Policy on Facility Use

The Library provides designated spaces that are available for events that are educational, cultural, religious, or civic in nature. Library facilities are not intended to function as administrative offices for organizations or individuals. If space is available after Library-related obligations have been met, library spaces are available to organizations or individuals for programs and meetings when such activities will not interfere with normal use of the Library and the use is consistent with this policy.

Rules for Facility Use


The Library shall schedule non-Library facility use after the needs of the Library have been met.

The Library reserves the right to attend any event held in its facilities to ensure no illegal activities are occurring on Library premises. The public cannot be excluded from general meeting room use.

Non-Library-sponsored groups are not permitted to charge admission or registration fees, and no products or services may be sold on Library premises. No collections are permitted.

Events held in Library facilities must not disturb Library operations. The Library reserves the right to stop events that are disruptive to Library operations. Groups that disturb Library operations may be denied future use of meeting rooms.

An adult (aged 18 or older) associated with the group must complete the facility use application and shall be responsible for all costs and damages resulting from use of Library facilities.

Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis and should be placed at least ten (10) days in advance. Groups may reserve Library meeting rooms a maximum of 15 times in a 12-month period.

Reservations will end 15 minutes before the Library closes, unless prior arrangements have been made with Outreach & Programming Services.

Groups of fewer than five may not reserve meeting rooms in advance but are permitted to use them on a first-come, first-serve basis, depending on availability.

Attendance at events may not exceed the maximum number of people certified by the Fire Department as the occupancy limit for the room.

Smoking is prohibited on Library premises.

The Library is not responsible for equipment, supplies, materials, or other items owned by a group and cannot provide overnight storage for any group.

Groups using Library facilities must not use advertising and/or publicity that imply their programs are sponsored, co-sponsored, endorsed, or approved by the Library, unless written permission to do so has been previously given by the Library. No group is allowed to tack or tape anything to walls or doors.

The Library reserves the right to reject any application if it is determined that the organization has abused its past privileges in using Library facilities as determined by the Library, including, without limitation: disruptive behavior, vandalism, theft, failure to appear for a scheduled meeting and/or failure to exit the building on time.

The Library reserves the right to cancel or change the location of any event if circumstances so demand and will endeavor to give at least 24 hours’ notice of cancellation or change. The Library reserves the right to cancel events with less than 24 hours’ notice due to acts of nature or situations warranting an emergency Library closing. The contact person listed on the Reservation Application will be notified.

Library staff will meet the group on the day of the event to provide access to the room and confirm the attendance on the day of the event. This information will be noted for statistical purposes only.

Serving Food/Refreshments

At the time that a Library facility is requested, the applicant should indicate whether food or refreshments will be served. If refreshments will be served, a cleaning fee will be assessed according to Fines and Fees Schedule C.

Room Set up

Requests and arrangements for specific room setup are subject to availability and must be made at least ten days prior to the event. The Library may offer the following setup options, depending on the room:

  • classroom set up (tables and chairs)
  • auditorium seating (podium with chairs facing front)

AV Equipment

Audio and projection equipment is available in the Main Library only. If desired, requests and arrangements must be made at least ten days prior to the event and are subject to availability. If the group requires staff to operate AV equipment, an hourly fee will be charged.

Use Outside Of Regular Library Hours

Selected Cleveland Public Library spaces in the Main Library and Louis Stokes Wing are available for rental for outside of Library hours. The Library’s Policy on Patron Conduct is applicable to all events taking place at the Library, regardless of timing.

Requests for rental of space before or after regular Library hours must be made to the Outreach and Programming Services department as far in advance as possible. Rentals are made on a first come, first served basis. Hours of rental are subject to approval of the Library. Anyone in Library facilities outside regular Library hours may be asked to provide identification.

Contract Requirements

Any party who desires to rent Library facilities for use outside regular Library hours must enter into and adhere to the Library’s facilities use agreement. The contract, among other things, requires the user to hold harmless and indemnify the Library from injuries or property damage that occurs as a result of their use of the Library facilities. A copy of the contract is available upon request and all the terms of the contract are incorporated into this policy.

Insurance and Liability

Renters must have commercial liability insurance in the minimum amount of $1 million dollars per occurrence/aggregate, and name the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Public Library, its officers, and employees, as additional insureds on the policy. If users intend to serve alcohol the renter must have liquor liability insurance with a minimum of $1 million dollars in coverage, and name the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Public Library, its officers, and employees, as additional insureds. Certificates of insurance verifying coverage must be provided in advance of the event.

Serving Food and Alcohol

The Library does not provide catering services and does not possess a license to serve alcoholic beverages. Any renter desiring to serve food must make arrangements with a caterer acceptable to the Library, and comply with all health laws. The Library must be made aware of the use of kerosene, canned heat, and other flammable heat sources and will approve their use on a case-by-case basis. Renters desiring to serve alcohol must obtain the appropriate liquor license and provide the Library with a copy of the liquor license in advance of the event.

Event Promotions/Invitations

Renters of the Library’s facilities must not use advertising and/or publicity that imply their programs or events are sponsored, co-sponsored, endorsed, or approved by the Library, unless written permission to do so has been previously given by the Library.


Rental fees will be charged in accordance with the Fines and Fee Schedule approved by the Board of Library Trustees. Fees will be quoted upon request and an estimate of event cost, including Library staff charges, will be provided before the facilities use agreement is signed.

Outreach & Programming Services will approve any charges for facility use and accept payments. A nonrefundable deposit is required in advance to reserve a space. Full payment is due seven (7) days prior to the event date. If payment is not received, it will be considered late and pending reservations may be cancelled.

Cancellation Fee for Event Rentals

All cancellations must be made in writing and received no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the event date and are subject to a $50 administration fee. If an event is cancelled less than fifteen (15) days prior to the scheduled event date, a 25% cancellation fee based on the rental fee and the $50 administration fee will be assessed.

If the Library cancels the reservation due to a Library event or closure, a full refund will be issued. Refunds will not be issued if the event is cancelled by the Library due to noncompliance with the Library’s Policy on Facility Use.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees, December 21, 2017
Effective December 22, 2017