Hancock County Library System
Meeting Room Guidelines

Revised and Approved by HCLS Board of Trustees June 12, 2018

General Guidelines About Meeting Room Use

The Hancock County Library System (hereafter “HCLS or the “Library”) 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)

  • The Hancock County Library System 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; and, 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 state law.

  • Permission to use the library's meeting rooms does not constitute library endorsement of any program presented or any viewpoints expressed by the Hancock County Library System. Advertisements or announcements implying such endorsement are not permitted.

  • HCLS 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 its meeting rooms.

  • The Executive Director is responsible for establishing and administering procedures to carry out this policy.

Specific Guidelines Applying To All Meetings

  • All events held in meeting rooms must be open to the public.

  • Persons who attend events in the meeting rooms must abide by the HCLS Rules of Conduct.

  • No admission may be charged nor any products sold in a meeting room, except those that benefit the library and are sponsored by the Library Foundation of Hancock County.

  • Information may be distributed, but it must be free of charge. No services or memberships may be advertised, solicited, or sold.

  • During library-sponsored author events, it is permissible for the author or a local bookstore to sell copies of the author’s book or books.

  • Smoking and the use of alcohol are 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.

  • In accordance with our Unattended Children policy: “Children under the age of 10 who accompany an adult to a meeting must remain with the adult at all times”.

Approval Of Room Use

  • 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 Executive Director, and, if necessary, it can be referred by the Executive Director to the Board of Trustees for a final decision.

  • A schedule of library programs should be kept by the branch manager and checked before any particular meeting time is promised to any individual or group.


  • Reservations are on a first-come, first-served 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 in person, or online at the HCLS website (

  • 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 the Executive Director.

  • 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.

  • 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, its Board of Trustees, or staff are not responsible for accidents, injuries or loss of property while the rooms are being used.

Signage And Publicity

  • No group or organization may use the name and address of the Library or any of its branches as the address of the group or organization.

  • No individual or group may state or imply library approval without written approval from the Executive Director or his/her appointed designee.

  • Only groups that are pre-approved by the Executive Director can use the term “co-sponsored by the Library” in their publicity or programs for events.

Care And Use Of Facilities

  • Permission to use the rooms includes ordinary use of the furniture and fixtures. Persons or groups must provide their own supplies.

  • 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 may 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 or event.

  • 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 12 month period may result in the loss of meeting room privileges for the duration of up to six months.

  • The library reserves the right to deny further use of the meeting rooms to individuals, groups, or organizations who do not comply with this policy.

    Revised Jan 2015; June 2018

To agree to abide by these guidelines, click here.