Meeting Room Use

Des Moines Public Library Policy Regarding Use of Library Meeting Rooms and Reading Rooms Approved by the Library Board of Trustees  

January 17, 2006 
Revised November 18, 2008 
Revised November 17, 2009
Revised March 21, 2017

  1. Any person, group or organization may make application for permission to use a library meeting room, under the conditions herein provided. Library programs and library related meetings and events take first priority over non-library bookings in the scheduling of meeting rooms.
  2. All meeting rooms are available for meetings or programs which are educational in nature or in the public interest, and which are appropriate to the facilities. In addition, the three meeting rooms in the Central Library meeting room wing are also available for private educational, cultural, intellectual, civic, charitable, professional, social and business events such as dinners, receptions, parties, or business meetings, but not including events with a commercial purpose to which the public is invited. Such rentals are available to persons at least 18 years of age, or at least 21 years of age for events at which alcohol will be served. Contests are not permitted. Events at which alcoholic beverages will be served or which are likely to involve noise, music or other activities which interfere with the library’s operation will be permitted only during hours that the library is not open to the public. Events at which alcohol will be served must also include food service. If the library director determines that security is needed, the cost of the security will be the responsibility of the meeting room user.
  3. All non-profit meetings shall be open to the public and shall not be limited to the membership of the group or organization sponsoring the meeting.
  4. The library director may authorize the use of library meeting rooms for library fundraising activities or for the sale of books, goods, merchandise or services only when the library will share in the profit of such sales. Otherwise, meeting rooms are not to be used for the direct sale of merchandise, goods or services for profit, or for the promotion of any commercial or profit-making venture or business. Meeting rooms are not to be used for fundraising for the benefit of private individuals or for private support of organizations, other than the Des Moines Public Library.
  5. The library will consider requests from any person, group or organization to sponsor meetings or other activities in the public interest, as determined by the library director.
  6. Fees and hours for any use of library meeting rooms shall be established by the library director, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. Admission fees may not be charged for use of the meeting rooms.
  7. Meeting rooms are available for single meetings or programs, but are not intended for use as a regular meeting place of a group or organization or for multiple day exhibitions or displays.
  8. Prior arrangements, including payment of a maintenance fee, are required if food or beverages are served. Light refreshments and simple coffee/tea or water service may be provided by the meeting room user.
  9. Materials may not be affixed to any surface, that is, walls, windows, floors, furniture or fixtures, at the library without approval by the library staff.
  10. Permission given to a person, group or organization for use of a library meeting room, other public areas of the library including reading rooms, or on library grounds, does not imply that the Des Moines Public Library supports the views espoused by that person, group or organization or constitute an endorsement of that person, group or organization.
  11. Permission may be granted to gather petition signatures outdoors on library grounds provided the petitioners stay at least fifteen feet from the library entrance and do not block persons from entering the library.
  12. On a very limited basis groups may, with the permission of the library director, disseminate information in the gateway area of the Central Library or other library public areas. Permission will only be granted where the activity does not interfere with the free use of the gateway area or other library area or with the safety of library patrons and the general public and only for non-profit groups seeking to disseminate materials that provide a message which is non-commercial, non-political, and not religious, delivering a message or serving a purpose that is generally accepted as civic-minded.
  13. Any advertisement of a meeting being held in a library meeting room must clearly identify the person, group or organization sponsoring the meeting, and must include a disclaimer to the effect that use of a library meeting room does not imply that the Des Moines Public Library supports the views espoused by the person, group or organization sponsoring the meeting, nor does it constitute an endorsement of that person, group or organization by the Des Moines Public Library. Printed materials shall not list the library as a sponsor of an event or meeting unless previously authorized by the library director or designee.
  14. Reservations for use of the meeting rooms may be made in person or over the telephone with the library staff member in charge of the meeting room schedule. A completed and signed Application for Use of Library Meeting Room must be on file at the library prior to the meeting. Meeting room bookings may not be made more than eight weeks in advance of the date of the meeting. Bookings for the three meeting rooms in the Central Library meeting room wing may not be made more than twenty four months in advance of the event. A late reservation may be accommodated when possible, but a completed and signed application form must be on file before the meeting can take place.
  15. Meeting rooms are in heavy demand. The signed application constitutes an agreement that a meeting will take place. If a meeting must be canceled, the library expects to be notified within a reasonable time so that another meeting may be scheduled. Cancellation of a booking for a meeting room in the Central Library meeting room wing may result in forfeiture of payment.
  16. Children’s groups may use the rooms provided one or more adult sponsors supervise the group and its activities.
  17. Kitchen facilities are available at some locations for preparing light refreshments in connection with meetings at the branches only. Each group is responsible for leaving the rooms in orderly condition, and for the replacement of any lost or damaged equipment.
  18. The library will not be responsible for or store any material for groups using the meeting rooms. While bringing in easels is welcomed, materials are not to be attached to walls, windows, doors, or furnishing except at the direction of authorized library staff.
  19. No red, blue or orange colored beverages may be served in carpeted meeting rooms. Smoking is not allowed.
  20. Normal operation of the library is not to be disrupted by users of the meeting rooms.
  21. Events held after the hours that the library is open to the public are only permitted at the Central Library and are required to use the services of the library’s designated caterer and to provide at least one off duty City of Des Moines police officer to handle security.
  22. Failure to comply with any of the stipulations can result in immediate or future denial or permission to use library meeting rooms.