Use of Public Space

“Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.”

American Library Association Bill of Rights, January 1996 revised

The following policies reflect the Tompkins County Public Library's profound commitment to promoting free public discourse and exchange of ideas in the Library's designated public spaces, consistent with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Except for narrowly tailored restrictions, all speech and materials are protected and shall not be regulated on the basis of content or viewpoint.

When using public spaces, the public must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, including laws governing the transmission and dissemination of information while accessing the Internet, and with all Library policies and procedures.

Authorization to use the Library's facilities does not reflect endorsement by the Library.

Library patrons may not:

  • Display or print images of child pornography, or those which are sexually explicit, obscene, or harmful to minors. These images are expressly prohibited under N.Y. Penal Law § 235.00-235.24.
  • Distribute unsolicited advertising.
  • Engage in any activity that is harassing, is deliberately offensive, or creates an intimidating or hostile environment.
  • Invade the privacy of others.

Community Bulletin Board And Brochure Display Rack

Posters, notices, fliers, and announcements from the local community may be posted in designated areas on the public community bulletin board inside the entrance to the Library. The brochure rack is available for brochures and handouts. Permission is not required.

Petitioning In The Library

The Tompkins County Public Library does not allow petitions or petitioning in the Library or on Library property, unless it is directly related to the welfare of libraries or library services.

Study Rooms

Rooms and Capacity

  • M & T Study Room – 4
  • CFCU Study Room – 4
  • Time Warner Cable Study Room – 8
  • Tompkins Trust Company Study Room – 12
  • Local History Study Room #1 – 2 to 3 (coming soon)
  • Local History Study Room #2 – 2 to 3 (coming soon)

The six study rooms are available to Library patrons on a first-come, first-served basis. The Library may reserve them in advance when needed. These spaces are designed to accommodate small group meetings, tutorials, quiet study and Library workshops. Individuals may be asked to share with others.

Meeting Rooms

Rooms and Capacity

  • BorgWarner Community Room - 110
    East - 52
    West - 58
  • Conference Room – 10 to 12 (coming soon)

Library meeting rooms may also be available for programs conducted or sponsored by the Library. Meeting rooms are for use by others for educational, cultural, recreational or civic purposes and shall not be used for private, entrepreneurial or commercial purposes.

Meeting rooms require an advance reservation. For more information, visit or contact the Senior Administrative Assistant at 607-272-4557 ext. 221

Thaler/Howell Children’s Program Room

The Thaler/Howell Programming Room is available for use only by Library Youth Services programming or programming co-sponsored by the TCPL Youth Services Department.


First revision March 2017
Second revision with edits from Legal review March 30, 2017
Edited by Library Services and Policy Committee April 13, 2017
Edited by Library Services and Policy Committee May 25, 2017
Third revision for committee review May 29, 2017
Page last modified Aug 14, 2017