Statement of Purpose
The Thomas Memorial Library, offers a number of meeting spaces for public use. These spaces are the Community Room, the Conference Room, and three Study Rooms.
The Conference and Community Rooms are used for meetings and programs of an educational, informational, cultural, or civic nature to enhance the library’s role as an institution that connects people with information. These two rooms are primarily used for library-sponsored programs and events, but are also reservable for use by the public, and by Town of Cape Elizabeth Boards and Committees. Public use is limited to Cape Elizabeth community or nonprofit organizations with a target audience that includes Cape Elizabeth. Nonprofit organizations with headquarters outside Cape Elizabeth, but with a service area or constituents in Cape Elizabeth, may also make reservations with the following restriction: a Cape Elizabeth resident affiliated with the group must be named as a local contact. Meeting rooms are not to be used for private social gatherings (such as showers, birthday parties, etc.,) personal or private profit, advertising or solicitation of business, or advertising of a commercial product.
Study Rooms are available for individual and small group use (up to four people) for discussion and quiet study. Study rooms are not intended to be used for general social activities. Use of study rooms as a place to conduct regular business or as a reliable place to hold office hours is prohibited.
Any usage of the space library’s meeting rooms must conform with the following guidelines:
- The use and possession of tobacco, alcohol, and/or other drugs on library grounds is prohibited.
- Respect for equipment and facilities is expected at all times, including maximum capacity and intended space use. Any damage must be reported to library staff.
- Meeting rooms may not be used for any commercial purposes including, but not limited to, the sale of goods or services, executing fee-for-service agreements or contracts to perform services elsewhere, accepting membership dues, selling raffle tickets, and collecting fees for tutoring. The only exceptions are those specified under the heading “Sales of Books, CDs, or Other Creative Work Products” in the library’s Programming Policy.
- Meeting rooms shall not be used for fundraising purposes. Exceptions may be made if the total proceeds of admission go to a charitable cause; all such exceptions to this rule require the prior clearance of the Cape Elizabeth Town Council.
- No admission fees may be charged for functions held in any of the library’s meeting spaces, unless they are donated to a charitable cause for an approved fundraising activity, as noted above.
- No individual or group will be denied access to the library’s meeting rooms because they intend to engage in political speech, to meet with constituents, or to discuss partisan views. However, no work or petitioning on behalf of candidates for elected office is allowed in the library.
- Because the library is a public facility, privacy cannot be guaranteed.
- Permission to use any library space does not constitute or imply library endorsement of the aims, policies, or activities of any individual, group, or organization, or any views expressed in the meeting.
- Individuals and groups using library meeting rooms must not use advertising or publicity materials that indicate or imply that a program is sponsored, co-sponsored, endorsed, or approved by the library. Advertising and publicity must include a contact phone number for the group and/or individual responsible for the program and may not include the library’s phone number. No group may consider the library its permanent meeting place or use the library as its mailing address.
- The library reserves the right to cancel a reservation in order to use a meeting room for library or Town purposes. Forty-eight hours advance notice will be given if cancellation becomes necessary.
- A reservation/application may be rejected, or previously granted permission may be withdrawn, for violation of library rules or conduct inconsistent with the policies of the library.
- The Library Director, or designee, reserves the right to deny a reservation if the anticipated use of the space is likely to be unreasonably disruptive to regular library functions, too large for the applicable room capacity, disorderly, dangerous to persons or property, or in any other way inconsistent with or in contravention of any of the terms and conditions of the library’s General Use Policy.
- Appeals regarding a decision to deny access to the library’s facilities may be made in writing to the Library Director.
Community Room & Conference Room
The Conference Room has two long conference tables. The Community Room can be divided into Community Room A and Community Room B via a movable wall partition, however users should be aware that neither space is soundproof with the divider in place. A public kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, and sink is available for use in conjunction with meetings upon request.
Due to the extensive use of the Community and Conference Rooms for library-sponsored events, the following guidelines will be followed:
- Reservations for these spaces will not be accepted more than three months in advance unless approved by the Library Director.
- No more than three reservations may be scheduled at any one time unless approved by the Library Director.
- Anyone wishing to use these rooms must reserve the space in advance by filling out a reservation form on the library’s website.
- Reservations must be submitted by a person at least 21 years of age who assumes responsibility for the appropriateness of activity, supervision and adherence to all policies.
- All reservations are subject to approval.
- Activities and spaces are limited to those specifically requested and approved.
Rules of Use
- Groups shall be adequately and appropriately supervised by an adult at all times and until all participants have departed the premises. Any accidents or injuries must be reported to library staff.
- Users should make themselves aware of the appropriate means of emergency egress and ensure all in attendance are aware as well.
- The library is not responsible for loss or damage to exhibits, equipment, supplies, or other materials brought to the library by the meeting group.
- No equipment, materials or records may be stored in the meeting rooms or the library.
- Food and/or beverages are allowed in accordance with the Library’s General Use and Food and Beverage policies, or at the discretion of the Library Director, and limited to consumption within the booked room.
- Materials may not be affixed to the walls, ceilings, doors or windows. Using confetti, glitter or other items which make cleaning or vacuuming difficult is prohibited.
- Burning candles, incense, pyrotechnics, or any type of open flame is not permitted.
- Clean-up is the responsibility of the user. All trash should be deposited in the appropriate waste receptacles. Tables and chairs must be returned to their original locations.
- Meetings booked by community groups must conform to the library’s scheduled operating hours. Meeting room use cannot begin before the library opens, except for library events and Town activities, and must end at least fifteen minutes before the library closes. After-hours use is available for TML programming and activities, Town of Cape Elizabeth Boards and Committees, or at the discretion of the Library Director.
Library study rooms are intended for quiet, individual or small group use of between one and four people.
Study rooms are not intended to be used for general social activities, such as board games and socializing.
Use of study rooms as a place to conduct regular business or as a reliable place to hold office hours is prohibited.
Study rooms are reserved in person or by phone at the main public service desk according to the following guidelines:
- A person must be at least 13 years of age to reserve a study room.
- Study rooms are available for public use beginning when the library opens for the day until thirty minutes before the library closes.
- Users will be limited to one reservation per day with a maximum time limit of two hours.
- Any extension beyond two hours in a given day will be made after the time has expired based on availability.
- A maximum of five advance reservations can be made by any group/individual per one month period to allow for fair use of the reservable rooms.
- Reservations can be made up to one month in advance.
- Unoccupied rooms may be reserved on a walk-in, first-come, first-served basis. Please note, however, users with prior reservations take priority.
- The needs of the library take precedence over group or individual use of study rooms.
- All reservations will be made at the discretion of library staff.
Rules of Use
- Reservations will be held for fifteen minutes before a room is released for walk-in use.
- A reserved study room that is left unoccupied for more than fifteen minutes will be considered abandoned, personal belongings will be removed, and the room made available to others as needed.
- The library is not responsible or liable for lost, stolen, or damaged private materials or equipment left in study rooms.
- Personal belongings left in the study rooms will be removed.
- Furniture may not be brought into or removed from a study room without approval from library staff.
- Food and drink are permitted in accordance with the Library’s General Use and Food and Beverage policies.
- Study rooms must be restored to their original condition, free of trash, after use.
- Materials may not be affixed to the walls, ceilings, doors or windows. Decorating, confetti, glitter or other items which make cleaning or vacuuming difficult.
- Burning candles, incense, pyrotechnics, or any type of open flame is not permitted.
- Please note the rooms are not soundproof; discussions should take place at a conversational level.
- The study rooms are intended for the purposes of quiet study and discussion.
- If the noise level repeatedly disrupts other users of the library, the individuals causing the excessive noise shall be removed from the study room.
- Laptops, personal computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices may be used in the study rooms provided the volume controls on such devices are adjusted so as not to disturb others.
Revised: October, 2022
Voted for recommendation of approval by the TML Committee on: October 27, 2022
Amended by the Town Council Effective Date: November 15, 2022
Adopted by the Town Council Effective Date: November 14, 2022
Policy Review: This policy shall be reviewed at least every 5 years