A. Availability and Fees

  1. The Freeman R. Johnson and Conference Meeting Rooms of the Joplin Public Library are made available free of charge to any non-profit organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities.
  2. The Freeman R. Johnson and Conference Meeting Rooms of the Joplin Public Library may be rented by for-profit organizations or businesses for non-commercial use, such as training seminars, etc., to which the public is not invited.  The Library will set the fee for meeting room use annually.
  3. Any non-governmental groups using the meeting room must make a refundable deposit to hold the group's room reservation. The amount of deposit will be as set by the Library Board of Trustees. Non-profit group desposits are to be made in cash. The deposit will be refunded to non-profit groups when the group arrives for a meeting. Deposits will be forfeited in the event of a no-show or a cancellation that does not comply with section B-11 as outlined below. Commercial groups' deposits will be applied to the room rental.

B. Rules

  1. Library sponsored programs receive first priority.
  2. The purposes and objectives of these organizations or groups must not violate the public interest.
  3. The Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoint of non-Library meetings or meeting room users.
  4. The Library will not reserve its meeting rooms for:

    a. Non-Library related groups selling or promoting items or services.

    b. Activities likely to disturb regular Library functions.
  5. All groups or organizations scheduling a meeting room must fill out the Application for Meeting Room (Appendix C) prior to the day of its use.
  6. No admission fees or collections will be allowed for any event scheduled in meeting rooms.  Pass-through costs for educational materials may be collected.  The sale of an author’s books during a book-signing event is allowed.  Library-sponsored events for the purpose of raising funds for the Library are allowed.
  7. Organizations or groups desiring to use Library equipment in the meeting rooms must request permission for its use when applying for the meeting room.  Any group using such equipment shall assume full responsibility for any damage to equipment.
  8. The organization is responsible for room arrangement.  If the Library is given forty-eight hours notice, the Library will arrange the room to the group’s specifications.  If no request is made for room arrangement, the room is set up theater style.
  9. No materials, equipment or furniture belonging to the organization may be stored on Library premises, and the Library does not assume responsibility for any materials or items left on the premises.
  10. Light, non-alcoholic refreshments may be served but must be catered or brought in by the group, as well as all supplies and service pieces.  All refreshments, supplies, and serving pieces must be cleaned up by the group or a $50 cleaning fee will be assessed.  If the carpet or furnishings are soiled during the use of Library facilities, the organization must pay the cost of cleaning.
  11. If a meeting is canceled, the Library must be notified at once and at least forty-eight hours in advance of the scheduled event unless unexpected hazardous weather or other emergencies occur. Fees or deposits paid in advance will be refunded if the room is cancelled 48 hours prior to use. No refunds will be given if cancellation occurs less than 48 hours prior to the event. Refunds to commercial groups will be issued by check within 30 days. Non-profit organizations may receive their cash deposit at the time of cancellation provided the cancellation is made in accordance with the cancellation procedure.
  12. Advance reservations may be made but not earlier than twelve months prior to the event and only in the current calendar year.
  13. The calendar opens on December 1 for scheduling in the next calendar year.
  14. Reservations by the same group may not be made more than twelve times in a calendar year.  This limit applies whether the meetings are held on successive days, once a week for twelve weeks, or once a month for twelve months.  Library-related events are exempt from this restriction.
  15. Scheduled events must be held during hours when the Library is normally open and must be over in sufficient time to vacate the building by closing time.
  16. If a question is raised as to the objectives and/or activities of any organization or group requesting use of the meeting rooms, the Board of Trustees shall be the final authority in granting or refusing permission for the use of the room.
  17. Parties utilizing Library meeting rooms must include a "sponsored by" tagline in any media publicity regarding the activity taking place on Library property.


A. General Guidelines for All Public Forum Areas

  1. As part of its public service and information mission, the Joplin Public Library makes available a browsing shelf for handouts, display and exhibit areas, and bulletin boards.  The use of these areas is intended to increase public awareness of the range of information available in the Library collection and to make available information created by and of interest to the local community.  When space is limited, preference is given to Joplin organizations.
  2. Displays, exhibits, handouts, and materials posted on bulletin boards are covered by the intellectual freedom policies of the Library.  Materials displayed or distributed in public forum areas may advocate a position, but the display and distribution do not constitute endorsement of the materials’ content by the Library.
  3. All handouts or materials for public forum areas must be evaluated for compliance with these guidelines and approved by the Library Director or his/her designee for distribution or posting.  Unauthorized material may be discarded.
  4. Materials approved for the public forum areas are stamped with the date of posting.
  5. A disclaimer is displayed in all public forum areas stating that the availability of handouts does not imply endorsement of the organization or its views by the Library or the City of Joplin.
  6. Political campaign materials are not accepted for display or distribution.
  7. The Library reserves the right to establish and amend further policies for public forum areas.

B. Browsing Shelf Guidelines

  1. The Library reserves the right to limit quantities of materials accepted for handout.  Items may be refused because of their size if at the time there is no available space for them.
  2. Handouts of for-profit groups, companies or organizations and handouts of an individual are generally not accepted.  Possible exceptions might include community newspapers produced by for-profit organizations but distributed free of charge.
  3. Materials that have been on the browsing shelf for more than four weeks may be removed to make room for newly submitted materials.

C. Public Bulletin Board Guidelines

  1. All materials displayed are the responsibility of the individual or organization providing the material.
  2. Materials may not advertise for-profit businesses or items for sale, nor include solicitations for donations to any group or organization including non-profits. Any event which has an admission charge or entry fee must be sponsored by a non-profit organization and must use the proceeds from such event for its non-profit activities.
  3. Items on the public bulletin boards are generally not displayed for more than four weeks.  The Library may remove any materials that have been on display for more than four weeks or which are no longer timely.
  4. The Library has the right to refuse to post any item it deems inappropriate.

D. Display and Exhibit Guidelines

  1. Exhibits must be scheduled through the Library Director or his or her designee.  Exhibits may be shown subject to the time, place, and manner determined by the Library.
  2. Library sponsored exhibits shall receive first priority.
  3. Exhibits shall be shown on a space available basis.
  4. Commercial exhibits are not accepted and no exhibit may advertise materials for sale.  Price information may not be displayed or be provided by staff.
  5. Displays may be exhibited for no longer than four weeks unless a longer display period is approved by the Director.
  6. No exhibit shall interfere with the operation of the Library or pose a physical hazard to Library patrons or staff.

E. Solicitation, Petitioning, or Distribution of Literature

  1. Persons are prohibited from engaging in the personal distribution of literature and/or solicitation of Library patrons and staff any where in the Library building or on Library property without explicit, written permission from the Library Director or his or her designee.

III. Social Software Policy

  1. The Joplin Public Library offers social software tools for educational, cultural, civic, and recreational purposes. Library social software tools provide a limited (or designated) public forum to facilitate the sharing of ideas, opinions and information about Library-related subjects and issues. Comments on all social software are moderated by Library staff. The Library reserves the right to remove comments that violate our rules for commenting, are unlawful, or off topic.
  2. Where applicable, the Joplin Public Library may choose to link its social software profile with other organizations. The Library will affiliate with other organizations whose profiles provide information that is of interest to the patrons of the Joplin Public Library. Affiliating with these organizations does not mean the Library endorses the view or opinions expressed on their profiles nor is the list of affiliated organizations intended to be exhaustive.
  3. Definition of Social Software: Social software is defined as any web application, site, or account offered by the Library that facilitates the sharing of opnions and information about Library-related subjects and issues.
  4. Rules for Commenting: Posts containing the following are against Library rules and will be deleted before posting or removed by Library staff:
    1. Copyright violations
    2. Off topic comments
    3. Commercial material/spam
    4. Duplicated posts from the same individual
    5. Obscene posts
    6. Specific and imminent threats
    7. Libelous comments
    8. Inappropriate images
  5. Deleted and removed comments will be archived. Anyone who violates our rules for commenting three times may be permanently blocked from commenting in the future.
  6. By choosing to comment, you agree to these rules.
  7. Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in social software, except as specifically noted, are those of the individual authors. View presented in social software by these authors are not necessarily endorsed by the Library nor do they represent the Library's views or policies.