Meeting Room Public Policies


The public meeting rooms are provided for the benefit of all and may be used by organizations and individuals, as the space is available. The use of the meeting rooms must meet the goals and objectives of the Board of Trustees in providing for the informational, educational and cultural needs of the community. Meetings at the library buildings may be for literary, educational, philanthropic or civic purposes only. Meetings held in the rooms are to be open to all (irrespective of race, color or creed). Permission granted to use library-meeting rooms in no way constitutes endorsement of the policies or beliefs of any group or organization. No outside groups or organizations using the meeting rooms shall charge an admission fee or sell materials, goods, or services for private profit or gain. The meeting rooms are also not available for purely social functions (functions designed for entertainment with friends or associates).

Organized community groups, agencies of city, state and federal government, and individual citizens may reserve the meeting rooms according to the following priorities:

  1. Meetings which are held or sponsored by the library.
  2. Meetings held by a city, state or federal agency or official.
  3. Meetings held by organized New Bedford community groups – educational, civic, charitable, and cultural programs sponsored by local non-profit organizations.
  4. Meetings held by Greater New Bedford organizations.
  5. Meetings held by individuals.

Permission to use a library meeting room applications should be submitted to the Reference Department ( Every effort will be made to honor all approved requests. However, the Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to reschedule based on the priority for use as stated in the policy. The library reserves the right to review each prospective use and determine whether or not that use falls within the meeting room guidelines. The library reserves the right to deny applications for use based on the availability of space and/or frequency of use. The library reserves the right to set aside meeting rooms during specific blocks of time for use by the library staff. The library is not responsible for costs incurred if a meeting is canceled due to circumstances beyond the library’s control.

Rules governing use of library meeting rooms:

  • Meeting rooms are used only during library hours.
  • Groups must vacate the meeting room at least ten minutes before the building is closed.
  • Light refreshments only allowed in the main library meeting room.
  • To protect interior finishes, materials may not be attached to windows or walls.
  • Library meeting rooms must be restored to their original clean condition.
  • Unlawful activity shall not be permitted in meeting rooms and such activity shall be a basis to deny future use of the library meeting rooms by groups or individuals violating this policy.
  • Meetings may be terminated if they are disruptive to library services.
  • Activities for minors, age 17 and under, must be supervised by responsible adults.
  • Permission to use meeting rooms is not transferable by any individual or group where application is approved.
  • Meeting room users agree to pay for any and all damages to library property while applicant is using property (exemption federal government).
  • Users are requested to bring their own easels, equipment, and materials. (The library will not supply such.)