Niles District Library has long offered meeting room space to organizations in the community so they may provide information, entertainment, and enrichment to area residents. Over the last several years the number of room requests has risen dramatically to the point where room availability is an increasingly limited resource. Last year alone our rooms were booked for over 1500 hours. As such, it has become necessary to review how space is being used and create a process that allows us to weigh opportunities to ensure the most critical community needs are met.
At the same time, we must be mindful of the cost of increased usage, like staff coordination, janitorial services, and room and equipment wear. In order to try to balance room availability, cost, and community well-being, our board of trustees has revised our room usage policies, effective October 1, 2016. The revised policy is available here.
The primary purpose of the library’s meeting rooms is to provide facilities for library activities.
The secondary purpose of the library’s meeting rooms is to provide meeting facilities for Partner Organizations that are doing work which furthers the mission and/or vision of the library.
The tertiary purpose of the library’s meeting rooms is allowing non-partner organizations to rent space for a standard fee.
Typically groups or individuals requesting room access will fall into one of these three categories: Partner Organizations, Program Partners, or Non-Partner Organizations
Groups in the community can apply each year to become a Partner Organization. There is a small processing fee associated with the application, but if approved by the Library Director the Library’s rooms will be available at no charge through the year for most common activities. A Partner Organization must meet the following criteria:
They engage in educational, cultural, intellectual, civic or charitable activities
They serve people in the City and/or Township of Niles
They have a mission or goal that aligns with the library’s mission and vision
They are not engaged in political campaigning as their primary activity
Please see the policy for details, limitations, and exceptions. Once approved, partner organizations will be able to schedule a room booking online with as little as a one-day advance notice. On the scheduled date, library staff will simply unlock the door and ensure all requested equipment is available.
Others (non-partner organizations) may also request to use the library’s meeting rooms and equipment. Non-partner organizations will be required to prepay $20 per hour per room, and can also schedule with little advance notice.
Sometimes organizations or individuals use the rooms to provide programs and services directly to the public. This type of room usage falls under library programs rather than external room bookings. In this case, we will still require an application to be a Partner Organization (so we have current information and contacts) but these applications will go instead to the Programs Manager and require no application fee.
The Programs Manager is responsible for scheduling, maintaining and balancing our “collection” of services and programs, much like we strive to maintain a balanced collection of book and video titles. If approved, this type of partner organization works with the CE Manager at least 30 days in advance to plan and schedule opportunities to directly serve the public from this location.
Some organizations may benefit from both designations. If you would like the ability to schedule rooms for organizational use, simply include the application fee and your submission will be sent to the Library Director as well.
How to Apply
Need a room for your study group, client meeting, business, or non-profit? We have several spaces, though each has limited availability. Reservations can be made for free by NDL cardholders in good standing, and by approved Partner Organizations. Other businesses and organizations can request a room for an hourly fee. You can request this service in one of several ways:
1. Complete this form, and we will contact you within 72 hours.
2. Call NDL Community Engagement at 269.683.8545 x116.
3. Email CommunityEngagement@nileslibrary.net.
We truly appreciate the opportunity to serve, and we hope these changes will allow us to continue doing so in a fiscally responsible, thoughtful, and balanced way.