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Meeting Room Policy

Meeting Room Policy


1. The Cranston Public Library (hereinafter “the Library”[1]) makes available meeting rooms to groups for civic, cultural, and educational purposes during the library’s normal hours of operation, at the Central Library and the William Hall Library. Meeting rooms are not available for social gatherings, fundraising, or commercial purposes. “Group(s)” is defined as any association, organization, corporation, or gathering of individuals however denominated.

2. The Library subscribes to the tenets of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights(opens in a new tab), Article VI, which states in part, “libraries which make meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use".

3. Providing use of a meeting room does not in any way constitute an endorsement of a group's statements, presentations, policies or beliefs by the Library. The Library shall not be identified or implied as a sponsor of the event or group.

4. All events held in the Library meeting rooms must be open to the public. “Event” is defined as any meeting, program, gathering, or performance.

5. All use of meeting rooms is approved by the library director or designee.

6. Failure to comply with the provisions of the Library’s meeting room policy will result in the suspension of future meeting room use.

7. Library-initiated programs have priority over all other uses of meeting space. In the event of a scheduling conflict, groups will be given timely notice and the Library will work with a group to reschedule the event subject to availability. If there is no availability, all fees will be refunded.

Meeting Room Reservations

1. A Meeting Room Request Form must be completed for all requests for the use of meeting rooms. Requests may be submitted up to 3 months in advance. Submitting a Request Form does not guarantee use of the meeting room or the date and time requested.

2. Fees may be charged for the use of the Library meeting rooms.  All fees are due and payable one week in advance of the event. Checks should be made payable to:  Cranston Public Library. Please refer to the Meeting Room Request Form for the fee schedule. If fees are not received one week in advance, the room reservation may be canceled.

3. Groups requesting the use of the meeting rooms will designate on the request form a contact person who shall be its formal representative while the room is being used. Inquiries concerning the meeting in question will be referred to the contact person.

4. The person requesting a meeting room must be at least 18 years of age. 

5. The library director has sole discretion to determine the necessity of police presence. The group will cover any costs incurred by the use of police details.

6. Due to the numerous requests for meeting space, continuing and repetitious use of the meeting rooms by a single group or organization must be limited.

7. The following meeting rooms must be booked at least one month in advance: James T. Giles Community Room, William Hall Library Auditorium, and William Hall Library Program Room.

8. Groups may not use the name, address, or telephone number of the Library as the official address or permanent meeting place of the organization.

9. Once a space is reserved, the group is not permitted to allow a third party to use the space in their place.

10. Meeting room use will be denied to anyone providing false, misleading, or incomplete information on a Meeting Room Request Form. 

11. Extended and exclusive use of the Library's meeting rooms for cultural or educational purposes, such as a theater engagement or art exhibit, may be arranged under a separate agreement with the library director.

Use of Meeting Spaces

1. Use of meeting rooms is only available during the Library’s normal hours of operation. Groups are required to vacate meeting rooms fifteen minutes prior to library closing.

2. The Library assumes no liability for organizations or their meeting attendees using the Library facilities, or for theft or damage to vehicles or personal property while on the premises.  The Library is not responsible for equipment, clothing, or other items left on its premises at the close of a meeting. The meeting organizer jointly and severally agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Library, and its agents/employees and its Successors and assigns, from any claims, action, liability, loss, damage or suit, arising from the use of the Library facilities.  In the event of any asserted claim, the Library shall provide the meeting organizer reasonable timely written notice of same, and thereafter the event organizer shall at its own expense defend, protect, and hold harmless the Library against said claim or any loss or liability thereunder.

3. Meeting rooms may not be used in any way that interferes with the operation of the Library, or which threatens the safety of library staff and patrons. All attendees must adhere to all federal, state, local laws, regulations and library policies including the Library’s Code of Conduct.

4. Posted room capacity, as determined by the fire marshal, will be observed and enforced at all times.

5. No admission fees may be charged, no requests for donations are allowed, and no products and services may be sold.

6. Groups are responsible for and will be charged for any damage to library property, or any inordinate amount of cleaning resulting from the use of the rooms. Groups are required to notify library staff immediately of any spills or damage to the room or library property.

7. Simple refreshments may be served in meeting rooms, with prior approval, provided groups use their own supplies and equipment and leave the area in a clean and orderly condition. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.  No food is allowed in the Central Library Seminar Room or the William Hall Library Conference Room; however, covered drinks are allowed in those rooms.

8. Open flames and candles[2], smoking and vaping[3], and consumption of marijuana[4] whether by smoking, vaping, or any other method, are prohibited in the Library.

9. The Library makes its meeting rooms available for use by other governmental agencies, or their contractors, when possible. Agencies holding meetings open only to their own staff may be approved subject to availability.

10. Library-related groups or support groups may be exempted from some of the regulations at the discretion of the library director.

11. The Library is unable to provide storage for any group. All items used for the meeting must be brought in during set up and be removed immediately following the meeting. A representative from the group must be present to accept delivery ahead of time for items needed by the group and take responsibility for its removal afterward.

12. The presenter, not the Library, is responsible for obtaining all rights and clearances regarding copying, performance, display, or distribution of materials for the event.

13. The Library makes its meeting rooms available for non-profit organizations with a valid 501c3 number for Board of Directors meetings, when possible. Non-Profit organizations holding Board meetings open only to their own board and staff may be approved subject to availability. Non-Profit organizations will be required to
submit information confirming their 501c3 status to hold events under this provision.

14. Rhode Island elected officials may reserve library meeting space at no charge for official duties or to meet with constituents.

15. Meeting Rooms may be reserved for election activities by candidates, campaign committees, Political Action Groups, or other political entities but will incur the normal charge for using library space. All such use of library space must also comply with all relevant library policies including this meeting room policy and the library Code of Conduct. Election night rallies and celebrations are not permitted. No political or campaign information may be posted or distributed in the library or on library property.


1. All publicity shall clearly identify the name and contact information of the group sponsoring the program. The Library shall not be identified or implied as a sponsor. All publicity for the event must include the legible disclaimer “This event is not endorsed by or affiliated with the Cranston Public Library.”

Publicity includes but is not limited to all advertising, flyers, press releases, social media postings, newsletters, and any other method of promoting and marketing the event or meeting.

2. Only Library-initiated programs are placed on the Library’s website and social media.


1. The Library reserves the right to cancel any event due to inclement weather, building emergency, or other extenuating circumstances. The Library will do its best to reschedule the event on a mutually agreed upon date and if that is not possible, all fees will be refunded.

2. When the Library closes because of weather or building emergencies, every effort will be made to notify groups scheduled to use meeting rooms. During adverse weather conditions, group representatives should call the library and listen to the recorded message or go to the Cranston Public Library website.

3. Groups are required to notify the Library of any cancellations to meeting room reservations at least 24 hours in advance. Failure to do so will result in loss of fees.

4. Failure to comply with the provisions of the Library’s meeting room policy shall result in the cancellation of any scheduled use of meeting space.

Central Library Meeting Space Criteria

The Central Library has the following rooms available for meetings: James T. Giles Community Room and the Seminar Room.

1. Generally, the maximum allowable usage will be once per quarter for the James T. Giles Community Room and once per month for the Seminar Room. 

2. The Seminar Room may be booked by groups of 2-12 people for up to 2 hours at a time.

3. Use of the James T. Giles Community Room on Saturdays and Sundays is generally not permitted due to the lack of staff to service the facility.  The James T. Giles Community Room has limited availability during June, July, and August. 

William Hall Library Meeting Room Criteria

The William Hall Library has the following rooms available for meetings: the Auditorium, Program Room, and Conference Room.

1. Generally, the maximum allowable usage of William Hall Library meeting spaces is limited to once per month.  Use of meeting space on Saturdays is generally not permitted due to lack of staff to service the facility. 

2. The Conference Room may be booked by groups of 2-12 people for up to 2 hours at a time.

3. Theater companies or groups shall not attach scenery or stage sets to walls or floors. They shall not remove lights, stage draperies, or other equipment without written permission.  Any stage sets should be covered to protect floors.

4. Any removal of the piano from the stage area must be done by professional piano movers. Organizations are required to pay for removal and return of the piano to the stage.

Revised by the Cranston Public Library Board of Trustees 1/10/2018

Revised by the Cranston Public Library Board of Trustees 4/13/2022

Revised by the Cranston Public Library Board of Trustees 11/9/2022

Revised by the Cranston Public Library Board of Trustees 1/11/2023

Revised by the Cranston Public Library Board of Trustees 2/14/2024

[1] Any reference herein to “the Library” shall be deemed to include the Cranston Public Library, its governing board of trustees and its appointed director.

[2] Per Cranston Fire Department and NFPA 1: Fire Code (2021)

[3] see RIGL 23-20 & Cranston Code of Ordinances Sec. 8.44.010

[4] see Cranston Code of Ordinances Sec.8.46


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