Policies and Procedures for the Conference Center at the Main Library

#1.  Overview

  1. The Library Conference Center rents meeting spaces at the Main Library to individuals, groups and organizations in the public and private sector. Events may not interfere with regular Library operations and Library-sponsored events.
  2. Events held in the Conference Center on the conference level may be held throughout the working day during and after Main Library operating hours. Other spaces within the Main Library are  subject to restrictions based on availability and non-interference with library operations.
  3. Rental of space in the Library does not constitute an endorsement of a group's policies or beliefs by the Jacksonville Public Library.
  4. The Jacksonville Public Library does not discriminate in making its premises available for  use based on race, color, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, political affiliation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status or any other impermissible factor.
  5. Questions on reserving meeting or event space at the Main Library should be directed to the Conference team at (904) 255-6198 or jplconference@coj.net.

#2.  Meeting and Event Space

The Conference Center Level and Main Library contain the following spaces available for rental: 

  1. Hicks Auditorium – Theater-style seating for 391 with small raised stage, backstage area and two green rooms.
  2. Multipurpose Room – Seats up to 300 for a banquet, or can be divided into three separate rooms for a conference, lecture or presentation. Seating capacity varies on each individual event.
  3. Meeting Rooms – There are four (4) on Conference Level and three (3) within the Main Library: Room 219, Room 319 and Room 440. Seating varies from eight to 40 persons based on each type  of meeting.
  4. Conference Gallery – The wide hallway on the Conference Level is suitable for a reception of up to 300 persons and available for rental only as an addition to the Multipurpose Room or Hicks Auditorium. (Restrictions during operating hours.)
  5. Main Street Entrance Hallway – The hallway leading from Main Street into the Main Library is suitable for receptions and available for rental only as an addition to the Multipurpose Room. (Restrictions during operation hours.)
  6. Lovett Courtyard – (Second Floor) – Approximately 10,000 square feet of outdoor space combined with an indoor atrium area for up to 250 guests. (Restrictions during operating hours.)
  7. Atrium – Open space on the second and third floors within the Main Library can be used on its own or in conjunction with the Courtyard for events.  (Restrictions during operating hours.)
  8. Lounge at 303 North – Located on the ground floor near the Laura Street entrance is a spacious lounge fitted with custom furniture, audio/visual equipment, bar area and dedicated appliances for pre-event drinks or gathering. Also available for business presentations.
  9. G5 Promenade – Located on the ground floor near the Laura Street entrance is a meeting space  that can accommodate approximately 65 guests for an informal gathering or presentation.
  10. Catering kitchens - Strategically located near the special event areas to assist clients for general preparation and serving, two kitchens are equipped with standard warming ovens, refrigerator/freezers, and preparation space. Open flames or cooking on-site are prohibited at the Jacksonville Public Library.
  11. Additional event space – In addition to the above areas, we have special areas that may be available for rental at a minimum rental rate of $2,000 without impacting library hours or operations.

Event spaces on the Conference Level have some flexibility as to arrangement of the space and furniture. Areas within the Main Library are subject to very limited rearrangement of existing furniture and equipment. Library-sponsored exhibits and programming decorations cannot be moved at any time; please check with the Conference team to ensure that a particular exhibit or program will not affect your proposed event.

#3.  General Rental Policies

All events held at the Main Library must be conducted in an orderly manner and in full compliance with applicable laws, regulations, the Library Code of Conduct and other rules. Activities associated with events must not interfere with the regular operation of the Library.

  1. Group Insurance - All customers are required to produce appropriate commercial general liability and if applicable alcohol (retail liquor) liability for special events scheduled at the Jacksonville Public Library. Parameters of insurance required are available in the Policies & Procedures, number 11 and Exhibit C.
  2. Rental Agreement - All customers will be required to sign and comply with a standard facility use agreement (contract).  The contents of the rental agreement are nonnegotiable.
  3. Security – Security will be arranged according to the nature and requirements of each event. Dedicated security guards are required for any event that:
    • Occurs outside of regular operating hours
    • Serves alcohol regardless of whether during or outside operating hours
    • Uses the entire Conference level
    • Uses the Auditorium
    • Uses the Conference Hallway/Pre-Function area when vendors are present
    • Is determined by the Library to require additional security due to the nature of the event: safety, large crowd, items of value, individuals in attendance, e.g., celebrities, etc.

Security will remain during and immediately following the event. The Library reserves the right to determine if the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will need to provide additional security at an event. Security requirements will be determined prior to the event and the charges for the service specified in advance according to the Main Library Conference Center Fee Schedule.

  1. Food & Beverage – It is prohibited in the Auditorium. Food and beverage is allowed in all other Conference Level areas at any time the spaces are in use. Catered food is allowed in Library (non- Conference Center) areas only before or after normal Main Library operating hours.
  2. After Hours Events – After-hour events must end by 11 p.m. to permit one hour for clean-up until 12 a.m. The building must be completely vacated no later than midnight. If you wish to extend your event time, there will be an additional charge of $500 per hour, for up to a maximum of two additional hours. Arrangements and payment must be made at least 30 days in advance for extra event time. Departure from the building must be no later than 2 a.m. Please inquire with the Conference Center Manager to pay for additional event time beyond 11 p.m.
  3. Vacating the Premises – If licensee, its guests and/or vendors have not vacated the premises by the tear down completion time in the contract, licensee will be billed at an hourly rate in no less than one-hour  increments  based on  the  Conference  Center  Rental  Rates. On  the  rate  sheet,  Page 2 spaces will take flat rate divided by eight hours to calculate the hourly rate. Statement of Charges will be emailed to licensee within five business days after the event. Payment will be due within 30 days of invoice date.
  4. Personal Property –  The Library is not responsible for damage or loss of property brought into  the building for meetings and special events. All items brought into the building via the main entrance(s) or loading dock area may be subject to examination at the request of the Library. All vendor and licensee property must be delivered and removed during Use Period specified on Page 1 of the contract.  Advanced deliveries and pickups post event are NOT permitted.
  5. Smoking/Tobacco – No tobacco products of any type are permitted to be used in any part of the Library, including the courtyard. This includes the loading dock and adjacent areas plus the Courtyard. Smoking is allowed outside the building, 50 feet away from any door or entranceway. Customers may leave the building and re-enter during special events. Animals (except service animals) are prohibited.
  6. Gambling - The Library does not allow any variety of gambling, gaming, bingo, casinos or wagering of any kind as an element of an event. Provided, however, that nonprofit organizations that qualify under Fl. Stat. 849.0935 may hold drawings by chance as permitted under the statute.

#4.  Rental Fees

Fees are set by the Board of Library Trustees and reviewed regularly. Fees are subject to change without notice and are not negotiable. A 50 percent discount is available for nonprofit and governmental organizations    on     Sunday     through     Thursday     rentals     and     on     Friday     rentals     up     until 4 p.m. Nonprofit rental fees are not applicable for any event after 4 p.m. on Fridays or on Saturdays. Those seeking discounted rates must qualify as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) or other tax- exempt section of the Internal Revenue Code and must submit a copy of a current Nonprofit Determination letter and/or State of Florida Sales Tax Exemption Certificate to the Conference Center Manager along with the reservation request. Discounted rates will not be considered without the required documentation.

  1. City of Jacksonville Events – There is no rental fee charged for official Mayoral and City Council business during Library hours at which the Mayor or City Council Member is present.  Mayoral  and City Council requests for space should be submitted in writing on letterhead to the Conference Center Manager.
  2. Other Fee Exemptions – Any donor(s) who make a contribution to the Jacksonville Public Library equal to or greater than $2,000,000 has the opportunity to use the Multipurpose Room or Hicks Auditorium separately on two occasions (subject to availability) per calendar year at no charge. Waiver of fees applies to room rental only and does not include incidental expenses such as uplighting. Requests of this nature should be submitted by the donor in writing to the Conference Center Manager.

#5.  Reservations, Payments, and Cancellations


To reserve space in the Main Library, a Conference Center reservation request form must be completed and submitted to the Conference Center Manager. A reservation is not guaranteed until payment and a signed Facility Use Agreement is submitted to the Conference Center Manager.

  1. Meeting room and special event space is reserved on a first come, first served basis. Any discrepancy involving date(s) reserved will be resolved by the Conference Center Manager and determined by the written reservation request form.
  2. Requests must be submitted at least 30 days in advance due to insurance requirements which are due to Risk Management 30 days in advance of the event.
  3. Reservation requests are not accepted for event dates outside of two years from reservation date.
  4. A completed request form is required for each date unless a single event is held on consecutive days. A submitted reservation request form does not constitute a guaranteed reservation.
  5. The hours booked include time for set up and clean-up of the space being used.
  6. A customer must be at least 18 years of age to book the use of a room.
  7. Confirmation of booking and estimate of charges will be sent to the customer upon approval of the reservation request form. Once the booking confirmation and estimate form is signed and returned to the Conference Center Manager, a full invoice and Rental Agreement (contract) with payment instructions will be submitted to the customer.


  1. Signed Rental Agreement (contract) and payment must be returned to the Conference Center Manager no later than 10 days after the initial confirmation and estimate of charges is sent out. Failure to complete within 10 business days will result in cancellation of the reservation request.
  2. Payment is due in full for all meetings and special events costing less than $1,000.
  3. For all other events an initial deposit of $1,000 is required to secure your reservation. The  remaining balance is due 6 calendar months prior to the event date. Failure to submit full payment at least 6 months prior to the event date will forfeit the deposit and result in immediate cancellation of the reservation.


  1. All cancellations or date change reschedule requests are subject to the table below.

    Date Range Prior to Event Date


    Option to reschedule event (one time maximum) within 12 months of original contracted

    event date less the Penalty

    180 days

    $250 Administrative Fee


    90 days – 179 days

    $500 Administrative Fee


    79 days

    100% of Contracted Fee


    Penalty fee will not be larger than contracted total fee. In instances where penalty fee would be greater than contracted total fee, the penalty fee will equal the total contracted amount.

  2. Force Majeure: No damages shall be due for a failure of performance occurring due to Acts of God, wars, government regulations, disasters, terrorist acts or strikes, curtailment of transportation or circumstances beyond the control of the parties, any one of which may make performance impossible. Financial hardship is not a force majeure event. The party affected by the  force  majeure event must provide the other party timely notice of its inability to perform. Deposits made prior to event date will be refunded, provided the failure of performance was due to one of the aforementioned occurrences.
  3. If a reserved room becomes unavailable as booked for operational or any other reason, the Conference Center Manager will make every effort to provide an alternate booking that meets the customer’s needs. If the alternate booking is not workable for the customer, all fees and deposits will be returned to the customer without penalty.

#6.  Publicity

The customer is responsible for any publicity. Publicity materials may not list or imply that the Jacksonville Public Library is a co-sponsor of any event without the express approval of the Library Director or designee. The Library requires that all printed material, press releases, posters and other information regarding the event include a contact phone number and return address for the organization or individual booking the room. Library phone numbers may not be listed for obtaining information on an event. The customer may not issue invitations or press releases until the Facility Use Agreement has been signed and approved by the Library.

#7.  Filming and Photography

The Jacksonville Public Library permits specialty filming and photography at the Main Library for a nominal fee (available by request from the Conference Center Manager) outside of normal operating hours. The City of Jacksonville requires a permit and certificate of liability insurance for any filming or photography on public property; the permit is free of charge and obtained through the City of Jacksonville’s Film and Television office.

#8.  Audiovisual Services

A set inventory of audiovisual and electronic services equipment on the Conference Level is available for venue rentals. Additional equipment unowned by the Library must be brought in by the licensee and or an audio visual production company at the expense of the licensee. Personal devices are permitted and can be attached to Library audio/visual carts for presentation purposes.

Use of the Conference Center’s audiovisual and electronic equipment in the Multipurpose Room and Hicks Auditorium may require a licensed audiovisual technician to be on site. If required, the Conference Center Specialist/Manager and customer will discuss and clarify which party is responsible for arranging the technician with a licensed and approved vendor and payment for professional services  rendered.  Customers, guests and non-City of Jacksonville vendors are not permitted in the Hicks Auditorium sound booth at any time. A City of Jacksonville-approved vendor or employee must operate all equipment in the Hicks Auditorium sound booth. Licensee must request all audio visual needs in writing at least thirty days prior to the event in order for Conference Center Staff to confirm each requested item is available.

#Minimum Requirements for Audio Visual Production Contractors.

The Conference Center reserves the right to determine whether Contractors have the minimum qualifications to conduct an audio visual production service operation of this type. Contractors must satisfy the following mandatory minimum requirements in order to have their responses evaluated. A Contractor who is lacking the basic qualifications will not be considered. Regardless of the cost, the determination by the Conference Center concerning Contractor qualification shall be final. In order to facilitate prompt approval as an audio visual production contractor, the Contractor must submit with his proposal the following information and meet the minimum qualifying criteria. FAILURE TO SUBMIT REQUESTED INFORMATION WILL BE GROUNDS FOR REJECTION OF REQUEST:

  • Contractor must be registered with the City of Jacksonville as a vendor in Jax Pro.
  • Provide at least three (3) verifiable references of audio visual production experience in buildings demonstrating the ability to successfully produce events in 20,000 square feet.
  • Contractor must have been engaged in the business of performing audio visual production services and must submit, at the time of request, a list of contracts (including event name, event location, client/venue contact phone number and dollar value of the contract) held for a minimum of thirty-six (36) consecutive months.
  • The Contractor must use all commercial grade equipment and submit a list of all commercial grade equipment that will be used to perform the services required by client.
  • Requests will only be considered from Contractors which have suitable equipment. List must include equipment type, model, and quantity owned by the company. Inspection of the company’s equipment may be made prior to award.
  • Contractor must possess an established Federal Employee Identification Number and list the number on the Request Form in the appropriate area.
  • The Contractor shall provide all bonds as required and evidence of insurance pursuant to City contractor requirements prior to commencement of work.
  • The successful Contractor must have an operating office within Duval County prior to notice to proceed. The Contractor must also have a local authorized representative with a contact phone number to provide a response no more than one business day after submitted to all inquiries.
  • Show or be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the City that it possesses the ability and capacity to successfully perform obligations of the event.

#9.  Bag Check

The Library reserves the right to inspect all bags, packages, boxes, purses, backpacks or similar items brought into the building for meetings and special events. The Library may refuse to admit persons with large containers or oversized backpacks into Auditorium events.

#10. Logistics

The Conference team will work closely with the customer to facilitate the event.

  1. Three weeks prior to the event date, the customer must inform the Library, in writing, of the preferred room set-up from the options made available by the Library, and specify to the  Conference Center Manager any furniture or equipment to be brought into the library and set up by the customer. Any changes must be approved by the Conference Center Manager at least seven (7) days prior to the event. The Library reserves the right to deny the use of any item or piece of equipment to the customer for any reason. The customer or customer’s representative/vendor is responsible for set up/break down of any non-Library equipment used for the event. The Library will set up/break down all Library-owned furniture and equipment.
  2. Any request for unusual layout, additional electrical equipment or lighting brought in for the event must be requested in writing and approved by the Conference Center Manager and the Assistant Director for Facilities, Management and Planning at least 30 days prior to the event date.
  3. At least two weeks prior to the event, the Conference team must be notified in writing of any deliveries, including date and time. Failure to notify the Conference team may result in the vendors being denied building access. All deliveries must occur on the event date. The Library does not provide for storage of advance deliveries. Additional charges may apply to any unscheduled or unapproved delivery.
  4. The caterer is responsible for providing all personnel, material, and equipment for the event. The caterer must be present to accept any deliveries of food or equipment. The caterer is responsible for quickly cleaning up any food or drink spills during the event and cleaning all prep areas.

#11. Alcoholic Beverages

  1. Guests must be 21 years of age to be served alcohol.
  2. Alcohol must be supplied through a licensed vendor using the following parameters;
    • Vendor must provide certificate of liability insurance evidencing the following coverages:

      General Liability: $1,000,000 per Occurrence /$2,000,000 Aggregate
      Liquor Liability: $1,000,000 per Occurrence /$2,000,000 Aggregate
      Worker’s Compensation Florida Statutory Coverage
      Employer’s Liability: $100,000 Each Accident, $500,000 Disease Policy Limit, $100,000 Each Employee/Disease

    • Certificate must name the City of Jacksonville, its members, officials, officers, employees and agents as additional insured for General Liability and Liquor Liability.
    • Liquor liability insurance will be required.
    • The event name, date and time(s) must also be listed on the Certificate along with verification of workmen’s compensation coverage
  3. Alcohol should be delivered to the Library along with the other food items during the Facility Use Period listed on Page 1 of the contract. Library staff will not accept the advanced delivery of alcohol.
  4. The event must be private and not open to the public.
  5. Alcohol is not permitted in any area of the Main Library building (non-Conference Center areas) during Library hours.  Deliveries should be made in discreet packaging or covered when passing through public areas.
  6. At no time will alcohol be permitted in the children and teen sections.
  7. Alcohol is to be served only in designated areas.

#12. Decorations

All decorations should be freestanding and must be approved in writing by the Conference Center Manager. Materials may not be attached to any walls, windows, doors or furnishings by any form of tape, pin or nail. Certain types of decorations are not allowed. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

  1. Confetti and Rose Petals
  2. Helium-filled balloons
  3. Stickers or tape
  4. Decorations incorporating metallic glitter
  5. Bubble, fog and smoke machines
  6. Open flames, candles or any device emitting smoke
  7. Any item that would cause permanent damage to fixtures, furniture and  flooring.
  8. The Library does not provide any decorative items, this includes but not limited to linens, decoration, centerpieces and set-ups (glasses, mixers, ice, etc.)

#13. Parking

The Library does not provide free parking. Parking is available in nearby lots or metered street parking. A Parking Garage at 33 West Duval Street is across from the Main Library and is available during events.  Customers must contact the garage directly for rates (904-630-1399 or parking@coj.net).

#14. Clean-up and Break-down

Event break-down must occur in an orderly and timely fashion. Special cleaning requirements or damage caused during the use of a space will be charged to the customer. The Library expects the customer to assist with basic clean-up at the conclusion of the event, including but not limited to placing trash in receptacles provided, removing all personal effects, equipment and decorations, and leaving the spaces as clean and orderly as possible. Catering Vendors please note that after an event has concluded all equipment brought for the event (including plates and utensils) must be removed from the building no later than one hour following the end of the event. This will allow the Conference team to prepare the venue for normal library operations.

All vendor and licensee property must be delivered and removed during Use Period specified on Page 1 of the contract.  Advanced deliveries and pick-ups post event are NOT permitted.

*Amended & Approved by the Board of Library Trustees on October 10, 2017.