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 1980 revised

These 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. Prohibited are speech and materials – measured against local community standards – which are:

  1. legally obscene, including child pornography; or
  2. which appeal to the prurient interest and, taken as a whole, lack any serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

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 at the entrance to the library. The brochure rack is available for brochures and handouts. Permission is not needed.

Posters, notices, fliers and announcements will be removed by the volunteer greeter or the Library Director or his/her designee when no longer timely.

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

The four named study rooms are available to library users on a first come, first served basis. The library may reserve them in advance when needed. The spaces are designed to accommodate small group meetings, tutorials, quiet study and library workshops. There is no time limit on their use. If only one individual is using a room, he/she may be asked to share with others. Patrons are requested to select the room best suited to the number of people in their group.

Room capacities:
M & T Study Room - 4
Cornell Finger Lakes Credit Union Study Room - 4
Time Warner Cable Study Room - 8
Tompkins County Trust Company Study Room - 12

Thaler/Howell Children’s Program Room

The Thaler/Howell Children’s Program Room is only available for use by library Youth Services Programming or programming co-sponsored by Youth Services.

Page last modified May 3, 2012