Ritter Public Library is committed to helping build a sense of community by offering free meeting room space to groups, organizations and local businesses when the rooms are not being used for library activities. Provision of space does not constitute an endorsement by the library trustees or staff of any group or its activities.
Programs for the public must be non-profit and consistent with the informational, educational or cultural purposes of the library. Programs must be non-solicitation in nature. Local businesses may reserve rooms. Meetings planned as commercial endeavors or that advertise products or services are not permitted. Rooms are not available to individuals for private parties such as birthdays, showers or receptions.
The adult representative of the group who signs the application agrees to assume responsibility for the group’s adherence to the rules and any damages to the facility or equipment which may occur as a result of the group’s use. Only the Friends, Endowment Fund, or Foundation may sponsor fund-raising activities in the library.
Meetings are free and open to the public. Smoking and alcohol are prohibited.
The library will allow its meeting rooms to be used for classes provided by the Vermilion Local School District, the City of Vermilion (Recreation Department, for example), and accredited area colleges and universities, or other organizations of an educational nature which have entered into a partnership with Ritter Public Library to provide classes benefiting the public. Collection of fees or other costs associated with a specific program are permitted.
The library’s meeting rooms may be used by political groups for regular meetings of an organizational nature. They may be used for public forums, debates, and candidates’ nights but not for self-promotion of any one candidate. A form certifying that all sides will be represented must be completed before an application can be approved.
The name, address or telephone number of the library may not be used as the official address or headquarters of an organization. The use of meeting rooms by a non-library group shall not be publicized in such a way as to imply sponsorship of the group’s activities by the library. Except in cases of emergency, messages cannot be conveyed to meeting room participants or attendees.
Adults must be present at any meeting where children are in attendance and assume responsibility for their actions. Children must not be left unattended in the library while their caregivers attend meetings elsewhere in the library.
The library may wish to co-sponsor with local groups in order to offer a wider variety of programs. These groups may accept small donations to cover costs. All co-sponsored activities need to be approved by library administration.
Reservations for use of rooms are on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified groups. Meeting rooms should be booked by a responsible adult (18 yrs. or older) at least 24 hours in advance. Use of meeting rooms must be approved by the library. The library reserves the right to determine which room will best accommodate each group’s needs and assign rooms accordingly. Groups are not permitted to use a room until the request has been approved. Reservations for a regular meeting by the same group will be allowed up to a year in advance with the Director’s authorization.
Needs of the library may result in cancelling or rescheduling the booking.
The library reports statistics on use of its meeting rooms. Groups must check in and out at the main desk each time they meet. At the conclusion of each meeting, complete requested information and place in holder by door.
Meeting rooms are available during regular library hours. All groups are expected to leave the library 15 minutes before closing.
Equipment & Set-Up
Room set-up is each group’s responsibility. Each room must be left in the condition in which it was found unless other instructions are given.
Library audiovisual equipment is available only upon prior reservation. An individual with experience operating electronic equipment must make arrangements in advance for training. Groups that view DVDs must secure all necessary performance licenses and indemnify the library for any failure to do so. Replacement fees will be assessed for failure to secure equipment, and future meetings may be cancelled until restitution is made.
Food and Beverage
Light refreshments may be served except in the Ritter Room. No food is permitted in the Ritter Room. The kitchenette is available for any group use, so long as it is cleaned afterward. A refrigerator and microwave are also available. Groups must bring their own supplies. Storage of equipment and /or supplies is not permitted in the library. Organizations will be responsible for and billed for any equipment or property loss or damage as well as for any cleaning required.
Groups should notify the library as far in advance as possible, but at least 24 hours in advance of cancellations. Failure to cancel sooner than 24 hours before the scheduled meeting may result in future applications being denied. While every effort is made to honor all reservations, the library retains the right to cancel scheduled meetings if the need should arise. In such an unusual case, as much notice as possible will be given.
The library is not liable for injuries, damage to personal property, or loss of property belonging to individuals or groups using meeting rooms. Whenever personal injury or loss/ damage to property occur in connection with use of meeting rooms, the incident must be reported immediately to staff and an incident report completed. In the event an incident occurs after the library is closed, a form will be provided and contact numbers listed for reporting purposes.
Amended by the Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees
June 11, 2019