46 Mount Pleasant Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052  |  973-736-0198

Meeting Room Access Policy

Meeting Room Access Policy

 1.1 In the interest of advancing its mission of making available to the West Orange community the broadest range of material concerning matters of educational, recreational, and cultural interest, the West Orange Public Library (the "Library"), subject to the conditions set forth below, offers free, open, and equal access to its meeting room.

1.2 In scheduling use of the meeting room, the Library gives first priority to the Library programs followed by other West Orange municipal programs. When the meeting room is not needed for Library or West Orange municipal programs, the Library gives priority to programs sponsored by West Orange organizations. The Library will attempt to accommodate organizations from outside the West Orange community, however, when no schedule conflicts exist.

1.3 The meeting room is not available for the following activities:

(a) social gatherings including, but not limited to, birthday parties, weddings, and receptions;

(b) commercial activities and presentations during which products or services will be sold or promoted or names solicited for the future sale or promotion of products or services;

(c) activities that, on account of their noise level,disrupt the ordinary and customary operation of the Library, including, but not limited to, athletic competitions or instruction, and programs involving dancing and live music;

(d) recruitment by any arm of the military services, by any educational institution, or by any entity seeking to retain employees; or

(e) wagering, gambling, or other games of chance.

1.4 The meeting room is available only during regular Library hours. To ensure that the meeting room is available on as widespread and equitable a basis as possible, no organization may use the meeting room more than twice during any single calendar year. Meetings may not start until fifteen minutes after the Library opens and must conclude at least fifteen minutes before the Library closes. The Library does not set up or clean up the meeting room. Organizations using the meeting room must set up and clean up the room within the time period reserved.

1.5 Some patrons may consider programs held by outside organizations offensive to themselves or inappropriate for their children. The Library does not endorse the views expressed by any organization using the meeting room, but does endorse the right of all users of the meeting room to express their views so long as they comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and abide by and carry out the rules, restrictions, and obligations of this policy.

1.6 All programs in the meeting room are open to the public. Parents and guardians are responsible for determining whether their children attend particular programs. The Library does not act in loco parentis; it does not monitor the activities and decisions of minors.

Application Procedure

2.1 Any organization wishing to reserve the meeting room must file a completed application and completed use agreement with the Administration Office at least two weeks prior to but not more than three months in advance of the intended date of use. The application and use agreement forms are available at the Administration Office. The organization must also furnish a refundable security deposit of $100 at the time of filing the application and use agreement. Any check provided by the organization must be signed by an individual authorized to sign checks on behalf of the organization.

2.2 The individual signing the application and the use agreement must be over 18 and must be an authorized representative of the organization that wishes to reserve the meeting room.

2.3 The Library Director will grant applications to use the meeting room on a first-come, first-served basis and in accordance with the priorities established in paragraph 1.2 above. The Director will deny applications to use the meeting room when the applicant's proposed program involves an activity that is not permitted in the meeting room under paragraph 1.3 or when the applicant's proposed program otherwise conflicts with the rules and restrictions set forth in this policy. The Director will also deny applications to use the meeting room during the period when the applicant's privilege to use the room has been suspended under paragraph 3.15.

2.4 The Director, or in the Director's absence, the Person-in-Charge, will act upon completed applications within five business days of their filing. The Library will immediately notify the applicant of the Director's determination.

2.5 The Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use the meeting room for good cause shown, including, but not limited to, failure to comply with any applicable federal, state, and local law or regulation, failure to abide by and carry out the rules, restrictions, and obligations of this policy, or disruption to the ordinary and customary operation of the Library.

Rules of Conduct

3.1 All meetings must be open to the public. A meeting at which organization business is conducted is not considered to be open to the public.

3.2 Organizations using the meeting room may not charge or solicit an admission fee nor may organizations solicit membership fees or donations. Organizations may, however, request participants to reimburse the organization for the cost of supplies that are disseminated to participants and that are reasonably necessary for use in connection with the program being sponsored.

3.3 The maximum capacity of the meeting room, when tables and chairs have been set up, is forty-nine persons. At all other times, the maximum capacity is one hundred persons. These limits have been set for safety purposes, and the sponsoring organization must honor them at all times.

3.4 At least one individual over eighteen for each ten minors participating in the program must be in attendance at the meeting at all times.

3.5 An organization using the meeting room may serve light refreshments and nonalcoholic beverages.

3.6 No smoking or use of open flames or candles is permitted in the meeting room.

3.7 The program being held cannot differ from the program described on the sponsoring organization's application without prior approval by the Director.

3.8 The Library will not advertise any program sponsored by an outside organization. All publicity must clearly identify the name of the sponsoring organization and provide the name and telephone number of an individual whom interested parties can contact with questions about the program or about Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. Publicity must also contain in clear and conspicuous language the following notation: "This program is not sponsored nor endorsed by the West Orange Public Library." The sponsoring organization may not post signs or other materials in the Library without prior approval by the Director.

3.9 Organizations using the meeting room are responsible for leaving it clean and returning it to the condition in which it was found. Chairs and tables must be returned to their original arrangement. Garbage must be bagged and sealed and food and beverages removed. The sponsoring organization assumes sole responsibility for any injury incurred in setting up or in replacing tables and chairs.

3.10 The Library collects a security deposit of $100 to secure itself against damage done to the meeting room or its furnishings during the course of the meeting, against theft of Library property during the course of the meeting, and against the failure of the organization to properly clean the room at the conclusion of the meeting. The refundable security deposit of $100 may be held in whole or in part by the Library to reimburse the Library for its cost of cleaning, repairing, or replacing Library property damaged, stolen, or not properly reassembled and cleaned as described above; the Library will refund to the sponsoring organization the amount of the deposit not required for this purpose within one month after the meeting date. To the extent the cost incurred by the Library for cleaning, repairing or replacing Library property exceeds the amount of the sponsoring organization's security deposit, the sponsoring organization is responsible for reimbursing the Library for the difference between the actual cost to the Library for cleaning, repairing, or replacing Library property and the security deposit. In the event the Library is unable to collect this amount from the sponsoring organization, then the individual signing the application and the use agreement on behalf of the sponsoring organization is responsible for its payment.

3.11 A representative of the sponsoring organization must report to the Person-in-Charge of the Library at the time of arrival and must notify the Person-in-Charge when the meeting has concluded and the meeting room has been cleaned and returned to the condition in which it was found.

3.12 A sponsoring organization that wishes to show a film, video, or audio presentation must provide its own equipment or operator. The volume level of the presentation must be approved by the Person-in-Charge prior to the commencement of the film, video, or audio presentation.

3.13 The Library and its staff do not undertake responsibility for providing security in the meeting room during the meeting. The sponsoring organization assumes sole responsibility for summoning police or other emergency personnel when circumstances require.

3.14 The policies and rules set forth above are inapplicable to Library or other government-sponsored programs and meetings or to programs sponsored by the West Orange Public Library Foundation Fund.

3.15 The failure of the sponsoring organization or of any of its members, or of any person under the control of the sponsoring organization or of any of its members to comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws, or with the rules and restrictions of this policy, or to fulfill any of the obligations set forth in this policy may result in the cancellation of the organization's reservation to use the meeting room or in the suspension of the organization's privilege to use the meeting room for a period of up to two years.

3.16 The sponsoring organization and such of its members as may be held accountable under law assume sole responsibility for injury to the person or property of any participant in the meeting caused by any of the sponsoring organization's members or by any other person under the control of the sponsoring organization or of any of its members.

3.17 By virtue of its use of the meeting room, the sponsoring organization is considered to be a public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA"). The sponsoring organization assumes sole responsibility for providing auxiliary aids and services to the participants in its meeting and for assuring that displays are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Auxiliary aids and services include, but are not limited to, qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments and qualified readers, taped texts, or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments.

Approved by the West Orange Public Library Board of Trustees, September 20, 2001 . Revised June 24, 2004 .

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