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Branch Community Rooms

Reservation Requirements

  • All events held in the Community Room must be free and open to the public.
  • All applicants and attendees must abide by the Library’s Behavior Policy and Branch Community Room policy.
  • Applicants shall make requests for meeting rooms online.

Why do we rent community rooms?

We are committed to providing access to community rooms for established nonprofit organizations, typically known as 501(c), neighborhood associations affiliated with the City of San José, City departments. Community rooms are made available for events which foster community engagement and support the library’s mission.

This policy is specific to the community rooms at the San José Public Library branch locations. A separate policy and form are available to reserve a meeting room at the King Library. Additionally, there are group study rooms that can be reserved for free with any library card. This policy does not apply to library-sponsored events.

Who can rent a community room?

Community rooms may be reserved by organizations falling into one of two categories:

  • Affiliated: Individuals or organizations directly associated with the City of San José or other government institutions.
  • Unaffiliated: Established nonprofit organizations, typically known as 501(c).

The person making the reservation must be over 18 and have a current library card with an account balance that does not exceed $20.

What restrictions are there on events?

Your event must be open to the public and advance the library’s mission. Reservations may not be made for private events. Anyone renting library community rooms shall not discriminate against any individuals or groups of individuals because of race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or citizenship.

Events must be free of charge for their attendees. No promotions, donations, fundraising, or sales are allowed unless authorized by library staff. Organizations may not charge a regular membership fee or dues in order to attend the event.

Reserving a community room means you are agreeing to follow all library policies, in particular the Behavior in the Library Policy. Our staff reserves the right to ask you and all attendees to discontinue any activity that disrupts the normal activities of the library. Failure to comply with library policies may result in withdrawal of future community room and/or library privileges.

The Library is not responsible for any property, personal or otherwise, which is brought onto or into any of the library’s premises. You agree to hold the Library harmless for any Personal Injury or Property Damage caused by the individual user or any member of his/her group.

When are community rooms available to rent?

Rentals are allowed between 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM when not in use by SJPL staff for library-sponsored programming and events. However, rentals are not available outside of regular library business hours at the Almaden Branch, Alviso Branch, Bascom Branch, and East San José Carnegie Branch locations.

How much does it cost?

We do not charge any fees to affiliated organizations (City departments and government institutions) to reserve a community room. Unaffiliated organizations (established nonprofits) are charged $40 per use up to 4 hours; $80 per use over 4 hours. Reservations are not confirmed until the fee is paid in full.

You are financially responsible for any damage, loss, or additional cleaning that results from use of these rooms. All setup and cleanup fees are the responsibility of the individual organizer listed on the rental application. You will also be held financially responsible for lost keys and will be charged to re-key and/or replace locks.

How do I reserve a room?

Reservations may be made online. Requests are reviewed by the library on a case-by-case basis. A response will typically be provided within 72 hours. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance and can be placed up to 2 months before the requested date.

Community room reservations are non-transferable between different organizations. Groups may not make more than 2 reservations per month per branch location.

What if I need to cancel?

If the need to cancel your event arises, you must do so at least 72 hours prior to the date of the event. Late cancellations and no-shows will be charged a $40 fee.

Payments must be made in cash or by check and are non-refundable. You may move your fee to another date if requested at least 72 hours before your event.

The library reserves the right to cancel or change reservations due to unforeseen circumstances or non-compliance with this, or any other library policies.

What technology is available?

Some community rooms may come equipped with various audio-visual devices. However, this equipment is not guaranteed to be available. Please contact your library branch to verify status of equipment before rental. You are responsible for providing and operating your own technology if required.

Can I have food and drink?

Food and drink is permitted in the library community rooms but must comply with the library’s Behavior in the Library Policy and safety guidelines. If the event takes place outside of normal library operating hours, then trash must be removed and disposed of properly by you. Library staff may have additional requirements for operating the room after hours.

Can I bring private security?

You may not bring private security onto the premises without approval from library staff. If an incident occurs during an event, staff may choose to require an extra payment to provide security for any future reservations. If your organization violates this provision and brings private security to an event, you may be prohibited from future community room rentals.

How can I publicize my event?

You are required to clearly state in press releases and other publicity that the event is not library-sponsored. The presence of your organization in the community room does not constitute endorsement by the library. If someone calls to inquire about a program, staff may give them the name of the organization listed on the reservation form.

Publicity materials may only be posted in designated community bulletin areas after approval from library staff. Banners, signs, or flags may only be displayed inside of the community room.

What are the Library's current COVID safety guidelines?

The City of San José continues to evaluate programs and facilities in consideration of the health and safety of the community. All rental events at City of San José facilities must follow current City, county, and state public health guidelines. Please follow instructions provided by the library when putting away tables and chairs.

Review the Library's current safety guidelines page for the most up-to-date information.

Revised December 2022