Last updated

21 February 2024

The primary purpose of library meetings rooms is to provide a community space with the aims of:

  • improving the quality of life
  • promoting life-long learning
  • encouraging civic engagement.

The secondary purpose of library meetings rooms is as an income stream to support the Library Service. To this end our general principle is that any organisation can hire the rooms as long as they pay the appropriate rate. We do, however, reserve the right to refuse lettings that we feel may threaten the reputation of the Library Service for neutrality. This includes events that might be seen as politically or religiously extreme and campaigns promoting one side of a controversial subject. The judgement of the service on what is acceptable use will be final.

If rooms are hired for open events, any publicity must make it clear that West Sussex County Council does not necessarily support the views expressed at the event.

We also promote the use of library meetings rooms and other library spaces for:

  • surgeries
  • advice sessions
  • similar activities for public benefit.

Where these take place in a designated meetings room, they are usually charged at Group 1. This charge may be waived locally in some circumstances. Again, the judgement of the service of what qualifies for these concessions will be final.

Rooms may, at the discretion of the relevant manager, be hired without charge for meetings that support independent living in later life or job seekers, provided there is no charge for attendance. This is to support key County Council priorities.

To maximise use of the rooms, short-term discounted bookings may be offered at the discretion of the relevant manager, with the approval of their lead manager. These will be the exception rather than the rule, and time limited.

The minimum hiring time is one hour.

Fee structure

The categories of library lettings for different fee levels are:

Group 1 - Community and 'not-for-profit' educational use

Examples of this could include:

  • U3A classes
  • Rent Officer Service
  • HM Inspector of Taxes clinic
  • Centre for Continuing Education.

Aspire (adult education) is also charged at this rate.

Group 2 - Business use

This rate is particularly targeted at supporting new and developing small businesses. Use by individuals and groups for activities with a community value who charge attendees, but for whom profit is not the prime motive are also included in this group. It also applies to company training courses and internal meetings.

Group 3 - Commercial use

This applies to all other sessions where admission is charged. It includes any type of selling/marketing activity.

Waived

In limited circumstances, at the discretion of the service: as outlined in the policy.

Where out-of-hours use requires attendance by a member of staff, an additional hourly fee will be payable.