The Chatham Area Public Library welcomes the public use of Library facilities for educational, civic and cultural uses consistent with the public interest when such use does not interfere with normal Library operations or Library sponsored activities. The booking of a meeting room does not imply library endorsement of the content and speakers of meetings held in the Library. Permission to use a facility is revocable and does not constitute a lease. The Library reserves the right to deny applications for use based on availability of space, availability of staff, frequency of use or as further outlined in this policy.

Advertisements or announcements implying such endorsement are not permitted. The Library will not be the phone/address contact for the event or activity.  In making such rooms available, the Library aspires to meet the principles set forth in the American Library Association (ALA) Bill of Rights. (see policy 4-10)

All meetings must be open to the public without charge. The exception is made for meetings of Library staff, Library Board of Trustees and other governmental bodies that reside within the boundaries of the Library District which may, when permitted by law, be closed to the public.


A. Meetings

Meeting rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis for meetings that are educational, cultural, educational, civic, or charitable.

Meetings may not disturb the normal operations of the library or pose a safety hazard.

Workshop fees or dues may be collected, but the public may not be denied entry to the meeting because of failure to pay. The sale, advertising, solicitation or promotion of products or services is not allowed in Library meeting rooms. This guideline is waived for all Library, Friends of the Library and Library Foundation programs of Library fundraising activities.

Presentations that are primarily commercial in nature, rather than educational, are not permitted. Individuals who wish to be featured at a Library sponsored program should contact Library staff.

Private meetings/events, including parties, showers, receptions, cannot be held at the Library. 

B. Hours

Meetings may only be scheduled during normal Library operations.  All meetings must conclude 15 minutes prior to Library closing times.

C. Fees

Fees are based on the category of the entity renting the meeting room:

  • Groups that have a majority of members that reside in the Chatham Area Public Library District will not be charged a fee.
  • Groups with a majority of its members residing outside of the Chatham Area Public Library District fees will be added. See the fee schedule for current room rates.

D. Cancellation

The Library Board of Trustees is authorized to establish reasonable regulations governing use of the meeting rooms and related fees. The Library reserves the right to decline meeting room request that do not meet the spirit of this policy. Library programming has priority, and the Library reserves the right to cancel (or re-locate within the Library) any previously scheduled meeting and will give as much notice as possible to the previously scheduled group.

The Library reserves the right to cancel any reservation due to unforeseen circumstances, including those which reasonably cause the Library Director to view the meeting as likely to materially and substantially interfere with the proper functioning of the Library or likely to create excessive noise or a significant safety hazard.

The Library must be notified as soon as possible (24 hour notice preferred) for cancellation of a reservation. Any group that abuses the meeting room Rules for Use or does not inform the library of their cancellation shall lose the right to use the meeting rooms for a period of 60 days.

E. Responsibility of Users

One member of the group must be the group’s representative and must be present throughout the scheduled meeting or event.  The group’s representative who makes an online room reservation or signs a meeting room agreement assumes legal responsibility for the group’s activity and the repair or replacement of lost or damaged Library property. This representative must sign the application and agreement and see that the group follows all of the rules and regulations described in this policy.

The Library is not responsible for accidents that may occur on library property to individuals attending programs or meetings in the Library. The Library is not responsible for any individual or group property, nor can it provide storage for property. Organizations using the meeting rooms will be held responsible for any accidents occurring as a result of the group’s activities.

At the conclusion of a meeting, the room must be returned to its original condition.


LEGAL REF.:             75ILCS 16/30-60

CROSS REF.:             5-10, 5-50, 5-60

ADOPTED:                MARCH 20, 2000

AMENDED:               MAY 18, 2009

AMENDED:               MAY 19, 2014

Index Page: 
Community Use of Meeting Rooms Policy