Meeting Rooms

Use of a library meeting room implies acceptance of all library policies, including the Meeting Room Policy, Unattended Children Policy and Patron Behavior Policy. 

The Amherst Town Library welcomes everyone with inviting spaces for collaborative interaction and public use. Meeting rooms are available so that people may gather to exchange ideas, access and share information, and participate in community activities. Meeting rooms shall be made available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individual or group making the request. Permission to use the Library’s meeting rooms does not imply endorsement of the beliefs, policies, practices, or program of any individual or group by the Amherst Town Library, the Trustees of the Amherst Town Library, or the Town of Amherst.

Priorities of Use

Priority for meeting room use is given to library-sponsored activities. Provision of meeting room space is not the primary mission of the library, and must always be subordinate to the paramount need to provide a safe, peaceful, and respectful environment for library pursuits.

Public Nature of Use

  1. All meetings and events must be of an educational, cultural, or civic nature.
    Meeting rooms may be used for meetings by non-profit groups engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, charitable, advocacy, civic, religious, or political activities, and that are based in Amherst or serving Amherst residents.

    Individual use is permitted by local students for public presentations to fulfill education requirements or scouting advancement/achievements (i.e. Souhegan High School senior projects, BSA Eagle Scout or Girl Scout Gold/Silver award presentations).

    Meeting rooms shall not be reserved or used for social gatherings or private parties (including but not limited to birthday parties, showers, potlucks, banquets, graduations, weddings, memorials, or family reunions) or fundraising events.
  2. Public use of meeting rooms shall not interfere with library operations.
    Meetings and events that interfere with patrons in their customary use of library facilities, impede library staff in the performance of their duties, or endanger the library building or collection are not permitted.
  3. All library policies apply to activity in the meeting rooms.
    Those attending meetings are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the library’s “Unattended Children Policy” and “Patron Behavior Policy.” Any violation of conduct should be reported to staff. The further use of meeting rooms may be denied to individuals or groups who disregard library regulations.

    4. All meetings and events must be open to all members of the public and news media.
    Activities taking place in the meeting rooms must not be closed to any person in any legally protected category, including but not limited to age, gender, sex, race, religion, marital status, political affiliation, national origin, or disabling condition. Library staff reserve the right to attend meetings and events at any time.

    5. All meetings and events must be accessible to all.
    Users of library meeting rooms must comply with all applicable local, State and Federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as by hiring an interpreter or providing auxiliary aids when requested by the public.

    6. All meetings and events must be free of charge for those attending.
    Retail sales are not allowed.

Application/ Reservations

  1. Reservations are approved in order of receipt.
  2. An Amherst member of the organization must sponsor non-local organizations.
  3. A valid library card is required touse the onlineroom request system. Amherst residents without a card may still be eligible to reserve the facilities and should call the library for assistance.
  4. Meeting Room reservations may be made up to six months in advance.
  5. Because of the high demand for meeting space, groups will be limited to 1 reservation per month or 12 reservations per year. Exceptions will be made based on availability.


The Library reserves the right to cancel a reservation due to weather or some other emergency. When the library closes because of a facility or weather-related emergency, reasonable efforts will be made to notify individuals or groups scheduled to use a meeting room.


By using a Library Meeting Room, individuals and groups agree to hold the Library Board of Trustees, and the Town of Amherst, and all library staff, harmless from and to indemnify them against all costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, as a result of meeting room use. Such costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses shall include, without limitation, any damage to the meeting room or any other part of the library building, grounds, or collection; the cost of employee overtime, if occasioned by the use of the meeting room; the cost of police protection, if deemed necessary by the Board of Library Trustees; and any claim asserted by any third person against the Library Board of Trustees, the Town of Amherst, and/or any library staff on account of any alleged injury causally related to the meeting, together with defense costs including reasonable attorneys’ fees.


In consideration of the use of the meeting room, an individual or group, for itself and each and all of its members, hereby releases, remises and waives any and all claims which they, or any of them, ever will or may have against the Library Board of Trustees, the Town of Amherst and/or the library staff for any injury to persons or damage to property suffered by such group or any of its members during or as a result of the use of the meeting room, except insofar as such injury or damage is directly and solely caused by the negligence or intentional misconduct of any person belonging to or acting on behalf of the Library Board of Trustees, the Town of Amherst or the library staff.

Appeal Procedure for the Use of Library Meeting Room

If you believe that you meet the guidelines outlined in the Amherst Town Library Meeting Room Policy and that your application was not given proper consideration, you may submit an appeal.

  1. Ask for reconsideration by the Library Director if you are not satisfied with the original decision. An appeal form must be completed and submitted requesting such action.
  2. Ask for reconsideration by the Library Board of Trustees if you are not satisfied with the decision of the Library Director. An appeal form must be completed and submitted requesting such action.

A separate appeal form must be submitted for each of these steps. Appeal forms are available online at

There may be a waiting period of up to thirty (30) days for each step so that sufficient time may be given for a proper evaluation of your appeal. You will be notified as soon as a decision is made regarding your appeal. In the event your appeal is denied, you will receive a written notice stating the grounds for denial.

General Guidelines

Hours of Use

1.Meeting rooms are available for use during the library’s normal operating hours. 2.Meeting organizers and attendees will have access to a room only after the library is open. 3. Individuals or groups needing setup time before their meeting should allow for it in their reservations. Access to meeting rooms will not be permitted before the reservation time. 4. All participants must leave by the time the library closes. 5. Access to the library materials housed in the Archives Room is provided to all library patrons at all times even when the room is in use.

Room Capacity

  1. Users of library meeting rooms must adhere to the maximum capacity of each room.
    • Maximum occupancy in the Johnson Meeting Room is fifty people.
    • Maximum occupancy in the Archives Room is ten people.
    • Maximum occupancy in the Balcony is twelve people.
  2. Youth groups must have one adult in attendance for every fifteen young people.


  1. Set up chairs and tables are the responsibility of each individual or group.
  2. Egress routes may not be obstructed in any way and exit signs must remain clearly visible.
  3. Permission to hang decorations or set up signs or tables outside a meeting room require prior approval by the Library Director or designee.
  4. No flame-producing or hazardous devices may be used in the library.
  5. Storage is not available.


  1. Requests for use of the library-owned equipment (podium, laptop, display) must be made when reserving the room.
  2. A library staff member will set up library-owned equipment, ensure its proper operation, and store library-owned equipment after use.
  3. Library staff will not operate equipment during programs (e.g. start/stop videos or run slideshows).
  4. Individuals or groups providing their own laptop and who wish to connect to the Library’s network, display, or sound system are strongly encouraged to test their device for compatibility ahead of time.
  5. Technical questions can be addressed assistance is not available on evenings and weekends.

Food and Beverage

  • Light refreshments (such as box or bag lunches, cookies, finger foods, etc.) may be served. Outside catering is permitted. 
  • No food may be prepared on library premises, however, use of electric warming appliances such as crock pots, and coffee makers are permitted. Chafing dishes with open flames are not allowed. 
  • Requests for use of the kitchen must be made when reserving the room. 
  • Individuals or groups serving refreshments must provide all equipment, utensils, and serving items. 
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be served in the library. 
  • Leftover food, beverages, and serving items must be discarded or removed from the Library.
  • All cleanup must be completed before the end of the reservation time and before leaving.


  • Advertising of meetings and events is the sole responsibility of the applicant.
  • All publicity concerning meetings should make clear that the library is not the sponsor, and advertisements must include the statement, “not a program of the Amherst Town Library.”
  • Neither the name nor address of the Amherst Town Library may be used as an organization’s official address except for library-affiliated organizations or with the approval of the Library Director.

Clean Up/ Damages

  • Individuals and groups are responsible for leaving meeting rooms in good order after use. This includes:
    • returning all tables and chairs to the original setup
    • placing all trash in receptacles provided by the library
    • reporting any spills immediately to a staff member
    • removal of all personal effects
  • The library is not responsible for items lost or stolen.
  • No fees are charged for use of the meeting room, however, the Library reserves the right to collect payment for damages or costs incurred through the use of its facilities and meeting rooms.

Rev. accepted by Board of Library Trustees: 9 August 2010/ Amended January 25, 2022