Community Room Policy

Meeting space expands the Patten Free Library’s ability to provide educational and cultural programs and to develop cooperative relationships with community organizations. The use of meeting space by civic, educational, or cultural groups and organizations whose members are from the Library’s service area is especially encouraged. No group or organization shall be denied space because of age, sex, race, beliefs or affiliations of its members. Failure to adhere to the following guidelines may result in the suspension of a group’s privilege to use any Library meeting space.



Programs must be free of charge and open to the public. Exceptions may be made for Friends of Patten Free Library fundraisers.

The sponsoring organization must acknowledge its sponsorship and provide phone numbers in all its publicity material. The Library phone number should not be listed as a point of contact for the event. All publicity (flyers, posters, newsletters, press releases, and invitations) must prominently state that the organization sponsors the event and/or “This program is not sponsored by the Patten Free Library.” The Patten Free Library does not necessarily support or endorse the views, opinions, or positions of groups or organizations using its meeting spaces. No group using the space should represent in advertising or promotions that the Library supports or endorses the group’s purpose or viewpoint. Only the Library may sponsor fund raising activities.

The Community Room seats 56 and can be configured in various ways. Groups may only use the meeting space during the normal operating hours of the Library. If there is a request for time outside of normal operating hours, this use will need to be approved by the Director as special staffing may be required. Meetings may not start until 15 minutes after opening; groups must leave the premises 15 minutes before closing. A member of the group sponsoring the meeting must be responsible for the operation of the audio-visual equipment. Groups are responsible for setting up the room and leaving the room in good order. The applicant is responsible for loss or damage resulting from the use of the room.

No group except library-related or library-sponsored groups may use the Community Room for regular meetings more frequently than monthly. However, a series that meets more than once a month may be held with prior approval from the Director.

The Library is not responsible for equipment, supplies, exhibit materials, or other items owned by the group or an individual and used in the Library.

The Community Room may not be used to make sales, enter into contracts, advertise or promote products or services, take orders, or exchange money or other property of value with the exception of sales connected with a Library sponsored event. A government entity or 501(c)(3) organization may request donations.


Every group using the Community Room must pay the Library for the use of the room before the meeting occurs, except as indicated below. Payment may be made by check or debit/credit card. Fees may be waived in cases of hardship at the discretion of the Director. In cases where no fee is required, donations will be gratefully accepted. The rates are as follows:

Group category Hourly fee for meetings up to 4 hours Hourly fee for any hour or portion thereof over 4 hours
Library, Friends, Municipal No fee No fee
Non-Profit No fee No fee
For Profit $50 $25

All groups serving refreshments (with the exception of the Friends and supporting municipal organizations) are required to pay a $25 refreshment fee, payable in advance at the time of the reservation. A small kitchen with a sink, refrigerator, microwave, and toaster oven is available for use upon request.

The Library reserves the right to charge a cleaning fee of $50 if the Community Room is not left in good order.


The Community Room is reserved for library and town programs, and when available, for use by the public. Public use is limited to community/nonprofit organizations or businesses for noncommercial purposes.

Activities Permitted

Users must indicate the intended use and the number of people expected to be present.  The following uses are specifically permitted; others may be permitted at the discretion of the Director:

  • Meetings
  • Lectures, film showings and demonstrations
  • Community programs
  • Information fairs, displays
  • Service of beverages, sandwiches, and light snacks. Groups must provide their own supplies: paper products, utensils, dishes, and condiments, for example. Groups must clean up and put all trash and recycling in appropriate receptacles.

Activities Not Permitted:

The following uses are specifically not permitted:

  • Service of full course meals
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Affixing banners, signs, artwork or other materials to walls, fixtures or other areas of the rooms except with the express approval of Library Director or designee


Reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to programs sponsored by the Library and the Friends of the Library.  Reservations may be made no more than six months in advance. However, the Library does reserve the right to reschedule or relocate within the building a scheduled meeting with appropriate notice if the room is needed for library programming.  Any fees collected will be returned should the scheduled event be cancelled.

To reserve the Community Room applicants must complete and return a Community Room Reservation Form online or in person at the Library. One person from the group (the applicant) shall accept responsibility for the group’s compliance with the meeting space policy by signing the room reservation request form after reviewing the guidelines and thereby agreeing to observe proper use of the room. This person must be 18 years of age or older and must be present at the meeting.

Groups must cancel any reservation by contacting the Library as soon as they are aware that they no longer need the room. Cancellations occurring within 48 hours of the program/meeting will result in the forfeiture of fees. Reasonable accommodation will be made to reschedule programs that are cancelled or delayed for weather-related emergencies.

Reporting Attendance

The Library is required to report aggregate room usage for the Maine State Library Annual Report. Groups must report the number of people in attendance after each use of the Community Room.


Approved by the Patten Free Library Board of Trustees 4/18/23