The Hancock County Library System (HCLS)
has established these policies under the laws of Mississippi which
state that the library board “has the supervision, care and custody of
all property of the library, including the buildings constructed,
leased or set apart thereof.” (Mississippi Code, Section 39-3-19)
GENERAL GUIDELINES ABOUT MEETING ROOM USE
SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR APPLYING TO ALL MEETINGS
- The Hancock County Library System (HCLS) makes library meeting
and conference rooms available to local non-profit groups and
organizations when they are not being used by the library, the Library
Foundation, or co-sponsoring groups of library events.
- Meeting rooms are intended to further the library's mission,
including but not limited to: 1) facilitating the exchange of
diverse information and ideas; 2) providing wholesome and entertaining
educational activities for adults, teens and children; 3) bringing
high-quality cultural programming to residents of the community.
- Library facilities are available on a non-discriminatory,
equal-access basis in compliance with state law. Use of library
facilities and meeting rooms by any group or organization signifies
acceptance of the terms of this policy and the guidelines for room use.
- Permission to use Hancock County Library System facilities will
be denied for purposes that would interfere with the proper functioning
of the library or disrupt the use of the library by others or violate
- Permission to use the library's meeting rooms does not constitute
library endorsement of any program presented or any viewpoints
expressed. Advertisements or announcements implying such endorsement
are not permitted.
- The library does not assume liability for injuries to individuals
or damages to personal property which occur as a result of actions of
the sponsors or participants in activities in meeting room.
- The library director is responsible for establishing and administering procedures to carry out this policy.
APPROVAL OF ROOM USE
- All events held in meeting rooms must be open to the public.
- Persons who attend events in the library meeting rooms must adhere to all rules and regulations of the HCLS Rules of Conduct.
- Admission must not be charged and products must not be sold in a
facility or meeting room except those which benefit the library.
- Information may be distributed and must be free of charge. No
services or memberships may be advertised, solicited, or sold. However,
groups or organizations which regularly charge membership dues are
permitted to collect such dues at the library.
- During library-sponsored author events, it is permissible for the
author or a local bookstore to sell copies of the author’s book or
- Smoking is not permitted in the meeting room or inside any part of the library building.
- Attendance must not exceed the posted capacity of the meeting room.
- Meeting rooms may not be used by profit-making ventures or by
representatives of profit-making companies and/or organizations to
advertise and sell services.
- Use of meeting rooms shall conform to all local, state and federal laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Children who accompany an adult to a
meeting must remain with the adult at all times.
- Library managers or their designees will approve use of the
meeting rooms, based solely on the library's meeting room policy. Any
application which is denied may be referred by the applicant to the
library director, and, if necessary, it can be referred by the library
director to the Board of Trustees for final decision.
- A schedule of library programs should be kept by the branch
manager and checked before any particular program time is promised to
any individual or group.
SIGNAGE AND PUBLICITY
- Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis and may be made no more than six months in advance.
- Requests for use of a meeting room at a specific branch may be
made by going to https://ms.evanced.ingo/hancock/lib/roomrequest.asp. A library card is required to reserve meeting rooms.
- The library may block out times in advance when the meeting rooms
are reserved for state library meetings, Library Foundation events,
library co-sponsored events or government meetings. Library
co-sponsored events are given priority in scheduling the meeting rooms.
- For a library event to be co-sponsored, the event must fit the
goals of the library, be of significant benefit to the community in a
cultural, educational or recreational manner and be approved at least a
month in advance by both the programming committee and the library
director. (Current examples of groups that are library co-sponsors
include the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, Kreative Kids,
- The library reserves the right to re-schedule a meeting room
reservation for a library co-sponsored event, but such events should
not regularly disrupt other groups who have made a prior reservation
for the meeting room.
- Regular weekly or monthly meeting space for groups or
organizations cannot be provided due to the high demand from other
groups and regularly scheduled library activities.
- A series of meetings of up to three dates may be scheduled with prior approval by branch manager.
- Scheduling will be limited when necessary to ensure equitable access to the facilities for the entire community.
- Person(s) listed on the application form will be held responsible
for any expense the library incurs as a result of a group or
individual's use of the meeting rooms.
- The Library System, its Board of Trustees and staff are not
responsible for accidents, injuries or loss of property while the rooms
are being used.
CARE AND USE OF FACILITIES
- To establish the fact that the library is not sponsoring the
event, all publicity which uses the name of the library must include
the statements “Sponsored by (name of organization reserving the room)”
and “No endorsement by the Hancock County Library System is implied."
- A group or organization may not use the name and address of the library as the address of the group or organization.
- No individual or group may state or imply library approval
without written approval from the library director or his/her appointed
- Only groups that are preapproved by the library director can use
the term “co-sponsored by the Library” in their publicity or programs
- Permission to use the rooms includes ordinary use of the
furniture and fixtures. Persons or groups must provide their own
- Equipment, supplies, or personal effects cannot be stored or left in library meeting rooms before or after use.
- Groups or organizations are responsible for the set-up and cleanup of the meeting room.
- Groups must leave rooms as they are found (i.e., restacking
chairs, tables, cleaning counter top, arranging the space in the order
in which it was found, etc.)
- Light refreshments may be served. Meal preparation is not
allowed. Sink, counters, and tables must be left clean and in an
orderly condition. All trash resulting from serving of refreshments
must be removed from the premises by the organization.
- Groups or organizations are liable for all costs that would be
incurred by the library to have the meeting room cleaned, or for damage
to or theft of library property caused by persons attending the meeting.
- The library assumes no responsibility for any theft or damage to any property brought into the library meeting rooms.
- If the group or organization using the room desires to use the
ceiling-mounted data projector, screen and laptop accessible podium, it
is advisable that they receive instructions on doing so at least 2-3
days prior to the event planned.
- Notice of cancellation should be made as soon as possible in advance of the meeting.
- Failure to notify of scheduled meeting cancellations for two
meetings in any calendar year may result in the loss of meeting room
privileges for a period of six months.
- The library reserves the right to deny further use of the meeting
rooms to groups or organizations who do not comply with this policy.