San Jose Public Library Branch Community Rooms Use


Statement of Policy & Text

San Jose Public Library allows non-profit community groups to use the established Community Rooms within the various branch buildings in the San Jose Public Library system. A separate policy applies to the King Library.

Need for the Policy

The SJPL Library provides public access to community rooms to:

  1. Encourage library use.
  2. Facilitate the library’s role as a center of community activity.

Requirements & Guidelines



  1. Because the SJPL Library is a public facility, all meetings held on its premises must also be open to the public.
  2. Only non-profit community groups may apply for community room use and meetings must be for community purposes. If requested, a group must produce written verification of its status as a non-profit organization (e.g. proof of 501c3 status).
  3. To reserve a SJPL community room on behalf of a community group, an individual representative of the group must:
    • Submit a “San Jose Public Library Community Room Application” form and be approved by the relevant SJPL branch library prior to the use of a community room. Application forms are available at libraries with a community room and at
    • Agree to all SJPL policies, procedures, and applicable fees and charges.
    • Present a SJPL library card with current contact information and a SJPL Library account balance not greater than $25.
    • Provide full payment for room rental before the event begins.
    • Accept responsibility for any room set up and clean up, including restoration of the room to the original configuration.

    If a community group wishes to use the SJPL community room during any hour(s) that the branch library is NOT open, the individual representative must:

    • Use his/her SJPL library card to “check out” a key, appropriate alarm code, and instructions for securing the building. This check-out procedure can
      ONLY occur during regularly scheduled library hours on the day of the room rental.
    • Return SJPL community room key by placing it in special return envelope clearly identified for this purpose and dropping it in the book drop slot immediately after building is secured.
    • Be responsible for any charges incurred due to loss or late return of key or failure to properly secure the building. See list of fees below.
  4. Permission to use a community room is not transferable from one individual or organization to another. The person signing the original application will be held responsible for proper use and clean-up of the room. Only the person signing the application or the person listed as the alternate may check out the room key for before/after hours use.
  5. Reservations may be made no more than three months in advance.
  6. Cancellations must be made within 72 hours of reservation date/time to allow for re-booking. Payments made for the room rental prior to cancellation are non-refundable. If no payments have been made, no-shows and late cancellations will be charged a cancellation fee of $35.
  7. Groups may use any of the SJPL community rooms, however, in the interest of equal access to all potential users, no more than a total of 2 dates per branch per month to any group will be permitted.
  8. Reservations are accepted by each individual branch library for its own facility by contacting them directly.
  9. Community meetings can extend beyond library hours, but building must be secured by 11 PM.


  10. a. No admission may be charged or raffle held by an individual representative or community organization reserving a community room.

    b. Individual representatives or organizations are not allowed to request donations, collections or fees of any kind during an event in any of the SJPL community rooms

    c. Groups may not conduct sales of any type on Library grounds. Exception: Library Department affiliated groups (e.g. Library Friends groups) may collect monies during Library fundraising events (Bookstore, Silent Auctions, Author Series, etc.)

    d. Furthermore, City of San Jose departments may occasionally charge attendance fees for meetings provided that any member of the public is free to observe without paying a fee

    e. The Library may at its discretion cosponsor educational classes with the room use fee waived and/or frequency allowance modified. The cosponsoring non-profit institution may charge a fee for the class(es) if agreed to by the Library

  11. Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any SJPL community room.
  12. Activities and programs shall be conducted in a manner that does not interfere with normal SJPL operations. Noise level is subject to regulation by library staff.
  13. Groups not associated with SJPL may be required to clearly state in press releases and other publicity that the meeting is not library sponsored and that the presence of the group in the SJPL community room does not constitute endorsement by the library. The name and phone number of the person making the reservation may be given out to persons inquiring about a meeting.
  14. The group must provide and operate all its own materials and equipment, including audio-visual equipment and materials to be used in clean-up, e.g. vacuums. Equipment requiring more than 120 volts is prohibited.
  15. SJPL is not responsible for the loss or damage to individual or group property before, during, or after the meeting. The library cannot store equipment or supplies for any group using a community room. The library cannot supply supervision over exhibits or group displays. Library security services are for the protection of library property and security of the building only.
  16. Use of nails, screws, tape, staples, etc. on walls is prohibited.
  17. To ensure fire safety, at no time shall any exits be covered or obstructed during an event.
  18. Applicable parking rules must be observed at each facility during an event. Posting of signs, banners, flags of any kind or other displays on the exterior library premises is prohibited, unless approved by the library for library-related purposes.
  19. No group, organization, or individual may use the address of any SJPL library as a mailing address.
  20. Groups using a SJPL community room are allowed in that room only for the period of time reserved and paid for in advance. This includes set-up and clean-up time.
  21. The SJPL library may, at its discretion, cancel community room privileges (upon written notification) for failure to observe the rules.
  22. The number of persons present at one time may NOT exceed the posted capacity of the SJPL community room.
  23. Children and young people in the group must be adequately supervised by adults at all times.
  24. In case of a building/security problem, please contact the non-emergency police number at (408) 277-8900 and ask them to contact the City General Services Emergency Number. In case of a serious emergency, dial 911.


  1. The fee for use of a SJPL community room is $37 per use up to 4 hours; $70 per use over 4 hours.
  2. Cancellation fee is $35 per reservation.
  3. If clean-up by the community group is not satisfactory, the individual/community group will be charged for any labor and expenses incurred by the library to restore the community room to its original condition.
  4. If community room key is not returned immediately after use, the individual/community group is responsible for all costs incurred by the San Jose Public Library to re-key and/or replace locks in all areas of the library affected by the lost key.
  5. Rental fee must be paid before a SJPL community room is used.
  6. Fees for SJPL community rooms are non-refundable.
  7. City of San Jose departments are exempt from the rental fee.

Applicable Personnel/Departments

SJPL Branches only




Reviewed and approved by: Signature/Name Date of Approval
Assistant Library Director     Ned Himmel          

History & Dates

Category of Policy :Administrative/Operations
Author(s): SJPL Assistant Director: Ned Himmel
Authorized by: Ned Himmel
Date Written: 03/04/04
Date Effective: 03/04/04
Date(s) of Revision(s): 02/14/05; 03/10/08 gd; 07/01/16


A. Community Room Application