Library building and use policies

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Bulletin boards

The Middletown Township Public Library maintains bulletin boards and designated areas (such as literature racks and spaces on countertops and tables) for the passive distribution of information.

Reserved for use by MTPL

Some bulletin boards, literature racks, countertops and tables are reserved for exclusive use by the Library to post and distribute material

  • about Library services, programs, and events;
  • from the Friends of the Library and the Middletown Township Public Library Foundation; and
  • from other governmental entities such as Middletown Township, Monmouth County, and state and federal governments.

Other distribution areas

A limited number of bulletin board and distribution areas are available within the Library for the posting and passive distribution of materials from other non-profit entities engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, or charitable activities. A designated Library staff member must authorize all posting and distribution before it occurs. Authorization will be based upon the provisions of this policy and will not be based upon the viewpoint, beliefs, or affiliations of the non-profit group or the viewpoints expressed in the materials. Posting or distribution of any such materials in the Library does not indicate Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or events promoted by those materials.

Because the amount of such bulletin board and distribution area space is limited, and in order to provide Library visitors with the opportunity to review materials from non-profit organizations that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to review, the following rules apply:

  • Bulletin boards: Space is provided for announcements of dated Middletown area events whose principal sponsors are non-profit organizations.
  • Distribution areas: Specific areas will be provided for the passive distribution of dated materials from non-profit organizations provided the materials are related to their not-for-profit status. Passive distribution means leaving the materials with Library staff for Library visitors, if they so choose, to review and/or take with them. Passive distribution does not include verbally or visually (by means of signs, placards, etc.) encouraging Library visitors to review or take any materials with them. Small tabletop holders are permitted.

General prohibitions

The following items may not be posted on bulletin boards or left in distribution areas:

  • election materials other than official election information announcing polling information or League of Women Voters information material or
  • materials asking Library visitors to sign a petition or letter.

Terms for use

All materials posted or distributed must comply with this policy and any other applicable Library regulations or guidelines. No other materials may be posted or distributed. To ensure equitable access to the limited display space available at each facility, the Library may establish criteria regarding posting and distribution of material, including:

  • Maximum size of material to be posted on bulletin boards will be limited to 12″ x 18″.
  • Maximum size of materials to be distributed will be limited to 8.5″ x ll”.
  • Maximum length of time materials may remain posted or displayed will be two weeks unless the material is of an ongoing general information nature; i.e., scholarship announcements, S.C.O.R.E., etc.
  • Maximum length of time before an event a posting may occur will be two weeks.
  • The frequency with which event announcement material may be posted or displayed by the same non-profit organization will be once a month.

All posting and placement of materials in distribution areas shall be the responsibility of one designated Library staff member. Individuals requesting posting or distribution shall leave the materials with the designated staff member who will be responsible for acceptance or rejection of materials. Staff member will post material on bulletin board or place in distribution area. It will also be the responsibility of said designated staff member to review bulletin boards and designated distribution areas on a continuous basis.

Materials left for posting or distribution without authorization from the Library will be discarded. The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection of materials posted or distributed. Materials will not be returned. The Director, or her designee, is responsible for the administration of this policy on a system-wide basis. Branch managers are responsible for the administration of this policy within their facilities.

Introduced: March 17, 2004
Revised and Approved: April 21, 2004

Meeting rooms

Who may use

The meeting rooms at the Middletown Public Library are intended primarily for use of the library’s own programs. The meeting rooms are also available for use by community and other not-for-profit groups for programs of an informational, educational, cultural, or civic nature, subject to this policy as established by the Library Board. The MTPL does not discriminate in making its premises available on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual preference, age or physical limitation. Permission to use a library meeting room does not imply Library endorsement of the aims, policies or activities of any group or organization.

The Library Board specifically excludes the following types of uses of its meeting rooms:

  1. Programs involving the sale, advertising or promotion of products or services.
  2. Business firms and other for-profit organizations soliciting or selling products or services, regardless of purpose.
  3. Private social functions, such as showers, birthday parties, dances, recitals, and the like.
  4. Programs not in keeping with the library goals and objectives, or those that would interfere with the library’s operation by causing excessive noise, a safety hazard, security risk, etc.

Applications for meetings of minors (up to age 18), must be sponsored and signed by an adult who will assume responsibility for the group. At least one adult must be in attendance when a library meeting room is being used by such as group or organization.

Description of rooms

Community Meeting Room(s)

This meeting room, located on the left after entering the Main Library, will accommodate up to 150 theater style and 50 conference style. Along with tables and chairs, the following items are available for use in this space only: projection screen, video projector, cart for audiovisual equipment, lectern with microphone, TV NCR monitor, slide projector and grand piano. The request for use of this equipment must be submitted as a part of the application for use. The Community Room can be subdivided into two smaller meeting rooms, each roughly half the space of the larger room. The Library reserves the right to determine which room(s) may be used by the group or organization.

Computer Training Lab

This room can be used by up to 18, set up in conference style only. Along with tables and chairs (which may be rearranged only by permission of the library) laptop computers, computer projection equipment, and a Smart Board are available for use. A certificate of insurance, naming the Library as coinsured may be required of groups who book the Computer Lab Room with intent to use the Library’s equipment.

Reservations for rooms/hours available

  1. There are no restrictions on the scheduling of library and library-related events and programs, which may embrace activities of the Friends of the Library and the MTPL Foundation.
  2. Other groups may be accommodated as space is available and priority as determined by the Library. Reservations will be taken up to three months in advance. Unless otherwise authorized by the Library Director, groups will be limited to one reservation per month.
  3. Room reservations shall be made through the Administrative Assistant during the hours of9 am- 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications for room use can be sent electronically to the library or faxed.
  4. The Computer Lab is available during the library’s regularly scheduled hours of operation. A group using the Computer Lab must conclude their meeting and leave the room in good order fifteen minutes prior to closing time.
  5. The Community Meeting Room(s) are generally available during the Main Library’s regularly scheduled hours of operation. The Library Director may grant approval for extended use beyond normal hours. Requests for additional hours must be set forth in the original application.

Fees and admission charges

  1. The Library does not charge for use of the meeting rooms.
  2. Groups using the meeting rooms may not charge admission. With advance approval by the Library Director, a charge may be permitted for reimbursement of the costs of materials for the program.

Use of facilities and equipment

  1. Library or other Township staff will not provide assistance in setting up the meeting room.
  2. Meeting rooms must be left neat and clean. Groups will be charged for damage to rooms or equipment beyond normal wear and tear.
  3. Materials may not be affixed to the walls and ceiling without prior approval of the Library Director.
  4. A kitchenette is available off the community Meeting Room. A coffeemaker and small microwave may be available for use. The refrigerator may be used by the group, but continued or advance storage in the refrigerator or cabinets is not permitted. The group, however, must provide all consumable products. Groups must leave the kitchenette area clean and orderly. Kitchen procedures are posted above the sink.
  5. Organizations are subject to copyright law in their use of print, film, video, music or other media, and are also responsible for observing the policies associated with the library’s Public Performance Site License and admission policies of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) when showing rated films.
  6. The library does not provide personnel to operate audiovisual equipment.
  7. Persons requiring an interpreter or other accommodations to access library-sponsored programs must contact the library no fewer than seven days before the scheduled program to make the necessary arrangements. Non-Library organizations utilizing the Meeting Rooms are considered a public accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and are therefore responsible for providing auxiliary aids and services in compliance with the ADA. The meeting rooms are handicapped accessible. Rest rooms are located across the hallway from the meeting rooms.

Additional Considerations

  1. The service of alcoholic beverages may be permitted for official events of the Library, Friends of the Library or Foundation following a written advance approval of the Board of Trustees and Township approval of a single event liquor license. Such events would ordinarily take place when the library is closed to the public.
  2. The library does not provide storage space for groups or individuals using the meeting rooms.
  3. The library staff will not accept calls or relay messages to people attending meetings except in emergencies.
  4. The library reserves the right to refuse to book meeting room space for groups who do not comply with the guidelines of this policy, and to cancel a program with advance notice of two weeks for the purpose of a library program.
  5. The name, address, or phone numbers of the Middletown Township Public Library may not be used as the name, address, or phone number for groups or organizations using library meeting rooms. Upon request, groups must provide the Library with a copy of any publicity that names the Middletown Township Public Library as the location of an event or program.
  6. Library sponsored literary or artistic presenters may sell their works at the conclusion of their program.
  7. All applications must be approved in writing by the Library Director or Assistant Director.

Introduced: December 15, 2004
Approved: January 19, 2005
Revised: July 19, 2006

Inclement weather

It is the responsibility of the Library Director to make the decisions regarding Library closings. The Library Director can use any source of information available, including contacting the President of the Board of Trustees, the Road Department or Police Department, etc. It is not mandated, however, that the Director contact anyone. It is the Director’s decision. This should allow for delayed openings or early closings.

Adopted March 15, 1989 after second reading.

Display cases

Three lighted cases are available for public use within the Main Branch of the Middletown Township Public Library. Exhibits should be of an informational and/or entertaining nature. Informational exhibits must be accurate and positive in presentation and all exhibits attractively presented. Exhibits that are related to public events and timely topics may be scheduled. Small works of art, craft and collections are the types of exhibits that are most desired.

  • Displays by and for the Middletown Township Public Library and/or its supporting organizations shall take precedence over other displays.
  • Exhibits that are solely for commercial purposes, including the sale of goods and services, will not be considered.
  • Exhibits that promote a cause or denigrate any other cause, organization, issue, person or persons are not acceptable.
  • Exhibits must be suitable for viewing by a general audience, representing all ages.
  • Materials produced specifically to fulfill school assignments or scouting badges are not accepted for display.
  • Exhibits and displays may not contain dangerous or hazardous materials, any device that creates noise while on display, firearms, or perishable materials.
  • In all cases, the Library Director will be the final judge on the acceptability of a display.

Displays are generally changed monthly, and no exhibit that will be relevant for less than two weeks will be considered. Potential exhibitors should contact the library at least three months in advance. A group or organization may not exhibit items or display materials more frequently than once in a 12-month cycle.

The exhibitor must set up his/her own display. Displays should be arranged in a neat and attractive manner with printed labels that are legible. Signage is the responsibility of the exhibitor. No prices may be displayed on the items that are available for purchase, although a business card may provide contact information for sales after the exhibit or display has been dismantled. The library takes no responsibility for the safety and security of items displayed. Exhibitors are encouraged to obtain insurance for items of value and will be required to sign a form releasing the library from liability. Items must be removed from the display cases or exhibit areas as scheduled.

Display or exhibit of items in the library does not indicate endorsement of the issues, events, items, or services promoted by the displayed materials. Organizations that are denied the use of exhibit areas or display cases or that disagree with the Library Director’s decision regarding items to be displayed may appeal the decision to the library board.

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