AFTER HOURS MEETING ROOM POLICY

Policies and procedures for the after-hours use of meeting rooms are established by the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court in order to ensure maximum use of the county's facilities. The procedures herein provide guidance to the library staff in implementing the policies for Commissioners Court.

Responsibility for accepting applications for after-hours use of all meeting rooms lies with the Administrative Assistant at George Memorial Library. The County Librarian retains authority for applying this policy following approval by Commissioners Court.

This policy applies to the main meeting rooms in the following libraries:

Albert George Branch (Needville),
Bob Lutts Fulshear/Simonton Branch (Fulshear),
Cinco Ranch Branch (Katy Area),
First Colony Branch (Sugar Land),
George Memorial (Richmond),
Missouri City Branch (Missouri City),
Sienna Branch (Missouri City),
Sugar Land Branch (Sugar Land) and
Univesity Branch (Sugar Land) .

All of the meeting rooms at these branches can be accessed when the rest of the building is closed and allow for access to restrooms near the meeting rooms. Only the main meeting room in each library is covered by this policy; small meeting rooms, conference rooms, and storytime rooms are not available for after-hours use. (Mamie George Branch in Stafford has no meeting room and is excluded from this policy. The Law Library is also excluded.)

This policy applies only to hours when library staff is not on duty in the building. Another policy, entitled "Meeting/Conference Room Policy" applies to meeting room use when the libraries are staffed. A different application is required for using a meeting room when staff are on duty. The application and requirements for the other policy can be obtained at any Fort Bend County Library.

Generally, the after-hours policy applies seven days a week, but only when staff are not on duty between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Because each library building is staffed and open to the public different hours, each branch has a specific schedule of available hours for use of the meeting rooms. The specific hours each building is available for after-hours use are shown on page 7.

Elected officials and Department Heads of Fort Bend County using library facilities for County business will be exempt from this policy and shall coordinate use of the facilities with the Administrative Assistant at George Memorial Library.

Events that include use of several public areas of a library, as well as the meeting room, and that benefit Fort Bend County Libraries and/or the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County (and other literacy organizations) are exempt from this policy, upon approval by the Commissioners Court. Other organizations are not exempt from this policy and may not use public areas of the library other than the meeting rooms to which this policy applies.

1. General Rules for After-Hours Use of the Meeting Rooms1

a) All meetings must be open to the public and to the media.
b) No admission fees are allowed.
c) Smoking, gambling, and use of alcoholic beverages are not permitted in
    the rooms.
d) No food or drinks (other than water) may be brought in or used in the
    meeting rooms.
e) No library technical equipment, including audiovisual equipment and
    computers owned by the county, may be used by groups using the building
    after hours.
f) No open flames are permitted in the rooms. No person shall bring in or use
    an open flame, flame producing devices, or any flammable or combustible
    material, such as candles, incense, tea lights, charcoal, etc. Smoke
    machines are also prohibited.
g) No items, including banners, posters, or decorations, may be affixed to the
    walls, ceilings, or other fixtures in the room. Users should bring their own
    freestanding easels for exhibiting items.
h) No animals shall be allowed in the meeting rooms, unless they are in the
    service of a disabled person. Such animals must be leashed at all times.
i) The length of time that is reserved for use of the room must include time for
    setting up and for returning the room to good order.
j) Groups comprised of persons 18 years of age or younger must have at
    least one (1) adult chaperone for every eight (8) guests. Chaperones must
    be at least 21 years of age and must be present throughout the duration
    of the function.
k) Users shall not post, exhibit, or allow to be posted, any signs,
    advertisements, show bills, posters, or flyers, inside or outside to any part
    of the building, except as authorized by the Library.
l) Publicity generated by the group using the meeting room must neither
    state nor imply that the library is either sponsoring or endorsing a program
    or meeting, unless such is the case; neither shall publicity state or imply
    that attendance is limited to group members. Publicity must not give out
    the library's phone number as an information contact.
m) Meeting rooms may not be used for activities involving more than normal
    wear and tear on the rooms; by groups meeting for private and/or social
    activities, such as showers, birthday parties, weddings, and recitals; by
    groups that have flagrantly or repeatedly violated library meeting
    room policies.
n) Fort Bend County will not be responsible for any equipment or personal
    property that is not the property of Fort Bend County.
o) Users are not allowed to store equipment or supplies at the facility other
    than during the hours that are specified on the application.
 
2. Application for Use of a Meeting Room
a) Applicants must be 21 years of age or older.
b) Library reservations will occur on a first come, first served basis.
c) A library meeting room may be reserved for specific days and times for a
    six-month term, with a right of first refusal for three (3) consecutive
    six-month terms. Applications and notice of refusal must be received by the
    library at least 30 days prior to commencement of use or end of use. Notice
    of refusal must be provided in writing.
    Payment for use of a meeting room shall be made by personal check at the
    time an application is accepted by the library, at least 30 days in advance
    of using the room. No partial payments shall be accepted; applicants must
    pay for an entire interval of use prior to using the room.
d) Applicants shall familiarize themselves with the facility before applying. Fort
    Bend County provides only the tables and chairs that are listed on page 7.
    Any other equipment or supplies must be furnished by the user.
e) At no time shall a reserving party sublease or assign its reservation to
    another group or organization. Nor shall use of the library be for any
    purpose other than what was stated on the application.
f) Applicants renting a meeting room are limited to the hours specified on
    their application. Any unauthorized or inadvertent use of the meeting room
    the day prior to, or following, a function will be billed at the same hourly
    rental rate.
g) Application forms may be obtained from the Administrative Assistant's
    office at George Memorial Library and at all of the branches. To request a
    form by phone, call 281-341-2603. A form will be mailed or faxed upon
    request.
h) Completed applications must be brought in person to George Memorial
    Library (second floor, office of the Administrative Assistant) by the person
    signing the application, or another person designated to handle all
    transactions involving the application and use of the meeting room.
i) Groups must submit, on their application, a list of authorized
    representatives (with names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone
    numbers) who have approval to make inquiries and reservations on behalf
    of the organization.
j) Renters will be charged a per hour fee (see Application Form) by Fort Bend
    County, for a minimum of two (2) hours of use. Parts of an hour will be
    charged as one hour. Renters will also hire and pay a peace officer for a
    minimum of two (2) hours of work and at least as long as the room is in
    use and/or rented . All peace officer arrangements must be made through
    the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office at 281-341-4786 or 832-473-2672
    with the designated Sheriff's Security Coordinator for the libraries. Law
    enforcement officers will be provided by the Fort Bend County Sheriff's
    Office at their contract cost rate. All law enforcement fees must be paid in
    full at the time the reservation is made. The officer on duty will be given
    the keys by the library staff and will be in charge of opening and closing
    the library at the requested time and for providing law enforcement during
    the rental period.
k) Applicants using the library meeting rooms shall comply with all County
    ordinances and Federal and State laws. As in accordance with County fire
    codes, all exits and doorways must remain clear and unlocked during
    functions, and access to all hallways and fire extinguishers shall remain
    clear. All marked fire lanes will be kept open at all time. Applicants agree to
    abide by the designated room capacity as shown on page 7.
l) Fees for elections, or similar events, may be waived by the County
    Librarian.
m) The applicant, or her/his designated representative, is required to be
    present in the meeting room and available to County personnel during the
    entire course of the event for which the applicant made a reservation.
 

3. Other Responsibilities

a) Applicants assume liability for the cost of repairing any damage to County
    property or equipment.
b) When it is deemed necessary, the County reserves the right to require
    applicants to provide public liability and/or property damage insurance and
    any other coverage needed to protect the property of Fort Bend County.
c) Each meeting room has a variety of tables and chairs for users. None of the
    furnishings may be taken outside of the facility for any reason.
d) Fort Bend County reserves the right to require additional police officers,
    paid by the applicant, if it is determined that there is additional security
    needed. If additional police officers are called out due to a disturbance, the
    applicant will be charged for the extra officers at a rate that is 1 ½ times
    their regular hourly rate.
e) Applicants are solely liable for the meeting room and must secure the
    building and its contents at all times during the reserved time. All property
    missing during this time will be charged to the reserving party.
f) Users are responsible for all clean-up. The applicant agrees to dispose of all
    garbage off-site, pick up trash in the parking lot left by the event, clean
    and return all tables and chairs to their original locations, and otherwise
    return the building and grounds to the condition they were in before the
    applicant's rental period.
g) Any events which have been scheduled due to false or misleading
    information provided by the user shall be rejected and cancelled without
    return of fees.
h) In the event of an emergency or extreme situation beyond the control of
    the County, a confirmed reservation may have to be cancelled. All groups
    should be aware of this possibility. Should a reservation be cancelled, it
    may be rescheduled or a refund given.
    In the event that a group or organization using a room wishes to cancel
    their reservation, the library must be notified in writing at least 30 days in
    advance, in order to give others an opportunity to use the meeting room.
    Should a reservation be cancelled, a refund will be given.
i) If the library staff is called out to respond to an emergency that is not the
    fault or responsibility of the County (including the pulling of fire alarms in a
    non-emergency situation), the applicant will be billed for any charges
    incurred by the library.
j) In case of building emergencies during the use of the meeting room,
    including, but not limited to, plumbing problems, power failure, or air
    conditioning problems, the user shall call the Library Maintenance
    Coordinator at 713-545-6099 (cell phone/pager) or the people listed on
    the emergency contact sheet to be provided at the time of application.
    In case of security-related emergencies, contact the relevant local law
    enforcement agency (police or Sheriff's department) or call 911.
Page 7 begins

Meeting Room Information
 
Branch
Name
Location Time Available
Before/After Hours
Room Capacity Chairs Available Tables* Available
           
University Branch Library 14010 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, TX 77479-4295
? 205 ? ?
Sienna Branch Library 8411 Sienna Springs Blvd.
Missouri City, Texas 77459-7119
? 201 ? ?
Cinco Ranch Branch
Library
2620 Commercial Center Blvd
Katy, TX 77494

Wednesday,
6-10 pm
Friday & Saturday,
5-10 pm
Sunday,
8 am-10 pm

130
130
14 large/
14 narrow
George Memorial Library 1001 Golfview Dr
Richmond, TX 77469
Friday & Saturday,
5-10 pm
Sunday,
8 am-12:30 pm; 5-10 pm
125
125
12
First Colony Branch
Library
2121 Austin Pkwy
Sugar Land, TX 77479
Friday & Saturday,
5-10 pm
Sunday,
8 am - 10 pm
100
100
10
Sugar Land
Branch
Library
550 Eldridge
Sugar Land, TX 77478
Wednesday,
6-10 pm
Friday & Saturday,
5-10 pm
Sunday,
8 am-10 pm
90
90
8
Missouri City Branch
Library
1530 Texas Pkwy
Missouri City, TX 77489
Thursday,
6-10 pm
Friday & Saturday,
5-10 pm
Sunday,
8 am-10 pm
60
60
6
Bob Lutts
Fulshear/
Simonton Branch
Library
8100 FM 359 So
Fulshear, TX 77441
Tuesday & Wednesday,
6-10 pm
Thursday,
8-10 pm
Friday & Saturday,
5-10 pm
Sunday,
8 am-10 pm
60
60
4
Albert
George Branch
Library
9230 Gene St
Needville, TX 77461

Monday & Tuesday,
8-10 pm
Wednesday & Thursday,
6-10 pm
Friday,
5-10 pm
Saturday,
1-10 pm
Sunday,
8 am-10 pm

50
50
4
           
* folding tables measure 36" x 72" (6 ft.)
 
LIBRARY STAFF EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS:
 
Maintenance Coordinator - 713-545-6099 (cell phone/pager)



1 Many of the General Rules listed here are the same as those applied to the business-hours meeting room policy.

Original version Approved by Commissioners Court March 8, 2005
Revised version Approved by Commissioners Court March 14, 2006
Library list updated February 28, 2012

Page 7 ends



FORT BEND COUNTY LIBRARIES
APPLICATION FOR AFTER-HOURS USE OF MEETING ROOM
(Application must be made in person at George Memorial Library.)


Today's date _________________

 
1. Name of organization ________________________________________________


2. The undersigned representative of the organization agrees that use of the meeting room will be in accordance with the policy established by the Commissioners Court regarding after-hours use of library meeting rooms. The undersigned representative agrees that he/she is responsible for use of the room. It is the responsibility of the person named below to pay for any fees for use, or additional charges incurred during use. Fees for required services for peace officers will also be paid by this person.


Name _____________________________________________________________


Signature ______________________________________ Date _______________


Title in organization __________________________________________________


Address ___________________________________________________________


Telephone number ______________________ Email address _________________


Name, address, telephone number, and email address of at least two other representatives of the organizations with the authority to make or change reservations:


__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________


3. Nature of Meeting or Activity


__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________


4. Library Location Requested _______________________________________


Day, Date, and Time Period Requested ______________________________

_____________________________________________________________


Frequency of Use (weekly, monthly, etc.) ___________________________


Specific Dates and Times Requested (2 hours minimum per use)


__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________



Total hours of use requested ______________

Security Deposit: $150.00

Fees for meeting room use are $70.00 per hour.

Total hours ___ x $70 = _______Total Fee

Please make checks payable to Fort Bend County.

Fees to be paid for peace officer are $25.00 per hour.



5. Clean-Up Agreement


I agree to assume full responsibility for cleaning of the meeting room in accordance with the policy. I further acknowledge that I will be financially responsible for payment of custodial services if I fail to clean up the facility and grounds properly.


_______________________      ________________
Signature                                     Date

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