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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. Available meeting room spaces may be reserved for not-for-profit civic, educational and cultural activities, as well as discussion of current public questions and concerns, and for-profit activities such as co-working, business meetings, and solo-entrepreneurship. The Library facilities are available on an equitable basis without restrictions based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, gender, 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.


  • Meetings should conform to the scheduled operating hours of the library.
  • All meetings held during the library’s operating hours 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.
  • Use of fire or flames is strictly prohibited.
  • Upon approval of the Library Director or designee, alcoholic beverages may be served only by a TIPS® (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) certified bartender. All alcohol service shall comply with state and municipal laws, ordinances and regulations. The organization shall provide evidence of insurance for the event.
  • 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 organizations or groups shall agree in writing 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 spaces.

Reservations for meeting spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis. All technology requirements must be arranged at the time of reservation. 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 Director or designee has the authority to accept, renew, or deny requests for use of the rooms under the established terms of this policy or any other library policy. Appeals may be made to the Library Board of Directors if necessary.

Revision approved by the Board of Directors October 26, 2016