Meeting Room Policy link
The Austin Public Library welcomes public use of its meeting facilities in keeping with the Library’s mission “to provide a wide range of information and services to enrich the lives of all members of our community.”
The Meeting Room Policy establishes rules and procedures for the use of the Library’s meeting facilities. The librarian in charge of the building where the meeting room(s) is located is responsible for implementing this policy and for maintaining reservation lists.
Use of Library meeting rooms by any group signifies acceptance of the terms of this policy.
Permission to use Library meeting rooms may be withheld from groups that have failed to comply with the Meeting Room Policy and from any group that damages the room, carpet, equipment, or furniture, or causes a disturbance.
The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request.
Questions not covered in this policy should be addressed to Library Administration, 512-974-7449.
General Guidelines link
Meeting rooms at the APL are designed to meet general, non-commercial, informational, educational, cultural, and civic needs including activities such as discussion groups, panels, lectures, conferences, and seminars.
To be eligible to use a meeting room, any group or organization must be not for profit and should include three or more individuals.
There is no charge for meeting room use.
Use of the Library’s meeting rooms does not constitute Library or City of Austin endorsement of viewpoints expressed by participants in the program. Advertisements or announcements implying such endorsement are not permitted.
All activities held in the Library’s meeting rooms must be open to everyone.
Commercial uses of meeting rooms are prohibited; this includes solicitations, admission or other charges, money-raising activities, and/or sales. Delivery of direct, hands-on healthcare services is also prohibited.
Meeting rooms may not be used for social gatherings such as showers, birthday parties, dances, etc.
Meeting rooms may not be used for political rallies or campaigns for specific partisan political issues or candidates (however, forums and study groups are permitted).
Meeting rooms may not be used to provide any kind of direct healthcare services including examinations, hands-on demonstrations, or treatments (however, the sharing of information about healthcare services is permitted).
Noise levels from meeting rooms must not disturb library patrons or staff.
All meeting rooms must be completely vacated prior to the Library’s closing time. Exact times may vary by location.
City or Library needs may preempt any other scheduled event.
Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
Smoking, alcoholic beverages, open flames, burning incense, and lit candles are not allowed.
Requests for use of a meeting room may be made online, in person, by telephone, or in writing. Requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis.
Reservations will only be held for 10 days until signed reservation form is received. If your planned meeting will take place in less than 10 days and the meeting room is available, a reservation will be tentatively accepted with the signed form due at least 3 days prior to the meeting.
When making a reservation, please provide:
- Name of organization
- Name, address, and telephone number of the responsible person
- Total number of persons expected to attend
Reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance.
To provide an opportunity for all groups to use the meeting rooms, a group may reserve one meeting room up to 3 times in a rolling 90 day period.
Notice of cancellation should be made to the library’s Branch Manager or Assistant Manager as soon as possible. After 30 minutes a group may forfeit its reservation if it fails to appear as scheduled.
If a group fails to show for two meetings in a row and does not call to cancel, all future reservations are forfeited until the group calls to reschedule.
Meetings will not be scheduled before or after Library hours. Group representatives may not enter Library buildings, nor will deliveries be accepted, before the regular opening time.
Groups may not assign or transfer their reservations to other groups.
An individual library customer may, upon request, use a meeting room which is not in use until the next group’s reservation time. Please sign in at the circulation desk for individual use. If other individuals want to use the room at the same time, they may do so; consistent with APL’s policy of having the room open to all.
Care and Use of Facilities link
Please leave meeting rooms as they are found. If the furniture is rearranged, it should be returned to the original arrangement at the end of the meeting.
The Library cannot provide AV or other equipment.
Furniture and/or equipment from the main area of the Library may not be brought into meeting rooms.
Personal furniture or equipment may be provided by a group with prior approval. Arrangements for the use of any personal furniture or equipment should be made at scheduling time. In order to ensure easy removal of equipment after the meeting, the appropriate staff member (either Library Security or the Branch Librarian) should be notified when the equipment is brought into the building.
Equipment, supplies, or personal effects cannot be stored or left in Library meeting rooms before or after use.
Keep all exits unlocked at all times. Open aisles must be maintained within the seating arrangement to provide clear access to exits.
Public entrances are to be used for all access to and from the building, including all deliveries.
Any announcements or notices to publicize an activity should not be posted or distributed on library premises without prior approval from the librarian in charge.
Attendance at meetings will be limited to the capacity of the individual meeting rooms as listed at the end of this policy. Seating and/or supplementary furniture are not allowed in corridors outside the meeting rooms.
Food and drink may be consumed in the meeting rooms as long as the food or drinks are individually packaged such as packaged snacks, individual containers of soda, pieces of fruit, box lunches, etc. Food items that are not individually packaged such as a sandwich tray, cookie tray, pizza, etc. must be served by an individual who has completed an accredited food handler training program. Contact the City of Austin Health Department by calling 3-1-1 for further information. Kitchen facilities or equipment will not be provided by the Library. (Minimal kitchen facilities are available at the Carver Branch and the Austin History Center with permission from the librarian in charge.)
All trash resulting from the serving of refreshments must be removed by the organization.
The individual making the reservation, as well as the group as a whole, will be held responsible for any and all damages that may occur as a result of the use of the facilities.
Austin History Center Guidelines link
Please anticipate and reserve time to set up and break down for your meeting.
Please notify us if you intend to bring in additional furniture or equipment. The Austin History Center has no audio-visual equipment or writing boards. Please note that the Austin History Center meeting room, formally called the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery, is also a gallery space for Austin History Center visitors. When an exhibit is up in the room, visitors may come in to view the exhibit during your meeting. You may not inhibit access to the room.
The Austin History Center is an historical building with historical furnishings which require special care:
- Protective mats or tablecloths must be used on tables when refreshments are being served.
- All trash generated by your group must be removed from the premises at the end of your meeting.
- Do not post notices in the building without advance approval of the Administrator.
- Items may not be taped to the walls, drapes or woodwork.
- All furniture - chairs, tables, etc. - must be kept at least three (3) feet from the fireplace.
- Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
The Austin History Center has minimal kitchen facilities available, including a microwave oven which is suitable for reheating food, but is not suitable for the preparation of food.
Central Library Shared Learning Room Policy link
The Austin Public Library’s Shared Learning Rooms at the Central Library are available for public use. Shared Learning Rooms support the Library’s mission “to provide a wide range of information and services to enrich the lives of all members of our community.”
Shared Learning Rooms are designed to meet general, informational, educational, cultural and civic needs, including activities such as study groups, conferences and workshops.
This policy establishes requirements for the use, care, and reservation of Shared Learning Rooms by members of the public.
This policy does not apply to:
- Meeting Rooms at branch locations, the Austin History Center or Recycled Reads Rental of Special Event spaces; please refer to the Special Event Policy for a full explanation of procedures, including fee schedules.
Shared Learning Room Policy link
This policy applies to the use of a Library Shared Learning Room by members of the public. It does not apply to use of a Library Shared Learning Room by the Library.
The Library Use Rules apply to Shared Learning Rooms. This policy supersedes another Library rule in the event of a conflict. This policy is cumulative of other Library use rules. This policy may be referred to as the Shared Learning Room Policy.
- Use of a Library Shared Learning Room by a group, organization or individual customer signifies the acceptance of the terms of the Shared Learning Room Policy, Library Use Rules and City policies and procedures.
- The Library reserves the right to deny use of Shared learning Rooms to individuals or groups who abuse Library rules or City policies.
- There is no charge for use of a Shared Learning Room.
- A reservation may be made in advance to use a Shared Learning Room; however, a reservation is not required. Any individual or group may use a Shared Learning Room and the equipment included in it, if the room is available and not reserved.
- Use of and scheduling of the use of a Shared Learning Room is subject to the needs of the Library and may not interfere with the Library’s operations or the use of the Library by customers.
- Use of a Shared Learning Room does not constitute Library or City of Austin endorsement of a viewpoint expressed by an individual, group or organization in a Shared Learning Room or activity.
- Individuals may not advertise or announce an event to be held in a Shared Learning Room if the advertisement or announcement states or implies the endorsement of the Library or the City of Austin.
- An announcement or notice to publicize an activity may not be posted or distributed on Library premises without advance approval from the Library.
Who May Use a Shared Learning Room? link
1. A Library Shared Learning Room may be reserved by any individual, group or organization.
2. An individual may use a Shared Learning Room that is not in use until the next reservation time.
3. An individual or group using a Shared Learning Room may not solicit money or anything of value, charge admission, sell, or advertise for sale, goods or services.
4. A Shared Learning Room may not be used for a social gathering, such as a wedding shower, baby shower, birthday party, dance or similar activity.
5. A Shared Learning Room may not be used for a political rally or campaign for or against a specific ballot issue or candidate. However, a Shared Learning Room may be used for a forum or study group on a political issue.
6. A Shared Learning Room may not be used to provide a direct healthcare service, including an examination, hands-on demonstration or treatment. However, a Shared Learning Room may be used for a forum or the sharing of information about healthcare services.
Reserving a Shared Learning Room link
1. To provide an opportunity for other individuals or groups to use the Shared Learning Rooms, a group may reserve a Shared Learning Room for a maximum of a two-hour block of time during the hours the Library is open to the public.
2. A Library Card or identification card is not required to reserve a Shared Learning Room.
3. A valid email address and an individual’s full legal name are required to make a reservation.
4. Reservations may be made up to two weeks in advance.
5. Reservations and cancellations must be made online.
6. Individuals, groups or organizations may reserve only one Shared Learning Room for use at the same time.
7. An individual, group or organization may make no more than two reservations within a two-week period.
8. Reservations may not be assigned or transferred to another individual, group or organization.
9. The reservation is forfeited if the individual, group or organization does not appear within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.
Checking Out Video Conferencing Remotes link
1. An individual may check out a remote device to access the video conferencing unit in the Shared Learning Room during the reserved time.
2. An individual must show a current and valid photo ID and contact information to check out a video conferencing remote. The individual checking out the remote is fully responsible for the remote.
3. The individual must report any malfunction, loss or damage of the remote immediately to Library staff.
4. A police report will be filed for remotes not reported or returned to Library staff.
Care and Use of a Shared Learning Room link
1. Doors to the Shared Learning Room must remain unlocked and unobstructed at all times during the hours the Library is open to the public. Aisles and passageways into and within the Shared Learning Room must not be blocked or obstructed.
2. Occupancy in a Shared Learning Room is limited to the capacity of the individual Shared Learning Room.
3. Individuals may not cause a disturbance to Library customers or Library staff.
4. Individuals must completely vacate the Shared Learning Room when the Library’s closing time is announced, at the request of Library staff or Library Security, or for another customer who has reserved the room.
5. Individuals who find items in the Shared Learning Room that do not belong to them should contact Library staff or Library Security to retrieve the item from the room.
6. The Library does not assist with or arrange structures, furniture, supplies or equipment in the Shared Learning Rooms.
(a) Individuals must not bring structures or furniture from other areas of the Library into a Shared Learning Room.
(b) Individuals may bring personal items into a Shared Learning Room and must remove all personal items upon leaving the Shared Learning Room. Personal items must not obstruct aisles and passageways in or outside of the Shared Learning Room. Personal items must not block customers from accessing any Library services or resources.
(c) Individuals may not store any personal items, including equipment, materials or supplies, in a Shared Learning Room.
(d) The Library is not responsible for any lost, stolen or misplaced personal item, whether the item was attended or unattended by the owner. An individual who brings a personal item in the Library assumes the risk of loss, damage or theft of the personal item.
7. Individuals may not affix, tape or fix with an adhesive items to any part of a Shared Learning Room, including a wall, door, window treatment or woodwork. Individuals may not alter, damage, deface or mark on Library property. Trash must be properly disposed of in designated waste or recycle bins.
8. The Library does not provide audio, video or other equipment other than that which is already installed in the Shared Learning Room. Written instructions for use of the equipment within the Shared Learning Room are posted in the room.
9. Internet Use in a Shared Learning Room.
(a) Consistent with Library Use Rules, individuals may not violate any state or federal laws, including, but not limited to, Public Performance Rights (publicly showing a film or video), child pornography or the display of harmful materials to minors. Learning Room may not access sexually explicit sites using any Library resource or electronic device.
(b) Individuals create, store and use personal files at their own risk. The Library is not responsible for the loss of a user’s personal electronic documents, storage devices or files.
(c) Individuals are financially responsible for any damage caused to Library computer devices and peripherals whether physically, by the use of damaged or virus-infected software, or by any other means. Individuals must promptly pay the City for the cost of repair or replacement of equipment resulting from the damage.
(d) Individuals may report technical damages and conditions to the Shared Learning Room Coordinator by email or in person.
10. Food and Beverages in a Shared Learning Room.
(a) Consistent with Library Use Rules, individuals may not consume any food or beverage in a Shared Learning Room.
(b) Food and beverages that have been purchased in the Library must be consumed in designated areas.
(c) If, due to a disability, an individual must consume a special food, the Library will provide a reasonable accommodation for the individual to consume that food in a designated area.
(d) The restrictions above regarding consuming food and beverages in a Shared Learning Room do not apply to:
i. Water consumed from a clear, capped bottle;
ii. Food brought by an adult supervising a child younger than seven (7) years of age, and consumed by the child in a designated area;
iii. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding an infant.
11. The individual making the reservation, as well as the group as a whole, is responsible for damages that result from the use of the Shared Learning Room.