It is the policy of the Oakland Public Library to allow the use of its meeting rooms by groups and organizations when these facilities are not needed for activities sponsored in whole or in part by the Library. No group will be permitted use of the rooms if that usage would be disruptive of the programs and activities of the Library. Permission to use the rooms does not imply Library endorsement of the goals, policies or activities of any group or organization. The Library reserves the right to revoke permission previously granted if deemed appropriate.
There is no fee to use the meeting rooms but all meetings must be free and open to the public.
- Permission to use a Library meeting room may be granted to a City of Oakland department or commission or other governmental agency directly serving residents of Oakland, and to public, private and non-profit civic, cultural, educational, political, religious, and charitable groups and organizations. Private, for-profit businesses may be permitted to use the Library meeting room, but shall not be permitted to charge for admission, collect fees, or sell items during such meetings. Meetings are open to the public.
- The Library may grant priority for use of its meeting rooms to groups and organizations affiliated with the Library or the City of Oakland. A group is defined as 6 or more people.
- Meeting Rooms are not intended to be used for private events such as social events, parties, memorial services, fundraisers, etc.
Rules and Restrictions
- Library personnel in charge of the meeting room have authority over the use of the room. Applications should be addressed to the branch librarian or the scheduling coordinator. This policy does not guarantee an applicant the facility or the time requested. This policy reserves the right of the Director of Library Services to overrule a grant, denial or modification of permission to use Library facilities.
- Meeting rooms are available only during the regular business hours of the Main Library or branches.
- Fees for use of the meeting rooms are set according to a fee schedule approved by the City Council. The Library also may collect reasonable reimbursement for any additional cost or damage incurred.
- The Library may attend any meetings held in its facilities (except lawful executive sessions of government bodies) to verify that no illegal activities are taking place on the Library's premises. Illegal activity will result in immediate eviction and denial of future use of the Library's meeting rooms by groups or individuals violating this policy.
- The Library can impose reasonable conditions for the use of its meeting rooms to ensure that public or private property is not damaged through use of its facilities, and to ensure that the safety, welfare and comfort of the public is not disturbed.
- Groups and organizations using the Library's meeting rooms shall adhere to regulations regarding the number of persons allowed to occupy a room at any given time. The numbers shall not exceed the limit prescribed and posted in that facility. The room shall be left in the same condition in which it was found, including the placement of chairs and tables
- Alcoholic beverages and smoking will not be permitted on Library premises.
- Meeting rooms must be restored to order and vacated at least fifteen minutes prior to library closing time.
- No admission fees may be charged or products or services sold by any business, outside group, or organization using a Library meeting room. Exceptions include the following:
- Groups and organizations may conduct customary activities such as collecting dues from members or refreshment money, but cannot solicit donations.
- Groups and organizations formed to support the programs and activities of the Library may use Library facilities for fundraising purposes in support of the Library. In such cases, proof will be required of receipt of a Charitable Solicitation Permit from the Office of the City Administrator, 238-3294.
- At library sponsored programs only, pre-approved works by a featured presenter may be offered for sale. In all cases, his/her representative collects payment, not library staff.
- Except for Library or Library co-sponsored activities, groups and organizations which use the Library meeting rooms shall arrange for and provide their own special equipment needs.
- Publicity notices promoting a meeting or event being sponsored by an outside group or organization must include the following disclaimer: "The Oakland Public Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of meetings or meeting room users." Publicity notices or fliers promoting a meeting must be shown to the library employee in charge of the meeting room for approval (by initials), prior to distribution.
- Failure to adhere to these conditions may result in loss of future privileges in the use of any Library facility.
Application for Use of Meeting Room
- Reservation requests are accepted at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date. If there is a question about a group or organization's eligibility in determining use of the meeting room, the Library may request to examine that group's by-laws. All applications are public documents and shall be available for inspection upon request at the Library's facilities.
- Reservations are not final until the application has been received and approved.
- Reservations are made for a specific time, which includes set up and take down. Reservations may be made for up to but no more than 90 days in advance of the event date.
- Permission to groups and organizations using the meeting rooms may be granted for multiple meetings for a period not to exceed the next three consecutive months. Renewal applications may be submitted at any time during current usage. Prior use of meeting rooms does not entitle applicants to future use. This restriction does not apply to Library functions, or to those of any other City department or governmental agency directly serving Oakland residents.
- The Library reserves the right to revoke or modify permission to use its meeting rooms, or to modify conditions imposed on the use of the rooms, in order to adapt to the operational needs of the Library or the priority needs of Library users. Applications may be denied on the basis of availability of space, frequency of use or requests for space by other groups and organizations, or, for other activities that are in conflict with the primary purpose of the Library or with any regulations set forth in the Meeting Room Policy.
- Denial, grant, or modification of an application for use of the meeting room may be appealed in writing by the applicant or by any person adversely affected by the decision to the Director of Library Services, whose decision shall be final.
- The Director of Library Services may authorize additional rules that are consistent with this policy and assist in its implementation.
Rev. 3/9/01; 8/4/05; 5/25/11; 7/25/14; 5/2/22