libraries. The Library Director, or designee, is responsible for all enforcement and decisions regarding this policy.

For additional information, requirements and descriptions of rooms please see MLCL Meeting and Study Room Guidelines.

Section 1. Rooms Available

The following rooms may be reserved:

  • Community Room: Maximum room capacity is 108 people.
  • Minnesota Room: Maximum room capacity is 22 people. (See NOTE below)
  • Teen Study Room: Maximum room capacity is 10.
  • Study Rooms: Four rooms with a maximum capacity in each room of 2-3 people.

Section 2. General Policy

The Library determines the use of all reserved rooms in the following manner (study rooms cannot be reserved except for Library purposes):

  • Free use: The Library and its associated support group (Friends of the Library); the Library’s partners and co-sponsored events; small study and book groups, as determined by the Library.
  • Hourly Fee: All other groups, organizations or businesses.
  • Priority list for using a room:
    1. Library events, including those offered by the Friends
    2. Partners, including funders, government and co-sponsors
    3. Study and Book groups
    4. All other groups and organizations renting a room

The following events are examples of what may not be held in the Library, regardless of paying for a room, including but not limited to:

  • Single political party events and rallies
  • Religious services, rites and ceremonies
  • Gambling, such as games of chance, bingo or wagering (unless part of a Library fundraiser)
  • Any private social event such as a reception, retirement, shower or birthday party.
  • Any program or event that charges a fee to attend, requests donations and/or sells services or products
  • Any program or event that encourages or promotes harassment, violence, physical injuries to people or property or that conflict with the Library’s Mission, Vision and Values

NOTE: The Library accepts very few Application requests for the Minnesota Room, as it is used for research, group study and holds a collection of special materials relating to the region and the state. Any meetings held in this room must allow staff or customers to come in to retrieve materials while a group is using it.

Section 3. Conditions For Use

  • Rooms are generally only available during hours of operations, although some exceptions may be made. However, no meeting or event may start prior to 8:00 am or end after 8:00 pm Monday-Thursday and 8:00 am or 6:00 pm on Friday (including time to set-up and tear down). All meetings or events on Saturday must be within the hours of operation. No events will be held on Sundays. NOTE: These hours of operations may be temporarily changed due to public health or other reasons; always check the Library’s website for the most up-to-date hours.
  • No event or meeting may charge a fee for admittance, be a fundraiser, sell a service or product and/or ask for a donation. A group or organization may ask for a small, reasonable amount to recoup the cost of supplies, materials or food, with the permission of the Library Director. The Library reserves the right to make exceptions to this for itself and its supporting group or partners.
  • Use of any of the Library’s rooms does not constitute the Library’s endorsement of viewpoints expressed by program presenters or participants. No advertising or announcements implying such an endorsement are allowed. Thus, all advertisements must include this phrase: “Use of the Library’s meeting rooms does not constitute Library endorsement of viewpoints expressed by users or participants.” Further, all advertising must be reviewed before being posted. A date is not confirmed until advertising is reviewed by the Library Director and/or the Public Services Manager.
  • All who use any Library room are required to abide by the Library’s Customer Code of Conduct Policy, including no smoking or alcohol on Library property.
  • No event or meeting may disturb Library customers, impede Library staff from doing their work, endanger the building or interfere with the functions of the Library.
  • Attendees to non-Library events must not take the majority or all of the parking available to the Library’s customers. Parking is allowed on C Street and Progress Drive.
  • The Library reserves the right to cancel use of a room at any time at the discretion of the Director.
  • The Library reserves the right to revoke room privileges to any individual, group, organization or business who does not abide by these Conditions or the Guidelines.

Section 4. Fee Schedule

Community Room

  • Free: available
  • Hourly Rate: $35/hour

Minnesota Room

  • Free: available
  • Hourly Rate: $35/hour. 3 hour limit.

Teen Room

  • Free: available
  • Hourly Rate: $25/hour

Study Rooms

  • Free: available
  • Hourly Rate: not applicable

Technology Fee: There is a $20 flat fee to use Library equipment and computers, along with staff help to set up and troubleshoot any issues.

If a room has a ceiling-mounted projector, the Library will provide a cable to attach to a Windows-based computer and groups may use the projector free of charge. However, Library staff is unable to help with non-Library equipment and computers, including troubleshooting the Library’s projector attached to a non-Library computer.

Kitchenette Fee: (available only if the Community Room is reserved): There is a $25 flat fee to use the Library Kitchenette. This fee is required if any meal (hot or cold) or any food that usually requires an eating utensil is served.

Damage Deposit: At the discretion of the Library Director or designee, a $50 deposit may be required in some of the rooms if food/beverages are served or crafting using any liquids (dye, paint, glues, etc.) is taking place. Part or all of the deposit may be returned after Library staff review the condition of the room after use.

Cleaning Fee: Any clean-up following use of a room that requires staff to get the room clean and ready for the next group or puts a room out of commission until damage is repaired will be billed for staff and/or workmen time at their rate of pay, as well as materials and supplies.

Section 5. Food and Drink

The guidelines for food and drink in the Library are light snacks and beverages with secure lids may be consumed in most places in the Library. The only place where food is not allowed in the main and children’s areas are around the computers, where only beverages with secure lids are allowed. No hot snacks or meals are allowed. Light snacks are defined as food eaten by hand that require no utensils and do not impede other people’s enjoyment of the Library (no strong odors or excessively loud). Library staff who enforce this policy has the discretion to decide if a food item is considered a snack and may be eaten in the Library.

Section 6. Inappropriate Use and Breaking Policy or Guidelines

The Library has the discretion to temporarily or permanently ban any individual, group, organization or business that does not use a room, its furnishings or equipment in the way they are intended or in a way that causes damage.

Likewise, if an individual, group, organization or business does not follow the terms of this Policy and its Guidelines, or any other policies or guidelines regarding using Library spaces, the Library has the discretion to temporarily or permanently ban use of Library rooms.

The Library Director makes all decisions whether to ban a group and for how long.