Public Spaces Policy


The Board of Directors and staff of the Sawyer Free Library welcome the use of the library’s meeting rooms by community groups. All libraries are forums for information and ideas. Available meeting room space may be reserved for not-for-profit civic, educational and cultural activities, as well as discussion of current public questions and concerns. The Library makes its facilities available on an equitable basis without restrictions based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, gender, handicap (disability) or sexual orientation and shall not infringe upon free speech rights except in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations. Permission to use a library meeting space does not constitute or imply library endorsement of the policies of any organization or the views expressed in the meeting.

All meetings must be free of charge and open to the public. Artists, authors and performers whose programs are sponsored by the library may sell copies of their works only during the time allotted for their program.

Meetings should conform to the scheduled operating hours of the library. Use of alcoholic beverages and flames of any kind is strictly prohibited. Groups using the space assume responsibility for leaving it in a clean and orderly condition and for any damage to the room or its contents. All technology requirements must be arranged at the time of reservation.

All organizations or groups shall indemnify and hold harmless the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc., its staff, or the City of Gloucester from any claims, suits, or actions of any kind arising from or related to any negligent act, omission or error of the organization resulting in personal injuries or property damage arising from or related to the organization’s use of the meeting room.


Reservations for meeting spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis. Library- or city-sponsored meetings have priority and the library reserves the right to preempt any scheduled meeting for any reason. Every effort will be made to give advance notice of such preemption.

The library seeks to encourage the broadest use of the Library’s public spaces. Reservations may be made no more than three months in advance. No group may consider the library its permanent meeting place or use the library as its mailing address.

The Library has the authority to accept, renew, or deny requests for use of the room under
the established terms of this policy or any other library policy. Appeals may be made to the Library Board of Directors if necessary.