Meeting Room Policy

In keeping with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District makes its meeting rooms available as “designated and limited forums” for meetings and programs conducted by individuals and not-for-profit groups on subjects of community, civic, cultural, governmental, or educational interest.

Meeting rooms are available free of charge on an equitable first-come, first-served basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Programs, classes or other activities presented by the Library take precedence over non-Library use of the meeting rooms.


Individuals and non-profit community, civic, cultural, governmental, or educational organizations whose members are primarily from Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth, and nearby communities – including local governmental agencies, organizations and elected officials, are eligible to use the meeting rooms.

Although civic organizations, including political organizations, may be eligible to use a meeting room, political rallies or electioneering (the promotion or opposition of a specific candidate for public office or the opposition and support of a question of public policy appearing on a ballot) is prohibited.

The person representing the non-profit community, civic, cultural, educational or governmental organization in the application process must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a resident of Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth or a Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District cardholder, or a representative of a non-profit community, civic, cultural, governmental or educational organization whose members are primarily from Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth and nearby communities
  • sign an agreement to be responsible for the use of the room

Meeting rooms are not available for commercial use, including non-Library sponsored seminars, workshops and lectures presented by members of private, for-profit law firms, financial advisors, real-estate agencies, health care providers, or others, including dance and music teachers for non-Library sponsored recitals or for private tutoring sessions.

Meeting rooms are not available for social gatherings, private events or fund-raising activities.
All meetings must be open to the public.

The Library Director makes the final decision regarding eligibility.


No reservations can be processed without an APPLICATION FORM on file. Completed applications may be mailed or delivered in person to the attention of:

Meeting Room Application
Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District
768 Oak Street
Winnetka, IL, 60093

Completed applications may also be emailed as an attachment to:, or submitted online through a link found on the policy page of our website. Questions regarding meeting room availability should be directed to the Business Office at 847-446-7220.

There is no charge for the use of the Library’s meeting rooms.

Applications are reviewed and notice of approval or denial is given within one week of receipt of the application. Please note that submitting an application DOES NOT guarantee approval or use of the room. Library personnel will do everything possible to facilitate the application process, but no event will go on the calendar until a completed application form is received and approved.
Individuals must notify the Library of cancellations at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, or future meeting room privileges may be lost.

The Library reserves the right to cancel the use of the meeting room at any time.


Groups and individuals may schedule meetings no more than three months in advance. Due to the popularity of the Library meeting rooms, groups and individuals are limited to one (1) scheduled use per week on a first-come, first-served basis.

Meetings may begin no earlier than 30 minutes after the Library opens and must end no later than 15 minutes before the Library closes. Example: If the Library is closing at 9:00 p.m., the meeting must conclude and attendees must clear the room by 8:45 p.m.


All meetings must be open to the public.

Authorization for library meeting room use is limited to the furniture and equipment assigned to that room.

Users of the meeting rooms are expected to conform to all Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District Patron Policies concerning excessive noise and maintain orderly conduct before, during, and after the meeting.

All meetings held in the Library must be free. No collection of money including memberships, admission fees, donations, sales, or fundraising may take place during the meeting or in the Library before or after the meeting.

Meetings must include at least one individual (age 16 or older) who will be responsible for the use of the room. Groups holding meetings for children, or with many children present, must provide adequate supervision. An authorized representative of the group reserving the meeting room must remain on the premises throughout the period for which it is reserved, or until the meeting ends.
In accordance with the Library’s Unattended Child Policy, adults attending meetings may not leave children eight (8) years of age or younger unattended elsewhere in the building.

There are three meeting rooms: the Winnetka Community Room (located in the lower level of the Winnetka Library), the Lloyd Room (located on the main level of the Winnetka Library), and the Northfield Community Room (located adjacent to the Northfield Branch Library). A comfortable capacity of each meeting room is approximately 40 people. Larger groups may be accommodated, subject to Director approval. Please request all room set-up arrangements and equipment at time of application. Although we try to be flexible, Library staff may not be available to arrange the room or set up equipment prior to the meeting.

Each room has a trash and recycling container. Groups may serve simple food items, bottled water, and ready-to-serve coffee and tea are permitted. No alcohol may be served. Library meeting rooms must be restored to their original, clean condition. Users of library meeting rooms agree to pay for any damages to Library property. The Library reserves the right to charge the group if additional cleaning or repairs are needed.

Please refrain from taping anything to the meeting room walls and using craft supplies such as glitter, glue or paint without prior approval.


The Library provides a limited number of tables and chairs for use in the meeting rooms. Groups should specify the quantity needed at the time of application. It may be necessary for groups using the meeting room to set up and take down the tables and chairs they use. Some equipment items, such a projector, screen and laptop, are available and may be requested on the application form. The Library assumes no responsibility for equipment failure and resultant damages to meeting attendee property.
The Library staff is not responsible for setting up Power Point or similar presentations.

Arrangements can be made in advance for a dry-run if necessary and, of course, please feel free to ask any questions of staff and clarify concerns before your meeting. Wi-Fi is available throughout the Library, including the meeting rooms.

Unfortunately, the Library is unable to provide storage of supplies before or after the meeting or between meeting dates.


Any publicity or announcements, including email blasts, e-invites and other electronic communication promoting a meeting being held in the Library must contain the following disclaimer: The Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District provides meeting space as a community service. Neither the Library nor the Board sponsors or endorses these events or the presenting individuals or organizations. There must be no implication that the Library sponsors the organization or endorses its activities, or the viewpoints expressed by participants.

Signs may only be displayed inside the meeting room. Handouts may only be distributed inside the meeting room.

The name, mailing address, website, telephone, fax number, URL or email address of the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District cannot be used by individual(s) or organizations for correspondence or conducting business of any kind. Any packages delivered to a Library address will be returned as “addressee unknown.”

Permission to use Library meeting rooms does not, in any way, constitute an endorsement by the Library of an individual or organization, its activities, or the viewpoints expressed by the meeting presenters or participants.


The Library reserves the right to approve meeting room eligibility, assess or waive fees, and cancel or reschedule meetings without cause, reason, or liability. Programs, classes or other activities presented by the Library take precedence over non-Library use of the meeting rooms.

The Library reserves the right to cancel the use of the meeting room and cannot be responsible for cancellations due to weather, loss of power, or other conditions. The Library does not post signs about such cancellations.

The Library reserves the right to change or cancel any meeting if circumstances at the Library so demand, including room reassignment based upon the size of the group.
An individual or organization’s failure to abide by the rules regulating the use of the Library’s meeting rooms or the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District Patron Policy may result in cancellation or refusal of future reservations.

Content of non-Library sponsored meetings held at the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Speech not protected by the First Amendment, including, but not limited to, obscenity, incendiary and defamatory speech, is prohibited.


Individuals and organizations using meeting rooms shall indemnify and hold harmless the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District, its Board of Trustees and employees, from and against all losses, damages, claims, costs and expenses arising from injury or death of any person(s), or damage to property resulting from any act or omission of such users or their employees, agents, representatives, guests, invitees, or the general public to the extent that such losses, damages, claims, costs and expenses arise in connection with or relate to the organization or individual’s use of the facility.

Organizations or individuals using meeting rooms agree to pay for all damages and losses associated with the meeting in regards to the Library building, contents, and equipment.

The Library is not responsible for the equipment, materials or personal possessions of meeting attendees.

Policy revision adopted by the Library Board of Trustees March 14, 2016