Public Meeting Room Policies and Procedures
These regulations establish policy and procedures for the use of the Bethlehem Area Public Library
public meeting rooms. The Library grants permission to use its meeting rooms to members of the public
who fulfill the requirements specified in these regulations, in accordance with the Library’s mission and
to maintain good order of the Library.
1. Library public meeting rooms are maintained primarily for use by the Library to accomplish its mission. If a meeting room is not scheduled for a Library related function, members of the public may apply to use the rooms. Each event request is considered on an individual basis according to the overall number of pending requests, staffing implications and Library priorities.
2. The Library provides meeting rooms for members of the public on an equitable basis regardless of beliefs or affiliations or groups requesting the rooms.
3. All groups must complete an Application for Public Use of the Bethlehem Area Public Library meeting rooms. Forms are available on the Library website whose address is www.bapl.org.
4. Completed applications must be submitted online to the Library Administration Office. Applications are kept on file and must be updated annually. The Library Director or Assistant Director in the Director’s absence will review and approve or deny all applications based on the Public Meeting Room Policies.
5. The Library may deny the use of a meeting room to an applicant or terminate use of a meeting room, if in the Library’s opinion:
a. The purpose of the meeting or activity is illegal or potentially hazardous;
b. The meeting presents health or security risks;
c. The conduct of the meeting interferes with the functioning of the Library;
d. The applicant has not provided satisfactory adult sponsorship and supervision for the
e. The applicant has failed to comply with these or other Library regulations.
6. Any applicant denied use of a public meeting room may appeal the denial in writing to the Library Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will review the application and respond in writing to the applicant.
7. Reservations are on a first‐come, first‐serve basis and are not guaranteed until payment for room rental is received (see fee section below).
8. Meeting room reservations must be made at least one week in advance. The Library will use its
best efforts to accommodate requests made with less than one week in advance.
9. Failure to notify the Library of a cancellation may result in the loss of the privilege to use
10. It is the responsibility of the applicant, the individual who submits the written request for a
meeting room reservation, to serve as the authorized representative of the group and to ensure
the safety and security of the attendees and the Library facility, as well as ensuring that the
attendees observe the regulations.
11. The Library requires adult sponsorship for any meeting room use involving persons under the
age of 17. The applicant and adult sponsor must expressly agree on the application form that
the adult sponsor will attend and supervise the meeting, and that the adult sponsor will accept
responsibility for, and will reimburse the Library for any damage caused by the groups or by
members of the group to the meeting room or to the Library. No attendee will be admitted to
the meeting room until the adult sponsor has arrived. The adult sponsor must be present at all
12. All groups shall leave the meeting room in the same condition as it was at the beginning of the
meeting. If damage to the room, its furnishing, or equipment occurs during the meeting, the
Library may require the applicant to pay for damages. If the applicant is required to pay for
damages, the Library Director or Assistant Director will assess the reasonable cost of repairing
the damages caused during the meeting and will notify the applicant of the damage assessment.
The applicant shall reimburse the Library for the damages by paying the assessed amount to the
Library Administration office within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of the damage
assessment. The Library shall deny use of meeting rooms until the applicant pays the assessed
13. Permission to use the Library in no way constitutes an endorsement by the Library or its Board
of Trustees of the policies or beliefs of the organization or individual using the facilities. No
advertisement or announcement implying such endorsement is permitted. All applicants must
use the correct name of the Library (Bethlehem Area Public Library) in all publicity and please
make it clear the Library is NOT the sponsor of the meeting.
14. The name or address of the Library may not be used as the official address or headquarters of
any individual, group, or organization.
1. The fee schedule is approved by the Library Board of Trustees. There are three categories in the
fee schedule: nonprofit with proof of 501C3 and Pennsylvania sales tax exemption, nonprofit,
and other groups.
2. Payment must accompany reservation. The meeting room will not be reserved until the fee is
paid. Refunds will only be given where five business days prior notice of a meeting room
cancellation is provided to the Library Administration Office or where the meeting rooms
3. No fees will be charged for Library‐sponsored programs.
4. Fee schedule:
a. Nonprofit organization with proof of 501C3 and exemption of sales tax information not charging attendees a fee‐ $30.00 up to 4 hours; $ 7.50 each additional hour.
b. Nonprofit organization without proof of 501C3 and exemption of sales tax information not charging attendees a fee‐ $ 30.00 plus $ 1.80 sales tax or $31.80 total for up to 4 hours; each additional hour $7.95 including tax.
c. All other groups, including for profit business groups, nonprofit organizations that will be charging attendees a fee, and private parties‐ $ 100 for up to 4 hours, tax included. Each additional hour is $25, tax included.
1. Smoking is not permitted in any public meeting room. The Library is a smoke‐free property.
2. Screens and ceiling projectors are available in the Laros meeting rooms. The Library is not responsible for the operation or set‐up of the projectors. Contact Administrative Office during office hours for more information regarding use.
3. Use of public meeting rooms when the Library is normally closed is prohibited. Unless previously scheduled otherwise, meetings must end 15 minutes before the Library’s closing time to allow for cleanup, and ability to close the Library on time.
4. Approval to serve light refreshments in the public meeting rooms is granted. The applicant is responsible for clean-up.
5. All persons requesting the use of Library facilities and meeting rooms understand and acknowledge that they are guests of the Library and able to use Library facilities at the discretion of the Library.
6. All applicants requesting to use Library facilities and meeting rooms agree to abide by Library policies and all applicable local, state, and federal laws.
7. The Library is not responsible for theft of or damage to property brought into the Library or a public meeting room.
8. Prior written approval of the Library must be obtained before bringing any additional equipment or furniture into the Library or any public meeting room, laptops excepted.
9. Authorized Library staff may enter and remain in a meeting room at any time during a scheduled meeting or event. The Library reserves the right to attend any meeting held in its facilities (except executive session of governmental bodies) to ensure that no unlawful activities occur on Library premises.
Amended by the Bethlehem Area Public Library Board of Trustees
April 2, 2012
Effective May 1, 2012