Meeting Rooms Policy

The Watertown Free Public Library offers the use of its meeting rooms to further its roles as a place to meet and interact in meaningful ways, to learn and stay informed, and to celebrate and enjoy diversity.  The library’s meeting rooms are a community asset and we encourage their use by area community groups when not in use for library purposes.

Library meeting rooms are made available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the groups making the request.  Permission to use a library meeting room does not imply that the library endorses the aims, actions or policies of any group.  All meetings and programs must be free, open and accessible to any member of the public.  Every group or organization holding any function at the library should be prepared to provide a qualified sign language interpreter if requested to do so.  

Room Reservations

Priority for the use of library meeting rooms will be given in the following order:

  1. Library sponsored meetings and programs
  2. Meetings and programs sponsored by groups and organizations affiliated with the library
  3. Town of Watertown departments, boards, commissions and elected bodies
  4. Neighborhood and community-based groups and organizations from Watertown
  5. Other groups serving the needs of the community

Available Rooms

  • Watertown Savings Bank Room (first floor)
    - Seating up to 200 people
    - Equipped with kitchenette, audio/visual, digital presentation, data network capabilities, and assistive-hearing capabilities.
  • Raya Stern Trustees Room (second floor)
    - Seating up to 12 people
    - Equipped with wireless (wi-fi) capabilities
  • Lucia Mastrangelo Room (second floor)
    - Seating up to 20 people
    - Equipped with wireless (wi-fi) capabilities and whiteboard

Hours of Availability

  • All meeting rooms are available during regularly scheduled library hours.  All meetings must end 15 minutes prior to library closing.

Applications and Scheduling

  • Reservation requests may be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week by using the online form on the Watertown Free Public Library website. The Library Head Clerk is available to take reservations by telephone at 617-972-6434, or in person in the Administration office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Reservation requests must be made by adults.
  • Reservations may be made no more than three months and no less than 2 weeks in advance of the event. Scheduling requests submitted less than 2 weeks in advance will be accommodated when possible.  In order to allow as many groups as possible to use the meeting rooms, each group is limited to six reservations per six month time period.
  • Reservations shall be accepted, subject to the provisions of this policy, in the order received.
  • Cancellations must be received at least 2 days in advance of the scheduled meeting.  Failure to do so may forfeit the right of the group/individual to reserve rooms in the future.
  • Library administration shall have the right to cancel, re-schedule or transfer meeting room locations or dates that conflict with library sponsored programs and/or special events. In such cases, the library will give at least 2 weeks advance notice.
  • In case of an unscheduled library closing due to weather or some other emergency, a group may reschedule another meeting time. The library will notify the contact person for an affected group as soon as possible after the library decides to close.

Rules for Meeting Room Use

  • All meetings must be open to the public.
  • Individuals and organizations using meeting rooms must designate at least one person as the main point of contact for meetings and events held in WFPL meeting rooms. This person must be present at the meeting/event and must check in with staff at the circulation desk for meetings on the first floor or at the reference desk for events held on the second floor.
  • No group or organization using the meeting rooms shall:
    - Charge an admission fee or solicit donations
    - Sell or promote any material or service for private profit or gain
  • Groups using meeting rooms may arrange the available furniture as they choose, provided that all pieces of furniture are returned to their original positions at the close of the meeting. Furniture may not be moved into or out of meeting rooms.
  • All food and drink must be confined to the meeting rooms and adjoining kitchenette. The library does not provide plates, utensils, etc. Groups may bring in their own coffee makers. Groups are responsible for cleaning up the kitchen after use (Watertown Savings Bank Room).
  • State law prohibits smoking or use of alcohol or illegal substances in public buildings.
  • Posting or mounting materials on walls, doors or equipment is prohibited.
  • Groups are responsible for paying for the replacement or repair, at the library’s discretion, of lost, stolen or damaged equipment and furnishings.
  • Groups shall, at their own expense, procure any license or permit necessary for the conduct of their meetings (such as Board of Health permits for food service).
  • An appropriate number of adult supervisors must accompany groups of high school age and younger children.
  • Meetings or programs which, in the sole judgment of the library Director, would interfere with the functions of the library or of patrons using the library will not be permitted.  Meetings or programs which are approved but which prove disruptive to library operations shall immediately cease the disruptive operations upon notification to do so by library staff.
  • If, in the opinion of the Director, the presence of a police officer is advisable, the group using the facilities will hire one (or more) at its own expense.
  • The name, address and/or phone number of Watertown Free Public Library may not be used as the official address or headquarters of organizations using library meeting rooms. In issuing posters, press releases or other publicity, groups may not imply that their programs are sponsored, co-sponsored or approved by Watertown Free Public Library.
  • The Town of Watertown, Watertown Free Public Library, its Board of Trustees, Library Director or employees assume no responsibility for the loss, theft or damage of any property of any group, individual or organization using library facilities.
  • Violation of the rules of the meeting rooms may result in suspension of use of the rooms.

Approved by the Trustees 12/1/21