Meeting Room Policy

Read the Meeting Room Basics and Policy Below.

Room Use Basics

  • Room use requests must be made a minimum of 2 weeks in advance, but can be made up to 6 months ahead of time.
  • Non-profit groups may use the meeting rooms for free.
  • For-profit groups will be charged $40 per hour, per room; as will all condominium and home owners associations. (The library will provide an invoice complete with payment instructions.)
  • Groups are limited to using a room 12 times during a calendar year.
  • The first time a meeting room is requested each calendar year, an Annual Room Use Agreement will be provided to the person responsible for making the request. Once filled out, signed, and returned, the agreement will be kept on file and considered valid for the duration of the calendar year.  Booking a meeting room using the online booking system and checking the appropriate box during the booking process satisfies this requirement.
  • Meeting room users are responsible for arranging tables and chairs in whatever configuration is best suited to the occasion. However, at the conclusion of the event, the furniture may be left as the group arranged it. The Library Maintenance Staff will see that it is properly stored.
  • Items for recycling and disposal may be left in the appropriate containers provided, but the room should otherwise be left in the same condition of cleanliness in which it was found.
  • The library has a No Call/No Show policy. Groups that repeatedly make room reservations and fail to show up without giving the library  sufficient notice may have meeting room privileges revoked.

Bristol Public Library System Meeting Room Policy


A. The Board of Library Directors of the Bristol Public Library System views the use of the meeting rooms as an extension of library services. Reflecting the educational, cultural, social and recreational roles of the library, the rooms will be broadly available to community organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, civic, or charitable activities.

B. The Board subscribes to Article IV of the Library Bill of Rights which states that facilities should be made available to the public served by the given library on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.


A. There are four (4) meeting rooms available for public use:

    1. Three (3) Meeting Rooms at Bristol Public Library (total capacity – 315)
    2. The Manross Room at the F.N. Manross Memorial Library (total capacity – 130)

B. Library functions will have first priority for use of the Meeting Rooms and the library reserves the right to preempt non-library use. This priority shall apply in establishing future reservations and in canceling previously established reservations. Use of the meeting rooms shall be governed by the following descending order of priority:

    1. Bristol Public Library System
    2. Friends of the Bristol Public Library
    3. City of Bristol: Boards, Commissions, Committees, Agencies, and Departments
    4. Bristol non-profit community organizations

C. The Library Director is authorized to determine the appropriate use of the rooms. Any person or group denied use of the meeting room(s) may be referred to the Board of Library Directors for appeal.

D. The fact that a group or individual is permitted to use the room does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs by the Library or the City.

E. Reservations for use of the meeting rooms must be made by an individual at least 18 years of age. Reservations at the Manross Library must be made with the Supervisor of Branch Services by telephone or in person. (An application will be sent which must be completed, signed and returned to the library for approval.) Reservations at the Main Library must be made either by using the online meeting room request system, or by contacting the Library’s Programming / Public Relations Manager.

F. Groups are limited to using a room twelve (12) times during a calendar year.

G. Reservations for the use of the meeting rooms must be made at least two weeks, but  not  more than six months, in advance.

H. Meeting rooms are generally available for use during library hours.

I. All events scheduled at library facilities must be free of  charge..

J. For-profit groups may use the meeting rooms for informational meetings only. For profit groups, as well as condominium and home owners associations, shall be charged a fee of $40.00 per hour, per room for use of the meeting rooms.

K. Selling or taking orders of any kind is prohibited.

    1. No fees, dues, or donations may be charged, solicited, or collected by meeting room users for any programs or exhibits taking place at the library.
    2. Fund raising events or solicitation of any kind are not permitted unless sponsored by the Friends of the Bristol Public Library.
    3. Meetings planned by a company or individual to promote, advertise, or lead to the sale of a product or service are not permitted. This includes, for example, informational seminars intended to generate future clients for a company or individual.
    4. Though the library encourages programs or gatherings of interest to collectors or hobbyists, parties or events that sell consumer goods, such as baskets, housewares, jewelry or cosmetics, are not permitted.

L. Private social events, such as wedding, birthday, anniversary, or graduation parties, are not permitted; nor are family reunions or baby showers.

M. In all advertising and press releases it must be made clear that the sponsoring organization should be contacted directly for information regarding the program, and a contact name and telephone number must be provided. One of the following statements of sponsorship must appear in all advertising and press releases:

    1. This program is sponsored by (organization’s name, followed in parentheses by representative’s name and contact information) and will be held in Meeting Room (1, 2, or 3) on the lower level of the Bristol Public Library, 5 High Street, Bristol, CT.
    2. This program is sponsored by (organization’s name, followed in parentheses by representative’s name and contact information) and will be held in the Manross Room of the F.N. Manross Memorial Library, 260 Central Street, Forestville, CT.

N. Under no circumstances shall the sponsor of a meeting require sign-in of attendees nor should any follow-up contact be made at the sponsor’s initiation.

O. Any group or individual violating these rules may be asked to leave and/or denied future use of the facilities.

P. Groups and individuals are responsible for carrying their own materials and equipment into and out of the building.

Q. The City of Bristol requires some groups who wish to use the meeting rooms to provide an acceptable certificate of insurance to the Comptroller’s Office. Only the Comptroller’s Office has the authority to waive this requirement. Examples of programs or events requiring insurance might be: those that include demonstrations of, or participating in, any physical activity.


Reserving a library meeting room and failing to show up for any reason without notifying the library on three (3) separate occasions in any calendar year will result in loss  of meeting room privileges. Reinstatement of meeting room privileges, and the terms governing such reinstatement, shall be at the discretion of the Library Director.


Revised 09/09/2002
Revised 06/05/2006
Revised 05/07/2012                                                                                         Revised 12/07/2015

Combining Rooms

The walls dividing the three rooms are removable to accommodate larger groups (ranging from 75 to 315 people). Such requests require special permission and, for best results, should be made three to four months in advance.

Please contact the Library’s Programming / Public Relations Manager, Scott Stanton at 860-584-7787 ext. 2007 or if you anticipate more than 75 people may attend your organization’s event.


What if I’ve made a mistake when using the Online Room Use Request system?
If you just need to make a minor time adjustment, or change something like the number of tables and chairs you will need, you can leave a message at 860-584-7787 ext. 2007, or email

If you made your request for the wrong day or the wrong room, go ahead and submit another Room Use Request for the reservation you do need, and then leave a message at 860-584-7787 ext. 2007, or email explaining which request needs to be taken out of the system.

How do I cancel my Main Library Meeting Room reservation?
You’ll have to leave a message at 860-584-7787 ext. 2007, or email

What happens if the weather is bad the day of my reservation?
If you need to cancel your event due to bad weather or some other emergency situation, please leave a message at 860-584-7787 ext. 2007, or email

(Emergency cancellations are not counted as part of the 12 times per year a group can use the library’s meeting rooms.)

The library rarely closes due to weather conditions. Should the library need to close unexpectedly, a staff member will try to reach the person from your organization who was responsible for making the reservation.

In either case, if the library still has power and internet access, the closing information will be posted on the Library’s homepage.

If Bristol Schools are closed, will the library close, too?
Not usually. The library rarely closes due to bad weather.

Does the library have a projector and a laptop we can use for our event?
While the Main Library does have the built-in, drop down projection screens in each room, meeting room users need to provide their own projector and laptop or other media playing device if needed.

Book a Room Online >

Have questions? Contact Scott Stanton, at 860-584-7787 ext. 2007 or