Meeting Room Policy

Meeting Room Policy

The Natchitoches Parish Library makes available its meeting rooms for use by individuals and groups for cultural, informational, educational, intellectual and civic purposes. Room availability is contingent on there being no conflict with library programs or meetings, which have first priority, at all times. The Natchitoches Parish Library reserves the right to determine use of the room and to cancel or reschedule all arrangements, at its discretion, with or without cause or reason, and without liability.

Failure to abide by this policy and the related regulations will result in cancellation or refusal of reservations.

An individual or organization requesting use of the meeting room must complete the Natchitoches Parish Library Meeting Room Application (see appendix) and agree in writing to observe this policy and regulations. The Library Board of Control/Director of the Natchitoches Parish Library is the final authority in approving meeting room requests in accordance with this policy. The meeting room is not considered booked until the application is reviewed and approved.

Click here to download a PDF of our meeting room application.


Who Can Use the Meeting Room?

Library programs receive first consideration in scheduling the use of the meeting room. Upon adequate notice (three days) and for appropriate reasons, the library reserves the right to deny or revoke permission to use the meeting rooms. Individuals or groups canceling their room reservation are asked to give three days advanced notice. The Library maintains a calendar listing of confirmed meeting dates.

The meeting room is available for public gatherings civic, cultural, informational, or educational character when rooms are not being used for their primary purpose: library related activities. Such use of the meeting room shall take place in a responsible manner, without undue cost to the Natchitoches Parish Library, and without undue interference with Library activity.

All meetings and programs must be free of charge and open to the public and follow the open meeting guidelines. Individuals and groups may use the meeting room for non-commercial purposes: staff training, informational presentations on issues of public interest, etc., but not for sales presentations, billable services, etc. No admission charge, collections (except for regular club dues), or other money-exchanging activities may be attached to any meeting room use. Private parties or functions, such as wedding or baby showers or family reunions, are not permitted.

Political debates and forums, involving all sides of issues and most or all candidates for an office, are  permitted.


In adherence of the Louisiana Constitution, Article XII, §4, and Louisiana RS 18:1465, individuals or  groups desiring to use the meeting room for political purposes or political  activities are required to pay  in advance of the use, a rental fee of $25.00 per use. Political activity or political purpose is defined as a  meeting in which the purpose is the promotion of, or opposition to, a candidate for political office or the  advancement of, or opposition to, a proposition which will or may be submitted for public debate or  voter consideration. If the user of the meeting room fails to disclose that the purpose of the   meeting is political, or fails or refuses to pay the user fee, the Library Director or Board of Control may  refuse to allow the user or applicant from utilizing the meeting room thereafter.  

The Library reserves the right to review any or all applications and may demand sufficient time to make  proper investigation before granting approval.
 

The Library reserves the right to deny applications for any use that is potentially disruptive, or that may  pose a threat to the health and community welfare. This is based on the availability of space, the number  of users as specified in the application, the potential for disruption of library operations, potential health  hazards, security threats, or frequency of use.

Guidelines for Meeting Room Use:

Meetings may not interfere with Library operations.
 
Individuals or groups requesting the use of a meeting room must designate an authorized contact, over  the age of 18, who will insure that all policies are followed.

Only light refreshments (such as, such as cookies, sandwiches, sack lunches, salad plates, coffee, tea,  and soft drinks) may be served. Because of problems with permanent carpet stains, groups are not  allowed to serve red drinks. Arrangements must be made for leaving the rooms clean and in order. No  alcoholic beverages are allowed. Smoking is prohibited in the Library.

The Library cannot be responsible for setting up or taking down chairs or tables. Individuals or groups using the meeting room may rearrange furniture, but must return the room to its original condition prior to the end of the scheduled room use.
 
Waste should be placed in the proper receptacles and utensils cleaned and put away. The Library  reserves the right to charge a fee if facilities must be cleaned.
  
The Library cannot supply storage space.
 
Preschool children cannot be left unattended outside meeting rooms. 
 
Restrooms are available at all times.

Times of Use and Liabilities:

Meetings may be held Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (when the library is normally open). Use of meeting rooms is free of charge.
 
Individuals or groups using the meeting room need to end the meeting, clean up, move tables and chairs (as needed), and exit the meeting room 15 minutes before the Library's closing time.
No exceptions will be made.
 
Library staff have the authority to terminate any meeting which is disruptive of the quiet and orderly functions of the library. Failure to observe meeting room policies may result in denial of meeting room privileges. If any group or individual violates any of these policies, the Library Director or Board of Control retains the right to cancel subsequent use of meeting rooms by the individual or group.

Payment of fees for education courses conducted by established educational institutions are subject to Natchitoches Parish Library Board of Control approval. Consideration cannot be assured unless application is received in time for presentation at a Natchitoches Parish Library Board of Control regular called meeting.
 
Payment shall be made for any damage to or loss of Library property.
 
The Library is not liable for injuries to people or damage to property or organizations using the meeting  rooms. 

Individuals or groups requesting use of the meeting room shall be responsible for the costs of any and all  security measures required to ensure the protection of program attendees, the public, and Library assets  or staff. These costs will include, but are not limited to, security personnel or other measures necessary  for the protection of the Library. The type and amount of security required will be determined by the  Library Director or Board of Control. If it is determined that additional security is necessary for a  scheduled meeting, the individual or organization using the meeting room shall be required to prepay the  estimated security costs. If the scheduled event appears to be controversial in nature, the individual or  organization requesting use may be responsible for providing the Library with an additional security  bond.

Reservations and Cancellations:

In order to prohibit any one individual or group from dominating the use of the Library’s meeting room, reservations for regularly scheduled meetings will be accepted no more than one month in advance. One-time programs or meetings will be scheduled no more than one year in advance. Informal, on-the-spot use of the meeting room by individuals must be approved by Administration.
 
The Library reserves the right to limit the frequency of use of its facilities.
 
The needs of the Library take precedence over other individuals or groups. The Library reserves the right to cancel prior meeting room reservations with a least 48 hours’ notice, or with less notice in case of emergency (weather related closing, etc.).
 
Individuals or groups may cancel their reservations at any time and should notify the Library as soon as  possible.

Publicity:

The name, address or phone number of Natchitoches Parish Library may not be used as the official address or headquarters of any organization except those affiliated with the Library.
 
The use of the meeting room by a non-library individual or group shall not be publicized in such a way as to imply Library sponsorship of the individual or group's activities.

The fact that an individual or group is permitted to meet at the Natchitoches Parish Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group's policies and beliefs. Advertisements for meetings held in the Library may not be displayed in such a manner as to suggest Library sponsorship.