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Purpose: Hartford Public Library (HPL) encourages public use of meeting rooms as gathering places to exchange ideas, share information and participate in programs created for public enjoyment, public education and civic engagement.

  • Reserving a Room: Any individual or organization seeking to reserve meeting or gathering space at the library must first contact the Program department.  Meeting rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Click here to visit the room reservation system
  • Space Priority: Programs and functions hosted or presented by the library will be given priority. In the unlikely event HPL needs to cancel a reservation made by a non-library organization or individual.  HPL will make every effort to provide adequate notice and will attempt to find the most convenient alternate date and/or location.  HPL has the right to cancel or deny future booking requests and existing contracts for any individual or group which violates stated policy, regulations or procedures. 
  • Prohibited Activities: Library meeting rooms and event spaces may not be used for any activity that is incompatible with the library environment or interferes with its operations or is considered to be dangerous to people or property. Sales of products or services, charging admission or registration fees, soliciting donations other than in conjunction with a program or event sponsored or hosted by HPL, and/or  fundraisers sponsored by non-profit organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will be approved at the sole discretion of HPL
  • Customer Conduct Policy: Those hosting meetings and events at the library and their guests agree to abide by all policies and regulations relating to the use of library facilities, including HPL’s code of conduct, and accept responsibility for any and all damages to the library building, contents and equipment (normal wear and tear excepted).
  • Insurance Requirement: At the sole determination of the Chief Executive Officer or his/her designee, a comprehensive general liability insurance policy in an amount not less than $1 million naming Hartford Public Library as an additional insured may be required for certain types of events.  The certificate of insurance must be filed with the Program department at least one month in advance of the event.
  • Catering: All food and beverages served at events or meetings must be supplied by and purchased from an approved HPL caterer. Alcoholic beverages may not be served at meetings or events during hours that the library is open to the public, unless approved by HPL in advance
  • Fees and Charges: The library may charge any and all applicable fees to any organization or individual using meeting rooms and event spaces.  Subject to the other terms of this policy, room rental fee may be waived for a non-profit organization, community group, or governmental organization holding a meeting or event during library hours. Request for waiver of fees shall be made to the Program Department.
  • Restrictions: The library may impose time, place or use restrictions for the meeting rooms and event spaces to ensure that all customers may use the library to the maximum extent possible during regularly scheduled public service hours.
  • Delegation: The Chief Executive Officer or his/her designee is granted full authority to make exceptions to this policy as deemed appropriate and to establish the procedures and fees necessary to implement it.

For Non-Profit, Community Organizations and Government

  • Non-profit groups or organizations may reserve room on an “as available” basis for a special reduced rate. In addition, written request to waive the fee may be submitted to the Program department. Please see meeting room fee schedule Exhibit A.
  • Non-profit groups or organizations may be assessed fees for special equipment, staff operation, or for use during times when the library is closed. Please see Other Charges Exhibit B.
  • A signed confirmation shall be returned to the Program department at least two (2) weeks in advance of the event.

For-Profit and Individuals

  • For-profit private businesses, individuals, groups or organizations may reserve rooms on an “as available” basis for a rental fee. Please see Meeting Room Fee Schedule A.
  • A signed confirmation and a deposit shall be returned to the Program department at least two (2) weeks in advance of the event. The balance of the contract amount is due to the Program department on or before the date of the event.

Library Meeting Rooms and Event Spaces

The Downtown Library has several rooms/event spaces available for public use.

Meeting rooms:

  • Wallace Stevens Writing Room- Fixed style; accommodates 15.
  • Technology Learning Lab- includes computer workstations.
  • Classroom #140 – 1st Floor- classroom-36
  • Classroom # 141- 1st Floor classroom-20
  • Youth Department Program Room- Programming or lecture style space; accommodates40.

Event Spaces:

  • Atrium- Ground floor meeting space; accommodates 100 standing, 70 seating.
  • Center for Contemporary Culture- Large auditorium with seating capacity of 200, standing capacity of 456.
  •  ArtWalk- third floor art gallery space with standing capacity of 314.
  • Hartford History Center –by special arrangement

Fees and Other Charges

Government and non-profits, are eligible for special rates not to exceed 50% of the posted rated in Exhibit A – Fee Schedules. Rates shall be determined on a case by case basis.  Non-profits must show evidence of 501(c) 3 status.

Other Charges

Based on whether the Library is open for all or part of the program, additional charges apply for all users for facilities, security, and AV staff providing services.  For programs that end after the regular closing of the Library, a minimum charge of one hour will apply.  For programs or events held when the Library is closed to the public, a minimum charge of 4 hours will apply. Rate charges subject to change. The Library reserves the right to determine the appropriate staffing level required for the event based on the size and/or type of event. There is an Equipment User Fee charged for use of one or combination of multiple pieces of audio visual equipment and/or stage set up.  See: Exhibit B Other Charges and Equipment User Fee.

Room Rentals require a 50% deposit two weeks in advance of the event; balance due on or before the day of the event.  Additional charges may apply if the event exceeds reserved time.

Booking a Meeting Room or Event Space

  • For information about the rooms and details related to their use, please contact the Program department at 860-695-6320 during business hours: 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Requests may also be made via email for meeting room or event space by emailing All room or event requests will be reviewed to determine eligibility.
  • Meeting rooms are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Meeting rooms are assigned based on availability and the size of the group.
  • To reserve a meeting room, please complete a Room Reservation Form online at by clicking on the Contact Us section.
  • Meeting room requests can be made at least three (3) months in advance.
  • After receiving the request, the Program Department will contact the applicant to discuss the event. The Program Department will process the room request and provide an email confirmation for the room reservation to the applicant.
  • A signed copy of a confirmation form sent to the Program department guarantees the room reservation.
  • Special events before or after regular library hours should be booked eight (8) weeks in advance. An appropriate number of adult chaperones must accompany groups of minors or young children at all times. Please see “Adult Ratios and Maximum Group Size Requirements” guidelines here:
  • All publicity for programs must include a contact person and phone.  Publicity must not imply that the library endorses or sponsors said program, unless written permission is given from the Library. Meetings or events that are not library sponsored must include in either written or electronic formats the statement, “Sponsored by (the name of the organization or business)”.

Recurring Reservations

  • Groups may request consecutive meetings for four (4) months; however, the Library will not guarantee the same location for each meeting.
  • Reservations for a range of four months in advance can be requested by submitting a completed Room Reservation Form.


  • Cancellations should be made at least 24 hours in advance or as soon as possible by calling the Program department at 860-695-6322.
  • The 24-hour notice is waived for weather-related cancellations.
  • The event is not canceled until the Program Department issues a notice of cancellation.
  • A room cancellation with less than 24-hours’ notice will result in forfeiture of the deposit, unless the cancellation was initiated by the Library. A non-profit room cancellation with less than 24-hours’ notice will be charged a cancellation fee.

Room Set Up

Room set-up, if required, is the responsibility of the event host. The Program department will assist with the room setup to accommodate reasonable meeting needs. Special room setups are limited to certain spaces. Library staff can set up the space for an additional charge. 

Audiovisual Services and Equipment

If needed, the Library can provide audiovisual equipment and technical support service for an additional fee. Only authorized Library staff can operate the equipment. Please see available Audiovisual Equipment listed below.   Use of audiovisual equipment other than that owned by the Library is not permitted.

Safety Considerations

A number of safety issues connected with holding events at the library are listed below.

Exit Doors
Egress routes may not be obstructed in any way and exit signs must remain clearly visible.

Room Capacity
The maximum capacity set by law is posted in each meeting room. Exceeding the maximum capacity of a room is prohibited by law.

Candles, Smoke and Open Flames
Candles, incense or any other smoke or flame-producing device are not permitted in the Library. Such devices could easily set off the fire alarm system which would cause the evacuation of the building and summon the fire department.

Decorations used at events cannot obscure exit signs or doors. Nothing may be taped or affixed to any part of the rooms. Glitter and confetti are strictly prohibited.

Electrical Cords
Use of electrical cords must be approved by the Program department prior to use. All electrical cords and cords on any equipment must be taped down.

Moving Equipment and Furniture
Fixed equipment or furniture must not be moved without the consent of the Program department. Only the Program department can arrange any modifications to fixed equipment and/or furniture.  Should any equipment or furniture be moved without permission, the group will be held financially responsible for any damage caused.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages may not be served in the library during hours that the library is open to the public. Alcoholic beverages are restricted to wine, beer and champagne and may only be served at events scheduled for after the library closes to the public. Any exceptions must be approved, in advance, by the Chief Executive Officer or his/her designee.

At events held after library hours, alcoholic beverages may not be served if there are minors present. An organization wishing to serve alcohol as a part of an after-hours event is required to use HPL approved caterer, secure a temporary permit or license, and submit it to the Program department two (2) weeks in advance of the event. Any required permits, special insurance or licenses will be the responsibility of the organization hosting the event. Alcohol must be contained within the area where the event is taking place.

Event Insurance

Groups or organizations must procure and have in force a comprehensive general liability insurance policy to submit to the library two (2) weeks in advance of the event. The limit for bodily injury and property damage shall not be less than $1,000,000.00 per occurrence. A certificate of insurance naming Hartford Public Library officers and Board of Directors as additional insured must be submitted to the Program department two (2) weeks in advance of the event. Alcohol must be contained within the building, and within the area where the event is taking place.

Large events such as civic or conference receptions may also require additional insurance. A determination will be made before confirmation is approved.


There is metered parking in Arch Street garage and on Main, Sheldon and Arch Streets surrounding the Library. After 6:00 p.m., customers may park in the Arch Street garage for free. The Program department can arrange use of the Sheldon Street parking lots if necessary. Click here for complete parking information

Clean Up

At the conclusion of your meeting, put litter in the trash container and report any problems that may remain.

We ask your cooperation at the conclusion of your meeting:

• Leave the meeting room as clean and as orderly as possible.

• Place all trash in receptacles provided by the Library.

• Report any spills immediately to the Program department or manager-in-charge.

• Remove all personal effects, equipment and decorations.

• Library staff will remove any equipment provided.

• Special cleaning requirements or damage caused during use of a meeting room or event space will result in an additional charge to the user.

Audiovisual/Equipment Listing

The Library reserves first priority for use of any audio/visual equipment at all times; Scheduled use of audio/visual equipment is on a first-come, first-served basis. For each event, an audio visual user fee is charged.  Full refund of the Audio/visual Equipment Fee will be given if the required 24 hour cancellation notice is given by the customer. Fees may apply to
Center for Contemporary Culture (CCC)

  • The CCC has a sound system with multiple microphones.
  • Each area can be separately controlled with its own mixer.
  • Adaptive listening devices are available in each room.
  • CCC has a screen available at no charge.

Other Equipment:

  • Lapel Microphone
  • Wireless hand held microphone
  • Overhead projector
  • Portable lectern with microphone
  • Portable screen
  • DVD player
  • Microphone
  • Projector cart
  • Easel for flip chart pad holder (Flip chart pad not provided)
  • CD player
  • LCD projector – portable
  • Lectern
  • Stage

Exhibit A: Fee Schedule

Exhibit B: Other Charges and Equipment User Fee



Click here to reserve a room