Private Event Space Rental Policy

Overview and Definitions[1]


The Memorial and Library Association (hereinafter the “Association”) is a private non-profit that owns and operates Westerly Library and Wilcox Park (hereinafter the “Library”)[2] and offers its Event Space to organizations for non-commercial, cultural, informational, educational, intellectual, recreational, and civic purposes during normal Library hours of operation. 

The Library offers facility rentals to community groups, non-profit organizations, private businesses, individuals, and government agencies, in accordance with Association policies and procedures and state and federal laws. Event Spaces are not available for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, solicitation, or fund-raising purposes.

The Library subscribes to the tenets of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Article VI, which states in part, “libraries which make meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use". All Event Spaces are treated as meeting rooms.

Each person or organization requesting use of an Event Space must submit an application and agree to abide by the guidelines set forth herein. Failure to do so may result in cancellation or refusal of applications in the future. Use of an Event space(s) does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the Group’s policies, opinions, and/or beliefs by the Library. 


“Group” is defined as any association, organization, corporation, or gathering of individuals or, singularly, and individual however denominated.

“Event” is defined as any meeting, program, gathering, or performance.

“Participant” is defined as anyone attending or planning to attend the Event.

“Event Space” includes the Auditorium, Terrace Room, Roberts Room, Hoxie Gallery, and The Cottage.


Event Spaces 

Auditorium - The Auditorium is available for programs, meetings and special events. The space is pre-set for 50 guests in row (audience) seating. This 41’ x 34’ space can accommodate a maximum capacity of 85 people (subject to layout and chair availability). A baby grand Steinway piano is in the Auditorium. It cannot be moved out of the room. If needed, it is the Group’s responsibility to have it tuned by a Library approved vendor. Food approved for this space can include non-alcoholic covered beverages and light snacks only. 

Terrace Room - The Terrace Room, located on the third floor of the library, offers multi-use functionality from public meetings and educational programs to workshops and private events, and can accommodate a maximum capacity of 75 people (subject to layout and chair availability). This 43’ x 43’ space includes restrooms, kitchen facilities, and access to a terrace overlooking Wilcox Park, weather permitting.

Roberts Room - The Roberts Room, located on the second floor of the library, is a small, semi-formal conference room space that can accommodate up to 12 people for seated round table discussions or gatherings. 

Hoxie Gallery - The Hoxie Gallery is a public art gallery that generally displays the work of local artists. Each exhibit is booked for the period of approximately one month. The Hoxie Gallery is available for limited private use subject to the approval of the Executive Director and the current artists(s) displays. Due to the nature of the space, and the range of art exhibits that are displayed, reservation policies and procedures differ for use of the Hoxie Gallery. A baby grand piano is in the Gallery. It cannot be moved out of the room. If needed, it is the Group’s responsibility to have it tuned by a Library approved vendor.

The Cottage - The Cottage located in Wilcox Park adjacent to High Street is a small 4 room cottage with a small kitchen and ADA compliant first floor and restroom. The main level can accommodate 15-28 people depending on function needs.


Floor plans and more specific information about Event Spaces, furniture and equipment are available. Restrooms are located on the third-floor for the Terrace Room, as well as on the second-floor for the Auditorium, Hoxie Gallery or Roberts Room spaces. All event spaces are accessible by elevator and stairs.


Event Space Reservations, Cancellations, and Use

  • A Group requesting to use an Event Space must submit an application that is signed by an individual, who must be at least 18 years of age, acting as formal representative of the Group. Said representative shall be the contact person for all communications with the Library regarding the application, furniture or equipment use. 
  • Any Group using an Event Space shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, or with respect to any other protected class in connection with any activity related to the use of an Event Space.
  • Events may be held only during the library’s scheduled hours of operation and must conclude (including break-down and clean up) at least 15 minutes before closing.


Library Hours: 

Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm 

Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm


  • Event Spaces may be booked up to twelve months in advance. Event Spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. Priority for use of the facilities is given first to Library initiated activities and functions. Room set up and equipment needed should be requested at the time of booking but no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled event.
  • No admission fees may be charged, no collections taken, nor may donations be accepted or solicited at any private Event.
  • No single Group may have more than two meetings in a one-month period, and may not exceed 4 hours in duration without prior approval of the Executive Director. Events scheduled for the same space and day will have 30 minute “blocks” between them for set-up and clean-up.
  • No Events shall interfere with, impede or disrupt the operations of the Library or pose any risk to the safety of Library patrons and staff. Participants are subject to all Library policies and regulations, including but not limited to its Code of Conduct (link to policy). Room capacity, as determined by the Fire Marshall, must be observed at all times.
  • A Group will cover any costs incurred by the use of police details, special maintenance, or security required in connection with the Event as determined by the Library. The Executive Director has sole discretion to determine the necessity of police presence or other security measures.
  • A Group reserving an Event Space assumes full responsibility for providing and paying for special accommodations that are requested by Participants in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If accommodations are needed, please complete our Reasonable Accommodation Form on behalf of your Participant(s) no later than 10 business days from the scheduled Event. 
  • The Library charges for the use of Event Spaces. All fees are due and payable in full at least one week in advance of the scheduled event. Event Space reservations are considered tentative until paid in full. If full payment is not received within that period, use of the space may be cancelled. If cancellation occurs within 5 days of the scheduled Event, all fees paid shall be forfeited. Checks should be made payable to: Westerly Library and Wilcox Park. For event space fees please click here to view the fee schedule included within the application form.
  • Any organization that is a “no-show” for two scheduled meetings may have its event space privileges revoked or suspended.
  • The Library reserves the right to cancel any Event due to inclement weather, building emergencies, or other extenuating circumstances.  In such case, the Library will make reasonable efforts to notify the Group’s formal representative, who should nevertheless call the Library for a recorded message or access its website for further information.  The Library will endeavor to reschedule the Event on a mutually agreed date, and failing that, all fees will be returned.


Indemnification and Limitations

The Library assumes no liability for a Group or its Participants in connection with use of an Event Space, or theft or damage to vehicles or personal property while on the Library premises. The Library is not responsible for equipment, clothing, or other items left on its premises at the close of an Event. The Group agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Library, its officers, directors, managers, employees and agents and each of their Successors and assigns, from any claims, action, liability, loss, damage or suit, arising from or related to the use of the Library Event Spaces. In the event of an asserted claim, the Library shall provide the Group with timely written notice of same, and thereafter the Group shall at its own expense defend, protect, and hold harmless the Library against said claim or any loss, liability, cost or expense thereunder.

  • A Group is responsible for paying for any breakage, or damage to Library property, or any inordinate amount of cleaning resulting from the use of the Event Space.
  • The Event Space is to be left in the same condition as it was found. Any rental supplies, linens, décor, refuse, or the like must be removed at the conclusion of the Event. Nothing is to be attached to any walls, doors or ceilings. All waste should be disposed of in the receptacles provided. Additional bins can be provided upon request.
  • A $50 cleaning fee is mandatory for Events where food or beverages are served. Additional fees may be charged if an Event Space is not left in the same condition as it was found. 
  • Open flames and candles, smoking and vaping, and consumption of marijuana are prohibited on library and park property.
  • If children are present for any Event, they are to remain in the Event Space during the scheduled Event. (When the Library is open, children are allowed in the Kids Room if accompanied and supervised by someone 14 years or older.)
  • A Group may not use the name, address, or telephone number of the Library as the official address or permanent meeting place.
  • Once an Event Space is reserved, a Group is not permitted to allow a third party to use the space in its place.
  • Use of an Event Space will be denied to anyone providing false, misleading, or incomplete information on an application. 
  • Extended and exclusive use of an Event Space for cultural or educational purposes, such as a theater engagement or art exhibit, may be arranged under a separate agreement with the Executive Director.
  • The Library is unable to provide storage for any Group. All items used for the Event must be brought in during set up and be removed immediately following the Event. A Group’s formal representative must be present to accept delivery ahead of time for items needed by the Group and must take responsibility for their removal afterward.
  • The Group or presenter, not the Library, is responsible for obtaining all rights and clearances regarding copying, performance, display, or distribution of materials for the event.
  • Authorization for use of an Event Space does not include use of Library staff other than to provide access to the facility and to determine that the room arrangement and equipment requested are provided as agreed upon at the time of booking. Any additional demands on staff time relating to the scheduled Event will result in the Group being billed for this service. 


Food and Drink

  • Food, including meals, and beverages may be served in the Terrace Room with prior approval, provided a Group uses its own supplies and equipment and leaves the area in a clean and orderly condition. 
  • Covered drinks and light snacks (finger foods not typically requiring cooking, heating, plates, or utensils to serve) are permitted in the Auditorium, provided a Group uses its own supplies and equipment and leaves the area in a clean and orderly condition. 
  • No alcoholic beverages may be served in any Event Space without prior permission of the Executive Director. 
  • Groups are responsible for meeting all regulatory requirements, including obtaining short-term event insurance with liability and liquor liability coverage. Copies of the coverage must be provided to the Library at least 2 weeks before the Event. Only a TIPS certified person may serve alcohol. Proof of certification is also required if different from the caterer.


Publicity and Promotional Materials

  • A Group using an Event Space may not use advertising or publicity which implies that its Event is sponsored, co-sponsored, endorsed, or approved by the Library, unless written permission to do so has been previously given by the Executive Director. 
  • Any promotional materials related to the Event must clearly indicate the name and contact information of the Event’s sponsor or organizer. If the name and address of the Library is used for directional purposes, advertising should indicate that the views do not represent that of the Library or the Association.

Revised and Approved by the Memorial and Library Association Board of Trustees February 21, 2023

Please click here to view the policy, application and fee schedule.


[1] Definitions are capitalized throughout

[2] The Association makes its facilities in both the Library and the Park available to the public in accordance with this policy and Application and Park Use Guidelines and Application, which may be found on Westerly Library and Wilcox Park’s website



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