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Library Commission Meeting Room Policy

Adopted (1992), Revised and Adopted by the San Francisco Library Commission July 2, 1996.

It is the policy of the San Francisco Public Library Commission, and in accordance with the City Librarian's service goals, to allow organizations and groups use of Library meeting rooms, when those facilities are not needed for administrative use, activities, or programs sponsored in whole or in part by the Library, and when such use is not disruptive of the programs and activities of the Library. Such permission is revocable and does not constitute a lease. Permission to use a Library meeting room does not imply Library endorsement of the aims, policies, or activities of any group or organization. The primary purpose of the Library is to serve as a resource for learning, studying and contemplating ideas. The Library believes that the provision of a safe and quiet environment is necessary to fulfill this purpose. Furthermore, the Library serves as an important educational facility for children and youth, and its rules must be applied in a manner that takes particular account of their safety and welfare, as well as the needs of other patrons. Public use of meeting rooms is not a primary purpose of the Library, and should not be allowed to disrupt the Library's primary purpose.

Eligibility and Allocations for Use of Meeting Rooms

Permission to use a Library meeting room may be granted to another City department, agency, or commission, and to public, private, and non-profit civic, cultural, intellectual, charitable and educational groups and organizations. Meeting rooms shall not be used by outside groups or organizations to sell any materials, goods or services. Priorities for use of Library meeting rooms have been developed in accordance with the City Librarian's service goals. In scheduling the use of its meeting rooms, the Library may grant, in order of priority: *to groups and organizations affiliated with the Library; *to other City departments, agencies or commissions; and *to children and youth groups and organizations involved in literacy programs; *to neighborhood and community-based groups and organizations from the area served by *the particular Library facility; *to other non-profit public and/or social service organizations.

Restrictions on Use of Meeting Rooms

All Library facilities of the City and County of San Francisco are part of a unified system. Although applications to use a facility shall be addressed to the branch librarian or to the Chief of the Main Library, this meeting room policy does not guarantee an applicant the facility, room, or time requested. This policy reserves to the City Librarian the authority to overrule a grant, denial, or modification of permission to use Library facilities to the end that facilities and times of use may be authorized in a fashion that best promotes the operation of the Library system and minimizes disruption of the programs and activities of the Library. Meeting rooms shall, in general, be available during normal business hours of the branch or Main Library. The Library reserves the right to collect payment for costs incurred in the use of a meeting room and to collect for any damages to the facilities from users of the meeting rooms. The Library reserves the right to set aside meeting rooms during specific blocks of time for use by Library staff and programs. All meetings of organizations held in Library rooms shall be open to the public (excepting those closed meetings of legislative and policy bodies authorized by the Sunshine Ordinance, Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code and the Ralph M. Brown Act; and meetings of groups and organizations that have contracted with the Library to support programs and activities of the Library). All meetings shall be publicly noticed in the affected Library facility and in the Main Library at least 7 2 hours in advance of the meeting. The Library reserves the right to attend any meeting held in its facilities to ensure no unlawful activities are occurring on Library premises. The Library may impose reasonable conditions for the use of its meeting rooms to ensure that the comfort, convenience, safety or welfare of the public is not disturbed. Unlawful activity shall not be permitted in the meeting rooms or on Library premises, and such activity shall be a basis to deny future use of Library meeting rooms by groups or individuals violating this policy. No outside group or organization using a Library meeting room shall charge an admission fee or sell any material or service for private profit or gain except as permitted by rules promulgated by the City Librarian. Groups and organizations may, however, conduct such customary activities as collecting dues from members or coffee money. Groups and organizations that have contracted with the Library to support programs and activities of the Library may use Library facilities for fundraising activities which further that support.

Applying for Use of Meeting Rooms

Permission to use a Library meeting room shall be obtained by application filed at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting date. The Chief of the Main Library and the Chief of Branches may grant exceptions to this requirement when the need for the meeting arises under circumstances that do not allow compliance with the one-week requirement. Applications for use of a meeting room shall be submitted to the head of the branch library where the room is located or, in the case of the Main Library, to the Chief of the Main Library. All applications shall be public records and shall be available for inspection, both at the branch library and at the Main Library. No application for a meeting of fewer than six (6) persons shall be accepted for use of meeting rooms. Minimum group size for rooms at the Main Library may vary according to the size of the rooms and will be listed in Meeting Room Rules. The Library reserves the right to revoke or modify permission to use its meeting rooms, or to modify conditions imposed on the use of those rooms, where necessary to adapt to the operational needs of the Library or the needs of Library users afforded a higher priority under Section 2 of this policy. The Library further reserves the right to deny applications for use based on the availability of space, frequency of use, or requests for space by other groups and organizations. Permission may be granted to groups and organizations for multiple meetings over a period not to exceed six (6) months. Groups whose meetings are tied to a school-year calendar, however, may be granted permission for multiple meetings for a period not exceeding nine (9) months. Renewal applications may be submitted; prior use of Library meeting rooms shall not entitle applicants to future use. This restriction does not apply to Library functions or those of any other City department or governmental group. Denial or grant of an application, or a modification of permission already granted, may be appealed, by any person adversely affected, to the City Librarian. The City Librarian shall render a decision in writing. Any decision of the City Librarian, in the first instance or on appeal, may be appealed, by any person adversely affected, to the Library Commission. All appeals shall set forth in writing the basis of the appeal and shall include a copy of the application. In addition, consistent with this policy, the City Librarian may overrule any decision granting, denying, or modifying permission to use a Library facility. The City Librarian is authorized to issue rules that are consistent with this policy and further its implementation.