Meeting Room Policy
The meeting rooms at Main Street, Pearl Bailey, South Morrison, and Virgil I. Grissom Libraries are available for public use of non-profit groups for meetings of a civic, cultural, or educational nature.
- Library programs and services take priority and may force cancellation of other scheduled meetings or events.
- The Newport News Public Library retains the right to cancel a reservation previously granted to an outside group for the meeting room. In the event of cancellation, as much notice as possible will be given for cancellations.
- Only library sponsored events or services are held in the library proper or any other room in the library during public hours. Events not sponsored by the library must be held in the meeting rooms and only during hours the library is open to the public.
- Library staff will provide limited technical support on library equipment.
- Meeting room reservations scheduled before the hours of operation are limited to city departments and/or associated agencies. These reservations must be approved by the branch manager of the library or designee. The group is solely responsible for ensuring that members of the group are admitted into the meeting room.
Meeting Rooms May NOT be Used for the Following Purposes
Private social gatherings (birthday parties, parties in general, weddings, showers, funerals, family reunions, banquets, etc.), entertainment, dramatic productions, or any activity for money-raising or commercial purposes.
- A meeting is defined as commercial if the group sponsoring or conducting the meeting has as the purpose of the meeting to advertise, promote, or sell a product or service; or to train and motivate its employees; or for any and all other business-related functions such as market research, interviewing applicants, etc.
Non-profit organizations are required to provide copies of their IRS determination letter or 501c3 certificate.
- Rooms will be available only during the hours that the library is normally open. Reservations must take into account users set up and clean-up of the room.
- Groups are responsible for their own set up.
- At the end of the meeting, groups must put the room back in the order it was found.
- Attendance in the meeting room is limited by the fire code: The limit is posted in each room and is as follows:
- Virgil I. Grissom Library Meeting Room:90 persons
- Pearl Bailey Library Meeting Room:65 persons
- Main Street Library Meeting Room:150 persons
- South Morrison Computer Lab/Meeting Room:20 persons
- Meeting Room reservations can be submitted online or in person at any Newport News library. An application must include the time and date desired, name, email, and telephone number of the responsible party, name and type of the organization, and number of persons expected.
- The room will be assigned to qualifying groups in order of receipt. The meeting room is not confirmed for use until applicant receives an official confirmation email. A new reservation is required each time the meeting room use is requested. The next reservation for a group can be submitted at the completion of the previous meeting.
- Rooms may be booked up to 3 months in advance.
- Groups may not have the use of the meeting room on a standing, regular basis (second Thursday of each month, for example), except for Newport News agencies. City agencies are still required to reserve the facility. The next reservation for a city agency can be submitted at the completion of the previous meeting.
- Requests for the use of the room must be reviewed and approved by the branch manager or designee of the library.
- Groups may use library projection equipment, but must provide their own laptop or iPad and extension cord.
Cancellations made by the group must be made at least 24 hours prior to the meeting time. Failure to cancel within the 24-hour period may result in loss of privileges to use the rooms.
Conditions of Use
- Smoking and alcohol are not allowed
- Groups may not charge a fee for attendance at meetings. The exception is in the case of paid registration of a library-sponsored or library-endorsed seminar or workshop.
- Children’s groups may use the meeting room, provided they are supervised by one or more adults at all times.
- It is recommended that groups using the meeting room for youth programs adhere to the following guidelines for adult to youth:
- School age children:1 adult per 18 youth
- Pre-school age children:1 adult per 10 youth
- Some of the meeting rooms have facilities for serving light refreshments. Each group is responsible for cleaning both the meeting room and the kitchen facilities after use.
- Tape, push pins, and/or adhesives are not to be used on the floor, seats, walls, or painted surfaces in or outside the meeting rooms.
- Group signs, flyers, and other publicity items are not allowed to be posted or left on library property.
- Groups are responsible for any damage to library projection equipment or library audio-visual material used. Groups are responsible for checking equipment to make sure it is operational and should report any malfunctions immediately.
- Groups assume responsibility for any damage to rooms or contents and must leave the room in an orderly condition. The library is not responsible for any injuries incurred during use of the room, or for any lost or stolen property.
- The Newport News Public Library is not responsible for loss of or damage to any article on public exhibit or display.
- The branch manager of the library or designee is authorized to deny or revoke permission for use of the meeting room to any group that is disorderly, does not follow library policies, or violates these regulation.
- All occupants of the meeting room must clear the meeting room 15 minutes before the library closes. If a group stays beyond closing hours indicated, staff members reserve the right to call the police and to assess a late usage fee of $35.00.
- A public address (PA) may not be used without permission of the branch manager.
- The name or address of a branch library, or of the Newport News Public Library may not be used as the official address or headquarters of an organization. Mail returned or sent to the library will not be forwarded to the organization.
- The fact that a group is permitted to use the meeting room does not in any way constitute an endorsement by the city or library of the group’s policies or beliefs.
- The proposed and planned program or meeting will be conducted on a completely non-discriminatory basis and no person will be denied admission or attendance on basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical disability, or national origin.